Medical transcriptionists, sometimes referred to as healthcare documentation specialists, listen to voice recordings that physicians and other healthcare workers make and convert them into written reports. They may also review and edit medical documents created using speech recognition technology. Transcriptionists interpret medical terminology and abbreviations in preparing patients’ medical histories, discharge summaries, and other documents.
Most medical transcriptionists work for hospitals, physicians' offices, and third-party transcription service companies that provide transcription services to healthcare establishments. Others are self-employed.
How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist
Medical transcriptionists typically need postsecondary education. Prospective medical transcriptionists must have an understanding of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, grammar, and word-processing software.
Employment of medical transcriptionists is projected to decline 3 percent from 2014 to 2024. The growing volume of healthcare services is expected to continue to increase demand for transcription services. However, employment is projected to decline because of increased productivity stemming from technological advances and outsourcing.
This occupation supported 84,100 jobs in 2012 and 70,000 jobs in 2014, reflecting a decline of 16.8%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 7.6% in 2022 to 90,500 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 85,300, compared with an observed value of 70,000, 17.9% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to decrease by 2.6% in 2024 to 67,800 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 91,700 jobs for 2024, 35.3% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.