The Medical transcription sector is slated to grow at 6% in this decade, according to the BLS1. With a median annual wage of $32,900 in 2010, and a median hourly wage of $16 per hour, being a medical transcriptionist has great benefits, especially because it’s one of those job profiles that allow you to work from home as well1.
Working from home is a great option for stay-at-home spouses who are looking to contribute to the family’s gross income in their spare time. It’s also a good choice for young people looking for a part time job, a way to save up towards college or take a year off from college but still earn something on the side.
You’ve probably already heard of this industry and are curious.
- What do I need to do in order to work as a medical transcriptionist?
- Do I need to go to college?
- How much can I expect to earn starting out, and what investments will it take from me in terms of time and equipment?
Read on to find out how can you be a part of this exciting industry that is the target of work-from-home opportunities to tens of thousands of people across the country.
Skills & Training
Medical transcription requires listening to doctor dictations and converting them into clear and logical text that become medical records. While most medical transcriptionists (MTs) prefer to work out of offices, it is possible to get a work-from-home job in this field by getting medical transcriptionist training from a community college of vocational training school.
When looking for jobs after training search and reach out to clinics, doctor’s offices or healthcare administration centers that need supplemental MT assistance. It reduces their costs because they don’t have to pay a salary or benefits, and save on office space. An MT’s home office is easy to set up, requiring only a transcription device and a computer.
However, it is important to get some sort of formal training in order to understand sentences that can be filled with medical jargon that can be confusing to the untrained ear. You require not only to understand and interpret the dictations, but also be very good with grammar and quick with your typing skills.
More info on the BLS.gov website.
Online Degree or Certifications
Medical transcription school is fairly easy to get into. An online medical transcription school can charge as less as $2700 and you can complete the program in as little as 4 months or stretch it out to a year, depending on how you like to study and complete coursework. The bottom 10 percentile of persons employed as MTs earn $11 per hour, according to the BLS1, so you can expect to earn well above that if you live in high cost-of-living areas, enough to keep what you earn.
There are real challenges to the MT profession, the most important one being voice recognition software that directly converts recorded dictation into ready text. Doctors prefer this to a steady influx and outflow of employees. The truth though is that even software cannot fully edit, proof, interpret, reference and format a document to make it a worthy medical record. Bring your best attitude and skills from training to the MT work table, and you’ll find that you’ll be an irreplaceable, valuable asset! If you’re interested in other work-from-home opportunities, make sure to look at all the factors involved, from location to starting and median salaries like we just did, to make a wise, informed decision.
California, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania and New York have the highest employment level in this occupation, while the District of Columbia, Alaska, Massachusetts, California and New Jersey are the best paying employers. In California and New York, the Los Angeles-Long Beach- Glendale and New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ metropolitan divisions are thriving with MT business.
Image target: BLS.gov
About the Guest Post Author:
Nancy has worked as a medical assistant for five years before taking a break to be with her children. Her experience as a medical assistant gave her valuable insights in to the medical transcription industry, which she likes to share with others through her writing. Medical transcription training often finds mention in her writings. Being an SAHM, Nancy is a huge exponent of vocational training programs that provide women like her the power to be their own boss. Her other interests include gardening and baking. She lives with her husband and two daughters.