The Ultimate Guide to a career in Medical Transcription

A career in medical transcription is often very flexible and rewarding. As a medical transcriptionist (MT), you can generally work from home and choose your own hours. Although, when looking for a career as an MT, there’s not a whole lot of information to find.

That’s why we have developed this comprehensive guide to becoming a medical transcriptionist.

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Healthcare is now Australia’s largest industry by employment. With the increase in demand for healthcare, companies are now facing a real shortage of well-trained medical transcription professionals.

Medical Transcriptionists play a key role in providing accurate medical records. When we open a letter from a doctor or read a medical report, there is a very high chance that a medical transcriptionist has transcribed it. Their ability to understand what the doctor has recorded, correctly transcribe that information, and identify any errors, is very important. This will reduce the chances that patients will get the wrong treatments. 

The role of a Medical Transcriptionist

Medical transcription involves listening to audio files from medical professionals and converting them into written documents. Once the audio file is in written format, it becomes part of the patient’s medical record.

The role of a Medical Transcriptionist (MT) is to:

  • Listen to the recorded dictation of a doctor.

  • Transcribe and interpret the dictation into a report or a letter.

  • Review and edit drafts prepared by speech recognition software.

  • Identify errors and missing information.

  • Send health records for doctors to approve.

  • Translate medical abbreviations into the appropriate form.

There are also Medical Transcription Editors (MTEs) who focus on correcting and editing the written reports generated by speech recognition software.

Where does a Medical Transcriptionist work?

Medical transcriptionists usually work from home as independent contractors. They get to work from the comfort of their own home and choose their own work hours. There are some medical transcriptionists who work at hospitals, medical centres, or at a doctor’s office.

If you’re thinking about pursuing a career in medical transcription, there are three main career pathways available:

What are the benefits of working as a Medical Transcriptionist?

  • Working from home gives you the freedom to set up your own workspace in a way that best suits you. Therefore, reducing the juggle between your career and your lifestyle. 

  • Working as a medical transcriptionist provides you with increased flexibility. You can choose your own work hours, which gives you more control over your personal schedule, without having to negotiate work terms and conditions.

  • By travelling from your bed to your laptop, you can avoid the peak hour traffic, saving on both time and money.

  • Save on childcare costs, as the decision to work from home has saved parents the costs and stress associated with trying to balance their family with their career. Not only do you get extra time with the kids, but you don’t have to worry about such a big expense. 

  • Most medical transcriptionists work from home rather than in an office. This opens up a world of opportunities to travel to and explore the places you’ve always wanted to see and still earn a regular income. 

Career pathways in Medical Transcription

A career in medical transcription, provides you with the opportunity for career development.  This can be based on a number of different factors such as experience, accuracy and typing speed. These positions vary depending on the organisation that you work for, and may include:

  • Intern

  • Junior typist

  • Senior typist

  • Mentor

  • Team Leader

  • Manager

Pay rates for Medical Transcription

The pay for medical transcription in Australia is usually based on production. This means that you get paid for the work that you produce, and can choose your own work hours. They also may be paid on an hourly rate or fixed wage, like an employee, however, this will depend on where they work and who they work for.

Medical Transcription pay rate in Australia

Source: *Pay Scale Website. The graph shows the average pay rates for medical transcription in Australia.

In Australia, the average pay for a medical transcriptionist who is at entry-level is $48,000 per year. For a medical transcriptionist who is in their mid-career, the average pay is $53,000 per year, whereas, a medical transcriptionist who is in their late-career, the average pay is $56,000 per year.

To find out the pay rate for each state please check out our blog medical transcription pay rates in Australia.

What is the job outlook for Medical Transcription?

Demand for Medical Transcription

With more than twenty-four million people in Australia, everyone will require some level of healthcare at some point in their life. Companies are now facing a shortage of well-trained medical transcriptionists. This has caused:

  • Strong demand for transcription services.

  • A growing healthcare industry that requires accurate medical reports.

  • A need to sustain the quality requirements.

Healthcare and Social Assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth in Australia until at least 2024. This information is shown below. 

Healthcare and Social Assistance - Time Series and Projection

Source: Industry Employment Projections

Trends in Medical Transcription

Traditionally, medical transcription involves listening to an audio of a doctor’s notes and converting it into text. However, it has evolved over the last few years with the use of voice recognition software. Using this software means that the doctor’s notes are automatically turned into a written format. This means a medical transcriptionist must then review this file for any errors and fix them. 

As a result, these advancements have altered the role of the modern-day medical transcriptionist, as many now act as both MT’s and MT editors.

How do you become a Medical Transcriptionist?

If you wish to work in medical transcription in Australia, most employers will require you to have one of the below:

  • At least three to five years of current medical transcription experience.

  • A nationally recognised qualification, such as the Diploma of Healthcare Documentation. Once graduates complete this course, they will have access to TalentMed’s Graduate Support service, which includes job placement assistance.

Training for a career in Medical Transcription

TalentMed’s nationally recognised Diploma of Healthcare Documentation is designed to help provide you with the essential skills and knowledge needed to get a job and excel in this increasingly popular field. It is currently the first and only nationally recognised course in Australia that provides both medical transcription and editing training. Qualified trainers are available from the moment you start the course, all the way through until you complete your course.

The Diploma of Healthcare Documentation, has been designed to provide:

  • The skills of both a medical transcriptionist and a specialised medical transcription editor.

  • Real-life training, with access to hundreds to transcription reports.

  • Prepare you for the future of the industry by training you in the use of speech recognition technology.

  • Train you on how to work independently from home.

For more information on how you can pursue an exciting new career in Medical Transcription, request a free information pack below or call 03 9937 1599.

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About the Author:

Sarah-Louise Slade
Sarah-Louise is a Career Adviser with over 5 years experience in Vocational Education and Training. Having completed a Bachelor of Business majoring in Human Resource Management, Sarah-Louise understands the importance of having a quality education. Feel free to comment and ask questions below.


  1. Kate Samson 27/07/2021 at 3:22 PM - Reply

    Hi, are there any topics within this course which receives recognition of prior learning?
    I have sound knowledge of anatomy and human physiology having completed a bachelor of sports science degree.

    Thanks, Kate.

    • Sarah-Louise Slade
      Sarah-Louise Slade 27/07/2021 at 5:11 PM

      Hi Kate,

      Thank you for your comment.

      It’s great to hear you have a background in sports science! Yes, TalentMed does offer Recognition of Prior Learning, however it will depend on your previous academic and/or work experience background. If you would like to discuss Recognition of Prior Learning, please contact us on 03 9937 1599 or email

      Thanks, Kate 🙂

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