Medical transcriptionists are responsible for transcribing recordings of medical reports onto computer documents, editing as needed for clarity, proper medical terminology, and grammatical accuracy. The reports typically describe patient conditions and medical procedures and are usually dictated by physicians and other health care professionals onto tape or digital voice files.

Medical transcriptionists need to be able to understand medical lingo and must be able to translate abbreviated or shortened terms into their full form. Ideally, they should also have a good understanding of diagnostic procedures and have knowledge in physiology, anatomy and pharmacology. The job requires compliance with medical record formatting requirements and also with ethical requirements to ensure patient confidentiality.

Medical Transcriptionists picture    Medical Transcriptionists image

Medical Transcriptionist Schools and Programs

The typical education requirement for medical transcriptionists is an associate degree or a certificate in medical transcription earned through one of the following:

  • Community college
  • Distance learning program
  • Vocational school

A medical transcriptionist program is typically one year, and often includes hands-on training with real transcription assignments. Coursework typically includes material related to:

  • Medical terminology
  • Human anatomy
  • Legal ramifications of health care documentation
  • English grammar

Though formal accreditation is not required for medical transcription programs, many employers prefer to hire those whose degree or certificate has accreditation behind it. For those seeking certification, completion of an accredited program may be required. The Approval Committee for Certificate Programs (AACP), established jointly by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), offers a voluntary accreditation which has been granted to many medical transcription programs.

As health care professionals move toward innovative software that makes transcribing easier and faster, learning all you can about computers and voice recognition technology can offer a boost for your career in the future. The technology also allows for easy transference of files.

Medical Transcriptionist Certification

The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) offers two designations for medical transcriptionists. Both are voluntary, but many employers prefer to hire someone who has earned a professional designation.

  • RMT: Registered Medical Transcriptionist. Those who have fewer than two years of experience in acute care or who have just graduated from a medical transcriptionist program are eligible for this designation. Passing the AHDI Level 1 exam is a requirement to earn the RMT, as well as a minimum of 30 hours in continuing education credits over a span of three years. As an added perk, those who earn the RMT are eligible to join the Registered Apprenticeship Program, a service of the U.S. Department of Labor that includes on-the-job learning and technical instruction.
  • CMT: Certified Medical Transcriptionist. Those who have more than two years of acute care experience with a wide variety of transcription experience are eligible for the CMT. It also requires a passing score on the certification exam, as well as an online class and other pertinent testing.

In addition to registration or certification, qualified applicants should have excellent hearing, a firm grasp of the English language, good grammar skills, knowledge of medical jargon and a working proficiency with computers and applicable software.

Apprenticeships for Medical Transcriptionists

In order to become a medical transcriptionist, it's usually a good idea to have some type of postsecondary training. However, there are other educational options for those interested in the field. The Medical Transcription Industry Association (MTIA), in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor, sponsors a Registered Apprenticeship Program for medical transcriptionists. In order to be eligible for this program, a candidate needs to have graduated from an ACCP approved program and also to have earned the RMT credential. The program offers a structured form of on-the-job learning and related technical instruction.


Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Medical Transcriptionists

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Medical Transcriptionists jobs , as of 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Metro Area Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Tampa 1630 $39,200
Clearwater 1630 $39,200
St. Petersburg 1630 $39,200
Fort Worth 1550 $41,270
Dallas 1550 $41,270
Arlington 1550 $41,270
Sanford 1300 $25,780
Kissimmee 1300 $25,780
Orlando 1300 $25,780
Seattle 1150 $42,740
Total Employment for Medical Transcriptionists - Top 5 Cities Nationwide
Compare Total Employment for Medical Transcriptionists
Salaries for Medical Transcriptionists - Top 5 Cities Nationwide
Compare Salaries for Medical Transcriptionists
Total Employment and Salary for Professions Similar to Medical Transcriptionists

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Medical Transcriptionists

To find out more about building a career as Medical Transcriptionists, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

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Most Popular Industries for :
Medical Transcriptionists

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Hospital 37,340 43% $33,000
Medical Office 31,210 36% $31,470
Office Services And Staffing 14,050 16% $30,340
Business Management 1,260 1% $35,270
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  • Specialization in Nursing Informatics (MSN)
  • Earn your Bachelor of Science of Healthcare Management degree online
  • South University brings over 115 years of achievement and tradition to a supportive, online classroom
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  • Courses include Principles of Management, Healthcare Delivery and Organization, and Healthcare Finance
  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • Offers a free trial period so students can attend classes before paying tuition.
  • Provides blended courses that combine traditional classroom instruction with online learning.
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  • Gives students the chance to participate in externships and clinical training work under the general supervision of college staff.
  • Has accelerated programs that allow students to take the same coursework in a shorter timeframe.
  • Medical Billing & Coding Specialist

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

About Education Corporation of America

Education Corporation of America's institutions broaden access to postsecondary educational opportunities.

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Chula Vista
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  • Electronic Medical Records - Associate of Applied Science
  • Part of the Delta Career Education Corporation.
  • Each campus features a public spa and/or salon where students can gain real-world experience.
  • 17 campuses across the United States, with online options as well.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent colleges and Schools (ACICS), with programmatic accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
  • Originally founded in 1916 in Wilmington, North Carolina by Judge Leon Motte.
  • Medical Office Specialist (10-Month Diploma Program)
  • Dedicated to providing  career training since 1975.
  • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
  • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
  • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
  • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
  • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
  • Offers special tuition pricing for Veterans, Active Duty Military and spouses/qualifying dependents of all Active Duty, National Guard and Reserves.
  • Works closely with an advisory board from the medical community to ensure that their curriculum, equipment and instruction are current.
  • Allows students to complete assignments on the go with its Blackboard Learn mobile app.
  • Gives online students live student support for technical or course questions.
  • Has campus locations in Florida as well as online learning programs.
  • MD-Basic Sciences
  • MD-Clinical Sciences
  • Pre-med

Founded in 2003, IAU College of Medicine is located in the heart of the Caribbean Islands in Vieux Fort, St. Lucia, West Indies. IAU College of Medicine is chartered and accredited by the Government of Saint Lucia as a comprehensive university with the authority to confer the Doctor of Medicine degree.

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  • Medical Coding and Billing Certificate

Brighton College and the former Paralegal Institute share a long history of providing excellent, affordable, career-oriented education that positions students for success in the workforce! Brighton College was founded in 1961 in Hudson, Ohio and offers programs in allied health professions, including medical coding, medical billing, medical records, medical office specialist, health services management, pharmacy technician.

  • Medical Insurance Biller
  • Online Billing & Coding
  • Features the Success Education Program, with numerous scholarship opportunities to students who qualify.
  • Offers a paralegal program and several healthcare programs including pharmacy technology, medical assisting, massage therapy, and diagnostic medical sonography.
  • Provides an active Placement Assistance Program for all qualified gradutes.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
  • 7 southern California campuses available in West Covina, Pomona, Pasadena, Glendale, Riverside, Santa Ana, and Long Beach.
  • Part of the Success Education Colleges (SEC) group.
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West Covina
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  • Medical Administrative Specialist
  • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
  • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
  • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
  • 3 campuses in Southern California.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Medical Transcriptionists.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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