A medical transcription certificate program generally requires three semesters of study at a vocational school, a community college or an online learning program. Programs typically require incoming students to be high school graduates and be able to demonstrate their typing skills. Students likely will have a chance to complete an internship to practice their skills. An option for graduates or, for those who wish to get a few years of experience, may be to earn certification as a medical transcriptionist.
Certificate Programs in Medical Transcription
Students study English, basic health information, medical transcription formatting, and office procedures at the start of their studies. An internship in a medical facility may be required in addition to classroom work. Courses may include:
- Human diseases
- Medical terminology
- Medical law
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Medical transcriptionists typically work in hospitals, physicians' offices, clinics or at home. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that employment for medical transcriptionists is due to decline by 3% from 2014-2024. As of May 2015, the mean annual salary for a medical transcriptionist was $35,720.
The BLS says job opportunities may be best for medical transcriptionists who hold certification. The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity offers two levels of certification for active medical transcriptionists (www.ahdionline.org). Recent graduates of a certificate program or transcriptionists with less than two years experience can take the exam to become a Registered Medical Transcriptionist. Transcriptionists with more than two years experience in acute care transcription or in multiple specialties can become Certified Medical Transcriptionists.
Students enrolled in a medical transcription certificate program will have courses in English, medical formatting and office systems, preparing them for the field. Upon completion of the certificate, students can seek certification to become a registered medical transcriptionist.