How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist in Missouri

A career as a medical transcriptionist, or a healthcare documentation specialist as the position is also called, can be rewarding and challenging. Healthcare is a growing industry, and transcriptionists are needed to listen to, transcript, edit and compile documents and reports based on physician dictations.

This is a career that can be done in an office, a medical facility or from home. It requires some special knowledge of medical terms and the ability to type accurately but does not require a college degree. You can become a transcriptionist in Missouri in less than a year.

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Medical Transcriptionist Requirements in Missouri

You do not need to have any particular degree, license, diploma or certification to work as a medical transcriptionist in the state. You should have completed high school and earned either a diploma or GED. From there you can complete a short post-secondary program, either online or on campus, to learn the skills needed to do the job.

Training Programs for Medical Transcription in Missouri

Most programs for medical transcription are conducted online. This gives students the flexibility to learn from home and to train at their own pace. There are a few in-person training options as well.

  • St. Charles Community College, online. The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) has approved the program available to students at St. Charles. Completed online, students learn medical terminology, anatomy, healthcare documentation and transcription editing. The current tuition cost of $3,199 includes graduate support, one-on-one instructor support, eBooks and some of the necessary equipment.
  • Hillyard Technical Center, St. Joseph. This technical center offers students a unique opportunity to gain two new skills. In addition to learning medical transcription, graduates will also be certified nursing assistants. Adult students complete the course in nine months. High school students can also take this course and complete it over two years.

Getting Certified as a Medical Transcriptionist

The AHDI is the leading certifier of medical transcriptionists. You do not need to be certified to begin working, but certification can make you a better job candidate and help you earn more. There are two levels of AHDI credentials, beginning with RHDS, or registered healthcare documentation specialist. The RHDS certificate is for new transcriptionists with less than two years of experience.

With that credential, more than two years of work experience and with experience in multiple medical specialties, you can earn the certified healthcare documentation specialist credential. Both credentials require that you pass an exam.

Career Growth and Salaries

Jobs in medical transcription are unfortunately declining throughout the U.S. Missouri is currently experiencing a decline of about 12 percent, but there will still be jobs opening up every year for trained transcriptionists. When people leave the field or retire, new workers are needed.

For salaries, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that medical transcriptionists earn $34,770 per year and $16.72 per hour on average across the U.S. In Missouri, the average salaries are $34,910 per year and $16.78 per hour.

A Career as a Medical Transcriptionist in Missouri

As you search for your first job in Missouri, consider positions with healthcare support services companies or medical facilities. Most transcriptionists are employed by these types of companies. A small percentage freelance, but many also work from home. Some examples of recent listings in Missouri are:

  • Medical transcriptionist, AST Services, St. Louis
  • Transcriptionist, Freeman Health System, Joplin
  • Medical secretary, St Luke’s Hospital, Chesterfield
  • Medical scribe, Missouri Highlands Healthcare, Naylor

With just a year or less of training you could be ready for any of these available jobs in Missouri.