How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist
Medical Transcriptionist Careers & Degrees

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.

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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.

The below information is based on the 2019 BLS national averages.
  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary

$35,210
$22K
$25K
$35K
$42K
$51K
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
Alabama$32,560
Alaska$34,130
Arizona$31,900
Arkansas$32,910
California$39,560
Colorado$36,040
Connecticut$39,040
Delaware$31,530
District of Columbia$33,170
Florida$34,640
Georgia$31,720
Hawaii$29,610
Idaho$32,390
Illinois$32,230
Indiana$31,990
Iowa$35,720
Kansas$33,830
Kentucky$37,520
Louisiana$34,580
Maine$35,390
Maryland$35,150
Massachusetts$34,490
Michigan$33,050
Minnesota$44,720
Mississippi$34,160
Missouri$35,860
Montana$35,680
Nebraska$40,700
Nevada$34,170
New Hampshire$35,430
New Jersey$43,560
New Mexico$39,840
New York$34,910
North Carolina$30,220
North Dakota$37,050
Ohio$38,310
Oklahoma$39,520
Oregon$37,500
Pennsylvania$35,450
Rhode Island$35,720
South Carolina$35,180
South Dakota$36,610
Tennessee$33,470
Texas$31,790
Utah$37,050
Vermont$41,120
Virginia$32,790
Washington$36,470
West Virginia$33,850
Wisconsin$39,260
Wyoming$40,310
Puerto Rico$27,530

The top earning state in the field is Minnesota, where the average salary is $44,720.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

Minnesota - $44,720
New Jersey - $43,560
Vermont - $41,120
Nebraska - $40,700
Wyoming - $40,310
* Salary information based on the May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Medical Transcriptionists, OCC Code 31-9094, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

QuestionWhat 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.

QuestionHow 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.

QuestionHow 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.

QuestionWhat 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.

QuestionHow 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.

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