The trouble with any career option that allows a number of people to work from home is that it attracts scams. It doesn’t matter how many legitimate opportunities there are out there, there will also be someone trying to scam the folks who just want to earn a decent living.
Naming the scum who do such things can help, but it is far more powerful to know the signs of a scam. This allows you to judge opportunities for yourself, even when they’re so new that no one has heard of them yet.
It’s vital to understand that not all scams will share all of these characteristics. As a matter of fact, some scams will do an amazing job of hiding their problems. But the more symptoms you know, the less likely you are to be scammed.
1. “You just type up what the doctor says!”
Or anything making it sound easy. Medical transcription is not easy. You have to learn a huge, specialized vocabulary. You have to know the difference between words that sound similar or even identical.
You have to do the job as nearly perfectly as possible. You’re dealing with people’s medical records, after all, and that’s nothing to fool around with. This is not a job for the untrained.
2. “We’ll train you on the job!”
Nope. Not going to happen. There are some companies that claim to offer this, and all you have to do is buy their software. But you’ll never make it with them. You will never be a paid employee. You will eternally be an unpaid student, whose best efforts are never good enough for you to graduate to a paid status.
And despite anything you may learn from them, legitimate employers will still insist that you get a real medical transcription education. You lose both money and months of effort to these scams.
3. “No training required.”
To find a real medical transcription employer, you have to first get trained. There’s no way around this.
There are a few quality schools out there. I always recommend Career Step. I hear about other schools trying to get started here and there, but until they build up a quality reputation, I just can’t recommend any of them.
4. Poor English on the site advertising the opportunity.
Why would you trust a site created by someone who couldn’t transcribe a report themselves?
5. Exaggerated earnings.
Yes, you can earn a decent living as a medical transcriptionist. $50,000 is the high side for your typical experienced medical transcriptionist. Anyone who says that average medical transcriptionists can earn more than that is lying. And if they say you can earn that from the very start, well, they’re lying even more.
In my first few weeks as a medical transcriptionist, I struggled to earn even minimum wage. Even with good training there’s a difference between training and the real world.
As I improved, I could earn anywhere between $10-20 per hour. As pay was on production this varied by the complexity of the dictation and the particular doctor. That’s a far more realistic expectation.