How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist in Michigan

Trained workers in healthcare fields are consistently in demand. If you’re interested in working in healthcare but are not sure about working directly with patients, consider a career as a medical transcriptionist. These skilled workers listen to recordings made by doctors and other medical professionals and transcribe what they say. They develop, review and edit reports based on these recordings and check for accuracy.

Guidelines for Becoming a Medical Transcriptionist in Michigan

States do not license medical transcriptionists or require that you have a particular education or certification to work in this job. It does require specialized knowledge, though, so after completing a high school diploma or GED, look for post-secondary medical transcription programs. These are typically one-year certificate programs with courses in things like medical terminology, anatomy and medical legal issues. There are some two-year associate degree programs available.

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Educational Programs in Michigan

Many schools offer online programs for medical transcription. Some are self-paced, while others are instructor-led, but most take less than a year to complete.

  • Mid Michigan Community College, Harrison. Mid Michigan offers one of the few associate degree programs in the state for medical transcription. This two-year program includes 64 credits of coursework in general education and specialty courses. Some examples of the latter are medical terminology, medical law and ethics, office mathematics, terminology and proofreading, and medical transcription.
  • Central Michigan University, online. Central has a short course in medical transcription. You can choose the instructor-led option, which takes six weeks to complete, or the self-paced program. The latter gives you access to the course material for three months.

Certification for Medical Transcriptionists

Some employers prefer to hire transcriptionists with certification. The most widely-recognized organization that certifies these professionals is the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI). The AHDI offers two levels of certification, both of which require passing an exam:

  • Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist. RHDS credentials are for transcriptionists who graduated recently and have less than two years of work experience. They work in a single-specialty environment such as a physician’s office.
  • Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist. Once you have earned RHDS, you can work toward CHDS credentials. You must have two or more years of experience in more than one medical specialty.

Career Growth and Salary Expectations

Nationwide, there is an ongoing decline in jobs for transcriptionists. In Michigan, growth is flat, meaning the number of positions is neither growing nor declining. This means that as people retire from or leave this career, newly trained workers will be able to take over their positions. With the right education, you should be able to find work in the state.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national median salary for medical transcriptionists is $34,770 per year and $16.72 per hour. Those earning the top ten percent of salaries in this career make more than $51,000 per year. The average salaries in Michigan are $15.58 per hour and $32,410 per year.

Working as a Medical Transcriptionist in Michigan

About one-third of transcriptionists work for administrative and support services, companies that offer transcribing services to medical offices and hospitals. About forty percent of transcriptionists work directly for physician offices or hospitals. You may find more jobs in larger population centers like the Detroit or Grand Rapids areas, but many transcriptionists work from home.

Some recent examples of job listings for medical transcriptionists in Michigan include: part-time lab transcriptionist at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System in Ann Arbor; transcriptionist for Jamison Professional Services in Lansing; and lab administration transcriptionist for Ascension of Southeast Michigan in Detroit.