Medical & Legal Transcription Business Idea

Business Summary:

As a medical and legal transcriptionist, you will have access to highly confidential patient, legal, and other records. You will work directly with medical staff to transcribe documents needed to satisfy patient files as well as regulatory and insurance provider requirements. You will work with legal staff to transcribe information such as depositions, pleadings, and interrogations pertaining to civil and criminal court cases.

You will have the flexibility to set your hours of operation, choose the number of clients you work with, and decide whether you want to work within your home or in a commercial structure. If your goal is to maximize profits and keep overhead costs to a minimum, it would be best to work out of your home in a room designated specifically for your business.

Start Up Cost: $1,500 – $8,000

Can Be Home Based?: Yes

Can Be Operated Part Time?: Yes

Skills Required:

There are a number of technical skills one must possess to be successful in the specialized field of medical and legal transcription. First, and foremost you must be educated in medical and legal terminology and procedures as well as formatting of the various documents clients will require. You must also be a fast typist of at least 70wpm to ensure quick turn-around of work, and have excellent listening and proofreading skills. You can find applicable training courses offered both on campus and online for flexibility and convenience.

In addition to technical skills, you must have excellent customer service skills and be self-disciplined. To be an effective transcriptionist, you must be a dedicated and motivated self-starter who is detail oriented with excellent organization skills, and above all possess the ability to protect the confidentiality of your clients work.

How Much Can You Earn:

Potential earnings of a medical and legal transcriptionist will vary based on experience and equipment available. For example if you operate your business using only a standard cassette transcriber, you limit yourself to professionals using standard cassette and block out those using micro mini cassette and digital recordings. Earnings will also depend on the amount of hours you want to work and the volume of work you can accurately complete.

Most transcriptionists use one of two time and billing methods, per minute or per typed line. With average per minute charges of $.20 to $.75 and average per typed line charges of $.10 to $.40, earnings can easily equal $18.00 to $45.00 per hour giving a gross income of $25,000 to $85,000 annually. Potential earnings can be significantly higher depending on experience, volume of work, and the number of billable hours you work per week.

Understanding Customers:

Your clients will be busy doctors, lawyers, and other medical and legal professionals who will rely on you for prompt, accurate, and properly formatted work.

Marketing Strategy:

There are various ways to get your business off to a good start, which include distributing business cards and brochures to local law and medical offices. You should consider having a website, which would detail your experience and services offered, equipment you have at your disposal and expected turn-around times for completing work. Reference a link to your website on both business cards and brochures. Remember, this is not a business that limits you to local customers, you can solicit work online nationwide and worldwide if you have the experience and training needed.

Other ways to advertise include business directory ads in newspapers and yellow page ads both online and in print. There are many freelance portals online, offering the opportunity to bid on transcription work worldwide. Membership to a few of these freelance sites could be beneficial for earning some quick cash and be used as a work reference.


You must know medical and legal terminology and procedures, proper formatting of various documents to ensure immediate success, and obtain a business license. For more information and specific licensing information for your state, contact your local department of revenue.

To get started you will need:

  • Computer with High Speed Internet Connection and Fast Word Processor
  • Micro Mini and Standard Cassette Transcribers with Foot Pedal and Headset
  • Wav Player Foot Pedal and Related Software for Digital Recordings
  • Headphones Amplifier (optional)
  • Desk and Ergonomic Chair
  • Ergonomic Keyboard (helps prevent carpel tunnel syndrome)
  • Software and Templates
  • Business Website (optional)
  • Basic Office Supplies (business cards, brochures, pens, paper, invoices, file folders to set up each customer account, and a filing cabinet)

Resource Urls

Medical and Legal Transcription Business Idea Reviews, Ratings & Comments

  Sign in to rate
Rss Feed

Now Hiring in Your Area