Medical Transcription (MT) Employment | Job Opportunities

Medical TranscriptionReferral Blog8 Comments

One of our students recently sent us a link to an article about the Mayo Clinic Health System, which is essentially letting all of their current transcriptionists go. The student was concerned (with good reason) about the job opportunities in the field she is training for. The title of the article “Transcriptionists Losing Positions” does not sound good to someone currently investing time and energy into learning how to become a medical transcriptionist.

As a graduate support team we get a lot of questions and concerns that sound like these:

Is there demand in the industry? Is the industry dying? My doctor told me that they are getting rid of their transcriptionists and that I shouldn’t waste my time in this field.

Because these are pretty common questions and we want to make sure you have the best, most accurate information, we want to take the time to explain this current disconnect in the industry. Why are our employer partners contacting us with increased hiring needs, with our graduates, week after week, successfully reporting employment while, at the same time, students are hearing from doctors—or even other MTs—that positions are disappearing and this is no longer a viable career?

When you hear about transcription as an industry, you need to keep in mind that there is a difference between the local market and the national remote (work from home) medical transcription market. There are three main types of MT positions:

Local MT positions where you work onsite
Even though transcription is considered a work-from-home industry, there are still MTs out there who work in local offices. They go in to work at their clinic or hospital, perform their work, and go home. Sometimes they are paid by the hour like a typical employee, and other times they are paid by their line count or other production measures.

Local MT positions where you work from home
With the internet and technology improvements, more and more local facilities have allowed their MTs to work from home transcribing for that specific local hospital or clinic. All the work they perform is related to the doctors at that hospital or hospital group.

Remote MT positions where you work from home
The last type of MT position is that where the transcriptionist works from home for a specialized company that handles medical transcription for a number of facilities, which can be from various geographical areas. These transcription companies, called MTSOs (Medical Transcription Service Organizations) acquire a number of accounts (medical facilities, clinics, hospitals, or hospital groups) and then hire MTs to complete the work. MTSOs are headquartered all over the country and hire transcriptionists to work for them on a national level. You do not have to be living in the same state where the company is headquartered in order to work for them.

The Mayo Clinic Health System as well as the hospitals and doctors’ offices you visit when you get a check-up or take your children in are part of the local market (the first two categories). Most individuals who hear something about the industry are hearing it from contacts on the local level in those first two categories. But most of the companies Career Step partners with are part of the third category in the national/remote market, and the two markets are actually experiencing different trends when it comes to employment.

Many hospitals, clinics, and offices in local areas are letting their transcriptionists go or eliminating that position entirely when they implement speech recognition software. MTs that have worked there for years lose their jobs. Doctors observing this on the front end see transcription positions being eliminated and therefore discourage individuals from choosing this career. Are they providing false information? No, they see positions disappearing and they’re commenting on that. What they are not commenting on, though, is where those jobs are disappearing to. Where are the jobs going? They are moving away from the local market to the MTSOs in the national market.

In the case of the article about the Mayo Clinic Health System, this is exactly what is happening. Mayo Clinic Health System has decided to move their positions from the local level to the national remote level, which is a growing trend in the industry. According to the article, Mayo Clinic Health System has decided to outsource their services to Precyse Solutions, an MTSO headquartered in Pennsylvania and Georgia with MTs working for them from 39 different states (according to precyse.com).

Once Career Step graduates pass the final exam, they get access to Placement Direct, which includes an employer list of over 100 MTSOs that have hired Career Step graduates in the past. These companies, like Precyse Solutions, are companies that are based in the US and hire MTs in states all across the country to complete their work. Whether it’s straight transcription or editing work depends on what stage their accounts are in the implementation of electronic health records and speech recognition technology.

Career Step graduates from the Medical Transcription Editor (MTE) program are prepared with both skill sets—transcription and editing—because we want them to be as marketable as possible after graduation. We developed our MTE program at the request of our MTSO partners to train new students on the editing skill set, and most transcriptionists now do a combination of transcription and editing. With the continued shift to electronic records, we expect this shift to editing to continue.

Many of our graduates are hired every week by national MTSOs, which only reaffirms the fact that companies are hiring and that Career Step prepares students well for those positions. While the local market is experiencing the unfortunate effects of the move from the local to the national level, the national market is absorbing those positions and, thus, growing every day.

Please don’t give up on your training; your skills are needed & there are ample medical transcription jobs for those with the right skills & training. Employers are looking for qualified transcriptionists and editors, and we want to help you reach your goals to qualify for their openings. We look forward to working with you as graduates of the program!

Career Step has been involved with many other industry experts in discussions about the national industry, and we’d encourage you to read/watch the other materials available about the changes occurring in the industry.

