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Medical Transcriptionist Career Guide

Medical Transcriptionist Career Ratings

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Job Profiles

Real-Life Medical Transcriptionist Job Profiles

Below is a list of links to anonymous job profiles of REAL PEOPLE who have filled out our survey and offered to share their insights with our users about their job in the Medical Transcriptionist field.
ID Job Title Gender Age Earnings City & State Date
33885 Medical Transcription Quality Assurance Female 22 $60,000 fort wayne, IN 01/01/2010
33825 Medical Transcriptionist Female 33 $24,000 Wallace, ID 01/01/2010
33577 Transcriber Female 37 $42,000 Citrus Springs, FL 01/01/2010
33129 Medical Transcriptionist Female 32 $30,000 Hampton, NY 01/01/2010
32501 Transcriber Male 30 $24,000 New York, NY 01/01/2010

Overview

What a medical transcriptionist does

Patient care is about more than treatments. A large part of health care involves accurate documentation and the maintenance of proper records. Medical transcriptionists help physicians and other healthcare professionals keep accurate records by converting dictations into written reports.

Medical transcriptionists may work for hospitals or physician offices. Or, they may work for large companies that offer transcription services to medical professionals also hire transcriptionists.  Regardless of where they work, their typical responsibilities and duties include:

  • Listening to the record dictation of a doctor or other healthcare worker
  • Interpreting and transcribing the dictation into patient history, exam notes, operative reports, referral letters, discharge summaries, and other documents
  • Reviewing and editing drafts prepared by speech recognition software
  • Translating medical abbreviations and jargon into the appropriate long form
  • Identifying inconsistencies, errors, and missing information within a report that could compromise patient care
  • Following up with the healthcare provider to ensure that reports are accurate
  • Following patient confidentiality guidelines and legal documentation requirements
  • Entering medical reports into electronic health records (EHR) systems

Why they are needed

Medical transcriptionist play a huge role in the healthcare industry. They alleviate physician burnout by taking care of the administrative work (i.e., writing up patient notes) for them. This means that  physicians can focus on providing the life-saving care they need to.

Furthermore, medical transcriptionists ensure that patient records are consistent and accurate. This plays a huge role in ensuring that patients are offered consistent and high quality care.

Pros and cons of a career as a medical transcriptionist

Pros:

  • Often have the flexibility to choose their own hours
  • The work is often very interesting
  • It is a rewarding career, as medical transcriptionists play a key role in ensuring patients receive high quality care
  • It is a relatively easy career to enter

Cons:

  • It is a sedentary job that requires sitting and concentrating for long periods of time
  • Employment opportunities are set to decline
  • Working from home can be lonely and isolating
  • Although some of the work may be interesting, a lot of it may be mundane and boring

Employability

Job market

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of medical transcriptionist is projected to decline 2 percent from 2019 to 2029.

This slight decline in employment is expected because technological advances have changed the way medical transcription is done. For instance, speech recognition and electronic health records (EHR) software advances often allow physicians to create documentation in the moment, which reduces the need for transcriptionists. Similarly, healthcare providers are seeking to cut costs. This means they may outsource transcriptionists to other countries, reducing employment in the United States.

However, the decline in employment is not vast because the aging population and growing rates of chronic conditions will continue to increase demand for healthcare services. This will result in a growing numbers of medical test procedures which will require transcription.

Career paths

Generally, to have the best chances of getting employed as a medical transcriptionists you should aim to complete postsecondary education in medical transcription, which is offered by vocational schools, community colleges, and distance-learning programs. Medical transcription programs are typically 1-year certificate programs, although there are also associate’s degree programs.

Programs normally include coursework in anatomy, medical terminology, risk management, legal issues relating to healthcare documentation, and English grammar and punctuation. Many of these programs include supervised on-the-job experience.

Alternatively, if you have experience in the medical field as a nursing assistant or medical secretary, then you may gather the knowledge and skills by taking refresher courses.

Example Job Titles for Medical Transcriptionist

Below is a list of common job titles in the Medical Transcriptionist field. Click the links below for more information about these job titles, or view the next section for actual real-life job profiles.

Benefits & Conditions

Income and benefits

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for medical transcriptionists was $33,380 in 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $22,160 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $51,260.

The top paying industry was medical and diagnostic laboratories, where the median annual salary was $41,660. This is followed by hospitals, where the median annual salary was $39,860, offices of physicians ($35,560) and then administrative and support services ($26,700).

Autonomy and Flexibility

The level of autonomy for a medical transcriptionists is likely to be low. Medical transcriptionists don’t get much control over their decisions. Often, they will be instructed to transcribe a conversation and will have a certain amount of time to do it in.

Often, transcriptionists can be employed on a contract basis. As a result, their flexibility and control over their working hours is quite high.

Locations and commute

According to Zippia, the best states to be a medical transcriptionist, based on salary and total number of jobs available, were:

  1. South Dakota, where the average annual salary is $42,626
  2. Illinois, where the average annual salary is $44,473
  3. Iowa, where the average annual salary is $44,950
  4. Kansas, where the average annual salary is $43,058
  5. New York, where the average annual salary is $45,447

The worst states for nursing assistants are Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Florida and North Carolina.

Work environment

37% of medical transcriptionists in the United States were employed by administrative and support services.  26% were employed by offices of physicians, 18% by hospitals, 4% were self-employed workers and a final 2% were employed by medical and diagnostic laboratories.

Often, medical transcriptionists work from home where they will receive instructions and submit drafts electronically.

Career Satisfaction

Common Matching Personality Types

Which personalities tend to succeed and thrive in Medical Transcriptionist careers? Based on our research, there is a relatively strong positive correlation between the following personality types and Medical Transcriptionist career satisfaction. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t many exceptions, of course, but if you fit into one of the following personality types then we suggest you give strong consideration to a career in Medical Transcriptionist.

16 Types (Myers-Briggs)

Big Five (OCEAN)

  • None

Enneagram

  • None

Holland Codes (RIASEC)

Along with recognizing medical terms and jargon, transcriptionists must be proficient in grammar. Medical transcription requires excellent time management skills and fast typing speeds with high accuracy to submit documents in a timely fashion.

Requirements

How to Become

FAQs

Ask a Question

Have a question about Medical Transcriptionist careers? If so, our mentors would love to help! Just click on a mentor’s profile below and then fill out the “Ask a Question” form on that page. Your question will then be emailed to the mentor, who can then email you a reply.

ID Job Title Gender Age Earnings City & State Date
33885 Medical Transcription Quality Assurance Female 22 $60,000 fort wayne, IN 01/01/2010
33825 Medical Transcriptionist Female 33 $24,000 Wallace, ID 01/01/2010
33577 Transcriber Female 37 $42,000 Citrus Springs, FL 01/01/2010
33129 Medical Transcriptionist Female 32 $30,000 Hampton, NY 01/01/2010
32501 Transcriber Male 30 $24,000 New York, NY 01/01/2010

Resources