Working from Home as a Medical Transcriptionist

Posted: November 20, 2011

Want the freedom of working from home without the pressure of owning your own business? You can get the best of both worlds with a medical transcription job!

What exactly is medical transcription?

Also known as "MT", it means taking dictated recordings from doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals, and typing them into print form. As a medical transcriptionist, you'll transcribe things like medical records, diagnostic studies, consultation reports, exam notes, and even autopsy reports.

What kind of background do you need to get a medical transcription job?

First and foremost, you will need to have an understanding of specific medical terms. You will also need to have a handle on medical jargon and abbreviations. Ideally, you'll also be certified through an accredited medical school. While you aren't required to get certified, doing so will open you up to far more job prospects. Please note that many companies require two or more years experience.

Where will you work?

Lots of medical transcription jobs are home-based. However, you won't run your own business. Instead, you'll work for either a doctor's office, hospital, or some other type of health care facility. For your employer, having you work from home saves them money on office space. For you, working from home gives you the freedom to work in a comfortable environment.

What kind of hours will you have to put in?

That depends on who you work for! If you're handling medical transcription duties for a doctor's practice that's only open during normal business hours, you can expect to work 9-to-5, Monday through Friday. However, if you work for a hospital or urgent care facility - or some other facility that's open at "odd" hours - you might have to work odd hours, too. In fact, some medical transcriptionists are even put on-call during high-activity periods. After all, patients don't have the luxury of waiting hours or days to have their medical records transcribed!

Is there room for advancement?

If you have a traditional medical transcription job, there's not a ton of room for promotion. The best way to make more money is to either get certified right from the beginning or to have enough years on the job so that you qualify for pay raises.

If you really want to get ahead in the medical transcription world, you will have to take a more nontraditional route - and work as an independent contractor. In this instance, you would work for a variety of doctors and hospitals, without having a full-time employer. Sure, you won't have the guaranteed paycheck every two weeks that comes with having a full-time job, but if you build up a big enough client base, you can wind up making far more money that the traditional medical transcriptionist. and you can still work from home!