Medical transcription as a career – Pros and Cons

By | March 10, 2009

mtBeing in the field of transcription for the last four years, associated with a company or a home-based transcription provider, I wanted to write a review about this field.  I get inquiries about medical transcription training and future prospects in Orkut and other forums where I participate.  This article can help the people whether or not to choose this field.  This review is limited to choosing medical transcription as a career in India, especially Hyderabad, and not in foreign countries.

I started my career as a medical transcriptionist in the year 2004.  At that time I was in the field of express cargo and logistics and there were frequent transfers to anywhere in India.  At that time, it was necessary for me to be in Hyderabad because of my education and my brother’s.  So, I started looking at other opportunities where I can get good salary, less stress, and somewhat interesting job.  At that time, medical transcription was catching up and heard good things about it.  So, I took the test, succeeded, and joined for transcription training.  Within a year or so, I was able to make the salary, which I was earning in my previous job.

It was good.  It has improved my English, communication skills, and presentation skills.  Being a Telugu medium student, it was so difficult for me to express my thoughts in good English.

After working hard for three years, I started realizing that there is little growth in this field.  Unlike other fields, it is difficult to reach higher levels.  At the same time, it is also easy to reach if you have exceptional listening skills.  There are three levels in this field, medical transcriptionist, proofreader, and quality analyst.  Becoming proofreader is very hard.  It requires exceptional listening skills, which everyone may not have and lot of transcriptionists end up at the stage of medical transcriptionist itself.  90-95% people leave their job after few years realizing that their pay is not going to rise.  A senior transcriptionist can earn anywhere from 10-15 thousands and proofreaders can earn anywhere from 15-25.  QAs will earn 5-10K more.  But, these salaries will become stagnant and one would get easily frustrated.  If you start your career lately in MT and realize after three or four years that your salary is not rising at the phase you thought, you certainly want to leave this field, but at that time you will also find that you have become “age barred” for other fields.  So, while choosing it as a career, think about it twice.  As soon as you realize that your skills are just limited to MT, then leave it as soon as possible and jump into another field.

Pros:

  • Education and age are no bar in this field.  You just need to pass out a general English test.  That’s all!
  • You will get chance to improve you written and spoken English skills, which are mandatory to succeed in any job.
  • You will get an immense knowledge related to health, which is going to help you throughout your life.
  • Flexible working hours, which is a hard-to-find thing in any other job.
  • Low stressful job.
  • You can work from home.  There are lot of companies ready to provide you work to do from home.
  • Getting job in another company is just two or three days matter.
  • You can walk into any MT company at anytime to see if they have openings and almost all companies will be ready to take the MTs/Proofers/QAs throughout the year, which you cannot see in any other job.

Cons:

  • As stated above, pay hikes are limited, which is the main thing 90-95% people leaving this job after working for few years.
  • Few MTs cannot progress towards the next level, proofreader, because of poor listening skills, which is not going to be improved with hard work.
  • This experience will not help you get a job in any other industry.
  • Wearing headphones, listening to voice, and typing keys for a prolonged period of time may cause significant health issues.

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80 thoughts on “Medical transcription as a career – Pros and Cons

  1. AK

    Thanks for sharing the information. Can you please tell me a good institute or website to start with , either in Hyderabad or Mumbai for home based medical trancription. I have a sound medical knowledge, can I start off without taking the course?
    Do give me ur valuable opinion.

    Reply
    1. Naveen Post author

      For home-based transcription (HBT), no one will offer training. In fact to do HBT, you must have have extensive experience in the office because in HBT pay depends on quality only. So, once you think you can produce good quality in the office, then you can move on to work as home-based transcriptionist. In Hyderabad, TransDyne, MedWrite, and Accentia are the companies known for training and in-house employment. All they ask in return for training is two or three years bond to work in their companies. Accentia seems to have a Mumbai office, get the address here: http://www.accentiatech.com/contact.html

      But, be aware that the pay for trainee is around 5-6k only for at least one year.

