Medical Transcription Degrees and Training Programs

Learn details about a degree program used for training students for a career in medical transcription. Get information about admission requirements and course topics. Read about certification, employment figures and salaries for medical transcriptionists.

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Essential Information

Medical transcriptionists work in hospitals and doctor's offices, transcribing oral notations and prescriptions into written records for official use. The degree most commonly conferred to students aspiring to the profession is an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Transcription degree. Associate degree programs in medical transcription are most typically offered through technical schools, vocational schools and community colleges. The primary objective of such programs is to teach students how to take physician-dictated notes and materials and transform it into written documents that can go directly into patients' files and records.

Students enrolled in a medical transcription degree program must learn the basics of medical coding and medical terminology so that they'll be able to understand and notate what physicians are saying. Aspiring medical transcriptionists should also gain the training necessary to type quickly and efficiently, so their reports might be suitable to show to insurance companies, medical personnel, government agencies and even legal courts. Voluntary national certification is offered to professionals by several organizations in this field.

Education Prerequisites

Students must have a high school diploma and an acceptable grade point average to gain enrollment in a medical transcription degree and training program. Once accepted into such a program, students must complete general education courses in science, mathematics and humanities, in addition to completing practical medical transcription courses.

Program Coursework

A training program in medical transcription includes courses that provide practical training in the field. Some courses that might build up the skill sets necessary for the medical transcription profession include:

  • Medical terminology
  • Medical coding
  • Applied transcription technology
  • Laboratory procedures
  • Surgical procedures
  • Human diseases
  • Medical ethics and law
  • Customer relations
  • Keyboarding
  • Word processing
  • Business principles
  • Office administration

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Physicians' offices, hospitals and other healthcare facilities across the country employed a total of more than 74,810 medical transcriptionists in May 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov). Those individuals earned a median annual wage of $34,020 in that year. Medical transcriptionists who worked for home health care services earned higher salaries than others in the profession, reported the BLS.

Certification Information

Certification is not strictly a requirement in the medical transcription profession. However, certification can boost a professional's value in the eyes of a potential employer. The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) offers its Certified Medical Transcriptionist and Registered Medical Transcriptionist credentials to individuals who have at least some years of professional experience. These certifications also require individuals to pass an examination.

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must have completed 12 college credits
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • California (19 campuses)
    • Washington (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate - Health Administration

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Georgia (1 campus)
    • Texas (2 campuses)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Arkansas (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Arkansas Tech University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
        • Health Information and Records Admin
        • Medical Administrative Assistant or Secretary
        • Medical Transcriptionist
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Nursing Professions
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Ohio (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Cincinnati include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
        • Medical Administrative Assistant or Secretary
        • Medical Transcriptionist
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (5 campuses)
    Areas of study you may find at Baker College include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Massage and Related Therapeutic Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
        • Health Care Administration
        • Medical Administrative Assistant or Secretary
        • Medical Insurance Services
        • Medical Receptionist
        • Medical Transcriptionist
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harrison College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
        • Medical Office Specialist
        • Medical Transcriptionist
      • Medical Assisting
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Informatics and Illustration
      • Medical Residency Programs
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics