Salaries For Degrees in Medical Transcription
People with online associate medical transcription degrees can be employed in a variety of occupations. The median salary for people with a degree in Medical Transcription is $26,558.19. The lifetime value of this degree is approximately $671,216.00.
Salaries are highly dependent on how skilled one is at negotiation, years of related experience, your employer, location, and more besides. The estimates we show on these pages are just that: estimates. Your individual experience will likely vary.
Where does this come from?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, a unit of the US government, classifies all workers into some 800-odd occupational categories. We paid a team of freelancers to solicit their opinion on what type of degree a holder of each type of job would likely have majored in. For pairs which had a high degree of consensus, we created a link between the degree and the job.
From this, we calculated the average salary for Medical Transcription degrees and converted it into a lifetime value. We then compared it against other degrees at the same level of schooling (such as online masters medical transcription degrees), so that you can make informed educational and employment decisions.
Medical Transcription (MT) is a growing field. It is one of the allied health professions that deal with the process of converting voice recordings of patient information from doctors and other health professionals into a transcribed text format using electronic transcription equipment; the transcribed document becomes the official medical record.
What Can a Medical Transcription Expect to Learn?
Medical transcriptionists may work in a hospital, a small doctor’s office, or from home as either an employee or an independent contractor. They must have a working knowledge of medical terminology, document formatting procedures, dictation principles, medical and legal spelling rules, and patient confidentiality policies. Medical transcriptionists receive 18 months to two years of training through certificate and associate degree programs and on-the-job experience. They may also pursue a bachelor’s degree in a related field.
Medical Transcription degrees are offered typically as an online, distance learning, and/or train-at-home curriculum. Students learn about the day-to-day duties of medical transcriptionists and the responsibilities they have to medical personnel. They learn how to maintain medical records, how to operate transcription equipment, and how to follow written and verbal directions. Throughout their course of study, they learn the following:
- Diseases and the disease process
- Medical grammar and style
- Numbers and accuracy
- Types of medical reports
- Transcribing fundamentals
- Standard policies and procedures
These are the standard skills that medical transcriptionists learn and adopt throughout their degree program.
Online Schools Offering Accredited Medical Transcription Programs
There are six online accredited programs that offer an associate’s of applied science degree in medical transcription. They are as follows:
- Penn Foster Career School
- Stratford Career Institute
- The Rasmussen College
The Rasmussen College associate’s degree program offers both general education and major coursework. The online college requires students to enroll in foundational courses such as English (composition), speech, math, social sciences, natural sciences, and history as part of a holistic degree program. For the associate’s degree, students enroll and complete multiple levels of the following major classes:
- Introduction to Medical Transcription
- Medical Terminology
- Law and Medical Ethics
- Information and Computer Systems
- Topics in Anatomy and Physiology
For the diploma program, students enroll in a condensed course program. Students take less general education courses with the exception of English and math and take more courses in medical transcription to include a program capstone and all of the other major courses.
Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs
Students graduating from an online accredited program in medical transcription also go on to pursue careers in healthcare administration by completing an online bachelor’s degree. The following institutions provide a bachelor’s degree in the fields of health care studies and medical records administration:
- Penn Foster: B.A., Healthcare Studies
- Herzing University: B.S., Health Information Management
Each degree program offers additional certificate and diploma options in medical coding and insurance billing.
The need for medical transcriptionists is expected to continue due to an aging and retiring population. In 2008, there were approximately 100,000 experienced transcriptionists in the field, working in laboratories, acute care centers, doctor’s offices, and for audiologists. This is expected to increase to 11 percent by 2018 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In addition, the website, Salary, determines the annual salary for a medical transcriptionist by four main factors: degree level, location, certification, and experience. Entry-level medical transcriptionists entering the field can earn an annual salary of approximately $32,000. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, hourly wages for medical transcriptionists range from $14 per hour to as high as $21 per hour. Transcriptionists working in diagnostic and medical laboratories earn significantly more at $17 per hour than their counterparts. Transcriptionists working in outpatient care or for medical hospitals (surgical) earn about the same per hour. Lastly, transcriptionists who work in support and administrative services earn an entry-level hourly wage of approximately $14 per hour.
Although medical transcriptionists are not required to be certified in their field, they may pursue certification for professional development. The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) offers an examination for medical transcriptionists to become certified through the Approval Committee for Certificate Programs (ACCP).
Founded in 1978, the AHDI is a membership organization and advocacy group that creates educational standards for allied health medical practices. It advocates for public health safety and it improves the quality of the healthcare professional by producing educational resources such as the third edition of The Book of Style for Medical Transcription. Medical transcriptionists can join the organization as a professional, postgraduate, educational institution, or as a corporate member; students in training programs may also purchase a student membership.
Graduates of medical transcription programs have two options for receiving a credential:
- Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT)
- Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT)
The Registered Medical Transcription credential is an entry-level program that prepares students for the Certified Medical Transcription credential. In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor considers the medical transcription profession as an apprenticeship program in which students train for two years in advanced hospital work such as acute care. Therefore, graduates who complete a RMT credential can enroll in the Registered Apprenticeship Program; the Medical Transcription Industry Association (MTIA) sponsors the program through the federal government agency.
Medical transcriptionists have the option of joining another advocacy group such as the American Association for Medical Transcription (AAMT). Established as a non-profit organization, the AAMT provides career resources for professional development, networking opportunities through event seminars, and partnership and product discounts. Members can register as a trainer or a professional. Medical transcriptionists with less than two years of experience pay a reduced annual fee.
- Wikipedia: “Medical Transcription” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_transcription
- Rasmussen http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/allied-health/medical-transcriptionist/ http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/allied-health/medical-transcriptionist/degree-requirements/ http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/allied-health/medical-transcriptionist/accreditation/
- Allied Health Schools http://www.allalliedhealthschools.com/faqs/medical_transcription
- The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) http://www.ahdionline.org/ http://www.ahdionline.org/Advocacy/AboutAHDI/tabid/164/Default.aspx http://www.ahdionline.org/OnlineStore/Membership/tabid/113/Default.aspx
- Medical Transcription Industry Association (MTIA) http://www.mtia.com/ http://www.mtia.com/about.cfm
- The American Association for Medical Transcription (AAMT) http://www.themtassist.com/blog/american-association-for-medical-transcription/
- Higher Learning Commission/North Central Association of Colleges and Schools http://www.ncahlc.org/
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos271.htm
- Thomas Eugene Foulks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Eugene_Foulks http://www.pikespeakcenter.org/