      Reply
      1. Manoj

        Naveen I suggest a best option is to try with spheris, which is currently taken over by Cbay systems. Though initial pay is low, you can get trained for 6 months to 1 year and then switch. Constant switch to greener pastures is what keeps us alive.

        Reply
      2. c.deepthi

        Hi sir,I want to take medical transcription training in bangalore ,tell me which institutes is best for training….

        Reply
        1. Naveen Post author

          It is a dying profession. There is no growth and you will fed up after few years working in this profession. Stay away from it.

          Reply
  2. lassy

    hey dude, thx 4 dis info. very useful. hey can i get ur mail id?As u have good experience i wanna contact u for more details reg medtranscription.

    Reply
  3. tana

    thanx for this information…..is it good 2 jst hang on?while searching 4 another job…..

    Reply
  4. venkatesh

    very very informative what you wrote . can i have a your mail id please i want to talk with you. i am the graduate in medical lab technology i want to enter in medical transcription field please give ur mail id. bye.

    Reply
  5. neetu

    Hey! Thanks for the info but you have’nt mentioned about the incentives. I would also like to know whether after gaining few years of exp in MT, can we switch to medical coding and what are the prospects of medical coding. Please pass me your email ID. Thanks!!!

    Reply
    1. Naveen Post author

      Yes…after a year or two, you can learn and get into Coding, but there are very few companies offering these jobs and again you have to start career from scratch, which is a pain again. You can contact me using the contact from on the top.

      Reply
  6. zorro

    Great Article , i m a newcomer in medical transcription field, currently i m practicing with G10 Practice KIT by Globodyne Technology,India. it’s a great KIT for practice with latest basic,inter & adv files with all keyfiles, but KIT is only for American projects, can anybody tell me where can i find british transcription practice files. Thanks

    Reply
    1. Naveen Post author

      I don’t think one can learn with self-study kits. You need to have formal training and in-house work experience to become a successful MT.

      Reply
  7. Manasa

    Hi Naveen,

    Thanks for your valueble info, this will really help to the starters intrested in MT. I completed B.Sc (Geology), 10+2 (BiPC) now i am intrested to get into MT. Can u advised where i can go for Training amoung listed previous TransDyne, MedWrite, and Accentia. Also, after having a exp of 1-2 years can i work from home??

    Please help me with your valueble feedback and send me your email as well so that i can get in touch further

    Thanks,
    Manasa

    Reply
    1. Naveen Post author

      I have worked for both TransDyne and MedWrite. Keep away from Accentia, heard a lot of bad things about it from my friends who worked for it. Sent you mail.

      Reply
  8. Revathi

    What is bad about accentia? I am called for a test there. Can u let me know more about accentia

    Reply
    1. Naveen Post author

      Late in payments and also they kept a portion of salary with them to be paid after one year. In my present company, there are lot of people from Accentia.

      Reply
  9. Mona

    hi Naveen,
    i want to do mt course….plz suggest me form where i can get training in mumbai…. i m confused n dont know right place for it..
    waiting for ur reply….thank you

    Reply
    1. Naveen Post author

      I don’t know what companies are there in Mumbai. Watch the local newspaper to see the advertisement of MT companies. They frequently advertise either for training or for experienced MTs. I just googled and found the following page, which lists few companies in Mumbai: http://www.mtdaily.com/mtcosin.html

      Reply
  10. bogdana

    Hy Naveen! After I checked your article I became interested in home jobs. This medical transcrption “thing” is also a home job? can you tell me please towards what company/site should I concentrate on?

    Thank you very much,
    Bogdana

    Reply
  11. farid

    Hi,

    Thanks for your valuable article. Currently, I am working as a MT is hyderabad. I have an offer from other company for British Medical Transcription. Please tell me about British Medical Transcription if you know anything about it..

    regard,

    farid

    Reply
  12. santhosh

    British medical transcription unlike US has a difference in the usage of spellings eg diarrhea is spelled as diarrhoea and pediatrics as paediatrics etc. Files are mainly in a letter format but comparitively easier than the US version of medical files. Emphasis is laid on grammar but it is truly enjoyable. I am a quality analyst with a six year experience in British files.