*Coming Soon!* White paper

Video interviews with MTSO and AHDI representatives

Panel discussion with MTSO and AHDI representatives on the state of the medical transcription industry


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  1. Debbie Hansen November 17, 2013

    This article had good news for a change about the viability of MT was a career. However I still hear from people, especially doctors, saying that Voice Recognition software was going to replace Medical transcriptionists. That VR was getting better and better and was going to soon eliminate the need for Medical Transcriptionists at all. So I have revised my plans about doing MT full time. Once I’m done with the training. I may have to get a part time job to make up for a lack of enough work?

  2. Judy Yawn November 21, 2013

    Thank you for sharing that information.  That was very educating and explains things from a broader perspective.  I appreciate that.

    Judy Yawn, CS Honor Grad 2008

  3. Jenae November 21, 2013

    Hi Debbie,

    Jenae in Career Step Graduate Support here. That’s a great question and something a lot of MTs worry about. That being said, we keep a very close watch on all of the industries we have programs for, and the MT industry is not going to be eliminated anytime soon. We just conducted video interviews with employers a few months ago and asked them that very question—whether MTs are still needed or if the profession will be going away—and we got 5 resounding no’s. You can watch the interviews for yourself here: http://www.careerstep.com/need-for-medical-transcriptionists-expert-opinions-video. You can also find an entire blog post devoted to that subject here: http://www.careerstep.com/blog/medical-transcription-news/does-voice-recognition-software-mean-the-end-of-transcriptionists.

    Best wishes,
    Jenae

  4. Carol Shimshak December 03, 2013

    While you are correct with your comments about outsourcing to National locations, remember this is all paid per line and if you are an older MT, it is a bit of a challenge to crank out the work like you did when you first started. Believe me, I work with voice rec, and it is very very good.  I feel like the young doctors coming into the work force will easily be able to edit and do their own dictation.  Also, as it becomes more affordable, more clinics/hospitals will we able to utilize the voice rec and cut costs even more than with outsourcing.  Just a word to the wise, I am betting Coding is a better alternative.

  5. Career Step December 05, 2013

    Hi Carol,

    Thank you so much for sharing your view—as someone working in the industry your input is incredibly important.

    I just wanted to add to your comment about coding being a better alternative with the caution that it really comes down to your career goals. If you’re looking for a career that allows you to work from home right out of the gate then transcription is the way to go. For some individuals the ability to work from home is more important than any other considerations, and medical transcription is still a great option for those folks. However, if you are willing and able to put in a few years on-site before possibly transitioning to an at-home career, medical coding becomes a very real possibility.

    Thank you again for your comment!

  6. Leslie February 24, 2014

    I have graduated technical school for medical transcription, billing and coding. I was lucky enough to get hired at a local hospital out of school. I worked there for 1 year in the Pathology department. BUT…I moved to be with my fiance, I tried very hard to find work in the area to my dismay. I really wanted to work from home. That was my plan. One year later, I still am unemployed. It is so very hard to get started in transcription from home, not to mention billing and coding without the coding certification and 3 years experience. Good luck to all!!! Im a waitress again with $30K in student loans. :(

    If anyone knows the trick to getting hired for a work at home transcription job..PLEASE let me know.

  7. Career Step February 27, 2014

    Hi Leslie,

    I’m so sorry to hear that you’re having so much trouble finding work in your chosen field!

    Employers who hire medical transcriptionists to work from home are really looking for stellar pre-employment test scores. If you’re having trouble with those pre-employment tests, you may want to consider looking for a way to refresh/update your skills (which, I’m sure, is one of the last things you want to hear when you’re still paying off student loans!).

    Occasionally, we receive comments from happy graduates who tell us that they previously took a program through someone else and then when they couldn’t find work decided to enroll with Career Step. All of them were surprised at how much more they learned through our program, which is why over 90% of our medical transcription graduates get MT jobs and 90% of them work from home right from the start (the 10% who aren’t working from home typically CHOOSE to work on-site, it’s not because they can’t get an at-home position).

    Again, I’m very sorry to hear that you’re having so much trouble finding a position. Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to help.

    Best wishes!

  8. Devona Birch June 06, 2014

    Thank you very much for this blog. It’s exactly what I thought would happen and I’m glad to be a student at Career Step in preparation for the changes.

