How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist in Illinois

A medical transcriptionist is as healthcare professional responsible for listening to and transcribing medical dictations. To do this job well you must be detail-oriented, understand medical terminology, and be able to work at a desk for long periods of time.

In Illinois, you may choose to work as a medical transcriptionist for a healthcare support services company or directly for a hospital or other medical facility. This career is flexible and many people do it from home. You do not have to earn a college degree to become a transcriptionist.

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Requirements for Medical Transcriptionists in Illinois

Illinois does not set any requirements for medical transcriptionists, but some employers do. At a minimum, you should have a high school diploma or GED as well as a diploma or certificate from a post-secondary medical transcription program. You may also choose to earn certification from the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) to be a better job candidate.

Learning to Become a Medical Transcriptionist in Illinois

You may struggle to find an on-campus program for medical transcription in Illinois. Check with your local community college for a related program, such as healthcare information technology or medical billing. Online programs are more common:

  • College of DuPage. This college, based in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, offers several healthcare and computer classes online, including a course in medical transcription. The program they use is approved by the AHDI. You will learn both transcribing and editing for more career options.
  • Penn Foster College, online. Another online option you can access from anywhere is the medical transcription program from Penn Foster. The program allows you to learn and complete classes at your own pace. Courses include topics like medical transcription I and II, medical billing and health insurance, medical terminology, and electronic medical records.

National Certification for Medical Transcriptionists

The AHDI offers certification for medical transcriptionists, which the organization refers to as healthcare documentation specialists. With less than two years of experience and having worked in just one area of medical specialty you can take an exam to earn the registered healthcare documentation specialist credential.

Once you hold that certification you can take an exam to become a certified healthcare documentation specialist. To qualify you must also have worked for more than two years in the field and have experience in multiple medical specialties.

Salaries and Job Outlook in Illinois and Nationwide

The number of working medical transcriptionists in the U.S. is currently declining by three percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Projections Central reports that the decline is even more severe in Illinois, where the positions are going down by a rate of 13 percent. This may seem bleak, but the report still indicates that you can expect to find over 150 openings in the state each year due to people leaving the field.

As for salaries, medical transcriptionists earn a median of $34,770 per year and $16.72 per hour across the U.S. In Illinois, the average earnings are $15.88 per hour and $33,020 per year, although the top salaries in the state are nearly $48,000.

How to Find a Job as a Medical Transcriptionist in Illinois

The most common employers for medical transcriptionists in Illinois and other states are healthcare support services companies, which offer services to medical facilities, and the medical facilities themselves. The latter include hospitals and physician offices. In either case, you may be able to work remotely.

Look for jobs in Illinois’ higher population centers for the best opportunities: in and around Chicago, Rockford, Springfield, Peoria and Waukegan. To get an idea of what’s available, these are some of the recent relevant job listings in the state: diet and nutrition transcriptionist, CHC Wellbeing, Chicago; transcriptionist, Jamison Professional Services, Springfield; medical scribe, ScribeAmerica, Chicago; and medical scribe, ORA orthopedics, Moline.