How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist

Search Medical Transcription Programs

Get information on Medical Transcription programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

Sponsored Search
Medical Transcriptionist Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year $32,730
Avg. Pay / hour $15.74
Education 1-2 Years
Job Outlook -3%

Medical Transcriptionists are a part of the burgeoning health care industry which is estimated to produce 3.2 million new jobs through the year 2018.These professionals are responsible for taking recordings created by medical personnel and transcribing them into several types of reports.

Medical Transcriptionists must have the ability to understand a variety of medical terminology in order to create accurate transcriptions.

After a report has been completed, it becomes a part of a patient’s permanent file.

Continue reading below to find out how you can become a Medical Transcriptionist.

You will find information on the education requirements, a general job description and salary and wage information.

Education Requirements to Become a Medical Transcriptionist

Candidates who want to become a Medical Transcriptionist need to attend a postsecondary program in order to be considered for jobs.

The majority of employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed a postsecondary training program and who are certified in the field.

Candidates who want to become a Medical Transcriptionist have the option of attending a 2 year Associate’s or a one year certification program.

Students should make sure to take a wide range of courses that will help them in this field.

Some recommended courses include the following:

  • Medical Terminology
  • Anatomy
  • English grammar
  • Healthcare documentation and their legal implications

Some Medical Transcriptionist programs may also offer the opportunity for students to gain on the job experience by offering training sessions.

In addition to completing a Medical Transcriptionist program, candidates can also seek certification in this profession.

The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) offers two types of certification for professionals who want to become a Medical Transcriptionist.

Candidates can become a Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) or a Certified Medical Transcriptionist.

Visit AHDI’s website for more information regarding certification and the best certification for your career.

Candidates who seek certification are doing it on a voluntary basis.

However, with the high standards and regulations that AHDI implements, employers can be sure that they are hiring highly qualified professionals onto their team.

AHDI is focused on protecting the public and does this my encouraging high standards for the transcription of medical data.

Medical Transcriptionist Job Description

A Medical Transcriptionist’s goal is to transcribe recordings of physicians and other medical personnel.

These professionals transcribe the recordings into written reports of correspondence, medical reports and other miscellaneous administrative data.

These transcriptions are then used to create a variety of documents and reports including:

  • Medical history reports
  • Examination reports
  • Consultation reports
  • Discharge summaries
  • Physical exam reports
  • Autopsy reports
  • Operative reports
  • Progress notes
  • Diagnostic imaging studies
  • Referral letters

Medical Transcriptionists work with a lot of sensitive information and must have the ability to transcribe the most accurate way possible in order to create correct patient information files.

After creating any type of report, a Medical Transcriptionists must present it to the physician or other health care professional on the transcription for verification and review.

After a review has been completed and accuracy has been determined, a physician or health care professional will sign off on the report.

The report will then become a part of the patient’s permanent medical file.

While transcribing recordings, Medical Transcriptionist must be aware of all medical concepts, procedures and terminology in order to

Medical Transcriptionist Salary and Career Path

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median wage for Medical Transcriptionists in 2008 was approximately $15.41 per hour.

The wage range for these professionals during the same year was approximately $10.76 to $21.81 per hour.

Exact wages will vary depending on several factors.

Some employers choose to pay Medical Transcriptionists by the number of lines they transcribe while other employers stick to the traditional hourly wages.

Some employers may also pay a base wage and offer bonuses and incentives for additional work employees complete.

The job outlook for Medical Transcriptionists looks good and is expected to grow at an average pace when compared to other professions.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities are expected to grow by approximately 11 percent through the yea r 2018.

This growth is attributed to the aging population.

Candidates who acquire certification to become a Medical Transcriptionist have the best employment opportunities.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
New Hampshire$39,060
New Jersey$43,990
New Mexico$28,150
New York$34,600
North Carolina$31,140
North Dakota$33,940
Rhode Island$36,160
South Carolina$36,180
South Dakota$39,350
West Virginia$32,160
Puerto Rico$26,220

The top earning state in the field is Connecticut, where the average salary is $49,810.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

Connecticut - $49,810
Alaska - $44,730
Minnesota - $44,390
New Jersey - $43,990
Montana - $43,640
* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Medical Transcriptionists, OCC Code 31-9094, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a medical transcriptionist?

Medical transcriptionists are allied health professionals who are trained to transcribe voice-recorded medical records.

The recorded medical records are usually dictated over the phone or uploaded digitally by physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals.

These reports can be voice files, notes or other spoken material.

In order to be able to make this transcription job, medical transcriptionists need solid knowledge of medical terms and a good typing speed.

They use special equipment, such as a headset, and word-processing software.

Medical transcriptionists may have additional responsibilities, depending on the field of employment.

For example, those working for a doctor’s office may also answer phones and complete additional administrative duties.

How much does a medical transcriptionist make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for medical transcriptionists was $34,770 as of May 2018.

However, salaries in this field vary based on a wide range of factors, including the transcriptionist’s level of experience, his or her level of education, the employer, and the region.

As a medical transcriptionist, you can make anywhere between less than $22,000 and more than $51,000 a year.

How much does it cost to become a medical transcriptionist?

Medical transcriptionists need at least a high school diploma or GED.

They can learn the skills needed to perform this job through a certificate program, an associate’s degree program or on-the-job training.

You will also have to practice in order to improve your typing speed.

Costs for medical transcriptionist training programs vary depending on the school you choose.

For example, an online certificate program can cost anywhere between $2,000-$5,000.

What is the demand for medical transcriptionists?

According to BLS, the employment of medical transcriptionists is expected to decline 3 percent from 2018 to 2028.

This decline is explained in part by the fact that new technologies have changed the way transcriptions are made.

Nowadays physicians can create documentation using speech recognition software and this reduces the number of transcriptionists needed by healthcare providers.

Moreover, many healthcare providers are looking to cut costs by contracting transcription services instead of hiring their in-house transcriptionists.

How long does it take to become a medical transcriptionist?

Most medical transcriptionists need post-secondary education and some are also certified.

Post-secondary education in medical transcription is available at many colleges and vocational schools and can usually be completed in 1 year or less.

These programs are designed to teach students about anatomy, medical terminology, English grammar and legal issues related to the medical field.

Certification is not required but it may give you better job prospects.

If you choose to seek certification, the first step is to become a Registered Medical Transcriptionist, a credential available to recent graduates with less than 2 years of work experience.

After gaining at least 2 years of experience you can apply for a Certified Medical Transcriptionist credential.

You will need to complete continuing education requirements in order to keep your certification.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *