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Medical Transcriptionist

Medical transcriptionists are health-care documentation specialists who authenticate medical reports. They perform report audits looking for significant errors. They also ensure the accuracy of reports on patient care during and after an injury, or for continuing care purposes.

  • Avg. Salary $50,584.00
  • Avg. Wage $29.09
  • Minimum Education 1 year post-secondary
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 2,200
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Administrative Support Personnel, Clinical Documentation Specialist, Health-care Documentation Specialist, Office Personnel, Speech Recognition Analyst, Transcriptionist

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Medical Transcriptionists (1244.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Court Recorders and Medical Transcriptionists (B214) 
  • 2011 NOC: Court reporters, medical transcriptionists and related occupations (1251) 
  • 2016 NOC: Court reporters, medical transcriptionists and related occupations (1251) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Medical Transcriptionist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Medical Transcriptionists

Interest in copying to transcribe machine dictation or rough notes from medical reports, correspondence, medical records and patient information


Interest in operating office equipment to record and transcribe surgical proceedings, medical records and other reports


Interest to research the accuracy of transcribed information

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Mar 31, 2019

In a hospital setting, medical transcriptionists edit and analyze medical documents. These may include:

  • Discharge summaries
  • History and physical examination reports
  • Operative and procedure reports
  • Consultation reports
  • Pathology reports
  • Diagnostic imaging reports
  • Obstetrical reports

Documentation is a permanent record of medical, scientific, and legal value. Medical transcriptionists authenticate health-care documents produced from audio recordings using speech-recognition software. Timely and accurate completion is required to ensure quality patient care.

In medical clinics and offices, medical transcriptionists may perform additional office tasks. These may include:

  • Receiving patients
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Answering the telephone
  • Handling incoming and outgoing mail
  • Typing referral letters
  • Completing and submitting billing claims
  • Maintaining electronic medical records
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Medical transcriptionists work in office environments. They spend most of their time ensuring the quality of documentation. They do this by listening and editing while using computer technology. This can include typing. They may be required to sit for an extended period of time. Medical transcriptionists most often work regular office hours. However, some evening or weekend work may be required.

Some experienced medical transcriptionists work from their homes. They provide services to health regions, private physicians, or private medical transcription agencies.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Medical transcriptionists need:

  • Communication and transcription skills
  • Computer and software skills
  • An aptitude for language
  • Analytical thinking
  • Attention to detail
  • Discretion
  • The ability to work with little direction or supervision from others

Transcriptionists employed in settings other than clinics should enjoy working in a quiet location without a lot of patient contact. In a clinic setting, they should have good interpersonal skills.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Medical transcriptionists need:

  • Excellent knowledge of medical terminology
  • Proficiency with anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, diagnostic, and treatment modalities, and drug names
  • Proficiency in English grammar and punctuation
  • Advanced editing and proofreading skills
  • Familiarity with health-care documentation guidelines and standards
  • Strong word-processing skills
  • Experience using transcription equipment, software, and resource tools

Most people entering this field have completed a 1-year education program, including a medical terminology course, at a recognized post-secondary school.

Medical transcriptionists need to stay up to date with new terminology related to medical and surgical specialties.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Most medical transcriptionists work in settings where large numbers of physician-dictated patient reports are transcribed. They include:

  • Hospitals
  • Medical research facilities
  • Medical laboratories
  • Diagnostic imaging centres

Others work in:

  • Medical clinics
  • Physicians’ offices
  • Coroners’ or medical examiners’ offices
  • University medical schools
  • Medical insurance companies
  • Government agencies, such as Workers’ Compensation Board
  • Medical service transcription organizations (MTSOs)

Some self-employed transcriptionists provide services on a contract basis.

Experienced transcriptionists may advance to supervisory positions in hospitals and other health-care facilities that employ a number of transcriptionists.

Medical transcriptionists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 1251: Court reporters, medical transcriptionists and related occupations. In Alberta, 75% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook (pdf) in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • Size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

In Alberta, the 1251: Court reporters, medical transcriptionists and related occupations occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.9% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 76 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Salaries vary according to duties and experience. Many transcriptionists work from home. Their earnings are based on the recorded minute and whether editing is the only requirement. Some extra research may be required if the transcriptionist is not familiar with the specialty being transcribed.

Depending on the work site, medical transcriptionists may be represented by the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE), Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), or the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA).

Salary scales established through union contracts determine pay in these settings. For information about current collective agreements in the public and not-for-profit sectors, visit their websites.

Court reporters, medical transcriptionists and related occupations

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $17.33 $27.28 $24.50 $27.28
Overall $19.00 $32.78 $29.09 $32.18
Top $26.50 $33.17 $30.80 $33.17

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Public Administration
Health Care & Social Assistance

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Clerical and Administrative Support
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) website:

Canadian Union of Public Employee (CUPE) website:

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2019. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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