You know that when you look at schools for medical transcription that they’re trying to sell you a service, that is, an education that will allow you to break into a new career. But are they honest about your chances of working in medical transcription and what the salary is like?
Some are, some aren’t.
If they’re being honest, the schools for medical transcription are probably using the data from the U.S. Department of Labor, which quotes job growth of 11% by 2018 for medical transcription. Ideally, they’ll link to that information as well on the Department of Labor’s website, so you can see it from the source yourself. That’s being honest.
Some schools will talk about how medical transcriptionists can earn up to $50,000 a year or so. It’s true enough that some medical transcriptionists earn that or even more, but most don’t. From that same Department of Labor report, the middle 50% of medical transcriptionists earn between $13.02 and $18.55 an hour. That comes out to under $40,000 a year even on that high side. Only the highest 10% earn more than 21.81 an hour.
In other words, don’t plan on a high income, especially right after graduation. You can hit the midrange if you really work at it and get a good job, but don’t be surprised to start on the lower side.
A part of this is due to how medical transcription salaries work. They aren’t usually based on hourly work, particularly for home based transcriptionists. Pay is often based on production.
That’s great once you get going. You can improve your pay rate by learning to work faster.
But most important right at the start are your chances of getting hired with training but no actual work experience. That’s the tough part, and no easily accessible outside statistics will tell you how good a chance you have of that. You have to look at the school itself and what it says.
Job placement rate is one factor to consider. If they’re placing a high percentage of graduates, you have a better chance of working in medical transcription after graduation. However, schools may count finding any work, whether it’s as a medical transcriptionist or not, as an employed graduate.
Better is to look at the trust medical transcription employers put in graduates of that program. What do they think? Will they hire new graduates who haven’t worked in the industry yet if they have done well at that school for medical transcription?
That’s what tells you a school may be worth attending when you want to become a medical transcriptionist. It’s a good hint that the program teaches you well enough to get a job if employers trust that school.