    Reply
    1. chezian

      Hi

      I have four years experience in transcribing British files. Can you let me know the name of the company you are working with contact details?

      I would like to work as a part-timer from home.

      Thanks.

      Reply
  13. w

    Thank you so much for the valuable information about medical transcription.I am planning take up this course but the company Spectrum is asking for 33k as training fee.I am not sure if it is very expensive for mt training.

    Reply
  14. srinivas M

    Hi naveen gone through ur blog..very informative..I have given a test for transdyne and they are ready to give me proof reader job in it which includes training and two and a half year bond.. What are the career prospectives of proof reader?? after 2-3 yrs as a proof reader can my salary be more than 30K ???
    please let me know thorugh mail on srinivasnetha21@gmail.com

    Reply
    1. Naveen Post author

      If you don’t have any other choice, then only go for it. Otherwise, avoid this profession.

      Reply
  15. Ryan - Voice Transcend Services

    Excellent article, Naveen! A job as a medical transcriptionist does look tempting from the outside.

    As it is with any job though, you have to keep yourself relevant; assess and update your skills with time. It takes hard work and can be frustrating at times but the results are rewarding. When you are choosing to become an MT professionally, you have to consider your future and your article sure does a good job of shedding some light at what it is like.

    Great job I’d say!

    Reply
  16. Shailaja

    Hi Naveen ,

    This is Shailaja, I completed my M.B.Zc Lat year.I have lot of interest in this field ,I wmuld like to join in this Field, I wold like to join in Elcio Medical transcription. Can you Suggest me Can i join in that Organization & Tell me future Development.

    Thanks,

    Shailaja.

    Reply
    1. Naveen Post author

      If you have gone through all the problems listed in the article and still interested, you can join. When you first start the career, the pay will be very less for a year or two. You can join M*Modal for better pay, but work stress is very, very high. Once you spend two years in this field, jump into coding, which is a better option than MT and the pay is good. As you have a science background, inquire with coding institutes and see if you can directly jump into coding.

      Reply
      1. Abid Ahmed

        Well, Naveen, great to see that someone is following your loop from 2009. I have been in the MT field for 13 years now and the future of MT is EMR, which is electronic medical record. Gone are the days where we used to different levels before uploading a file. As you suggested, M*Modal is the way to go and you just require 1 person to upload the file. Medical transcriptionists, unless he or she can do direct upload of M*Modal files, may become obsolete in the next 2 years……

        Reply
        1. Nilesh

          I comoplet be b.pharma and after 1 year I want to take admission for mBA
          So MT is better to me or not for one year,m.model is best for me?
          Plz suggest me

          Reply
  17. Pingback: Awful Future Prospects For Medical Transcription Career In India

  18. Vikash

    thanks of sharing knowledge, Let me one thing. I have get proposal from boys side for my niece. I have no quite no idea about this field (MT). He working as Quality Analyst in Delhi NCR. I would like to know about growth in this sector. experience can get benefit by the candidate. How much salary can get a quality analyst in MT in maximum level. So please I need your help in detail regarding every issue.
    Vikash

    Reply
  19. Mohammed Shabeer

    Hi Naveen

    This was really a great article to read and to know the real facts of MT profession. i have been in this industry for 10 years and my growth as an MT to quality analyst was fast. i worked as a quality analyst for 7 years and now i am seeing that there is really not much growth in this industry. The salary has become stagnant and there is really nothing much we can do in other industry with the MT field experience. Many of my friends have either left the company or switched to some other profession, but there again, we have to start from scratch. My advise to people who want to come in this profession is that they can work in this field to earn some extra money, but do not make the mistake of doing it as a full-time career. The companies give very less pay, keep targets, night shifts, etc. Even if u complete the target, they force u to do more. Also, due to VRS and EMR, i do not think there is much scope in this field for an MT.

    Reply
  20. SURESH

    Hi Naveen,

    As you said, I too feel medical transcription is a dying profession. I recently got offer from Nuance Transcription Services. I have been working for small vendors till now, but with inconsistent workflow. I would like to know about pros and cons working with Nuance. I heard a lot about work pressure in Mmodal, so I am in dilemma whether to work for big companies or small companies. Please help me in this regard.

