This post may contain links from our sponsors. See our disclosure for more information.
If you’re here to learn how to become a medical transcriptionist and work from home you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to share with you how to get started in this field if you’re new to it, and how to work remotely.
I’ll also share some tools, resources, and information to help you on your way to earning as a medical transcriptionist. Let’s dig in.
What is a Medical Transcriptionist?
A medical transcriptionist (MT) is a health professional who transcribes voice-recorded reports from a doctor or physician and then converts them into written form.
The transcriptionist may also interpret, review, edit medical abbreviations or reports, and then discharge them in the form of a summary form.
Due to the ever-increasing number of healthcare services, the demand for medical transcription services continues to rise. You also now have more and more baby boomers entering senior age.
How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist and Work From Home
In order to become a medical transcriptionist, there are qualifications that you must meet. MT employers often hire transcriptionists who’ve completed post-secondary education. Which is offered by community colleges, vocational schools, and distance learning institutions.
Certificate programs can take anywhere from six months to one year to complete. And include coursework in medical terminologies, anatomy, legal issues, risk management, English language, and even punctuation.
For higher learning, you can choose to pursue an associate degree course, which can take you up to two years to complete. The programs also include on-job experience.
If you’re familiar with medical terms or have experience in medical assistant or nursing assistant type roles and want to become a medical transcriptionist, then it’s a good idea to go for refresher training courses.
Tools/Skills Required to Start
You need a decent typing speed from 50-80 wpm for some of the jobs. You can go on over to TypingTest.com to check your speed.
You might need a headset for listening from amazon. Customer support on amazon for like $20. With noise canceling headphones with mic, that plugs into your computer.
3) Foot Pedal
A foot pedal is another tool you’ll need to make you more efficient. You can get a Transcription foot pedal on Amazon.
Some companies might require a resume. You’ll want to highlight your experiences and tailor your resume specifically to the medical transcriptionist role.
Here’s a tweet from a medical transcriptionist about his foot pedal to help him work more efficiently.
You may or may not be aware that I work at home as a private contractor doing Medical Transcription, which I started in August 2008. This foot pedal has been with me from the start, but sadly, it finally gave out on me this A.M. Thankfully, I had another one waiting in the wings pic.twitter.com/fy16vEqfcw— Mark In SoCal (@mlzema) June 5, 2019
Medical transcriptionists are certified by The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity. The organization offers certification for Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS) and Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS).
If you’re a recent college graduate with less than two years of experience. And have worked in a clinic or any other single specialty environment, then you can go for RHDS certification.
CHDS certification is designed for those with RHDS designation. For you to get CHDS certification, you need to have two years of experience in acute care. Upon obtaining the certification, you need to attend continuing education every three years.
NOTE: Certification is not mandatory. Although, most professionals choose to get certified though because some companies do require it especially if you don’t have experience.
Qualifications of Becoming a Medical Transcriptionist
Some of the qualities required for you to be a medical transcriptionist include:
- Critical thinking skills
- Computer skills
- Time-management skills
- Writing skills and
- Listening skills
How Much Does it Cost to Become a Medical Transcriptionist?
The costs of becoming a medical transcriptionist (MT) varies depending on which path you choose to take. MT classes are offered either in person or online.
If you choose to attend a medical transcription class in person, then you can can expect to pay around $2,500-$12,000 for tuition. You will also incur additional residency fees and if you’re a resident, you will usually pay less than non-residents.
Online medical transcription classes are an option that most non-residents choose. Most of these programs offer live streaming, interactive virtual classes, and other self-paced options.
Online courses can cost an average of $2000-$5000. Other additional costs include AHDI registration fee and the cost varies depending on your experience and membership status.
It can range from $150 to $230. Testing can cost $150-$280 and each test comes with an additional eligibility processing fee of $10.
What is the Job Description?
Medical transcriptionist handle tasks such as:
- Transcribing patient data like name, medical insurance numbers and other medical records.
- Editing and transcribing any information inconsistencies.
- Analyzing references for medical procedures and terminologies.
- Keeping transcription logs and translating medical abbreviations and other information into the correct format.
- Following up on physician dictation returns reports in a timely manner.
- Submitting health records to physicians for approval.
- Entering medical records into electronic health systems.
- Do quality improvement auditing.
How Much Can You Make?
The average earnings for a medical transcription is $35,720 per year. That range on average is about $22,330 on the low end. While the highest earning medical transcriptionist are making as much as $51,640 per year.
As with anything, you can earn more than these averages if you willing to put in the work. The top industries that hire medical transcriptionists include:
- State, local and private hospitals
- Physician offices
- Medical and diagnostics labs
- Administrative & supportive services
Earnings vary depending on the transcription volume you generate. Some employers will pay you on an hourly basis, while others on a monthly or annual basis.
You have the flexibility to choose to work full-time or part-time depending on your schedule. Most of those who participate in this program work from home outside of normal business hours.
While the program can be quite flexible, it is also the kind of role that requires efficiency and that you produce maximum accuracy.
How to Find Work From Home (Remote) MT Jobs
The first place to start are job boards, online communities, and schools where you trained. You’ll want to look for jobs that offer remote or work from home opportunities.
When looking for an MT job you also want to consider:
- Signing up for MT training programs with good placement assistance. Consider the number of trainees placed to determine whether a program is good for you.
- Working as a volunteer in a medical organization such as a clinic, hospital or nursing home. These institutions often take volunteers and are a good way to make connections that lead to opportunities.
- Finding an internship through MT programs. Most MT jobs require you to have 2 years experience and internships to help expose you to various skills.
- Finding jobs on major job search websites like Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, Simply Hired and Indeed among others. Also, networking on LinkedIn and setting up alerts to notify you of new opportunities as they become avaiable.
- Contacting MT companies directly. There are several companies that specialize in MT services. If you don’t like following job boards and websites, then you can submit your resume to these companies directly. I share a solid list below.
I’d also recommend focusing on companies that hire MT specialists to work remotely. Here’s a list of 25 companies that hire work from home medical transcriptionists:
|Absolute Transcription||Med-Trans||Preferred Transcriptions|
|Amphion Medical||Mediscribes, Inc.||SameDay Trancriptions|
|Eight Crossings||Northeast Transcription||SpectraMedi|
|Fast Chart||Nuance Transcription||StenoMed|
Here’s an example of a search on FlexJobs for an MT job.
As a medical transcriptionist, you can choose to work directly with a medical institution or work for a corporation that provides medical transcription services.
Is a MT Job Right For You?
Medical transcriptionists are people with distinct characteristics. You need to have good typing skills, and a high level of medical knowledge when it comes to medical language and terminology.
You also have to be logical, orderly, efficient, and organized. If you’re a bit investigative, intellectual and introspective, then an MT career might be right for you.
Pros and Cons of Becoming a Medical Transcriptionist
- Flexible hours allows you to be your own boss.
- Good earnings potential with the opportunity to earn a full-time income working from home.
- Geared towards residents of the US.
- Not always easy to find work from home (remote) jobs and may require that you do extra leg work to land jobs and clients.
- A lot of companies require that you have experience or specialized training and skills.
Becoming a medical transcription is a great opportunity if you are passionate about the medical industry. Provided you have the required training, skills, and experience, you can do it from the comfort of your home.
Depending on how much work you put into it, you can make a substantial amount of money by simply transcribing voice-recorded files and other health-related tasks.
I’ll leave you with a great video overview below of a woman who works as a medical transcriptionist. Check it out if you have a couple of minutes.