Medical transcription certification is an additional, optional step medical transcription school graduates can take to become more competitive in the job market.
Medical transcriptionist certification is essentially a demonstration of your expertise in medical transcription. It is achieved by meeting certain criteria and passing an exam, and maintained through ongoing training. While there are many workers who do not have their medical transcriptionist certification, becoming certified can jump-start your career by helping you earn a higher salary.
The two most well-known types of medical transcription certification are:
- The Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) designation
- The Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) designation
Both designations are awarded by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI).
Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) Certification
The RMT medical transcription certification is the more basic of the two certifications offered by AHDI. It is intended for recent graduates of formal medical transcription training programs, or those with less than two years of work experience. It is also meant for medical transcriptionists working in a single-specialty environment such as a physician’s clinic or radiology practice.
To be eligible for RMT medical transcriptionist certification, you must be a recent medical transcription school graduate or have fewer than two years of experience, and must not already be a Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT).
The exam taken to become an RMT consists of 130 multiple-choice and audio-transcription questions. Registered Medical Transcriptionist testing options also exist for CMTs who do not already have the RMT medical transcription certification.
Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) Certification
The CMT medical transcription certification is intended for medical transcriptionists with at least two years of work experience in acute medical transcription, who already possess the RMT medical transcription certification.
To be eligible for CMT certification, medical transcriptionists must have at least two years of experience in acute care medical transcription, or the multi-specialty equivalent.
The Certified Medical Transcriptionist exam is a comprehensive test of knowledge about all aspects of the medical transcription job description. It consists of 120 multiple-choice and audio-transcription questions.
Scheduling your Medical Transcriptionist Certification Exam
You can schedule your medical transcriptionist certification exam online with Kryterion, the testing provider for AHDI. After signing up and paying the examination fee, you will receive an email confirming your exam date. If you do not have a current email address, you can call the Kryterion Regional Contact Center to set up an appointment over the phone.
If a problem arises, it is possible to reschedule your medical transcription certification exam, though you must do this at least two days before the scheduled appointment. Rescheduling can also be done through Kryterion, either on their website or over the phone. Waiting any longer than two days before the exam means you cannot cancel — and you will not receive a refund of the examination fee.
In order to take your medical transcription certification exam, you must pay an eligibility fee to AHDI, in addition to an examination fee to Kryterion.
Once you pay the eligibility fee, you will receive an email confirmation authorizing you to register for the exam through Kryterion. You will then be able to login to Kryterion’s Test Taker portal using an assigned username and password, where you will be prompted to pay the examination fee.
- Eligibility fee: $10 (AHDI)
- Exam fee for AHDI members: $150 on-site, $100 online (Kryterion)
- Exam fee for AHDI non-members: $230 on-site, $180 online (Kryterion)
- Eligibility fee: $10 (AHDI)
- Exam fee for AHDI members: $200 on-site, $150 online (Kryterion)
- Exam fee for AHDI non-members: $280 on-site, $230 online (Kryterion)
Kryterion’s on-site exam fees are higher than its online fees because of the need to use testing centers and employ test administrators for on-site exams. Fees can be paid via Kryterion’s website, and bulk pricing is available for both exams. If you fail the exam and need to retake it, you must pay these fees again.
Preparing for Your Exam
In the weeks leading up to your exam date, it is important to study to reinforce your medical transcription background knowledge. AHDI offers exam guides and other study materials through its online store. An RMT and CMT exam guides are available for $35 for members, $50 for non-members.
Online preparation courses are also available through AHDI’s partner organizations. RMT and CMT preparation courses are $35 for members, $50 for non-members.
You will need to provide a valid, government issued ID when you show up for the exam. Plan to arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled appointment so you have enough time to go through the check-in procedure.
Medical Transcriptionist Recertification
Both RMTs and CMTs must renew their medical transcription certification every three years. This involves taking a 10 to 20-hour recredentialing course through AHDI’s online training system. Recredentialing exam fees for both RMTs and CMTs are $100 for AHDI members and $125 for non-members.
More information on recertification is available on the AHDI website.