    Reply
    1. Naveen Post author

      I never worked for Nuance, so I can’t comment on them. Whatever you heard about Mmodal is correct. Long working hours, high work pressure, frequently changing rules and regulations to cut your salary, and idiots as your unit in-charges, working there is a hell.

      Reply
  21. satheesh

    Dear naveen, I know all the medical terms, details about how they keep the records everything. and I can understand almost all english accents allover the world. I am right now in need for a part time job. Can I work as a mediacl transcriptionst from home. Howmuch will I get. Can you guide me plese.

    Reply
    1. Naveen Post author

      You still need training and office-based experience to become a home-based transcriptionist. It is not that easy. You need a rigorous exposure to the work. It is a dying profession, don’t go for it. Look for other jobs that are related to your studies.

      Reply
  22. PHANEENDRA KUMAR

    Hai Naveen Sir, I am working in a Govt. Organisation. I want to pursue this course as a part time. Please suggest is it possible to do course as part time. I am not expecting any huge income.

    Reply
    1. Naveen Post author

      Few organizations offer coaching in MT. They have morning and evening classes. If you are from AP, check DC classifieds on Sunday.

      Reply
  23. venkatesh r

    Dear naveen
    Thank you for your pros and cons which was very informative but rather grim. I have some health issuess which does not allow me to work in an office environment and i am 50 years old. I am certain that you will be able to comprehend my predicament. I was thinking of HBT as a career. What do you think?

    Reply
    1. Naveen Post author

      I advised against young people entering into it to make a career. Looking at your age, it will be okay to do MT….though I am not sure how long it lasts. One of my colleagues was more than 55 years old and he was okay with this profession. He opted for a lesser line count target with less pay.

      Reply
      1. capri.sowmya

        Hi Naveen,
        I am a mother with 2 kids. Planning to take up course on MT. I am really confused seeing your comments. I am an IT engineer. But forced to quit the job due to work pressure. Not sure if I’ll ever be able to join with 2 kids. Hence wanted to do some work from home job which requires less effort and time, so that I can manage work and kids. What do you suggest? If yes, can you please suggest some reliable institute which provide online course with a job! I want to earn some money so that I can help my parents.

        Reply
        1. Naveen Post author

          To work from home as an MT, it requires a lot of experience, at least two to three years of office-based experience. It requires lot of patience, extreme concentration, long hours of listening without distraction, and working in odd shifts. As you said you can’t go to office, it does not fit you. Check online freelancing sites like Elance, Odesk, Guru, etc. and see if you can sell your skills there.

          Reply
  24. pradeep

    Hi Naveen
    Thanks for the blog. Could you plase share your email id with me. I would like to talk to you in person.

    Reply
  25. K S Achuthan

    Hi Mr Naveen i’m 46 Pls let me know about earning from computer at home with or w/o Internet .your guidance is highly appreciated.
    Regards
    ACHUTHAN

    about

    Reply
    1. Naveen Post author

      Look at selling products on eBay and check Fiverr.com to see if you have those skills to sell.

      Reply
  26. Saurav Mainali

    I joined this courseI on July 1, 2015.I have done 80 days of free training provided by the company ie. Insignia Mediscripts Pvt Company.The company started giving me live jobs after 80 days of training with a stipend of 4000 per month.Company’s owner said from January onwards you start earning 10000-15000 per month, but I have a doubt regarding this.I work here for Nuance and they provide totally VRS work and need 99.9% quality.I think 80 days of training is not sufficient for this quality.I left my job in which I earn 20000 per month and my office is only 60 km away from my home, but it is on a contract basis in a government organisation.I am confused totally after joining this course.What to do please suggest whether to continue this job or rejoin my previous job if they agree to take me again.If they don’t then what to do sir Please suggest I am really very confused now.I want to ask one more thing starting a career in medical transcription is good in doing VRS files or by doing pure MT.My friend told me that if you do VRS files in the beginning you learn very few things.He said start your career as a pure MT. I do files which are 85-90% already printed.

