How to Become a Medical Transcription Editor from Home

Posted on 08.15.2019

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If you’re looking for a flexible career that pays well and allows you the opportunity to work from home, you may find exactly what you’re looking for as a medical transcription editor. Not only is this a great career field, but it’s also relatively simple to become a medical transcription editor—in comparison to other jobs in the medical industry.

In this article, you’ll learn all about how to become a medical transcription editor from home, whether or not the job is right for you, and so much more.

Medical Transcription Editor Job Description

Let’s start with the basics: what is the job description of a medical transcription editor, and what are their day-to-day responsibilities? Basically, it combines the roles of transcriptionist and editor. A transcriptionist is responsible for listening to an audio clip and transcribing it (typing it out). A medical transcriptionist may transcribe test results, referral letters, medical reports, and more. An editor makes changes to correct an existing document. A medical transcription editor makes sure the documents created from voice recognition technology are written correctly. 

A medical transcription editor may perform the following tasks:

  • Convert voice recordings into written documents
  • Proofread and edit the document
  • Identify any errors or missing information
  • Submit the records for review and approval
  • Follow up with healthcare providers
  • Complete some basic data entry
  • Carry out administrative tasks depending on the preferences of the employer

Are Medical Transcription Editors in Demand?

Medical transcription Editors are in demand in many settings, from healthcare centers to work-from-home positions. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this field of the medical industry is expected to decrease by 3% by 2026. This decline is due to our nation’s rising technological advancements such as voice recognition software, as well as outsourcing foreign labor.

Nevertheless, as technology improves, the role of medical transcription editors will evolve to fill the need for accurate and important medical records. Additionally, the skills and experience you gain from working as a medical transcription editor can be used as a stepping stone to other positions in medical records and health information technology, such as medical coders and billers.

Why Choose a Career in This Field?

Becoming a medical transcription editor has some advantages and perks. For one thing, this career requires a very short period of training and education when compared to other jobs in the same pay grade. Since it doesn’t take long to get qualified for an entry-level position, this is a fantastic choice for both a lifelong career and a career switch later in life.

Another perk is freedom and flexibility. Medical transcription editors often have the opportunity to work from home, which can be an amazing benefit for stay-at-home mothers, military spouses, or individuals with health challenges. In addition to a work-from-home position, you can also choose to work part-time or full-time, depending on your needs. 

As far as pay goes, medical transcription editors earn an average of $34,770 annually, which is great considering it’s a position that doesn’t require a college degree. This field also provides room for advancement with specialty certifications and internal promotions.

And as a medical transcription editor, you have the privilege of working in the medical field, knowing that you are helping people. If you want a job that provides the satisfying reward of serving others, medical transcribing and editing may be perfect for you. Let’s find out!

Is This the Right Field for You?

This career isn’t for everyone, so take some time to consider whether it’s right for you. 

For example, medical transcription editors work at a computer, so if you get restless sitting in one place for an extended amount of time, you may want to consider a more active profession. On the other hand, if you don’t mind working at a computer, you may find this job interesting, as no two medical scenarios are exactly alike.

If you want to work from home as a medical transcriptionist and editor, self-motivation and discipline are important, since you’ll have all the distractions of home life to deal with. Many people love working from home, but others prefer the structure of an office or clinic environment.

To summarize, if you want to become a medical transcription editor who works from home, you’ll thrive if you are an organized self-starter who doesn’t mind working at a desk transcribing medical data.

What Skills Do You Need to Be a Medical Transcription Editor?

  • A basic understanding of general medical information and procedures
  • Familiarity with general medical terminology
  • Proficiency with computers
  • Typing speed and accuracy
  • Problem-solving and analytical thinking skills
  • Strong listening skills
  • Knowledge of proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation

What Kind of Education Is Required to Be a Medical Transcription Editor?

Only a few education requirements must be met to become a medical transcription editor. This makes it an appealing career choice for individuals who don’t have the time or interest to spend long hours in a classroom. To be eligible for this position, you’ll need a high school diploma or equivalent, such as a GED.

Most employers do not require their medical transcription editors to have a postsecondary degree. However, they will expect some form of career training from a community college, a vocational school, or an accredited online program.

