Medical Transcription Career


A medical transcriptionist helps convert any audio into important documents that the hospital will use for record keeping. The information contained in these audio files have confidential patient records that must be written accurately. The text that is gathered by the transcriptionist  will either be stored in patient records for doctors to check later on or electronically.

Medical transcriptionists transcribe the dictations (using a personal computer, word processing software and a digital foot pedal) and format them to produce notes and reports that eventually become part of a patient’s medical record.

The types of documents that may be transcribed include chart notes, diagnostic notes, consultation notes, history and physical reports, progress reports, operative reports and discharge summaries.

Medical transcriptionists may also transcribe and format dictated correspondence such as referral letters.

Medical Transcription Career Snapshot

The work environment of a medical transcription is generally pleasant. Many work in hospitals (32 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) and physician offices (23 percent). Others may work in diagnostic laboratories, outpatient centers, physical therapist offices, speech therapist offices and audiologist offices. Some work in transcription company offices and others work from home. Sitting for long periods is required. Repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, are possible.

Further details on a career as a medical transcriptionist are listed below (statistics from the May 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the yearly pay for medical transcriptionists.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a post-secondary certificate while 26% have some college, but no degree.

Medical Transcription Education

To secure the best medical transcription jobs, a minimum one-year certificate is suggested, with a two-year Associate degree preferred. Medical transcription courses are available at community colleges and vocational schools as well as online. Post-graduation, a medical transcriptionist may obtain certification as a Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT). RMTs with two years of experience may test for certification as Certified Medical Transcriptionists (CMT).

Medical Transcription Salaries

The average yearly salary for medical transcriptionists was $34,890 in May 2015 according to statistics. The lowest 10% earned $21,600 while the highest 10% earn over $50,230 per year. Many medical transcriptionists work from home and can set their own hours. The highest performing transcriptionists may be able to set higher pay rates with clients.

Medical Transcription Job Duties

A medical transcriptionist will be expected to listen to an audio or video file and transcribe that file into a report or other document including diagnostic test results and referral letters. They are entrusted with being able to accurately record information that identifies he patient like Medical Record or their Social security number, contain multiple backups of the transcribed files, have flawless grammar, punctuational, and spelling, follow up with a doctors’ missing dictations, return either printed or electronic reports within a reasonable time, along with a number of other tasks.

Medical Transcription Job Outlook

Just a few years ago, the field of medical transcription was expected to grow on track with the average career. Now, it is in a decline. The majority of the decline is due to technological advances and outsourcing of the job tasks.

Medical Transcription Skills & Traits

Medical Transcription Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Medical Transcriptions:Typical Work Activities:
•Active Listening
• Reading Comprehension
• Writing
• Time Management
• Critical Thinking
• Oral Comprehension
• Written Comprehension
• Written Expression
• Speech Recognition
• Near Vision
• Dictation machines
• Postage meters
• Laser fax machine
• Notebook computers
• Working with computers
• Recording information
• Getting information
• Processing information
• Using relevant knowledge

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High School Diploma or Equivalent

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