Medical Transcription Basics

Medical transcription training and schooling tips

Tag: first medical transcription job

Are Schools for Medical Transcription Honest About Your Chances of Working in Medical Transcription?

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.

Get free information from Career Step about their online medical transcriptionist training.

How Do You Get Your First Medical Transcription Job?

One of the biggest challenges for a newly trained medical transcriptionist is finding that first job. It’s the classic dilemma of needing experience to land a job when no one will hire you to give you experience.

This is one of the areas where quality training comes in handy. If you make the right choice in medical transcription schools, the reputation of the school will help you to land a good job. Schools such as CareerStep have good reputations with many employers. This makes getting hired much easier.

If multiple levels of training are offered, you may be better off taking more than just the minimum level. My own employer, for example, preferred students who took at least the Gold level classes through CareerStep. They weren’t particularly interested in students who only took the basic, Silver level classes. I won’t say it was impossible to get hired as a Silver level student, merely that it was more difficult.

Many schools will offer job placement assistance. If it’s offered, take advantage of it!

Another great way to find your first job is to start asking around at medical transcription forums to see if anyone knows of a company that hires newly trained and inexperienced medical transcriptionists. There are companies out there that will do this. Otherwise I never would have landed my own first medical transcription job. MT Desk has a good forum.

You can also do your own searches online or in the newspaper. There are plenty of job sites such as where you can post your resume and easily apply for any medical transcription jobs that are posted. You can even have the site email you job search results daily.

There are also sites that have lists of medical transcription companies that you can contact and ask if they will test you. Many require 2 or more years’ experience, but if the site doesn’t make their preferences clear, ask!

If you don’t mind working outside the home for a time, check with local hospitals and clinics for on-site positions. It can be much easier to land a job on-site than off when you lack experience. It can also be extremely helpful to be surrounded by people who already know the job quite well.

Talk to your doctor. Your doctor may or may not need a medical transcriptionist, but he or she may know someone who does. You can also try your veterinarian if you’ve studied that terminology, your chiropractor, your dentist… any medical professional you know. If you have to pick up some new terminology to work for them, just consider it a good career habit.

Whatever you do, keep practicing your transcription. If you have the tapes from your studies, keep on transcribing them. It’s good to keep your mind on it, and you’ll keep improving your skills. Once you land the job, your ability to type fast and accurately becomes even more vital. You don’t want to lose your touch.

How to Get Your Medical Transcription Career Started

Medical transcription is a good career with growth potential, and great for people who want to work at home. It’s flexible, challenging, and even fun for the right kind of person.

It’s also a bit difficult to get started. How do you get past that two years of experience requirement so many employers have?

Get Medical Transcription Training

Going through a quality medical transcription training program will help you get past one of the biggest obstacles in this career – landing your first medical transcription job. There are schools that have partnerships with certain employers. These partnerships mean the employers agree to test applicants who graduate from that school with certain achievement levels. If you pass, the experience requirement goes away.

Make sure you select an AHDI Approved program. These are the programs that have proven their worth, and many of them have excellent reputations with potential employers.

Seek Out Jobs

Even with a good training under your belt, jobs aren’t going to come hunting for you. You have to hunt for them.

Have your resume ready. It should emphasize how well you did in your coursework.

Take advantage of any resources your school offers you. This includes any employers they partner with and any job boards they offer. Check on these daily while you’re hunting for a job.

Be Ready to Search for a While

No matter how well you do in your studies, sometimes the jobs just aren’t there right away. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re trying to get into.

Be persistent in your job hunt, and pay particular attention to jobs from any company you believe you would prefer to work for. Remember that there is competition for every job opening. Just because you don’t make it through on the first try doesn’t mean you won’t get hired later on.

Keep Up Your Skills

If your job hunt is taking a while, make sure you keep up with your skills so that you don’t forget what you learned during your training. Participate in medical transcription forums. Review your coursework. Keep up with happenings in the industry.

For most people who graduate with good scores, a job will happen eventually. How long it takes depends a bit on luck and a lot on how hard you search for that first job.

Ready to train as a medical transcriptionist? Check out Career Step’s online training program.