How To Become A Medical Transcriptionist
Career Video: Medical Transcriptionist
If you are looking for a job in the medical field with minimal educational entry barriers, you may be interested in becoming a medical transcriptionist. This is an auxiliary position, and while it is not very highly paid, it may be more accessible to job candidates who do not have a lot of time or money to spend on education. Medical transcriptionists listen to voice recordings made by physicians and type them up into written reports on a computer. To do this effectively, they must have a knowledge of medical terminology. Medical transcriptionists may be involved in preparing medical histories, discharge summaries, and other documents for patients.
Why Become A Medical Transcriptionist
This job may appeal to you if you want to work in the medical field, but you are not interested in performing actual medical work on patients, and you do not have a lot of time and money to invest in your education. Medical transcription work may also give you the option of working from home, which is excellent if you value flexibility and autonomy.
If you do not commute, your relative salary is higher, since you are not spending time and money getting to and from work. When you work from home, you send and receive materials relating to your work electronically. Be aware however that demand is low and growing slowly.
Medical Transcriptionist Work Environment
As a medical transcriptionist, you are likely to work in a hospital or clinic. You might work directly for the clinic or hospital, or you could be employed by a transcription service provider which contracts out to various clinics. You also might be a self-employed freelancer. Self-employed transcriptionists often work at home.
Medical Transcriptionist Salary
Medical transcriptionists make around $32,900 per year if they work full time, or $15.82 per hour. This is a job which may offer flexible part time hours, especially if you are a self-employed contractor, taking on jobs as you wish.
Medical Transcriptionist Career Outlook
In 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) listed 95,100 positions for medical transcriptionists (open and filled). Unfortunately this position is only growing at a rate of 6%, which is slower than the average for all occupations. That represents 5,600 new openings between 2010 and 2020. So while this job offers flexibility and low entry barriers, be aware that there is a lot of competition and you may have a challenging time finding work.
Medical Transcriptionist Degree
Medical transcriptionists typically complete either a 1-year certificate program or a 2-year associate’s degree program. The coursework in either program will cover topics relating to human anatomy, medical terminology, legalities, and English grammar. On-the-job training is generally included. Certification is not actually required, but it will make you more competitive, which is important in a field without a lot of demand.
There are two different types of certification: Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) and Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT). Completing a certification program will give you your best chance at finding work in this field.