  9. Joan December 15, 2014

    Wow. I just found this site and read the article above. However, I find it odd that there’s no date as to when this article was written. Therefore, this appears to be quite an old article, all things considered. I read every post here which started back in 2013 to the most recent about six months ago. I may be going out on a limb here, because I have no idea who else or when anyone will even read this post. However, here I go with my two-cents’ worth… It is no longer true that the MT jobs are moving to the MTSOs. Hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices are using EMR/EHR (or VR) more and more everyday because of the mandates put upon them, and using their already employed staff, including medical assistants—or the doctors themselves, to do the data input (or the MT’s job). MTSOs are also starting to lose ground because of EMR. So that is what MTs need to train in now and/or become a scribe (which is pretty far removed from the traditional idea of an MT, working at home quietly on a computer), and you’ll be lucky to find anyone hiring for that position (scribe); but more scribe positions may become available the longer EMR is in existence and when staff and doctors get tired of doing an MT’s job—realizing they aren’t making enough money anymore, because they’re seeing fewer patients in a day. I feel sorry for any student these days who feels he or she has a chance at a lucrative future going into medical transcription; and the pay for MT’s at these MTSOs is pathetic… unless you don’t mind working for slave wages and really don’t need the money. I once had an interview with a colleague’s daughter who was interested in MT. I wanted to be completely honest with her and highly recommended she pursue a different field, and told her that I’ve been watching this train wreck coming for many years. My story is that I have been a medical transcriptionist for 20+ years, working for few various clinics and a hospital and then my own successful MT business (started in 1999) until about a year ago when everything started going away—due to EMR. The way it’s going now is that for anyone to have any glimmer of hope for becoming anything remotely like a medical transcriptionist, I would highly suggest to start looking at the medical assistant courses. This is where they’re teaching students to learn the EMR systems—the latest way to take over the MT job. For several years, I had a very successful MT business with a business partner, and several subcontractors under us; and I hoped to retire. However, a few years ago, my partner and I saw what was happening. Since she was a few years younger than me, she chose a completely different career path (real estate) and left the business to me. So now with only a few short years to go till retirement, my business has all but just about gone away. So the train wreck happened and has left me out to dry. Who’s going to hire me now at my age? My husband works barely part time now, and I’m virtually unemployed from my own business… We’re both looking for work, trying desperately to hang onto our house. Somehow we’ll manage. We’re doing everything we can to keep on going. So good luck to any of you hopeful MTs or scribes or medical assistants. It’s a whole new and different medical world out there now. Just think, pretty soon you can go to your pharmacy for a doctor’s visit! Oh boy! Maybe they’ll think of a way to make drive-through doctor’s visits, too… Okay, I digress.

    P.S. I just applied for an MT job at an MTSO, and found another one of their pages that said they weren’t hiring right now.

  10. Career Step December 16, 2014

    Hi Joan,

    I’m very sorry to hear about your situation. However, this article is actually not that old—it’s dated Nov. 6, 2013 up at the top—and it is still in line with what we’re seeing within the industry.

    We have hundreds of MTSO partners that we work with, and our graduates are getting at-home jobs every day. We even had a partner commit just this week to hiring 7-10 of our graduates every month for the foreseeable future.

    What you mentioned with the EMRs taking over transcription jobs may be true within the smaller physician practices and clinics, but we’re still seeing a huge need for transcriptionists (especially as editors) on the acute care side of things. We even did a few interviews with employers and they specifically mentioned that many of their clients who thought they could eliminate MT positions after implementing speech recognition software have found they needed to hire people back to handle the editing because the software just isn’t accurate enough. You can watch these interviews at http://www.careerstep.com/videos-medical-transcription.

    Overall, you’re right, the industry is evolving and there are big changes taking place. However, there is definitely still a need for medical transcriptionists and MTSOs are hiring (though, of course, the each go through their own unique hiring cycles).

    Best wishes!

  11. Joan December 16, 2014

    Thank you, Career Step, for your response.  Okay.  I see now where the date is for this article.  I totally missed it the first time around.  In any event, I believe you are seeing MTs on the acute care side of things—but, as you said, as editors, they are NOT the traditional MTs.  So I wonder, in the long run, is it really a cost savings for institutions to have editors as opposed to MTs?  It has been my understanding also that it can be more difficult to make a living wage as an editor without having to work more than one job.  I would love to read comments from some working editors to find out how much they enjoy their work.  Toward that end, it appears now that an MT’s position is taking a back seat to an editor’s position.  I would also love to see some evidence of MTSOs or other institutions specifically hiring displaced MTs to become editors; experienced MTs already have the knowledge and skill that it takes to be an editor, since we do a certain amount of editing already.  Maybe that’s what I should be looking into now… being an editor… hmmm…  Thank you again for your response and your blog here.

  12. Career Step December 17, 2014

    Joan, you may want to check out our Student and Graduate Community (http://community.careerstep.com). It could be a good place to try to connect with a few graduates who are working as editors to get their perspectives. You’ll need to create an account to login; when it asks for your Student ID just put in “prospective student.”

    We also HIGHLY recommend that you take the time to listen to the panel discussion we conducted with representatives from AHDI, Nuance, Amphion, and M*Modal. You can find it at http://www.careerstep.com/state-of-medical-transcription-expert-panel-video. It’s long (1 hour), but it will give you some insight into a lot of the areas you’re wondering about.

    Hope that helps!


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