Compensation methods for medical transcriptionists vary. Some are paid based on the number of hours they work or on the number of lines they transcribe. Others receive a base pay per hour with incentives for extra production.
Large hospitals and healthcare organizations usually prefer to pay for the time an employee works. Independent contractors and employees of transcription services almost always receive production-based pay.
Medical transcriptionists had median hourly earnings of $12.15 in 2010. The middle 50 percent earned between $10.07 and $14.41. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.66, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $18.22.
Medical transcriptionists salary by Employer Type:
Offices and clinics of medical doctors: $18,740-$33,938
Private Practice/Firm: $20,787-$36,337
Entry-level medical transcriptionists had median hourly earnings of $10.32 and the most experienced transcriptionists had median hourly earnings of $17.00. Earnings were highest in organizations employing 1,000 or more workers. Transcriptionists receiving production-based pay earned about 7 to 8.5 cents per Standardized Line (based on a 65-character line, counting all keystrokes). However, independent contractors—who have higher expenses than their corporate counterparts, receive no benefits, and face higher risk of termination than employed transcriptionists—typically charge about 12 to 13 cents per Standardized Line.