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Medical Transcriptionist

Career Overview

Medical Transcriptionists (MTs) transcribe patient medical documents that are recorded by physicians. This is done by listening to a device on a headset and typing the information accurately into a computer or word processor. The documents are then returned to the patient's permanent medical record after they are reviewed and signed by the medical professional who dictated them.

An MT must have a high level of understanding of medical terminology, procedures and diagnosis because it is their responsibility to spot and correct inconsistencies in the information provided; at times even preventing patients from receiving the wrong treatments or medications. They must also have a clear understanding of patient confidentiality, and adhere to strict legal formatting of certain documents in order to comply with all legal and ethical standards.


MTs complete either a 2 year degree or a one year certification program. There are two forms of voluntary accreditation for MTs, these are Certified or Registered Medical Transcriptionist (CMT; RMT) RMT is the first level reached by passing an exam given by the Medical Transcription Industry Association. The CMT requires at least two years of acute care experience in multiple specialty areas.


MTs work in hospitals, medical practices, for transcription services and often MTs now telecommute, and freelancing from home based offices.  MTs held 98,000 jobs in 2006, 29 % of these in physicians' offices and @ 41% in hospitals.

Job Outlook

This profession is expected to grow faster than the overall average growth rate for all job categories.  It is projected that there will be an increase of 14% in total jobs over the decade 2006 - 2016.


Lowest 10% $10.65 $22,160

Median 50% $15.02 $31,250

Highest 10% $21.19 $44,070

Source: US Department of Labor

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