Medical Transcription Basics

Medical transcription training and schooling tips

Tag: medical transcriptionist salary

Which Career Is Better to Go Into, Pharmacy Technician or Medical Transcriptionist?

Many people know that the medical field is a great place to go for career opportunities. Most areas are growing, and there’s good demand for people who can do the work. The challenge is in deciding which type of work to do.

Consider the differences between becoming a pharmacy technician or a medical transcriptionist. They’re both in demand medical careers, but they’re very different. Which one is right for you depends on what you want from your career.

A pharmacy technician works in the pharmacy and spends most of the day on his or her feet. It can be a very physically demanding job, as you have to lift boxes and may have to climb stepladders. There’s often a lot of customer service involved. You may work in a retail setting or in a hospital. You may have to be available to work nights, weekends and holidays.

Some states require certification for pharmacy technicians, but not all do. Certification usually has to be updated every two years, with continuing education required as well.

The great part about becoming a pharmacy technician is that it is a field with good growth expected. The current Bureau of Labor Statistics estimate for growth in this industry is that it will grow by 32% between 2010 and 2020. That’s faster than average. Pay is fair, with a median rate of $13.65 per hour.

Medical transcriptionists may have more flexibility. Some work at home, but others work in hospitals, doctors offices and many other places. You usually spend most of your work day sitting at your computer desk, listening to the doctor’s dictation and transcribing it as accurately as possible. Some positions will require night, weekend and holiday availability, as reports may be urgent enough to require immediate transcription, but other positions are highly flexible and may work around the schedule you set.

Certification is not required for medical transcriptionists, but may have some advantage, as some positions will pay a certified medical transcriptionist more. Note that certification is a separate thing from a certificate of completion from a medical transcriptionist training program. The test to become a certified medical transcriptionist (CMT) is given only by AHDI, and you must have two years of acute care transcription experience or equivalent just to sign up to take the test.

Medical transcription is a growing but changing field. It’s expected to grow by about 6% from 2010-2020, the most recent times that have an estimate available as of this writing. That’s not as fast as the growth expected for pharmacy technicians. It’s a bit slower than average.

However, the industry is changing significantly with the switch to electronic medical records. That’s not likely to completely do away with medical transcriptionists, but it may change the work to more of an editorial role, ensuring that the electronic records are created accurately.

The median pay rate for medical transcriptionists is better than that of pharmacy technicians, at about $15.82 per hour.

Of course, which career is better for you depends on a lot of factors. Medical transcription has the advantage of being possible to do from home, so you aren’t completely reliant on your local job market. However, you have to be more prepared for change, and new jobs aren’t opening up as fast as they are for pharmacy technicians. You have to consider what’s important to you in your career and where you want it to take you in the long run before you decide to get training for any new career.

Get free information from Career Step about their online medical transcriptionist training. Career Step also offers pharmacy technician training.

Can You Really Make Money Working From Home With Medical Transcription?

Medical transcription is one of those jobs many people first hear about when they research ways to make money working from home. It sounds great. A real job in the medical industry that can be done from home, and the pay is pretty decent too. It’s no wonder working from home in medical transcription is such a popular option.

Is the money really there? Can you make what they say you can?

That depends on a few factors.

1. What do “they” say?

The ability to make the money you’re expecting depends in part on what you’ve been told to expect. If the claims are out of line with reality then no, you aren’t going to make the money you thought you would.

If you’re expecting around $30-40,000 a year, that’s about right, once you bring your skills up. Most won’t do that right out of the gate, but build your skills, work full time and sure, it’s possible and reasonable.

2. How well trained are you?

Not trained at all? Time to choose an online medical transcriptionist course and get trained. You need great training in order to earn good money working from home with medical transcription. It’s tough work.

Go for a good quality program. You don’t want one that promises extreme speed – eight weeks is too fast. Four months is pretty fast, but if you’re capable of finishing a self paced course in that time and really learning the skills a medical transcriptionist needs, it is possible. Don’t be surprised if your personal skills make it take longer.

3. Got experience?

The lack of experience is the bane of anyone trying to start a new career and it can be quite problematic for new medical transcriptionists. It seems as though everyone wants employees with at least two years of experience.

All is not lost if you get good quality training. Some employers partner with the better schools, so you have a better chance at being hired by one of them. No guarantees, as it’s still up to you to prove you gained the skills, but any foot in the door is a help.

Overall, medical transcription is just like any other job you hear about. The income you hear about people earning isn’t usually the one you get when you’re an entry level worker. It’s more common for people who know the job a little better, but it’s not out of reach at all for those committed to the career.

Early on, you probably won’t earn quite what you expect. It takes time to bring your skills up to where you have the speed needed to earn the money you hear about. Most medical transcriptionists are paid on production when they work from home. The more you improve your skills, the more you can earn.

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

Medical Transcriptionist Salary

A medical transcriptionist can earn good money, as an independent contractor, working for a service or working directly for a doctor.

Many medical transcriptionists are paid on production; that is, you will earn a set rate for every line you type. For example, when I started out in medical transcription, I was paid $0.065/65 character line.

This means that you can earn more if you improve your skills. In my experience, improving my transcription skills had two benefits: first that I earned more simply due to speed, but second that I was able to get a pay raise so that I earned more than the beginning rate.

According to the Department of Labor, the median salary for a medical transcriptionist is $15.41 as of this writing.

Some medical transcriptionists earn hourly pay instead. This is more common for transcriptionists working in offices than at home, as paying on production assures the employer that they are only paying for productive time.