One of the biggest challenges facing many potential medical transcription students is paying for their course. A good training program isn’t cheap, and most of the best schools aren’t a part of the Pell Grant program. How are you supposed to pay for it?
Costs for a good training program run from about $1800 on up. There are cheaper programs out there, but most are not of the quality you need if you want to actually work as a medical transcriptionist.
There are a few options beyond hauling out the credit card or committing a significant chunk of savings to pay for your classes. You can do that if it’s within your financial reach, but it’s not the right choice for everyone.
The first thing you should look at is what the school of your choice offers. Many have a payment plan available. Some have Sallie Mae loans available. Some programs offer their own tuition reduction for students who need the financial help.
You should also check with your state’s Department of Education website. They may have grants or other aid available to you. Some will one work with Pell Grants, but check to see what is required in your state. There may be assistance available for students of occupational and vocational programs.
The school may be able to help you find aid in your state as well. Check their website for information on programs they’re approved for in your state.
You can also check with your bank to see what kinds of loans they offer. These aren’t as nice to have as a grant or money off your tuition, but learning a skill like medical transcription is an investment in your future.
An important thing to remember is that you may be able to pay back the money you spend on your education fairly quickly once you have a job if you worked hard in your studies. A good medical transcriptionist will earn back their tuition easily. The pain of spending the money should be only a temporary issue.
What If You Don’t Get a Job Quickly After Graduation?
Not everyone finds their first transcription job immediately after graduation. That’s something you’d face no matter what kind of job you’re looking for. How often do you really find a challenging job within the first few positions you apply for?
You should be prepared for the possibility of a job hunt that takes several months. If you stretched yourself just paying the tuition this isn’t a pleasant aspect to deal with. If you have loans to pay back after graduation, it can be even more painful.
Have a backup plan for if you don’t start working right away. If you don’t need it, great, but if you got a loan, need to pay back your credit card or need to keep up on your payment plan, you’re going to want to have some idea as to how you will manage all that. If you’re married, this is something to discuss with your spouse so that expectations are realistic. If you have family who are willing to help you if you need it, talk to them. If you might have to get a lower level job for a time while you hunt for a good transcription job, do it.
If you know you choose a good medical transcription school and did well in the program, you should be able to find a job in the field eventually. How long it takes depends on the job market at the moment, your transcription skills and how hard you search. Keep trying and the investment in your education will be worth it.