About Medical Transcription Training

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Learn what you need to look for in the right online training school and what kind of certification you need to obtain.



Learn how much you can earn as a medical transcriptionist and what is the job outlook for medical transcriptionists.



List of companies that hire new graduates and job resources on where you can look for employment.

What Is Medical Transcription?

What exactly does a medical transcriptionist do? I’ve been thinking of taking a medical transcription course, but I don’t know too much about the job itself.

A Medical Transcriptionist listens to a doctor or other healthcare professional dictating medical records into a digital system and then accurately types it into an official medical document.  These permanent medical reports are what connect the doctor or facility, patient and insurance companies. I spend the majority of my day sitting at my computer desk with a foot pedal and headphones, listening and typing away.

I’m worried about whether or not medical transcription would be a good fit for me. How can I gauge if medical transcription is a good choice for my personality and skills?

There are many skills needed to be successful in this career. Luckily, you will learn most of them through your training. However, there are a few personal characteristics that I believe are important to have in order to be happy with this career choice.  If you answer yes to most of the following questions, medical transcription may be a good fit for you:

  • % Are you a good listener?
  • % Are you detail-oriented?
  • % Can you be productive while unsupervised and working independent
  • % Do you communicate clearly?
  • % Are you excellent at time management and not easily distracted?
  • % Are you able to have a sedentary job with little movement other than repetitive typing?
  • % Do you have basic computer skills?
  • % Do you have a good command of the English language?

Graduates can find jobs at hospitals, physician’s offices, alternative health care offices, medical transcription companies, or the most popular option is working from home and having your own home office.  A medical transcriptionist can also work as an independent contractor with their own doctor clients or working through a medical transcription service that provides them work. This way you can work full-time or part-time, having a flexible work schedule. Independent contractors can work out of their homes, transmitting their work via e-mail.

Medical Transcription Training

Do you have a medical transcription school that you recommend?

When it comes to choosing an online school, it is most important that the school have a curriculum that is approved by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), or it is accredited.  Look for a school that has hands on experience, lets you work at your own pace, and has job placement after you graduate. I chose Career Step for my training and it was an excellent choice.  I would strongly recommend Career Step for your online medical transcription training. They truly prepared me for my new career and gave me all the tools I needed to become a successful medical transcriptionist.

What are the things I will learn during my course program?

There are too many to list here, and it does vary depending on the course/school you choose. This list encompasses some the most important skills and knowledge you will gain:

  • + Medical terminology
  • + Anatomy and physiology
  • + Medical abbreviations
  • + Prescription drugs
  • + Listening skills
  • + Typing skills
  • + Spelling, grammar and punctuation skills
  • + Report formatting

How long will it take me to complete training?

If you work diligently you can complete a certificate online program in 4-6 months, but I think the average if you are studying part-time is about 9 months – 1 year.  I completed my training in 5 months while working full-time and having a small child. I made it my top priority and got it done quickly.  If you purse an associate’s degree if can typically take 2 years.

What are the top medical transcription training schools online?

There are three top online schools that offer the total package when getting certified as a medical transcriptionist. These are Career Step, Andrews School, and M-TEC. M-TEC is currently closed and no longer offering courses. Which of these you choose is completely a personal preference, and you really can’t go wrong with ether one of these schools. I only have experience with Career Step since this is the school I graduated from and I did research on Andrews and M-TEC Schools.

  • Career Step is one of the top schools online that is highly regarded in the medical transcription community. It offers a well-structure and approved AHDI curriculum that will get you ready to work right when you complete their certificate program. Their course is affordable ($2,595 – $2,995), allows you to study at your own schedule, and it’s designed to be completed in 4 months. They offer student and graduate support and resources when looking for a job. They have two different medical transcription training options for this career.

    Medical Transcription
    Medical Transcription Editor

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  • Andrews School is another top school that offers complete training that is AHDI approved in medical transcription. They offer graduate support so that you are ready to work once you complete their training program. They’re a bit more expensive at $3,800 and it takes about a year to complete their training course, but overall they are worth the tuition if you can afford it and don’t need to get your certificate right away.

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Medical Transcription Certification

What kind of medical transcription certification do I need?

The shortest and easiest way to obtain your certificate as a medical transcriptionist is to complete an online medical transcription certificate program. Here you will learn everything that is needed to get started right away as a medical transcriptionist. You can choose to get higher certification as a medical transcriptionist, even though it is not needed to start working right away.

What are the different types of certifications that I can obtain as a medical transcriptionist?

If you are interested in pursuing higher education you can get a professional certification that is offered by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (ADHI):

  • ) The Registered Health Documentation Specialist (RHDS) certificate: This certification can be obtained right after you complete your medical transcription certification program.
  • ) The Certified Health Documentation Specialist (CHDS) certificate: This certification can only be obtained once you have acquired at least 2 years of acute-care experience or multispecialty equivalent.

