Average Salaries for Medical Transcription

Considering Entry Level Medical Transcription Jobs?

See what the average salaries for medical transcription are when considering medical transcription job opportunities. Learn what factors influence pay like type of employer and years of experience.

Here’s a look at average salaries for medical transcription from three different sources; the official U. S. Bureau of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, Indeed job search, and PayScale.

U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the salary range for those who practice medical transcription is between $22,430 and $45,700. These estimates are from the 2010-2011 Occupational Outlook Handbook. The medical transcription salary average is $33,350.

By Industry
A breakdown by type of employer in the Department of Labor statistics shows that hospitals are the largest employers, followed by physician offices, business support services, laboratories, and outpatient facilities. The average wage by employer is:

  • Business Support Services: $31,040
  • Physicians Office: $32,410
  • Outpatient Care Centers: $32,870
  • Hospitals: $34,480
  • Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories: $38,680

What we can see from this data is the salaries are pretty uniform by employer type with the exception of laboratories. Of course the number of these jobs available are much fewer at 2530 jobs than for hospitals (34,430 jobs) and doctors offices (22,310 jobs) according to the statistics.

But laboratories are also more likely to require certification, accredited education, and more experience which would justify the higher salaries.

Pay by Hour or Line
One variable affecting average salaries for medical transcription is the way they are paid. Medical transcription may not only be paid by the hour, but by the number of lines transcribed – especially for independent contractors. Hourly jobs may receive bonuses for extra production.

Pay for independent contractors and those working for transcription services are usually paid based on production. Independent contract transcriptionists (WAHM) typically earn more than corporate employees. However they also have higher expenses related to operating a business, do not receive benefits, and are more likely than corporate employees to be let go when no work is available.

Highest Concentration
States with the highest concentrations of medical transcription are North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, Maine, and Iowa. Average salaries form medical transcription range from $27,700 to $33,390.

Top Paying States
Top paying states are Massachusetts, California, Hawaii, Alaska, and New Jersey where medical transcription salary ranges from $38,750 to $42,880.

Size of Employer
Looking at the Bureau of Labor Statistics average salaries for medical transcription with regard to employer size doesn’t appear to have much of an impact. The largest employers – hospitals and physician offices – pay approximately the same as smaller employers – business support and outpatient centers. I understand the business support designation describes outsourced medical transcription services.

However larger employers are more likely to have better benefits than smaller ones – which most physicians offices could be classified as. Also these larger employers such as hospitals typically have more stringent certification, education, and experience requirements than physician’s offices.

Medical transcription job opportunities are projected to grow by 11 percent between 2008 to 2018 according to the Department of Labor. This is driven primarily by demand for medical transcription services required to provide health care for a larger aging population.

Indeed Job Search
The jobs search website Indeed Jobs shows the average for the medical transcription salary is $32,000. Indeed also has interesting salary and job posting trend graphs.

Payscale Average Salaries for Medical Transcription
From Payscale.com, here’s a graph by years of experience:

This translates into a range from $24,232 a year to $34,965 per year with a mid-point about $29,600. The pay ranges reflected in this data is a national average and can vary by variables such as:

  • Years of experience
  • Location (City or rural area)
  • Geographic area (Northwest, Southeast, Pacific, etc.)
  • Size of employer – Hospital, physician office, or transcription service
  • Training

When considering a job it’s important to not only look at salary, but to factor in benefits. This would include time off – holidays/vacation/sick, medical/dental, and 401(k) matching, etc. Be sure to factor these in when making a decision. The larger employers like hospitals are more likely to offer better benefits.

If you are changing jobs, this kind of information is helpful to get an idea of your market value before negotiating. You like to try to get at least 10% more than your current salary when changing jobs. Of course if you’re miserable in your current job or can’t stand the working conditions, money may not be as big of a factor.