In theory, there are many work-at-home opportunities out there. But if you’re looking for a realistic job that pays an above-average salary in a reasonably short period of time, medical transcription (MT) is the career you want to pursue. While many advertisements talk the talk, few are able to walk the walk when it comes to real and reliable job opportunities that actually pay your bills and offer benefits.
For the first installment of this two-part series, I’ll tackle why the home-based setup works for aspiring medical transcriptionists who want the best of both worlds: fulfillment at work and at home.
Why work at home?
Most people who work at home do so for family reasons. If you’re like me (the poster child for an illustrious career while working from home), you do it because you want
- To watch your children grow up
- The flexibility of being able to attend functions
- To be sure that your family is being appropriately cared for and nutritiously fed
- The practicality of investing in your career (reference materials, credentialing exams) rather than your wardrobe
- To save money and time by avoiding increasing fuel costs and commute times
It’s also the most flexible job you can have. You can live anywhere in the US and still work from home. All you need is a high-speed internet connection and the right equipment.
What about job security?
There is a lot of talk going around about the electronic health record (EHR) and how it will replace medical transcriptionists. However, this is just what it is—talk.
Unfortunately for EHR and voice recognition system promoters, the number of serious or critical errors is steadily increasing every day. The idea has now swung back to rethinking this entire system and stepping backwards to the dictated narrative. That’s where the medical transcriptionist comes in.
Even if there are less fully transcribed pages in the medical record, there is an overwhelming need for medical transcription editors—which involves less typing and more of a knowledge-based skill set. This is an incredible opportunity for the up and coming medical transcriptionist to be a quality assurance (QA) specialist or even move on to a supervisory position depending on his or her accuracy as an editor.
The future for MT work is looking bright indeed. It is estimated to increase by at least 8-10% by 2017 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median wage is $16 per hour, and the average yearly income is quoted at $34,000 at this time.
What about benefits and paid vacation?
Many companies are now interested in the work-at-home idea, but none more so than MT companies and facilities. This is considered as one of the oldest home-based professions. There are requirements, just like any other profession –
- Number of hours worked
- Production numbers (in terms of reports done)
However, for the dedicated medical transcriptionist, there are many online companies and even facilities in the bricks-and-mortar arena that offer medical insurance, dental insurance, eyecare and paid time off benefits. Why? Because it’s a real job, so the benefits and the pay are parallel with other medical careers.
Being a home-based medical transcriptionist may be your ticket to success. Watch out for my next post and find out how you can jumpstart this rewarding career!