The Diploma/Certificate in Medical Transcription will prepare you for a career in the medical field as a Medical Transcriptionist. Typically, Medical Transcriptionist work in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, physicians offices and third party transcription service companies. Medical transcriptionists listen to voice recordings that physicians and other healthcare workers make and transcribe them into written reports.

Degree Benefits:

  • Median pay in 2020 for Medical Transcriptionist was $16.96 per hour backing out to $35,270 per year.*
  • Use the search widget to find Online and Campus schools that offer Diploma/Certificate in Medical Transcription

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical Transcriptionists, on the Internet at (visited March 24, 2022).

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Generally speaking, most Diploma/Certificate degrees in Medical Transcription take approximately one to two years for full-time students to complete. Traditional programs usually consist of 60 credit hours of coursework, or approximately 20 college courses. It is important to note that some institutions offer accelerated degree programs, often designed to help students earn a Diploma/Certificate in Medical Transcription degree simultaneously and in less time. Some high schools also offer college credit for certain courses, which can shorten the graduation timeframe.

It is important to realize, however, that students enrolled part-time are unlikely to graduate within two years. Those taking only a few classes per semester typically graduate within five to eight years.

Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.

As you begin exploring colleges and universities, you may already know what you want to major in. If you have a Medical Transcription major in mind, look through the undergraduate catalog, either online or a copy of the book and browse the majors offered by that college. If you find this major, this will be one school you'll want to consider attending; if not, then cross the school from your list and move on to the next.

If you're uncertain what Medical Transcription degree you're interested in, try to find a school with a robust variety of courses, that will let you experience a few varied lower level classes and allow you to figure out what you enjoy while you work through your general education.

The two most prominent types of Diploma/Certificate levels in Medical Transcription are: Bachelor of Arts degree (BA degree) and a Bachelor of Science degree (BS degree). A BA degree normally requires pupils to take fewer concentration courses as well as to focus more on discovering about Medical Transcription. These students have a little bit more flexibility when it pertains to customizing their education to meet their occupation objectives as well as goals.

The Diploma/Certificate degree in Medical Transcription, on the other hand, is much less concentrated on exploration and even more targeted to a specific focus. Diploma/Certificate students, usually, focus specifically on the area of their major and have a tendency to be more career focused. Bachelor's degrees in the clinical field, for example, are most likely to be a Diploma/Certificate degree. You can find some sample classes for a Diploma/Certificate in Medical Transcription below:

  • Medical Transcription Formatting and Terminology
  • Medical Record Laws
  • Keyboarding and Transcription Software
  • Health Insurance Billing and Coding
  • Healthcare Documentation
  • Medical Terminology Course
  • Procedures for Medical Transcription Course
  • Pharmacology for Transcription Course
  • Ethics and Medical Law Course
  • Anatomy and Physiology Course
  • Communication Skills Course

These days fewer and fewer students graduate in one to two years. In fact, the government now sets the bar at a two to three-year term from starting a degree to graduation. Accredited programs in Medical Transcription, on the other hand, are more likely to graduate in 2-3 years. That is because those programs are more competitive, and studies have shown that students in highly competitive programs have more success with graduating in two years (or less.) Keep it mind there are also other determining factors that play a role in how long it takes to graduate like full time vs part time, funding for college, working at the same time (can potentially decrease how many credit hours you can take) etc. A good goal to shoot for is to graduate within 2 to 3 years for an associates.

Accreditation is an important part of selecting a school for Medical Transcription education. Much depends on accreditation and the type of accreditation. There are two main types of accreditation; regional and national. Regional accreditation agencies work with research-based schools, private schools, public schools, and some for-profit schools. National accreditation works primarily with for-profit and career-related education.

Regional Accreditation

There are two types of regional accreditation; they are Medical Transcription program accreditation and institutional accreditation. Institutional accreditation uses a group of states as the base to compare the school with other colleges and universities; the group of states comprises the region assigned by the Department of Education.

Programmatic Accreditation looks at specific programs or parts of a college or university. This type of accreditation has the same type of respect and acceptance as regional accreditation for institutions. Regional employers and other educational institutions regard regional accreditation as proof of high-quality education.

National Accreditation

National accreditation has a Faith-based branch and a career- related education branch. Faith-based institutions have a different set of standards that recognize the role of faith in instruction. The for-profit branch of national accreditation covers the special purpose and non-traditional schools such as vocational schools. The career-related education requires standards that place appropriate weight on general knowledge and education. Some regionally accredited schools do not accept credits from career-related schools.

Did you know that your salary is not always just based on what level of degree you received, but it also could be based on what school you attended? Many employers actually have their own rankings and rating systems of schools. That is to say, if you received your degree from a college that was accredited by a low rated agency, your salary may actually be decreased by a certain percentage where a high-ranked, well-known, accredited school, can raise that mark significantly.

Many colleges offer career services and job placement programs to help you get on the fast track to employment. Although you may assume that all Medical Transcription colleges offer this service, some don't provide as much assistance as you are led to believe. The best programs for post-graduate assistance include help with job placement both before graduation and continued support as you advance in your career. These programs can also assist you in preparing your resume so it maintains a competitive edge on the job market, work with you as you prepare for job interviews, and advise you on your job performance.