Medical Transcriptionists
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Overview
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Transcribe medical reports recorded by physicians and other healthcare practitioners using various electronic devices, covering office visits, emergency room visits, diagnostic imaging studies, operations, chart reviews, and final summaries. Transcribe dictated reports and translate abbreviations into fully understandable form. Edit as necessary and return reports in either printed or electronic form for review and signature, or correction.
Titles for this career often contain these words
MedicalTranscriptionistTranscriptionSpecialistCertifiedTranscriberRadiologyCodingCoderProfessionalLanguageCPCClinicalDataDocumentationAdministrativeTechnicianRecordSecretaryStenographerEditorSupervisorProviderScribeClerkRegisteredSeniorTranscribingMachineOperatorCoordinator
Education
Only 26% of medical transcriptionists have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by medical transcriptionists
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
This is near the middle of all careeers' percentages of bachelor's holders.
Employment
Workforce size
Medical transcriptionists, with 58,000 workers, are near the middle of all careers in the number employed.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for medical transcriptionists are expected to shrink by 4%, and should have about 7,700 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Medical transcriptionists are more likely to be automated than 73% of other careers.
Salaries
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for medical transcriptionists compare to other jobs' salaries?
Distribution: What salary can you expect?
See what most medical transcriptionists earn.
$33K$0$20K$40K$60K
Gender
Women account for 90% of medical transcriptionists -- that's a larger percentage than 97% of other jobs.
Gender of medical transcriptionists
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. Women medical transcriptionists actually earned more than men -- a very rare occurance among careers!
Race/Origin
About 13% of medical transcriptionists are minority, and 5% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of medical transcriptionists
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (5%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Medical Transcriptionists per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. Blue indicates low density, with lighter shades moving to yellow indicating higher numbers working in this profession.
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Benefits
How do benefits for this career compare to other jobs?
Context: Employer offers health insurance
Context: Employer offers a pension plan
Context: workers are union members
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of medical transcriptionists who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (98%)
  • Degree of Automation (34%)
  • Consequence of Error (31%)
SOURCES:
Salary and diversity
What do medical transcriptionists earn?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides company-reported job titles and corresonding salaries. This data excludes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for medical transcriptionists (BLS Salary Data)
$33K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$33K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
The American Community Survey (ACS) asks individuals to report their occupation and salary, and as such includes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for medical transcriptionists (ACS Salary Data)
$31K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$31K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Medical assistants and other healthcare support occupations: Inflation-adjusted salary trend
This job's median $32KAll jobs' median $45K$31K$44K070809101112131415161718$0$20K$40K$60K
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire medical transcriptionists.
Employers of Medical Transcriptionists (ACS)
Private for-profit (71.0%)
Private not-for-profit (14.7%)
Local government (0.9%)
State government (2.1%)
Federal government (0.6%)
Self-employed incorporated (1.3%)
Self-employed not incorporated (9.3%)
Working without pay (0.1%)
Distribution: Salaries of medical transcriptionists by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$31K$30K$37K$26K$46K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000Self-employed not incorporatedFederal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of medical transcriptionists by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$33K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000All

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Salary growth for medical transcriptionists

Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? The higher a job's experience quotient, the more experience is rewarded with pay increases. Jobs in the green range have the best rewards with experience.

Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?

Salary distribution
$30K$36K$34K$38K$35K$24K$34K$31K$17K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
Number employed
01K2K3K4K5K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Medical transcriptionists and gender

With 90% women, this occupation has a higher percentage of women than 97% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
90%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Medical transcriptionists
Men (10%)
Women (90%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

We only have enough data to accuarately show the salary distribution for women.

$31K$0$20K$40K$60KWomen

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Race and origin of medical transcriptionists

Here we check out the diversity of origin in this career. There is a smaller percentage of minority medical transcriptionists than for 83% of other careers. As with minority workers, there is also a smaller percentage of foreign-born workers in this career than in most other careers.

