Medical Transcription

What do Medical Transcriptionist and Medical Transcription Editors do?

Medical transcription is an important part of health care administration.  Physicians and other medical professionals dictate audio files describing the patients they see, their diagnosis and treatment.  The audio files used to be recorded on cassette tapes, which would be typed by a medical transcriptionist.  Currently, the audio files are recorded electronically, and speech recognition software is used to create a draft of the patient's record.

Speech recognition software makes a lot of errors when trying to interpret human speech.  Medical transcription editors listen to the recorded dictation and correct mistakes, so that the patient's record perfectly reflects the diagnosis and treatment.

Medical transcription editing is a career with unique qualities.  Most medical transcription editors work from home, many are part time.  Medical transcriptionists and editors are paid for the work they complete, on a production basis, rather than an hourly rate.  You will probably not see advertisements for these positions, because most health care organizations send all their transcription work to a few large U.S. companies, who contract the work out to trained transcriptionists and editors.  Normandale Community College's partnership with CareerStep provides an entry to these large companies.  Our program is approved by Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity, AHDI.  Companies know the high quality of experience our students receive, and many waive their previous experience requirements for our graduates.

To learn more about the national outlook for Medical Transcriptionists, please see the Bureau of Labor and Statistics

Program Information

How does Normandale's Medical Transcription Editor program work?

Our program is completely online.  You work at your own pace, but that does not mean there is not support available.  You'll have access to three support teams- technical issues, student support, and graduate support.  You can email your instructor questions linked to any page you are reading.  Instructors also have office hours, times when you know you will be able to reach them by phone and email.  There is an active student forum. If you have a question, chances are good that someone has already asked it on the forum and received an answer from other students and teachers.  Students also use the forum to ask for emotional support, and to celebrate their accomplishments. 

We estimate that it will take about 640 hours to complete the program.  This means about 32 weeks, or a bit over seven months, if you spend 20 hours a week learning.  Over 300 of those hours are spent practicing transcribing and editing real examples of dictated audio files.  A neat tool in the program lets you estimate your completion date based on the amount of time you spend, and help you keep on track with weekly goals.

Normandale offers Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for this program.  We use the nursing continuing education convention of 1.2 CEU for every 1 hour of study, which is why the hours of the program can look different in our catalog.

To register for this program, please see, or call 952-358-8343.