Medical Transcriptionist
I. Job Outlook:

II. Job Requirements/Prerequisites:

III. Education/Training Resources:

IV. Getting A Job:

V. Back To Career Guide Home Page


Skill Requirements

Mental - Basic

  • Attention to detail.
  • Ability to stay focused.

Mental - Specialized

  • An extensive medical vocabulary.
  • Good English grammar and punctuation.
  • Familiarity with computers, word processing, and specialized software.


  • Able to work on one's own.
  • Able to take direction from others.


  • Ability to type at least 40 words per minute. (This is needed to enter some training programs.)
  • Good hearing and listening skills (ability to decipher tape recordings).
  • Requires working in a seated position, looking at a computer screen, for prolonged periods.

Skill Maintenance Requirement
Low. Transcription tools might evolve every few years. Working at a new company might require learning a new specialized data entry system. One must also stay abreast of changing medical procedures and terminology.


Experience Prerequisites

Entry-level positions are available for those without experience, provided they have completed medical transcription or medical terminology coursework. This is true even in economic slow-downs.


Education/Training Required

A high school diploma is required. Employers prefer those who have completed a vocational or community college program. Becoming a Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) improves one's chances of finding a job. Information on certification, along with other career tips, is available through the American Association for Medical Transcription (

The next section in this report ("Bay Area Education/Training Resources") provides detailed information on some of the training programs available for Medical Transcriptionsists.

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