Become a Medical Transcriptionist in California - CA

California Medical Transcription Training Programs

The following are the steps to become a medical transcriptionist in California.

  1. Receive medical transcriptionist training in California from a nationally accredited program, school or institution

    To enroll in a medical transcription program, you’ll need to type a minimum of 45 words per minute, have knowledge of English and be computer savvy especially in word processing.  You can enroll in an online program, at a local vocational or trade school, or community college, or even attend a two-year allied health program at the local university.

    Just be sure that the school or program you select includes courses in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, disease processes, as well as medical and legal concepts in its curriculum.  Be aware that in some schools or programs you might even need to do an internship.  Your training time will vary from a six months to two years depending on what you choose.  Then, once you’ve completed your training, you’ll receive a certificate or an associate degree.

    The Medical Transcription Daily, based in California, is an online group of MT professionals and students and offers valuable information about schools and programs in California.  Check out their website:  http://www.mtdaily.com for helpful links and pertinent data.

  2. Decide on a Specialty

    To become a medical transcriptionist in California or anywhere else, you’ll need to decide on your area of specialization.  Specializing in radiology, pathology, or emergency room medicine areas only, will make you a different level than a higher-skilled medical transcriptionist who is an expert in acute-care dictation for all specialties.  Of course, higher-level medical transcriptionists can make a higher salary.

  3. Get Credentials

Although it’s not required, after you’ve completed your training you then can get your credentials from the national association, the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), formerly the American Association for Medical Transcription.  Having credentials from the national organization will also increase your salary level.  Contact AHDI (the association can also be found on Facebook) to get important info about where and how to take the exam for credentials in California.


4230 Kiernan Avenue
Suite 130
Modesto, CA 95356
(800) 982-2182 [ toll free ]
(209) 527-9620 [ direct ]
(209) 527-9633 [ fax ]

Website:  www.ahdionline.org or Email:  ahdi@ahdionline.org

Recent graduates and others with fewer than two years of acute-care experience are eligible to take the AHDI’s Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) exam, which is for level-1 MTs.  With two or more years of acute-care experience, level-2 MTs may qualify to take the Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) exam. Both certification exams are sponsored by the AHDI as well as self-assessment evaluations if you are unsure what level you are.

The AHDI certification, known as "CMT" - Certified Medical Transcriptionist, exam consists of a general medical transcription knowledge section and a medical transcription performance section.  Anyone can take the exam.  The AHDI offers the exam yearly at testing center throughout the country and suggests that you schedule approximately 4 hours for the entire exam.  Exams can also be scheduled by going directly to the testing administrator website at www.prometric.com/ahdi. 

AHDI charges approximately $200 for nonmembers for the test fee for the Certified Medical Transcriptionist exam (CMT) (it’s approximately $75 for AHDI members).  Payment is due at registration time.  The same cost applies to those needing to retake the exam.  For questions about the exam or to speak to a representative, call the AHDI at 1-800-982-2182, extension 2456.

After completing the application and paying the fee, in about two weeks you’ll receive an Authorization Letter with detailed instructions about where to go to take the test.   Then, you have to take the in 90 days or you’ll need to reapply.

You’ll find information about the Certified Medical Transcriptionist exam applications online at the AHDI website (ahdionline.org) or for credential information go Medical Transcription Headquarters at www.medicaltranscriptionhq.com/mtcredentials.

Medical Transcriptionist Schools