Medical Transcriptionist

At a Glance

Years in School (after high school graduation):

2 years or less

Hourly Wage:

$13.11-$30.10 (Mean $21.26)
*based on 2016 Alaska DOL data

One-page Description (PDF):

Medical Transcriptionist

Professional Activities

Medical Transcriptionists are healthcare professionals with an expertise in medical language. Medical Transcriptionists transcribe spoken words into comprehensive records that accurately communicate medical information. Medical transcription is the act of transcribing from oral to written form the record of a person’s medical history, diagnosis, prognosis, and outcome.

The primary skills necessary for performance of quality transcription are extensive medical knowledge and understanding, sound judgment, deductive reasoning, and ability to detect medical inconsistencies in dictation. The Medical Transcriptionist questions, seeks clarification, verifies the information, and enters it into the report.

Medical transcription requires a practical knowledge of medical language, anatomy and physiology, disease process, pharmacology, laboratory medicine, and internal organization of medical records. A Medical Transcriptionist is a medical language specialist who must also be aware of standards and requirements that apply to health records, as well as the legal significance of medical transcription.

Most Medical Transcriptionists are employed in doctors’ offices, public and private hospitals, medical transcription businesses, clinics, laboratories, radiology and pathology departments, insurance companies, government medical facilities, veteran’s medical facilities, and associated healthcare industries. Some Medical Transcriptionists choose to work at home as employees of transcription businesses; others provide services as independent contractors.

Educational Requirements

  • High school diploma or GED is required.
  • Medical transcription certification is recommended, but not required.
  • Some employers require specific college courses.

Academic Programs


The Associaton for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) offers two voluntary certification exams to individuals.  Individuals who wish to become Certified Medical Transcriptionists (CMTs) should have 2 years of acute care (or equivalent) transcription experience. This exam is considered a level 2 exam.  The Registered Medical Transcriptionists (RMTs) exam is available for recent graduates of medical transcription education programs, or MTs with fewer than two years’s experience in acute care. This exam is considered a level 1 exam. Individuals interested in this exam may not hold a CMT credential.

Courses in Medical Transcription are available at:

University of Alaska Anchorage
Allied Health Programs, Medical Assisting Department
Contact: Robin Wahto
Phone: (907) 786-6928
Fax: (907) 786-6938


Inquiries Regarding Careers and Certification:

The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity
4230 Kieman Avenue, Suite 120
Modesto, CA 95356
Phone: (209) 527-9620
Toll free: (800) 982-2182
Fax: (209) 527-9633

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