CareerStep provides an online medical transcription editing program that you can complete at your own pace. The program materials will train you on how to transcribe medical information, edit your work, and enhance your skills in vocal interpretation and typing. Our online program will also help you learn common medical terminology, practices, and procedures.

CareerStep provides you with everything you need to thrive in your career as a medical transcription editor, from learning the basics to getting your first job.

“When I started CareerStep, the course was an education tool, but it became more than that. It gave me the tools to be able to get my foot in the door to get that first job.” Daniel Brenneman, medical transcription and editing.

How Do You Become a Medical Transcription Editor from Home?

Becoming a medical transcriptionist and editor from home may take time and effort, but it will all be worth it in the end. To give you an idea of the process, we’ve mapped it out in five steps.

Step One: Enroll in Training

Assuming you have completed a high school degree or GED, the first step in how to become a medical transcription editor from home is to begin your training. 

The time you spend on your training will vary depending on your own abilities and the program itself. CareerStep’s program, for example, can be completed in as little as four months. 

And if you’re working around a busy schedule, you can complete the material at your own speed. For example, Daniel Brenneman, a CareerStep learner and medical transcription editor, completed our program in nine months.

Step Two: Get Certified

Once you have completed your program and passed the final exam, you will need to sit for your medical transcription certification exam. The cost to earn your certificate will vary depending on the program you choose. Some programs include the certification exam fees in the cost of the program, while others may offer the training only, and you will need to pay for the exam on your own to earn your certification. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 for a training program and earn your certificate.

It is true that medical transcription editors are not required by law to earn their certificate. However, it is required by most employers. Your certification shows that you are qualified and familiar with the demands of the role.

Step Three: Go the Extra Mile

If you want to gain a competitive edge when searching for a job, consider going the extra mile and earning an additional specialty certification. Not only will this help you stand out from your competition, but it may also qualify you for a higher pay grade.

You can choose from two certifications: the Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS), which is an entry-level certification, or the Certified Healthcare Information Specialist (CHDS), which requires two years of experience in acute care before you can take the exam. Your training program should have the additional tools and resources you need to prepare for these certification exams. Once you feel you’re ready, you can take your test at a physical location or online, depending on various factors.

Step Four: Get Your First Job

As you begin your career, you may have difficulty finding an employer that will hire a brand new medical transcription editor to work from home. Depending on the options available to you, you may want to consider applying for a temporary, in-house position while you acquire the experience necessary to earn your position from home.

Start searching for medical transcription and editing positions available in your area, and begin applying for jobs. Medical transcription editors can work in a wide range of places, including a home office, a healthcare facility, private practice, or a company that provides medical transcription services.

With the completion of a medical transcription and editing program and certificates, you should be able to find a job fairly quickly. Take Daniel Brenneman as an example: he was offered his first position before he even received his CareerStep certification in the mail.

Step Five: Get the Right Equipment

Medical transcriptionists and editors need certain equipment to perform their jobs well. If you get a job working for a company that doesn’t supply you with the equipment you need (many do), you’ll need to get your tools on your own. Here’s a basic list of equipment you’ll be needing on the job:

  • Foot pedals for efficient audio control
  • Dictation software that will enable access to the required materials
  • A headset (preferably with noise-canceling headphones)
  • A fully-functional computer and keyboard (with internet connection)
  • Medical dictionaries or medical handbooks (optional but recommended)

How Long Does It Take to Become a Certified Medical Transcription Editor?

How long it takes to become certified will vary depending on your schedule and the duration of the program you choose. If you enroll in CareerStep’s online program for medical transcription editing, you can earn your degree and begin applying for jobs within half a year.

If you choose to pursue a more traditional form of schooling (say, earning an associate’s degree at a college campus) becoming a medical transcription editor may take up to two years or longer. 

Become a Medical Transcriptionist and Editor with CareerStep

Take the first step toward a better future and a secure career with CareerStep. Our online Medical Transcription Editor Program will provide you with all the material you need to acquire the skills and expertise you need to thrive in this position.

But we don’t stop there. Our career counselors also provide you with one-on-one guidance, interview simulations, resume reviews, and the right connections to get your foot in the door. Accelerate your career today and learn more about CareerStep.