Medical Transcription Salary

How much can a medical transcriptionist earn? 

Medical transcriptionists can make a great salary. When you first start out as a medical transcriptionist you can earn about $35,260 per year, which is $16.95 per hour (Bureau of Labor Statistics median of 2013). The more advance you become the more you can earn, making up to $47,960 a year.  If you’re a self-employed medical transcriptionist working based on productivity, you can earn as much as you hard work desires. Depending on how much you type, you can earn a salary of over $50,000 a year.

With the economy today, I’m worried about job security. Do you know anything about the job outlook for medical transcriptionists?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the field of medical transcription is projected to grow 8% from 2012-2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Because new federal health legislation is expanding the number of patients with access to health insurance, it is in turn increasing access to medical care.  The increased number of health services will result in a growing need for medical transcription. In other words, employment prospects are good for those of us with training, skills and experience! Even with the so-called new technology coming out, it is not sophisticated enough to do a medical transcriptionists work without making errors.

Medical Transcription Jobs

How will I find work once I graduate?

This is why it’s very important when looking for a certificate training program to make sure it has resources that help you find work after graduation. These schools have employment and referral directories that will help you find work.

I have graduated and can’t find a job as a medical transcriptionist. What can I do? Where do I look?

It can be frustrating when looking for work as a new medical transcriptionist as companies require experience. However, there still are some companies that will hire you. When you first start looking for medical transcription work you should start your search by asking other MTs from your online training program and online MT communities, forums, etc. When looking at resources online make sure and post to the jobs that are looking for at least 2 years, because it never hurts to send and see if they will still take you. The key is to not get discouraged. You can post you academic and work information on websites. Get your information out there. The key is to apply, apply, and apply. You will see that you will get something soon.

Can I gain experience by doing general transcription work? 

Definitely, one thing I did that helped me obtain experience as a medical transcriptionist was to do general transcription work. I looked for companies that did general, but also medical dictations. I got to earn money and gained experience dictating and doing medical transcription at the same time.

If medical transcription is not quite what I am looking for, what is alternative route I can choose?

If you are interested in the healthcare field and find that medical transcription is not for you.  You can always choose a career in medial coding and/or billing. As a medical coder and/or biller you will review medical records and applying codes to the reports. These codes are used to bill insurance companies, patient’s, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. This is another high-paying healthcare career that is in demand right now.

Enhance your job security by learning voice recognition?

Most medical transcription certificate programs are now teaching speech/voice recognition in their medical and editor transcription training course. Voice recognition or speech recognition converts your speech into text. Using a software, you can literally speak into your computer via a headset and it will write out what you are saying word from word. Educating yourself about speech recognition can protect your future as a medical transcriptionist. Nowadays, employers look for medical transcriptionists that also have the skills to edit computer-generated reports into the final medical records. Having both of these skills prepares you for the future of the healthcare industry. Common mistakes that are found using speech recognition is misspelling of words that sound alike. Since speech recognition is not human it can’t determine phrases that don’t make sense. In other words, humans will always be needed to edit and format voice recognition software computer-generated documents.

How will speech recognition technology affect the future of the medical transcription industry?

As far as voice or speech recognition is concerned, it will never be able to replace a human being. It makes too many mistakes and it will cost double to then have a medical transcriptions go back to review and edit the reports. Since medical transcription has to be 100% accurate, there is no room for the slightest of errors.  Also, many doctors don’t have the time to dictate, proofread, and edit the work to make sure it is 100% accurate.  It is too time consuming enough to see patients and just dictate them to be dictated into reports.  Speech recognition works well with e-mails and basic word documents, but it is too complex for medical transcription. Speech recognition may work with really small companies as doctors do their own dictating in-house and see very little patients, which gives them the time to carefully edit and use the voice recognition system. In short, your future as a medical transcriptionist is safe.

Examples of voice recognition errors:

Voice recognition: No fullness or achymosis in the plantar vault  
Correct: No fullness or ecchymosis in the plantar vault
Voice recognition: We have offered him cervical epidural sterile injections
Correct: We have offered him cervical epidural steroid injections
Voice recognition:DTR’s for heart or list in the upper extremities
Correct: DTR’s were hard to elicit in the upper extremities
Voice recognition: The patient has the mature arthritis in her knees
Correct: The patient has rheumatoid arthritis in her knees


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About Us

My name is Ingrid Fernandez and I have made this site as a resource for anyone thinking about becoming a medical transcriptionist.

Through the years, I have been inundated with questions about it from my friends and family to strangers that I have met.

Here you will find a list of questions and answers to the things I have been most commonly asked about.

God Bless You!