Medical transcription can provide a steady volume of work and as a result can be an excellent work-at-home opportunity. There are pitfalls, however, and it's important to investigate this career opportunity thoroughly, and the online medical transcription schools, before making making a decision to pursue this career choice.
But let's get real. Really real.
Getting started in medical transcribing
Medical transcription is a great work-at-home job and has been for years. If you are looking for a work at home job as a medical transcriptionist, be aware that it can be very difficult to get your first job. The most important decision you will make after deciding whether or not you want to become a medical transcriptionist is what transcription school to select.
If you have already graduated from a medical transcription course, you may be having difficulty finding someone who will hire you. This is one reason why the right school is so important. Some schools work with employers to ensure that their graduations will be hired. Others have internship or apprenticeship programs, and / or placement counselors. If your school does not have any of these, getting your first job will be difficult. If employers have had negative experiences with graduates from the school you chose to attend, you will have difficulty getting a job. Therefore, it really is important to select a school that you know has a good reputation in the transcription community.
What to expect when doing transcription from home
Expect to take at least a year before you can be at full production. Developing an "ear" for dictation takes time. Until you are up to full production speed, your earnings will be less than you may expect.
Expect to work nights and / or weeks. If you take a job as an employee, you will be hired for specific work hours. The larger transcription services do not hire independent contractors. Because the medical business is one that is 24/7, medical transcription is also a 24/7 business. You will likely be required to work at least one weekend day per month.
Expect to work closely with a quality assurance editor. Read the comments and feedback given by the QA editor and learn from your mistakes. It's difficult to take criticism, but try not to take it personally – view it as a learning process.
What not to expect
Do not expect to go out on your own and get accounts immediately. The path to becoming a good medical transcriptionist takes time and training beyond just graduating from a medical transcription school.
Do not expect to make top dollar. It's expensive to start someone with no experience. Your rate will be less than that of experienced medical transcriptionists, and your production will also be less than average as you get used to the dictators and how the company works.
Do not expect to be able to work and watch your children at the same time! I can not tell you how many people I've talked to over the years who thought that a work-at-home transcriptionist could eliminate the need for childcare. Transcription requires intensive listening through a headset. If you're working, you will not be able to hear your children. Since most transcription jobs are paid on a production basis, taking the headset off, dealing with children, then putting it back on and getting back into your transcription groove will seriously affect productivity and the ability to earn.
What does medical transcription pay?
According to the latest (informal) survey, the average medical transcriptionist makes $ 27,000 a year. However, the available information is from an informal survey and does not take into account, part time v. full time, independent contractor v. employee, etc.
The average experienced medical transcriptionist can transcribe 150 lines per hour (65 character lines). Experienced transcriptionists who know how to use productivity tools to the maximum can double that rate.
What you make depends on several factors:
- How fast you type
- How well you hear and comprehend the dictation
- How well you use productivity enhancement tools
- How much your company pays per line