Today the healthcare industry continues to grow due to the deterioration of healthy lifestyles in the general population. This has meant a rapid increase in the requirements for efficient management of medical records in order to track a patient’s medical history. Due to the heavy work load, rather than doing the required reporting, many doctors record their notes in a digital recording device. A Medical Transcriptionist’s role is to listen to these recordings and then update patients’ medical files with the doctor’s comments. The transcriptionist ensures records are updated correctly, with all relevant information, while saving the doctor’s time to focus on his or her patients. Time is essentially money for the doctor, and a Medical Transcriptionist salary is dependent on their abilities to accurately transcribe.

Average Medical Transcriptionist Salary

As a Medical Transcriptionist, the average annual salary is $35k. The lower 10th percentile had an hourly wage of almost $11, while the upper 90th percentile was $23 per hour. The median annual medical transcriptionist salary is also $35k which is quite close to the mean.

Hourly Wage$10.96$13.51$16.63$20.10$23.08
Weekly Wage$438$540$665$804$923
Monthly Salary$1,900$2,342$2,883$3,483$4,000
Annual Salary$22,800$28,100$34,600$41,800$48,000

Top Paying Industries for Medical Transcriptionists

The highest paying industry is with private companies at a salary of over $73k a year. At the number two spot is Insurance Carriers with an average of $45k per year.

RankIndustriesHourly WageWeekly WageMonthly SalaryAnnual SalaryEmployment Level
1Management of Companies and Enterprises$35.19$1,408$6,100$73,200 2,000
2Insurance Carriers$21.44$858$3,717$44,60040
3Specialty hospitals, State government owned$20.63$825$3,575$42,90030
4Insurance Carriers and Related Activities$19.62$785$3,400$40,800100
5Home Health Care Services$19.38$775$3,358$40,300100
6Nursing and Residential Care Facilities$19.28$771$3,342$40,10070
7Other Insurance Related Activities$19.04$762$3,300$39,60070
8Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)$18.85$754$3,267$39,200500
9General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, State government owned$18.75$750$3,250$39,000500
10Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories$18.75$750$3,250$39,000 2,000

Highest Paying States for Medical Transcriptionists

The #1 state for the highest salary for Medical Transcriptionists is the District of Columbia at $47k. A close #2 is Massachusetts with an average annual salary of $46k. Other states with salaries over $40k include California and Connecticut. For the rest of the states, click on the medical transcriptionist salary by state.

RankSalaries by StatesHourly WageWeekly WageMonthly SalaryAnnual SalaryEmployment Level
1District of Columbia$22.36$894$3,875$46,500100
2Massachusetts$22.07$883$3,825$45,900 1,000
3California$21.30$852$3,692$44,300 4,000
7New Jersey$18.70$748$3,242$38,900 2,000
8Colorado$18.70$748$3,242$38,900 1,000
10New Hampshire$18.46$738$3,200$38,400300

Lowest Paying States for Medical Transcriptionists

Getting an idea of states with the lowest Medical Transcriptionist salaries may help in guiding your decision on where to find work. The top three states with the worse salaries are Utah, West Virginia, and Alabama, all with an hourly wage of $14 or less.

RankSalaries by StatesHourly WageWeekly WageMonthly SalaryAnnual SalaryEmployment Level
2West Virginia$14.09$563$2,442$29,300600
3Alabama$14.28$571$2,475$29,700 1,000
5Louisiana$14.71$588$2,550$30,600 1,000
6South Dakota$14.71$588$2,550$30,600600
10Kentucky$15.10$604$2,617$31,400 1,000

Top Paying Metropolitan Cities for Medical Transcriptionist

The best place to be a Medical Transcriptionist with regards to income is in California, particularly in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Redwood City. The average medical transcriptionist salary in this area is $53k. Do keep in mind that the standard of living is much higher in this area versus other major cities. The next two metropolitan areas with highest salaries are Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Glendale in California.

RankMetropolitan CitiesHourly WageWeekly WageMonthly SalaryAnnual SalaryEmployment Level
1San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA$25.58$1,023$4,433$53,200100
2Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA$23.99$960$4,158$49,900 1,000
3Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA$23.70$948$4,108$49,300700
4Fort Worth-Arlington, TX$22.31$892$3,867$46,400N/A
5Peabody, MA$21.78$871$3,775$45,30040
6Lawrence-Methuen-Salem, MA-NH$21.78$871$3,775$45,30060
7Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA$21.11$844$3,658$43,900300
8Nassau-Suffolk, NY$20.77$831$3,600$43,200500
9Newark-Union, NJ-PA$20.67$827$3,583$43,000400
10New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ$20.19$808$3,500$42,000 2,000

Top Paying Non-Metropolitan Areas for Medical Transcriptionists

On average, non-metropolitan areas do not pay nearly as much as much larger cities such as San Francisco. This may be a great alternative for those looking for a calmer and more affordable place to live. With that said, the best non-metropolitan area to be a Medical Transcriptionist is in Western Colorado at $41k a year. Second is Other New Hampshire with an average annual wage of $41k.

