California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

Medical Transcriptionists in California

May also be called: Medical Stenographers; Medical Transcribers

What Would I Do?

Medical Transcriptionists interpret and transcribe recorded dictation by physicians and other health care professionals. Transcriptionists key text into a personal computer or word processor about patient assessment, therapeutic procedures, diagnosis, prognosis, and other medical processes.

Medical Transcriptionists work in hospitals, clinics, physicians' offices, laboratories, medical libraries, and government medical facilities. Many Medical Transcriptionists telecommute from home-based offices as employees or subcontractors for hospitals and transcription services or as self-employed independent contractors. Many work a standard 40-hour workweek, but the self-employed are more likely to work irregular hours—including part time, evenings, and weekends.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Medical Transcriptionist may appeal to those who are interested in following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

The median wage in 2016 for Medical Transcriptionists in California is $46,255 annually, or $22.24 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

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Annual Wages for 2016Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2016 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
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Transcriptionists may expect to receive medical insurance, vacation, sick leave benefits, and retirement plans. Self-employed Transcriptionists must provide their own insurance and retirement plans.

What is the Job Outlook?

Employment of Medical Transcriptionists is expected to remain stable. The majority of job openings will occur due to the need to replace workers who retire, transfer to other occupations, or leave the labor force. Job opportunities will be better for those who are certified.

How Do I Qualify?

Medical Transcriptionists need a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent. Additionally, they need to complete a postsecondary medical transcriptionist training program, a two-year associate degree program, or a one-year certificate program.

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Community college job placement offices, medical transcriptionist training providers, and vocational schools provide placement assistance for their students. Newspaper classified ads and Internet job listings advertise local job opportunities. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

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Learn More About Medical Transcriptionists