Many students contemplating a career in medical transcription may have concerns about their typing speed. How fast students need to type to become medical transcriptionists depends largely upon the environment they choose to work in. The good news is that there are plenty of things students can do to improve the speed of their typing if they do not meet the standards needed to work in a traditional office environment or for one of the top online companies.
Traditional Medical Transcription Work
Typing speed requirements for medical transcriptionists that work in a traditional office environment will vary. Each business will set their own hiring standards. Faster typists are more likely to obtain work quickly and may find themselves in a position to negotiate for better wages and benefits.
Those planning to begin their transcription career in a traditional office environment should have a minimum typing speed of 30 WPM. Speeds of 50 WPM or more are preferable. Some better paying positions will not consider transcriptionists that cannot achieve speeds of 70 WPM or more. Students that want to begin a medical transcription career should not let these standards discourage them if speed of their typing falls short. There are many ways to increase their speed and plenty of online opportunities that pay for transcription work by the piece, allowing workers to set their own pace.
Online Opportunities for Medical Transcriptionists
Many online opportunities for medical transcription work pay by the piece. Typing speed is irrelevant to obtaining the position. Businesses that pay by the piece for medical transcription work will expect that assignments maintain a high standard for accuracy. Sloppy work is almost always rejected without pay. In extreme cases, assignments may be handed off to other workers for completion.
Since these online medical transcription opportunities essentially pay for performance, transcriptionists really have incentive to improve their speed and accuracy. A medical transcriptionist that can produce large volumes of highly accurate work will make far more money than one who sets lower standards for quantity and quality.
A few companies that offer work from home opportunities for medical transcription do have typing standards even if they are using a pay-by-the-piece model. They believe in offering their clients the highest standards of work and believe that only the best typists can fulfill their clients demands. These businesses may choose not to hire workers who do not meet their standards for typing speed or accuracy. On the other side, these businesses tend to pay more per piece for medical transcription work.
Freelance Medical Transcription
Freelancers set their own hours, rates of pay and standards for quality, speed and accuracy. Virtually anyone with training as a medical transcriptionist and the tools to do the job can set up their own freelance operation, regardless of typing speed. However, typing speed affects the amount of work a freelancer can commit to. As with pay-by-the-piece opportunities, faster typists will earn more money.
How to Improve Typing Speed
There are many ways transcriptionists can improve speed of their typing. Dozens of software programs train typists using the same time proven techniques that have been improving typing speed for decades. Just switching to an ergonomic chair and keyboard is enough to improve typing speed for many workers. Transcriptionists can also dedicate more time to studying medical terminology to reduce time spent correcting mistakes and looking up unfamiliar words. Drilling words that recur in transcription work regularly may also help improve typing speed.