How To Become A Work From Home Medical Transcriptionist (In 4 Short Months)

Transcription is a popular way to earn a living from home. In fact, it was the very first work from home job I landed!

Granted, I didn’t set out to become a paid typist. But it was still a welcome way to earn a living from the comfort of home.

You see, after years of working in a cubicle, I finally quit the corporate world to pursue freelance writing.

As it turns out, becoming a highly paid freelance writer takes time. So, while I built up my writing biz and portfolio, I needed money coming in to pay the bills. A girl’s gotta eat, right?

Enter transcription!

What I loved about working as a transcriptionist was the flexibility it afforded me.

As a new mom who was also side hustling like crazy to build a writing career, transcription allowed me to work when and where I could.

And while I don’t currently type for a living anymore, it’s definitely a career path I recommend for anyone looking for a high-paying way to work from home.

As a bonus, you can specialize in a specific type of transcription based on your interests. A great option for anyone looking to work from home in healthcare is medical transcription. And you can launch this lucrative career in under a year.

What Does A Medical Transcriptionist Do?

The world of medical transcription has evolved a lot in recent years thanks to technology. Today, many doctors and hospitals use speech-to-text software, which automatically turns recorded dictation into text.

However, software isn’t perfect. And that’s why medical transcriptionists are needed to both transcribe dictation AND edit speech-to-text files.

“What’s the difference,” you ask?

Good question.

As a medical transcriptionist, you will:

Listen to recorded dictation from doctors and type out what is being said

The reports you type out eventually become a part of a patient’s medical records.

As a medical transcription editor, you will:

Review and correct reports that were created by speech recognition software.

Being able to both transcribe dictation and edit software-generated text is key to succeeding as a medical transcriptionist today.

What’s The Difference Between Medical Transcription And General Transcription?

A general transcriptionist often handles a lot of different files. Some common types of audio a general typist may transcribe include lectures, focus groups, and business meetings.

Often, you do not need any formal training to become a general transcriptionist. In fact, there are a number of companies that hire general transcriptionists — no experience necessary.

Medical transcriptionists focus specifically on the medical field. Typically, this means transcribing doctor’s dictation (the audio doctors record after meeting a patient). To be successful, you’ll need a good understanding of anatomy and medical terminology.

That’s why it’s important to have medical transcription training. This gives you a solid foundation of medical vocabulary, terminiology, and a general understanding of the human body — all subject matter that you will encounter while transcribing doctor dictation!

What Kind Of Money Can I Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average medical typist earns roughly $30,000 each year.

Keep in mind, transcriptionists are often paid based on production. That is, the more you work, the more you earn.

For example, medical transcriptionists might earn $0.05 for every word typed, regardless of how long it takes you to type it.

So, let’s say you receive a doctor’s dictation that is an hour long. It takes you 4 hours total time to completely transcribe and edit your transcript. The final result is a 3,000 word report.

  • 3,000 x $0.05 = $150
  • $150/4 hours = $37.50 an hour

As you become more familiar with a doctor, particular industry, and transcription in general, your speed will increase which will ultimately increase your income potential!

What Equipment Will I Need To Get Started?

Back in the day, you needed a special machine to play teeny tiny cassettes in order to work from home as a transcriptionist.

Today, the majority of all medical transcription work is done online with software.

The software you’ll need depends on the medical field you work in, the doctor(s) you transcribe for, and their preferred format.

But generally speaking, you’ll need:

  • Word processing software (like Word)
  • Software to playback, fast forward, rewind, and pause recorded audio
  • Foot pedal
  • Medical dictionary
  • Quality headset

Remember, the actual equipment and software you need will vary. But this should give you a pretty good idea of what the bare necessities are

Do I Really Need Training To Become A Medical Transcriptionist?

The short answer, Yes!

To even be considered an entry-level candidate, you will need some type of training or certification under your belt. Without it, you’ll find it next to impossible to find work.

The good news is, you can train online to become a medical transcriptionist and editor (and be ready for your new career in under a year).

Medical Transcription Editor at Career Step

Career Step is an online school that provides career-focused education. It’s a great option for busy parents, caretakers, or those working a full-time job since you can work at your own pace and finish school on your timeline.

With their Medical Transcription Editor program, you learn the skills needed to be a competitive entry-level candidate in the growing healthcare industry. Plus, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge needed to both transcribe audio and edit transcripts after completing one short course.

What Will I Learn?

The course was developed by experienced medical transcriptionists to specifically prepare students for today’s technology-driven approach to medical transcription.

Because doctors and hospitals may sometimes use speech-recognition software as well as traditional dictation methods, the Career Step Medical Transcription Editor course prepares you for both transcribing and editing transcripts.

Topics covered include:

  • Medical terminology
  • Grammar and punctuation
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Typing
  • Time management & productivity

Upon completing the course, graduates are prepared to enter the workforce as either a medical transcriptionist, editor, or both!

Why Should I Choose Training With Career Step?

For starters, Career Step is well known in the medical transcription and editing community as providing quality education and training for more than 20 years.

Employers even seek out Career Step graduates to fill open medical transcription positions!

In fact, 92% of Medical Transcription Editor Career Step students find employment after graduation.

Plus, all students:

  • Can graduate in just 4 months
  • Get a foot pedal to use (and keep!)
  • Choose when they go to school
  • Receive one-on-one support
  • Go through 40+ hours of actual doctor dictation
  • Enjoy the freedom and flexibility to work at their own pace

All of this (and so much more) is offered to students at one low tuition price. There’s even tuition assistance available for those who qualify.

Head on over to Career Step today to learn more about how you can train online for a rewarding career in medical transcription.

Still Not Sure?

No problem!

It’s a BIG decision on whether or not to go back to school to learn a work-from-home skill. I get it. That’s why I recommend you do tons of research ahead of time.

Before you jump all in, check out this video to see if working from home as a medical transcriptionist is right for you.

Have any questions? Leave them in the comments below!



P.S. This post contains affiliate links for Career Step. When you enroll in a Career Step program, I receive a small commission. Don’t worry, it doesn’t cost you anything extra. Learn more about my use of affiliate links by checking out my disclosure statement.



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