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Medical Transcriptionist Salary

medical transcriptionist salary

You may have seen a television commercial talking about the high Medical Transcriptionist salary you can earn while working from home. They say you can join this exciting field in just a matter of weeks from their special “approved” program. However, it isn’t always as easy as they make it sound.

It is true that you can work from home, and the projection for new transcription jobs is on the rise and medical transcriptionist salary is pretty good, but you do have to work for it. You will have to attend an accredited training program taking anywhere from six months to two years, depending on your long range goals in the field. In this article, we will be focusing mainly on the type of medical transcriptionist salary you may be able to earn as well as some tips on how to improve that salary.

What Is A Medical Transcriptionist?

There are many different individuals involved with the medical records and health information technicians as it takes a full team of professionals inside an office, hospital or other facility to treat and work with patients, update computer information and notify insurance companies (among other positions). A medical transcriptionist fits right into this same category.

The medical transcriptionist listens to voice records of a physician and other professionals and converts the information into a written report. They also interpret medical terminology and different abbreviations when creating the history, summary and documentation of a patient’s medical records. With an individual in high demand there are professionals such as this working all across the country, and although the median pay isn’t exceptionally high when compared to nurses and doctors but it doesn’t require extended college or education to get started either.

Most individuals, when seeking out a medical transcription position are required to have at least a post-secondary non-degree award from either a traditional campus program or an online school. This usually is the completion of a short training course, in order to understand the ins and outs of what a medical transcriptionist does and what the different terminology and abbreviations stand for. However, outside of the non-degree award, there is no required work experience and usually most facilities do not provide on-the-job training, because through the completion of the course a certified transcriptionist should already know what to do and how to perform their job.

Medical Transciptionist Salary

medical transciptionist wagesWhen it comes to medical transcriptionist salary, they are usually paid hourly rather than an annual salary. The 2012 median pay for medical transcription salary sits at $16.36 an hour, or roughly $34,000 per year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

These numbers represent the annual median salary for all medical transcriptionists. When you are starting you, you will most likely make less. However, as you continue on your career path you can definitely make more than the median medical transcriptionist salary. Normally, the more experience you have in your position the higher your pay will be.

Factors Contributing To Actual Salary

There are a number of factors that can contribute to your realized medical transcriptionist salary. Such things as location and type of workplace play a big part in to the actual salary that you might experience. Let’s take a closer look.


The medical transcription salary does greatly depend on where the individual works and the work setting. While the median yearly salary is $34,020, it can go up or down, depending on location. Those working in a medical and diagnostic laboratory can make a median salary of $35,690 a year, while professionals in a hospital, both owned by the state, privately owned or locally owned, earn about $34,370. Outpatient care centers have a median pay of $33,530. There are two facilities that pay less than average though, as offices of physicians usually pay about $32,640 and a business support services, which is the lowest on the pay scale, offers up a median salary of $27,910, or almost $5,000 less than the overall median salary and nearly $8,000 less than the same position working in a medical, diagnostic and laboratory setting.


It is important to note that some medical transcriptionists are paid based on volume and not simply by hour or salary. This means, the faster an individual is able to complete the necessary content the more money they receive. These employees might work as contract professionals though and not as employees, which means they do have to cover their own taxes and additional Social Security benefit payments.


Where the individual works is also very important to take into consideration, because some locations throughout the United States actually pay a lot more than what other states might pay. California, Alaska and Massachusetts are some of the highest paying states when it comes to a medical transcriptionist salary in these states can hit close to $45,000. This is inside the top 10 percent of earning for the position. This is, for the most part, when the salary tops off with the position, and again it does depend on the work environment within the state as well.
top 5 states for medical transcriptionist salary

On the other side of the spectrum, there are several states, mostly in the southeastern United States, that pay drastically lower than what the high-end states pay. Alabama, West Virginia, Arkansas and others in the general region often fall into the lowest 10 percent of transcriptionist earners, bringing in around $28,000. The difference between the bottom earners and the top earners often is more than double the salary, so it does matter on where such an individual works, the work environment and the amount of work they perform on a daily basis.

Quick Note on Location

Even though you may on paper make less than the medical transcriptionist salary in California or Alaska, your cost of living is most likely lower. This can even out some of the imbalance between the wages discussed. Sometimes it is true that you can gain through subtraction.

Medical Transcriptionist Outlook

As of 2012,  there were about 95,100 medical transcriptionist positions throughout the country with an estimated three to nine percent growth between 2010 and 2020, adding as much as 20,200 more jobs. While this is slower than most occupations there is a chance that this number may rise in the near future with the rest of the healthcare industry. The medical transcriptionist salary provides an extra incentive to reach out for one of these positions and start your new future.

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