    Reply
      1. Swapna

        I dont understand why you are not recommending MT field. Your article is 100% correct, but not nowadays. Medical transcription now is simplified. Whoever gain 1-2 years experience and improved their MT skills, they can definitely make good money. One can make 30k easily as a direct uploader just working 7-8 hours a day with concentration. The only thing required is to send files directly with quality. But one should not take that stress from work and spoil health. An MT should know how to maintain work-life balance and should not become patient typing patient’s reports.

        In my opinion, the only profession that does not need much educational qualification, but gives more income (if you work) is medical transcription. Everybody cannot succeed in MT field, especially if your goal is to make money out of it. It should be your passion. Then, automatically, it takes you to the next level.

        Reply
        1. Naveen Post author

          Compare it other field where as you gain experience, you move on the career ladder and your earnings will increase, but here..the salary won’t get past say 40-50k. I have started my career in 2004 and to get 50k, I have to work more than 8 hours with highest level of concentration. The guys who stepped off this field and joined in other profession are making much more than me easily. The only benefit I get here is I work from home…that’s all.

          Reply
  27. Varma

    Hi Naveen,

    I have completed my MCA in 2010 . I did some IT jobs but not settled present i am jobless. In IT field every one asking experience, I dont want to put fake exp. Now i am not interested in IT field. My friend suggested me that MT is good career. Please tell me What i have to do?

    Reply
  28. Vamshi Krishna

    I am Vamshi Krishna. I wasted four years of valuable time in mental transcription. For all the jobless youngsters or adults, it is a dying field, obsolete, unrewarding, monotonous and good for nothing profession. You have to sign bond of two or three years and there will be on-job-training for few months. They will throw peanuts as stipend and what I absorbed is Medical Transcriptions earn more than Proof Readers since PRs have to maintain accuracy. So subordinate earns more than superior. People in MT field won’t get loans and extremely difficult to get alliance, no corporate culture , worst atmosphere, worst job in the world. In spite of me warning the huge risk, there will be few people who still want to join , for them there are two big companies CBAY and Focus where pay and future is secure to some extent. Medical coding, SAS professional are the professions you can gradually progress into. Please go through what I said and never ruin your career and repent later. You can improve English and Medical knowledge through other means and this is not the best option.

    Reply
  29. priya

    I completed my bpharm I want to do hbt with my 6 month old baby is it ok

    Reply
  30. Rajesh Kumar

    Thanks for your valuable information. I’ve done b.tech in 2013. I didn’t get a job in IT sector. Recently I’ve attended interview at Avontix hyderabad as a MT and grabbed a job. Is it true that there is no hike in salary sector? I’ve lost 3 years of my valuable time after b.tech no i have no one chance of MT. What do you suggest me?

    Reply
    1. Naveen Post author

      Don’t join MT. Even if you get a very less paid job in IT field, go for it. There is no growth in this sector and pay is limited.

      Reply
  31. Venkatesh

    Hai Sir..,
    I am a B.Tech. graduate in EEE stream. I felt difficulty in finding a job in core industries as a fresher. Recently I have attended interview at Transdyne, Hyderabad and Got offer letter for Process Associate position. They asked me two and half years bond and my original certificates. Please suggest me, whether to join or not.

    Reply
  32. Sunil Kumar eleri

    Need your suggestion as my career stuck up now,
    I’m a BDS graduate student and of no use with that degree, so wanted to do something different.
    Can you please give me your number, wanna talk to you seriously??
    Please mail me your number

    Reply
  33. Krishna Mohan

    Hello,
    Informative information about Medical transcription as a career and Very clear explanation you have been provided, Thanks for sharing the info, It is useful.

    Reply
  34. Islam

    Dear Sir,I am working part time in this field. I know that there is no life in this field.
    I am only 12th passed with less marks.
    Can I get a job in IT Company..?

    Reply
    1. Naveen Post author

      See if you can do graduation in computers through distance while working. Complete it and find a job even in a small firm. Once you acquired skills and experience, you can get a job in good company.

