How to Calculate Medical Transcription Pay Rates

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The average medical transcriptionist earns $9.22 to $12.33 per hour in her first year up to $14.38-$19.03 after20 years, according to But most medical transcriptionist aren't paid by the hour. The standard rate is calculated by character line count. Here's how to calculate medical transcription payrates based on the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), formerly the American Association for Medical Transcription, guidelines of a 65-character line.

Determine the rate per line. Companies that hire medical transcriptions set their own rates per line and can be anywhere from 6 to 16 cents or more.

Verify the 65-character line standard. While the AHDI guidelines suggest a 65 character line, some medical transcription companies may use another number such as 60-character line.

Determine how many lines are in the document. This isn't necessarily actual lines. Instead, the company will likely take the total character count of the document and divide by its per line character amount. For example, if a document has 10,000 characters and determines its pay rate on 65 characters per line, divide 10,000 by 65 to determine the number of lines. (10,000/65=153 lines).

Multiply the number of lines by the per line payment rate. If the document has 153 lines and the pay rate is 10 cents a line, then the payment for the work would be 153X.10 which equals $15.30.


Find out if spaces count as a character for line count. Not counting spaces can result in a different payment. For example, a document has 3,007 characters without spaces and 3,607 including spaces. Using 65-character lines and 10 cents a line, the payment for the 3,007 characters without spaces document would be $4.63--(3007/65= 46.26), (46.26X .10 =4.63). However, the 3607-character count that includes spaces would receive $5.55--(3607/65=55.49), (55.49X .10= 5.55)