At this time, baccalaureate and master's degree programs for medical transcription do not exist. Undergraduate certificate programs are available for students who want short-term, entry-level training, and credits may be transferred into associate's programs in medical transcription.
A medical transcription associate's degree includes general education courses, in addition to courses in medical terminology, medical office practices and medical transcription techniques. Graduates of these programs are prepared for voluntary professional certification, which can help boost job prospects.
Associate's Degree in Medical Transcription
Students in medical transcription associate's degree programs complete an interdisciplinary curriculum including general education, business, medical and transcription courses. To succeed in these programs, it is helpful to have prior knowledge of medical terminology, excellent typing skills, and a solid foundation in grammar and spelling. Courses generally include:
- Medical terminology
- Anatomy and physiology
- Writing and editing for business
- Medical law and ethics
- Computer systems
Career Outlook and Salary
A variety of employers, including hospitals, doctors' offices, private clinics and health insurance companies all require the services of medical transcription professionals. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), a decrease in jobs, about -3%, was expected between 2014 and 2024, and the annual median salary was $34,890 as of 2015. The field of medical transcription is especially popular for those seeking jobs that allow flexibility and the ability to work independently at home, with many medical transcriptionists working remotely from their home computers.
Upon graduation from an accredited medical transcription program, students may take the Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) examination, and upon acquiring a minimum of two years of experience, may take the Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) examination. Both RMT's and CMT's must take a varying number of continuing education courses in order to maintain their certification.
Although the number of jobs for medical transcriptionists is expected to decline during the period of 2014-2024, employment is still projected to number over 67,000 jobs in the United States. Interested individuals can attend an associate's degree program and receive voluntary certification to enter the field.