      Reply
  35. Shiva Ganesh Golla

    Thanks Naveen Sir, I am a graduate in Business Economics (BBE) from Delhi University. I completed my graduation in 2013 itself. My interest in science stream – maths, biology, environmental science and cosmology didn’t let me choose a career and masters in Commerce or Economics. I have been trying to start my career in maths or astro-physics these days…But considering longer time duration for settlement, financial problems and age bar I decided to start earning by doing MT certificate course from Delhi University which includes 2 months of internship too. God’s grace I have read your comments on this blog and changed my mind to stick to my interested courses – maths and astrophysics, although it would take more time to despite of having my graduation degree. I have also done 12th science from NIOS during my preparation for M.Sc in envt. sci , JNU. Now after reading the cons about MT… I can remain patient till I start my career in science stream but wont end up in MT as a career inspite of being offered by COL, University of Delhi, a renowned University.
    Thank you once again Naveen Sir,
    Please give your valuable suggestions if you wish to….I will be very grateful to you.

    Reply
    1. Naveen Post author

      It is good to hear. Choose to work in a field you are really interested in even though it pays less. In log-term, your passion and hard work pays off.

      Reply
  36. Arvind Vijayanand Dubey

    Honest author.For other career also such honest reviews should be given by experienced persons,so that it can avoid time and career of nev aspirants.

    Reply
  37. Rajani Yarragunta

    Hi Naveen, thanks for the information. I am pharmd graduate and got job as medical transcription with 30k pay. I want to work for 6 months and shift to other job like medical or scientific writing. Need your advice

    Reply
    1. Naveen Post author

      30k for a fresher is really a good offer. Which company offered it? Medical coding is somewhat less tedious job than MT.

      Reply
  38. lima

    hi iam a house wife and completed bsc nursing degree but cant go for job because of my 2 kids. iwant a job at home my typing speed is 40 and quite average listenigskills can i go for this mt job

    Reply
    1. Naveen Post author

      It needs exceptional listening skills to succeed. Average skills won’t take you anywhere. Moreover, you need at least 3 years of rigorous office based experience to be successful as a home-based MT.

      Reply
  39. Ambili Prakash

    I am starting to work as a medical transcriptionist. I have just completed my training. Do you know about any companies that provide opportunities for beginners in this field?

    Reply
    1. Naveen Post author

      You should have joined the training program offered freely by many of the leaders in this field. That way, you should have been absorbed by them after training. Anyway, go and visit the companies in your area and inquire whether they have OJT (on-job trainee) or fresher positions. They don’t advertise in paper and they take MTs all the time.

      Did you read the cons of this industry before thinking of making a career in this field?

      Reply
  40. Shiva

    Hi guys….

    I have been working in MT since 6 years, got trained in CBay (now MModal), Bangalore…worked in Nuance for 3 years. My total experience in MT is 6 years and I am a Proofer, delivering 88-90% direct with minimum of 98.6% accuracy, and 900-1200 lines a day consistently throughout. Sad part is, I have never crossed 30k (before deductions). It is really frustrating that there are NO increments, NO growth in this industry. It is like…..THE MORE LINES YOU DO, MORE YOU EARN…..accepted fact, but what if you fell sick for couple of days and unable to contribute to get lines…..so, NO MONEY or LESS MONEY on that month. If someone is there who can give a stable fixed salary to me with at least 10% hike year on year, I am ready to join them……..guys, now if at all someone responds to this, see what they reply and that is the reflection of MT industry…..man, this is sunset industry…maybe recession-free industry, agree to that…what about growth. It is just stand-by career. Shift to other career when you get good opportunity.

    Cheers guys
    nunnasivaprasad@gmail.com

    Reply
  41. Surendra

    Very informative in many ways and hard to swallow as always – Truth is always bitter. I am in this industry for 11 plus years and completely agree with the author. Literally, no value for any experience. After talking nice about your experience, you will be asked to take a test and your salary is the lines you produce for month – literally day wages in the name of job in a company. There are certainly some exceptions like Spheris, but it is past (by any standard, Spheris was the best medical transcription company in India)!

    Reply

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