Race/origin of medical transcriptionists
White (86% )
Black (6% )
Asian (4% )
Multiracial (2% )
Other (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Hispanic (0% )
American Indian (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
13%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
5%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for medical transcriptionists by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$30K$31K$33K$0$20K$40K$60KAsianWhiteBlack
Distribution: Salaries for medical transcriptionists by nativity
$29K$31K$0$20K$40K$60KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Medical transcriptionists and Part-time/Full-time employment

We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 35% part-time workers, this occupation has a higher percentage of part-time workers than 88% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
35%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Why workers are part-time
Full-Time is less than 35 hours a week
Retired/Social Security limit on earnings
Could not find full-time work
Seasonal work
Slack work/business conditions
School/training
Health/medical limitations
Child care problems
Other family/personal obligations
Other reasons
Distribution: Salaries by part-time/full-time status

The salary distributions for full-time and part-time medical transcriptionists is shown following.

$11K$31K$0$20K$40K$60KPart-time workersFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
Education attained by medical transcriptionists

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical transcriptionists typically hold a postsecondary nondegree award.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as medical transcriptionists as reported in responses to the American Community Survey.

Details: Education and training recommended for medical transcriptionists

Employers prefer to hire transcriptionists who have completed postsecondary education in medical transcription, which is offered by vocational schools, community colleges, and distance-learning programs. Medical transcription programs are typically 1-year certificate programs, although there are also associate’s degree programs.

Programs normally include coursework in anatomy, medical terminology, risk management, legal issues relating to healthcare documentation, and English grammar and punctuation. Many of these programs include supervised on-the-job experience. Some transcriptionists, especially those already familiar with medical terminology from previous experience as a nursing assistant or medical secretary, become proficient through refresher courses and training.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for medical transcriptionists

Although certification is not required, some medical transcriptionists choose to become certified. The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity offers the Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) and the Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS) certifications. Both certifications require passing an exam and periodic retesting or continuing education.

The RHDS certification, formerly known as the Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT), is for recent graduates with less than 2 years of experience and who work in a single specialty environment, such as a clinic or a doctor’s office.

The CHDS certification, formerly known as the Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT), is for transcriptionists who hold the RHDS designation. In addition, CHDS candidates must have at least 2 years of acute care experience, including experience handling dictation in various medical specialties.

To maintain certification, medical transcriptionists must complete continuing education requirements every 3 years.

Education attained by medical transcriptionists
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for medical transcriptionists? Below we see the distribution of medical transcriptionists salaries based on the education attained.

$48K$32K$32K$34K$24K$0$20K$40K$60KNone (1%)High School (18%)Some College (34%)Associate's/Cert. (21%)Bachelor's Degree (23%)

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click the program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.

Number of degrees awarded in 2017
Education
Education level of awarded degrees
Associate's degree or certificate
Bachelor's
Graduate
Gender
Gender of graduates
Men
Women
Race/Origin
Race/origin of graduates
White
Minority
International
Switching Careers
The most common next careers for medical transcriptionists

What jobs will most medical transcriptionists hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of medical transcriptionists reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Medical assistants and other healthcare support occupationsHealth Technologists and TechniciansNursing, psychiatric, and home health aidesRegistered nursesReceptionists and Information ClerksMedical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and TechniciansPhysician AssistantsSecretaries and administrative assistantsCooksLicensed Practical and Licensed Vocational NursesGeneral Office Clerks
Lateral job transitions for medical transcriptionists

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 8 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as medical transcriptionists as well as 1% of respondents after working as medical transcriptionists. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Prior and next careers for medical transcriptionists: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as medical transcriptionists? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of medical transcriptionists surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Variation by state
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most medical transcriptionists? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as medical transcriptionists. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Medical Transcriptionists per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.00.20.40.60.81.01.2
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where medical transcriptionists earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for medical transcriptionists compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for medical transcriptionists.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
Location-adjusted median salary
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Location-adjusted median salary for Medical Transcriptionists (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which medical transcriptionists earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEWIVTNHWAIDMTNDMNILMINYMAORUTWYSDIAINOHPANJCTRICANVCONEMOKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the tabs and education selector to find other careers that might be a good fit for you.

How should the career similarity be computed?

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
Choose the similarity measure to compare careers
Interests
Environment
Knowledge
Physical Abilities
Jobs that are similar by Interests with
All education levels
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