Ashworth College Blog

How Do You Become a Medical Transcriptionist?

Written by Autumn Granza on Thursday, 14 November 2019. Posted in Career

Person typing on laptop.

To become a medical transcriptionist, you need education beyond a high school diploma. You also need to be able to type quickly and efficiently, and can earn a certification if you choose to do so. Employers prefer to hire trained or certified medical transcriptionist who can help their business thrive. Here’s how Ashworth’s Medical Transcription Career Diploma program can help you prepare for work you enjoy.

How long do you have to go to school to become a medical transcriptionist?

Finding a career that uses all of your skills doesn’t have to be hard. Ashworth’s medical transcription program can help you train for the job while you study at your own pace. You’ll learn tasks essential to your job, like how to accurately prepare healthcare reports on patient histories, physical examinations, operations, and consultations. You’ll complete lessons such as

  • Medical Terminology. In this lesson, you’ll learn the fundamentals and origins of medical terms—analyzing, defining, and creating medical terms. You’ll also learn how to identify major body structures and directional terms.
  • Introduction to Healthcare Documentation. This lesson will cover meaningful text and common abbreviations. It’ll also cover career opportunities for documentation specialists, electronic health records, public policy regarding healthcare documents, and more.
  • Industry Trends. You’ll have an understanding of the career possibilities as a medical transcriptionist, like working from home versus working in an office, split shifts, overseas outsourcing, and more.
  • Listening and Editing Skills. This lesson will cover editing challenges due to accents and voice recognition software, the mechanics of editing, and the decisions about the extent of editing.

While it’s not a requirement, medical transcriptionists can become certified. Our medical transcription program includes the cost of the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI)’s Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) Certification exam*.

What qualifications do you need to be a medical transcriptionist?

Employers prefer to hire trained medical transcriptionists. Earning a career diploma will help set you apart from your competitors. With Ashworth’s self-paced program, you can earn your career diploma in as little as four months. Important qualities of medical transcriptionists include

  • Computer skills. Medical transcriptionists must be comfortable using a computer, word-processing systems, and electronic health records systems. All are an essential part of the job.
  • Critical-thinking skills. You must assess medical reports and spot any inaccuracies and inconsistencies. As a medical transcriptionist, you must also think critically when doing research to find the information needed and ensure that sources are both accurate and reliable.
  • Time-management skills. Dictation must be done quickly, so medical transcriptionists should be comfortable working with short deadlines.

How do you become a medical transcriptionist from home?

Becoming certified puts you ahead of uncertified transcriptionists and may help you enter the job field.Transcriptionists may work independently from home and set their own hours. Medical transcriptionists need the recordings they’ll be transcribing and their own computer. To work from home, you’ll need to have a reliable computer and internet.

How much money can you make as a medical transcriptionist?

In 2018, medical transcriptionists earned a median salary of $34,770, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The skills you learn may help you enter the job field. After completing our medical transcription program, you should be able to identify and describe basic concepts related to examination procedures and positions, laboratory tests, radiography techniques, and pharmacology, and be able to edit medical documents previously transcribed by voice recognition devices.

Start with Ashworth

Get a headstart towards work you enjoy. If you’re ready to learn the skills you’ll need as a medical transcriptionist, call an Admissions Advisor at or enroll online today.

*Certification Exam Requirements: Certification exam prerequisites vary. Please check with ADHI for their requirements.

Let's talk about your educational goals. Call 1-800-957-5412