Medical transcriptionists work in a medical office, business office or at home. They listen to dictation from a medical professional and type up this information. Important skills that are necessary for medical transcriptionists include listening skills, understanding of unique medical terminology and an ability to type quickly with minimal errors.
Because the dictation often contains confidential information about patients, medical transcriptionists must understand and follow privacy guidelines to protect patients.
Career Opportunities in the Field of Medical Transcription
The job title that is generally pursued by people with an academic background in medical transcription is medical transcriptionist. However, the typing skills and ability to listen without being distracted can allow people with this background to qualify for receptionist positions. Knowledge of medical terminology could be helpful for positions that involve assisting patients with understanding their benefits prior to receiving treatment.
The majority of professionals working in medical transcription do so in a medical office or hospital setting. It is possible for professionals to work from home if they have a reliable Internet connection and headphones to listen to the information that is being transcribed without distraction.
Most positions available in the field of medical transcription are full time opportunities. Work hours can vary, and transcriptionists who work from home have the option to choose flexible hours.
Job Growth Outlook
Job growth for medical transcriptionists is expected to occur at a rate of 6 percent. This is lower than average because of advances in technology that allow medical offices to utilize the use of computers for some tasks that are currently being performed by transcriptionists.
The salary of medical transcriptionists ranges from $22,000 to $46,000 per year. Factors that impact salary level include experience and location. Trancriptionists who work directly for a diagnostic laboratory tend to make more than those who work in business offices or physicians' offices.
While there are no absolute license or registration requirements related to the field of medical transcription, employers prefer to hire transcriptionists with an education in the field. Certificate programs that last approximately one year may be sufficient, but most employers are looking for a transcriptionist who holds a two-year degree in the subject.
Trancriptionists can boost their earning potential and make job searching easier after school by obtaining a certification as either a Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) or a Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT). Both of these designations are offered by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity, and becoming certified involves an exam process. Once a professional has obtained a certification, continuing education courses must be pursued on a regular basis to maintain certification status.