RankNon-Metropolitan AreasHourly WageWeekly WageMonthly SalaryAnnual SalaryEmployment Level
1Western Colorado$19.57$783$3,392$40,70050
2Other New Hampshire$19.47$779$3,375$40,50040
3North Georgia$18.80$752$3,258$39,10040
4Southwestern Washington$18.32$733$3,175$38,10080
5North Central Oregon$18.22$729$3,158$37,90050
6Coastal Oregon$17.93$717$3,108$37,30060
7Hawaii / Maui / Kauai$17.88$715$3,100$37,20040
8Southwestern Wisconsin$17.74$710$3,075$36,90040
9Southern Vermont$17.69$708$3,067$36,800100
10Northern Vermont$17.64$706$3,058$36,70060

Highest Medical Transcriptionist Employment Level by States

All top five most employed places for Medical Transcriptionists had 4k or more professionals. In order, the top states are Florida, Pennsylvania, New York and California.

RankStatesHourly WageWeekly WageMonthly SalaryAnnual SalaryEmployment Level
1Florida$15.58$623$2,700$32,400 5,000
2Pennsylvania$16.35$654$2,833$34,000 4,000
3New York$18.08$723$3,133$37,600 4,000
4California$21.30$852$3,692$44,300 4,000
5Texas$16.68$667$2,892$34,700 4,000
6Ohio$15.63$625$2,708$32,500 3,000
7Minnesota$17.60$704$3,050$36,600 3,000
8Wisconsin$17.64$706$3,058$36,700 3,000
9Michigan$16.73$669$2,900$34,800 2,000
10Virginia$15.87$635$2,750$33,000 2,000

Job Outlook

Medical transcriptionists are already quite plentiful in number. There are currently over 84,000 employed and it is expected to grow 8% over the next ten years. This is slightly slower than the 11% of all professions.

Employment Projections Data Medical Transcriptionist, 2012-2022 
Employment, 2012 84,100
Projected Employment, 2022 90,500
Employment Difference: 6,400
Medical Transcriptionists8%
Other healthcare support occupations23%
Total, All Occupations11%

Source: Bureau of Labor and Statistics

General Information

salaries of medical transcriptionistsMedical Transcriptionists generally have a lot of work flexibility and can work both in an office setting or at home based on the requirements. Employment can be obtained directly with health care offices or through companies that provide transcription services to the health industry. Alternatively based on the level of skill, transcriptionists can also work as independent consultants who hire themselves out on a contract basis. The more hours, the higher the Medical Transcriptionist salary will be. Due to this, transcriptionists can choose to work as many hours as they wish, though high quality work is mandatory and delivery time has to be quick and punctual. This is important as doctor’s comments have to be transcribed accurately and updated generally in 1-2 days to cover any patient follow-up that might be needed.

How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist

The basic requirements for the job include very good typing skills, error free transcription which is key and good knowledge of medical terms. Training can be obtained in a number ways based on your situation.

You can choose to pursue a formal two-year associate degree, a one year diploma program, or even take a one year medical transcription course from a vocational or online school. It is necessary to ensure that the programs are accredited by the Approval Committee on Certificate programs run by the American Healthcare Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI).

These training programs will teach you the AMMT Book Style which is the main industry format used for medical transcription. You must ensure that the courses also cover basic medicine such as anatomy, pathology and pharmacology so that you will be familiar with doctors’ terminologies.

medical transcriptionist salary dataIf you want to improve your professional qualification you can obtain certification as a Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) or a Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMD) which is offered by AHDI.

You generally pursue an RMT certification if you have recently joined the profession in the last two years. It demonstrates that you meet the basic qualifications for a Medical Transcriptionist. This is very beneficial for newcomers who do not have extensive professional experience and are looking to get opportunities in the field that will pay a decent average salary.

If you are already an experienced transcriptionist you can then pursue the CMD certification which will demonstrate your higher level of qualifications, as well as basic knowledge of a variety of medical specialties allowing you to increase your medical transcriptionist salary. A CMD certification will provide higher paying positions as well as offer professional growth in terms of managerial positions. Additionally you can apply to join the AHDI so you can network with medical transcription practitioners for professional development in your field, as well as for future work requirements.