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How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist Guide

  • Published: 2009-02-06 (Rev. 2010-06-25) - Contact: Jason Trusler
  • Synopsis: A medical transcriptionists earnings can vary according to geographic area skill level place of employment and method of compensation.

Main Document

A medical transcriptionist's earnings can vary according to geographic area, skill level, place of employment, and method of compensation.

Common Medical Transcription Training Questions

What are my chances for employment

Students who take their education seriously and study thoroughly are the students who get jobs before other students. Students who do not take their education seriously and try to rush through to graduate are the students who struggle to gain employment. The reason for this is because nearly all potential employers will test students before hiring them. If you cannot pass their base level tests with proficiency and accuracy, they simply won't hire you.

How do MTs get paid and how much

A medical transcriptionist's earnings can vary according to geographic area, skill level, place of employment, and method of compensation. Transcriptionists working in large metropolitan areas generally earn more than those in smaller cities. Transcriptionists who are paid on production often earn more than those who are compensated on an hourly basis. Some facilities have incentive pay plans where transcriptionists are paid a bonus over and above the minimum production level and base pay for that facility. Generally speaking, entry-level transcriptionists can expect to earn at least twice the hourly minimum wage in larger cities, perhaps less in other areas. Experienced transcriptionists and those paid on production usually earn significantly more.

Medical transcriptionists may be paid in any of a variety of ways, but are predominately by the hour, typed production, or by a combination of hourly pay and production incentives.

What percentages of jobs are home based

Statistics show a 60% home based ratio over a 40% office ratio. For exact numbers visit the local library and look in the most current Occupational Handbook guides. Looking at this ratio you could say that if you are only willing to accept home based positions, then you will decrease your chances for employment by 40%. It's recommended to take any job whereby you can gain valuable knowledge and experience necessary to be successful in this industry. Once you have the experience, you can be more selective in which type of company or work environment that you will be more comfortable and successful with.

How do I get CMT certification and status

Some MT courses claim to prepare you for the CMT exam, but now that the AAMT has made the exam much more difficult, there is currently no course that adequately prepares you to take the CMT exam upon completion of coursework. Once you finish, even some of the best courses available, the CMT exam is designed for about 2 years of experience as an active medical transcriptionist in order to pass.

The AAMT is now administering a new test that combines Part I and Part II together. Part I was originally designed to test a new graduate, but part II was designed for testing after an MT had approximately 1-2 years of experience. Since the exam will no longer be separated, any credible course out there would be sufficient to pass Part I, but Part II will require a couple of years experience to pass. Unfortunately, there are no short cuts to getting a CMT certification.

Can I work outside the US

What do I do if I live outside the U.S. and want to work for a U.S. company? Most employers require that you only have an Internet connection to function as a transcriptionist for them. VISA regulations and International employment regulations are the responsibility of the employer and the employee. Some courses offer a post-graduation job placement service to give you the best chance of gaining employment as a Medical Transcriptionist.

How Do I Get Started as a Medical Transcriptionist

Choose a Credible and Proven Medical Transcription School/Course.

What to Look For in a school/course:

The company's incorporation and good standing with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Select a course or school that is self-paced, unless you personally perform better under a regimented classroom environment.

Make sure the course covers a broad range of medical specialties.

Structured courses (University based) take time and won't have your sense of employment urgency in mind. On-line self-paced courses usually do.

Toll free customer support and email correspondence support.

Courses that might qualify for continuing education reimbursement

Post-graduate employment services and resume blasting services.


You owe it to yourself to check out Future MT's complete MT course curriculum, services, and support. They are more than competitively priced and offer post-graduation services that others don't. If you're serious about becoming a successful Medical Transcriptionist we recommend visiting Future MT for more information.


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