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Medical Transcriptionist


You’re looking for a career in the medical field that will give you workplace flexibility. If you choose to become a medical transcriptionist, you will find you can work mostly from home if you want. Or, you can mix it up, working in the office some days, and the comfort of your home office on others.

One of the really great benefits to becoming a medical transcriptionist is that you may be able to set your own work parameters. However, one thing to be cautious of before deciding on this career: There is a downward hiring trend—meaning, this career is becoming less in demand. So, do some research to see what sort of job postings are in your area before committing to becoming a medical transcriptionist.

What Is A Medical Transcriptionist

Medical transcriptionists are also referred to as healthcare documentation specialists. You’ll work for a doctor’s office, hospital, clinic, or anywhere healthcare is being given. You may also choose to freelance and take on your own clients. Here’s what you’ll do as a medical transcriptionist:

  • You’ll listen to, interpret, and transcribe written dictation assigned to you by a medical facility.
  • You’ll double check the accuracy of a speech recognition program to ensure records are correct.
  • You’ll be able to take that medical jargon and change it into coherent sentences.
  • You’ll make sure that forms are consistent, so patients receive proper care and compensation.
  • Collaborate and follow up with the medical providers.
  • Adhere to HIPAA.
  • Send records to the supervising doctor for approval.
  • Enter all your reports into the electronic health records systems.
  • Audit for quality assurance purposes.
  • If you work in an office setting, you may also be required to do administrative tasks, answer phones, and greet patients.

How To Become A Medical Transcriptionist

Before you decide that medical transcription is the career for you, make sure you have the right personality and skill set. Do you have somewhat decent writing skills? What about critical thinking and listening? Do you know how to manage your time wisely? All these skills are crucial if you’re going to become a medical transcriptionist. Here’s what you’ll need to do to become a medical transcriptionist:

  • Get your high school diploma or GED.
  • Apply to a medical transcription certificate program either through a trade school, online, or a community college.
  • Certification programs only take a year to complete, while an associate degree takes two years.
  • Getting certified is optional but highly recommended. And, in this declining career, having as many certifications relevant to the field is probably a wise decision to make, to get hired easier.

If you have less than two years of medical transcription experience, you are eligible for the registered healthcare documentation specialist (RHDS) certification, especially if you work in a doctor’s office. Once you have the RHDS certification, you will then be able to get your certified healthcare documentation specialist (CHDS) certification. After certification, make sure to find out about the continuing education requirements to keep everything in good standing.

Job Outlook Of A Medical Transcriptionist

As mentioned earlier, there is a significant decline in employment for medical transcriptionists. Through 2026, there is projected to be a -3 percent loss, or roughly 1,900 jobs less in the field. Despite the increased need for healthcare due to the aging U.S. population, voice recognition technology is advancing, which is lessening the need for medical facilities to hire medical transcriptionists. However, the technology is not 100 percent yet, so human eyeballs will be necessary in order to catch the crazy dictation mistakes made by AI. Not to mention, medical facilities that still are hiring medical transcriptionists have been looking overseas, where workers demand much lower wages.

Alternatives to medical transcription

If you had your heart set on becoming a medical transcriptionist, but the news of the decrease in hiring put a wrench in your plans, then you may want to consider the following careers instead.

Medical Transcriptionist Salary

The median annual salary in the United States for a medical transcriptionist is $35,250, with the top 10 percent in the career making over $51,000. The top paying industry is medical and diagnostic labs ($41,000), followed by hospitals ($38,000). The top paying states for medical transcriptionists are Alaska ($49,000+), New Jersey ($44,000+), and Minnesota, Maryland, and New York (which all tie at more than $43,000).