Looking Out for Scams in the Medical Transcription Industry
Medical transcription is a very popular option for working at home. Landing that first job after training can be tough, but it’s legitimate work once you get going.
But that’s the challenge. Getting things going.
The first thing you need to understand about medical transcription is that you need training at the very least, and quite possibly some experience, before you can find that transcription job from home. Most employers will not train you on the job. Due to the sensitive nature of this field, they need people who are prepared to work and dedicated to their jobs.
Before you sign up with any online medical transcription school, you need to research them. You want to ensure that you have a good shot at actually landing a job afterward. Choose a poor quality school and you are less likely to land any job at all.
There are two schools that are commonly recommended by just about any MT discussion board. They are The Andrews School and CareerStep. The first two are considered by far to be the best, but many employers do approve of CareerStep as well. It’s also more affordable than the other two, which is a consideration for many potential students.
That good reputation is key to getting a job in this industry. Without it you are going to struggle to find work. Good schools have a solid reputation, and many of them use the HPI training program. They may also offer job placement assistance.
Do not expect to pay just a few hundred dollars for training. Quality training is a bit pricey, and good programs run at least $1000 and often over $2000. This is not a cheap deal.
But what about community colleges, you may ask? Some do indeed have good programs for less, but they generally lack the reputation that helps you to land that ever so hard to find first job. Talk to the school in detail about their placement rate after training if this is the option you would prefer to pursue.
Watch out for companies that claim to give you training with no experience that will lead to a job. There is one company in particular which changes names regularly, which emphasizes its “Christian” character, yet is nothing more than a scam. They require students to purchase software, and then you never get good enough to get paid. The name change can make them hard to identify, but the routine stays more or less the same.
When it comes time to look for actual work, many employers will consider you to be an independent contractor rather than an employee. This is an important difference both at tax time and in how you get your equipment. You may be expected to provide your own, although some companies may send it to you.
As with any work at home job, employers should not expect you to pay for the privilege of applying to work for them. No fees to show that you’re serious, for example. They should be clear about how you will get paid. In most cases you will be paid on production rather than hourly, typically a set rate per line. One line is often 65-75 characters in length.
As with any work at home opportunity, medical transcription scams are out there. But if you are careful and do your research, you can avoid these and enjoy a fruitful career.