Medical transcriptionists are trained to transcribe notes and information from a recording, live dictation or from written documents into medical records for various types of medical facilities. If you've wondered how to become a medical transcriptionist, take some time to learn about the training requirements, courses of study and education needed to fulfill the basic position.

Successful medical transcriptionists have extensive experience in medical terminology, fast typing skills and know how to use various types of software programs to create different types of reports. Most employers prefer to hire medical transcriptionists who have completed at least two years of training or a certificate program at an accredited college or training center. Here's what you need to know about how to become a medical transcriptionist.

Information on the Necessary Steps

Medical transcriptionists typically complete at least a certification program that provides them with knowledge about medical terminology, note taking, and skills in using digital dictation systems and computer programs to transmit data. Transcriptionists are responsible for creating accurate reports for doctors, hospitals and clients, and can only improve their skills with practice.

Here's a general breakdown of the steps on how to become a medical transcriptionist:

  1. Get your high school diploma or GED. This is the basic educational requirement for entry into a medical transcriptionist program. You will need to provide proof of your high school diploma or GED when you submit your application for a medical transcription program.
  2. Enroll in a certificate, diploma or associate's degree program. Medical transcription certification programs typically last between 6 months to a year, while an associate's degree will require at least two years of coursework. Diploma programs can be between one to two years, depending on the school.
  3. Complete all required coursework. Basic courses for medical transcriptionists typically include English composition, grammar, computer applications, medical terminology, anatomy, physiology and pathology. You will also be required to take several computer and dictation courses so that you can build up your skill set in these areas. Graduates of medical transcriptionist degree, diploma and certification programs must have extensive hands-on transcription experience and a thorough understanding of medical terms and meanings.
  4. Take the national exam. The national exam for medical transcriptionists is given by the American Association for Medical Transcription (AAMT). Once you pass this exam, you will be granted the Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) title.
  5. Apply for medical transcription jobs. You may be qualified for entry-level or higher-level positions as a medical transcriptionist based on the level of education you have completed, and how much work experience you have acquired.
  6. Take continuing education credits. If you have passed the national licensing exam, you must take continuing education credits and be re-certified every three years.

Applying for Medical Transcription Jobs

After completing all of your medical transcriptionist training requirements, you can apply for a medical transcriptionist job based on the level of education you have completed, and the years of experience you have acquired. Salaries for medical transcriptionist jobs will vary by location, employer and the type of services you will be providing. You will need to provide proof of education and may need to pass a transcription test or series of tests as part of the application process.