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Degree Overview: Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree in Medical Reception and Transcription

Majors Overview June 24, 2014

Students in Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) programs will be trained in transcription, administrative assistance, and medical response. This broad, two-year program will prepare students for jobs that need both transcription and medical response skills.

Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree Programs in Medical Reception and Transcription

Students enrolled in the A.A.S. program in Medical Reception and Transcription are taught skills in several medical office administrative duties, such as patient scheduling, medical coding, and medical transcription among others.

Varying with the school of choice, programs aimed at prospective medical receptionists and transcriptionists can have different titles, such as medical information technology or medical office administration technology. Other programs might be suitable for those aspiring to become medical assistants or medical administrative specialists.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria related to an A.A.S. program in Medical Reception and Transcription typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma. Applicants are expected to be demonstrably proficient in English and math, with typing skills to boot.


Coursework commonly includes courses in human relations, office organization and office technology, and related areas relevant to providing extensive support in private medical offices, clinics, or hospitals. Students are taught about coding of procedures and diagnoses, completion of insurance forms, and maintenance of medical records. Coursework may include the following topic areas:

•Medical transcription
•Medical terminology
•Medical ethics
•Records management
•Document formatting
•Medical office procedures

Job and Wage Outlook

A higher-than-average job growth rate of 34% has been predicted for medical assistants during the period of 2008 to 2018 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). This projection is based on the assumption of a continual need for healthcare professionals, including trained transcriptionists and medical receptionists, owing to a combination of an aging population and advances in medical technology. In February 2012, medical receptionists in general took home an average annual wage ranging between $19,756 and $35,450, including overtime, bonuses, and other earnings.

A job growth rate of 11% has been predicted for medical transcriptionists during the period between 2008 and 2018 (BLS). In 2010, these professionals took home an average annual wage of $33,530. Experienced transcriptionists may choose to go into business on their own with flexible work hours made possible through telecommuting from home.

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

While employers of receptionists or medical transcriptionists don’t always insist on certification, acquiring certification would help these professionals showcase their knowledge and skills. Individuals whose work experience is less than two years or who have just completed an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program in Medical Reception and Transcription can pursue the Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) credential offered by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI).

Those with more than two years’ substantial work experience could seek the Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) credential. Both CMTs and RMTs have to be revalidated every three years through continuing education.

Additionally, a Registered Apprenticeship Program is offered by the Medical Transcription Industry Association in joint collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor, thereby allowing qualified RMTs participating in the program a chance to improve their technical and practical skills in real work settings.

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