If you are interested in pursuing a career as a medical transcriptionist, you will need to complete a degree or certificate program from an accredited school or training facility. Medical transcription training is offered in both online and offline formats, and the training program can last anywhere from six months to a few years, depending on the level of study. The best medical transcription training programs include courses where students use the latest software programs and word processing tools, and also provide students with a solid working knowledge of medical terminology. Much of the coursework in a medical transcriptionist training program is hands on, and may require using a computer and transcription software on an ongoing basis.

Types of Medical Transcription Programs

The most common types of medical transcription training programs available at both online and offline schools include:

  • Medical Transcription Certification - typically six months to one year in length
  • Associates in Medical Transcription - typically two years in length
  • Bachelor's Degree in Medical Transcription - typically four years in length
  • Master's Degree in Medical Transcription - typically two years in length
  • PhD in Medical Transcription - typically two to five years in length

You'll need to consider a number of factors when deciding on what school you want to go to in order to fulfill your medical transcription training requirements, and will also need to consider the pros and cons of completing an offline versus an online medical transcription training program.

Choosing a Training Program

When you're comparing different medical transcription training programs and degree options, you'll need to consider the school's history and reviews, teacher credentials, options for job placement, and the overall status of the school.

You'll also need to consider the compare and review the following factors of each medical transcriptionist training program:

  • Residency requirements
  • Class size and teaching style
  • Length of the program
  • Curriculum and content of each course
  • Admissions process
  • Technology and transcription software used
  • Tuition costs
  • Availability of financial aid
  • Option to transfer credits towards a bachelor's degree program

Many medical transcriptionist schools and training centers post the above information online or publish details in the brochure. Take your time to compare offerings from different schools so that you can choose a training center that truly is the best match for you.

Online Training for Medical Transcriptionists

If you don't live near a school or training center that offers an accredited medical transcription training program, you could be a good candidate for an online medical transcription training program instead. Online training programs can provide you with the same level of education as a medical transcriptionist training program offered at a school or other training facility, but the online format will give you some flexibility.

You can complete your courses at your own pace, submit your assignments over the web, and network with other students and your instructor via email or discussion groups. Some of these home-study course programs are offered on an open enrollment basis, so you will be able to complete your courses any time of year.

Some online medical transcription training programs include live mentoring and tutoring options, which can further enhance your educational experience.