Associate of Publishing Transcriptionist: Degree Overview

Oct 10, 2019

Associate degree programs related to publishing transcription careers prepare students to turn spoken-word speeches or recordings into typed documents. Students can apply their skills in various settings, including legal, medical and business.

Essential Information

Publishing transcriptionist associate degree programs teach students to use different transcription software programs and technology, which could include Realtime Writing and stenography machines. Many programs require that students have a high school diploma (or equivalent) before enrolling. Some degree programs also require that applicants have basic typing or keyboarding courses and already type at a particular speed. As they complete their coursework, students might participate in transcriptionist internship programs in vocation-specific work environments, such as courtrooms or medical records offices.

Associate of Publishing Transcriptionist

While studying publishing transcription, students are taught grammar, proofreading and industry-specific medical or legal terminology. They have the opportunity to learn transcribing procedures in lecture-style courses, but they can also gain practical skills through hands-on work with transcription technology. Topics covered within these degree programs may include professional behavior standards, transcribing methodologies and technical skills. Common courses in transcriptionist degree programs can include:

  • Microcomputing
  • Keyboarding
  • Document formatting
  • Shorthand
  • Machine transcription
  • Computer-aided transcription

Popular Career Options

Graduates from transcriptionist associate degree programs are capable of working in entry-level positions within several industries, including the legal, medical and business fields, although some graduates choose to work as freelance transcriptionists for multiple clients. Popular career paths include:

  • Medical transcriptionist
  • Broadcast captioning specialist
  • Court reporter

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported annual median salaries in 2018 of $57,150 for court reporters and $34,770 for medical transcriptionists. The projected job growth for court reporters was 7% over 2018-2028. Medical transcriptionists could expect a 3% decline in employment over the same period.

Continuing Education Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that some transcriptionist careers require workers to obtain state licensing or certification ( For example, many states require that court reporters obtain licensure. Licensing requirements vary by state, but they usually include passing a practical skills test that involves accurately transcribing a timed recording. Most states require professionals to routinely participate in continued education coursework to maintain their licenses.

Many certification programs for this career field still remain voluntary, per the BLS, but earning different certifications can help workers earn promotions or find new employment. Eligibility requirements to take certification exams can include years of experience within the transcription field, thus new graduates may not be eligible for some certification programs.

Students interested in transcription can pursue an associate degree program in publishing transcription to prepare for state-required certification or licensing and pursue entry-level jobs in the field.

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