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How To Become A Medical Transcriptionist

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In this post, you’ll learn how to become a medical transcriptionist. And find answers to the following questions…

  1. How to get a medical transcription job with no experience?
  2. How do I become a medical transcriptionist at home?
  3. How do I become a freelance medical transcriptionist?
  4. How long does it take to get good at transcribing?
  5. How much does it cost to become a medical transcriptionist?
  6. How do I become a medical transcriptionist in the Philippines?
  7. How hard is it to become a medical transcriptionist?
  8. How old do you have to be to be a medical transcriptionist?

So let’s begin…

Who is a Medical Transcriptionist?

A medical transcriptionist is a position in which you transcribe dictated medical reports from doctors into typewritten documents. The job involves listening to audio files of patients and doctors, typing up notes, and filing the final report. Medical transcription is one of the most popular careers among those who want to have a flexible schedule and earn a good income.

Transcribing medical reports into something readable is a skill that requires a lot of knowledge. Most doctors and nurses use technical words in their reports, and these technical terms might not be the ones you would recognize. You have to learn them first. You also need to be able to do this fast because you need to finish the reports by the end of your shift.

Medical transcribers are in high demand, especially with the aging population. So let’s talk about this in detail.

Task —

As a medical transcriptionist, your job is to take notes and directions from doctors and nurses during the patient visits

Expected Salary —

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the pay in May 2019 was $33,380, with the bottom 10% of workers earning less than $22,160 and the top 10% earning more than $51,260. (Source)

Work location —

Hospitals, Medical clinics, Emergency departments, Medical centers, and doctor’s offices.

According to, 4 States with the Highest Number of Medical Transcriptionists are Florida (5,220), Texas (4,290), California (3,990), Pennsylvania (3,000), and New York (2,870).

Degree & Certification —

  1. High school diploma or GED (General Education Development/Diploma)
  2. RHDS certification. (The Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) exam is based on the AHDI Medical Transcriptionist Job Descriptions and the competencies outlined in the AHDI Core Competencies and the AHDI Model Curriculum)

Skills —

  1. Learn medical terminologies.
  2. Get a medical dictionary to develop medical vocab
  3. Fast typing speed ~ 40 — 70 words per minute (approx.)
  4. In medical transcription career, typing accuracy matters a lot. So you ensure fast typing with critical (almost 99%+) accuracy.
  5. Attention to details
  6. Ability to multitask
  7. Power up your computer skills
  8. Prepare yourself for long hours shifts. Since medical care is provided at all hours, medical scribes can work day or night.
  9. Learn medical terminologies, healthcare documentation, and anatomy.
  10. A foundational understanding of the diagnostic process, clinical medicine, treatment, and care to be interpreted accurately and applied within the context of complex narrative dictation.

Tools, Materials, and guides you need

  1. High-speed Internet connection
  2. Transcription Headset with Volume Control
  3. Express Scribe Pro Transcription Software with USB Foot Pedal.
  4. Word Processing programs like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, etc.
  5. PDF Reader
  6. Speech recognition programs like Amazon Transcribe Medical
  7. ADHI Credential Candidate Guide

4 Top Companies Hiring for Medical Transcription jobs

  1. Acusis — Find home-based Medical Transcription career opportunities.
  2. AQuity Solutions — It employs medical coders, medical transcriptionists, and virtual scribes who help customers relieve the pressures of strict documentation requirements.
  3. SpectraMedi — Actively hiring Medical transcriptionists and Proofreaders.
  4. Athreon — Find job opportunities like General transcription, medical transcription, sales representative, and virtual medical scribes.

FAQs — Medical Transcription Frequently Asked Questions

1. How to get a medical transcription job with no experience?

Medical transcription jobs are growing in demand. You can get started as a medical transcriptionist with little or no experience by taking courses online. You can earn certification through an association like ADHI. Many online programs are free. When you are finished with your coursework, you can begin applying for medical transcription jobs.

2. How do I become a medical transcriptionist at home?

Here are a few steps to take —

  1. Get into a Medical Transcription school —Find here
  2. Develop all skills mentioned above
  3. Visit local doctors and clinics to get some hands-on medical transcription jobs.
  4. Find job opportunities in your local area or look for online medical transcription opportunities available to you.
  5. Get RHDS certification

3. How do I become a freelance medical transcriptionist?

I’ve found some remote medical transcription opportunities on Upwork. You can submit your resume on Upwork and apply for a suitable job.

4. How long does it take to get good at transcribing?

It takes about 2 years to become a successful Medical transcriptionist. However, you can become a freelance medical transcriptionist in just 4 -5 months.

Note —  it takes 4 months to develop all sets of skills to become a General transcriptionist. 

5. How much does it cost to become a medical transcriptionist?

To become a professional medical transcriptionist, you must enroll in a training course that costs you around $500 to $3000. 

6. How do I become a medical transcriptionist in the Philippines?

You need to undergo the TESDA National Certificate-II assessment to become a certified medical transcriptionist in the Philippines.

7. How hard is it to become a medical transcriptionist?

This is a very common question among people interested in becoming a medical transcriptionist. Here are some basic tips on how to start your journey.

STEP 1: Get some education — Medical transcription is a field that requires extensive training, so don’t expect to learn everything in one day. There are several different online courses available that can help you achieve this goal.

If you have experience working in a hospital, nursing home, doctor’s office, or any other medical setting, you’ll have an advantage.

STEP 2: Find a mentor — There’s no substitute for real-life experience. Find a mentor who has a similar background and can answer your questions about the industry.

STEP 3: Get started — When you’re ready, you can start applying to be a medical transcriptionist. If you’re serious about this career path, you’ll want to apply to local hospitals and clinics to get your foot in the door.

If you want to become a freelance transcriber, you’ll need to find clients through networking and marketing.

8. How old do you have to be to become a medical transcriptionist?

You can check with the company’s HR to know the minimum requirement to be eligible for a medical transcriptionist. For example, in the USA, you must be at least 18 years old.


Helpful Resources:

⚠️⚠️ If you want to learn everything about transcription and want to turn your skills into a business that can make you $20K — $40K per year, then you can take the ‘General Transcription: Theory & Practice’ course by Janet Shaughnessy.

Enroll in a free mini-course (Start your transcription career)

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Shailesh Shakya

I'm a Professional blogger, Pinterest Influencer, and Affiliate Marketer. I've been blogging since 2017 and helping over 20,000 Readers with blogging, make money online and other similar kinds of stuff. Find me on Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter!

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