Medical Transcription Basics

Medical transcription training and schooling tips

Category: Medical Transcription Salary

Are Medical Transcriptionist Salaries Really All They’re Cracked Up to Be?

One of the big reasons people want to get into medical transcription is that they believe they can earn a good living off of it. The pay rates usually mentioned don’t sound too bad compared to many other jobs, and the chance that you might get to do the work from home only adds to the appeal.

The thing you should be asking is whether they’re really all that good. Are medical transcriptionist salaries good enough that you should be trying to get into this industry?

Honestly, that depends on a few factors, such as the cost of living in your area and what normal salaries are like there. Some places your medical transcriptionist salary will be pretty nice. Other places it won’t be nearly enough for the work involved.

First let’s take a look at what medical transcription salaries are really. Remember that many positions pay on production, not a true hourly rate, so what you earn is very much so effected by your skills and the tools you use. But we’ll get into that later.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly pay for medical transcriptionists is $15.82, and the lowest 10% earn $21,960 per year or less, the highest 10% earn over $46,220 per year.. How you see these numbers will depend on what other opportunities are available in your area and just what you need to earn to get by.

Other Factors to Consider

Of course, the pay rate isn’t the only thing you should be considering here. If you manage to get a home based medical transcription position, you have some savings to consider, at least potentially.

Think of the gas you could be saving rather than driving to work. Depending on how far you’re going now if you work outside the home, that could be pretty nice or it could be insignificant.

Consider your wardrobe. Working at home means you don’t need to keep up a professional wardrobe. Depending on the demands of your current job or the other careers you’ve considered, this could be an advantage.

The big change is if you have children and can keep working with them at home. Saving money on childcare could be a huge deal. Childcare can be very expensive in some areas. Just keep in mind that children are a huge distraction, and may limit how much you earn because you’re distracted. You will want to consider if you could work best after they’re in bed or at school.

Savings such as these may effectively increase the pay you get to keep rather than spending it on the expenses associated with working outside the home.

How Can You Increase Your Salary?

If you’re getting paid on production, one of your big focuses has to be on improving your productivity. It’s like getting a raise without having to ask for it. The more lines you type each day while maintaining accuracy, the more you’re going to earn.

Perhaps most important is to simply limit distractions as much as possible. Best is to have an office door you can close so that no one will bother you as you work. You don’t want to have the television on as you work, as it will probably draw your attention at some point. The radio can be a problem too, although others find limited background noise to be pleasant rather than distracting. Make sure you choose a station that will be pleasant to listen to, not one that will pull your attention from your work.

There are some simple tools you can use. Some medical transcriptionists use voice recognition software rather than type the reports. It can be faster to repeat the dictation and then check it than it is to type it out. That depends on your typing speed, of course. It’s also a good break for your hands and wrists if you want to mix things up a little.

Word expanders are great for speeding up your typing speed. There are many words and phrases, sometimes even sections of a report that are used over and over again. You use a word expander to type these with just a few characters typed. They do take a bit of time to learn, and will slow you down at first, but as you get to know the expansions, the increase in productivity will be very much so worth it.

You should also have easy access to all of your research materials for when you have to look something up. That’s books on the desk and/or preferred websites already open in tabs so you can just click over to them. This way you won’t have to wait for the sites to load when you need them.

Some people have a dual monitor set up so their transcription work is on one screen, resource websites on the other. This can be good, just make sure you don’t put any distractions up on the spare monitor.

Also be aware of any incentives your employers may offer. They may offer extra pay when there’s an excessive amount of work to be done, or for particular shifts, or even for being a very productive worker. These are the kinds of things that make the work worthwhile.

Don’t be disappointed when your medical transcription salary is really low at first. It happens to everyone. Focus instead on bringing it up to the level you need.

Get free information from Career Step about their online medical transcriptionist training.

Can You Really Make Money Working From Home With Medical Transcription?

Medical transcription is one of those jobs many people first hear about when they research ways to make money working from home. It sounds great. A real job in the medical industry that can be done from home, and the pay is pretty decent too. It’s no wonder working from home in medical transcription is such a popular option.

Is the money really there? Can you make what they say you can?

That depends on a few factors.

1. What do “they” say?

The ability to make the money you’re expecting depends in part on what you’ve been told to expect. If the claims are out of line with reality then no, you aren’t going to make the money you thought you would.

If you’re expecting around $30-40,000 a year, that’s about right, once you bring your skills up. Most won’t do that right out of the gate, but build your skills, work full time and sure, it’s possible and reasonable.

2. How well trained are you?

Not trained at all? Time to choose an online medical transcriptionist course and get trained. You need great training in order to earn good money working from home with medical transcription. It’s tough work.

Go for a good quality program. You don’t want one that promises extreme speed – eight weeks is too fast. Four months is pretty fast, but if you’re capable of finishing a self paced course in that time and really learning the skills a medical transcriptionist needs, it is possible. Don’t be surprised if your personal skills make it take longer.

3. Got experience?

The lack of experience is the bane of anyone trying to start a new career and it can be quite problematic for new medical transcriptionists. It seems as though everyone wants employees with at least two years of experience.

All is not lost if you get good quality training. Some employers partner with the better schools, so you have a better chance at being hired by one of them. No guarantees, as it’s still up to you to prove you gained the skills, but any foot in the door is a help.

Overall, medical transcription is just like any other job you hear about. The income you hear about people earning isn’t usually the one you get when you’re an entry level worker. It’s more common for people who know the job a little better, but it’s not out of reach at all for those committed to the career.

Early on, you probably won’t earn quite what you expect. It takes time to bring your skills up to where you have the speed needed to earn the money you hear about. Most medical transcriptionists are paid on production when they work from home. The more you improve your skills, the more you can earn.

Get free information from Career Step about their online medical transcriptionist training.

Medical Transcriptionist Salary

A medical transcriptionist can earn good money, as an independent contractor, working for a service or working directly for a doctor.

Many medical transcriptionists are paid on production; that is, you will earn a set rate for every line you type. For example, when I started out in medical transcription, I was paid $0.065/65 character line.

This means that you can earn more if you improve your skills. In my experience, improving my transcription skills had two benefits: first that I earned more simply due to speed, but second that I was able to get a pay raise so that I earned more than the beginning rate.

According to the Department of Labor, the median salary for a medical transcriptionist is $15.41 as of this writing.

Some medical transcriptionists earn hourly pay instead. This is more common for transcriptionists working in offices than at home, as paying on production assures the employer that they are only paying for productive time.