Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long does the program take to complete? The program is approximately a 300-hour program. On average, students usually complete it within four to nine month's time, but the program is designed to be totally self-paced and the initial time completion is one year for pay in full studeints with an optional month to month extension. Pay as you go students pay $50.00 per month for as long or as little as they need to complete the program. No month to month extension is required.


  • Is there a time limit for completion? We allow one year from the time you enroll for completion for pay in full students. Should you need more time than the one year allowed, we do offer a pay by month extension at a fee of $50.00 per month for however many more months you require. Pay as you go students pay $50.00 per month from start to finish with no completion time frame set nor any extension required. Other no cost extensions may also be given due to health reasons with appropriate medical documentation.


  • What are the requirements for enrollment? High school diploma/GED. You should be able to type at least 45 to 50 wpm proficiently. No medical background is necessary however; good spelling/grammar aptitude is a must.


  • On average, how much can a medical transcriptionist earn? A set hourly rate is difficult to establish in this profession since most at home transcriptionists work by production; page or line rate. However, on average, a properly trained transcriptionist can average up to $25.00 per hour after their initial on the job training period. It is important to remember that although earnings in this field can be substantial, it does take time to get to that level. Even with the most rigorous training, MTs still continue with on the job training once they become employed. It takes time to become familiar with different software programs, dictators, build the confidence you need to not have to reference continuously, and to increase your production.


  • Do at home transcriptionists receive any type of benefits? Working at home is actually a benefit in itself. Because you work out of your home this can mean a substantial savings. Savings can consist of day care costs, clothing expenses, traveling expenses, meal expenses, and even time that is taken unpaid. With all of these components taken into consideration, a transcriptionist working at home earning 20K part time can substantially increase his/her earning power by just tacking on the savings stated above. This can amount to as much as 10K per year thus increasing earnings to 30K per year. Another factor is substantial tax savings related to using your home as an office. This too can increase your earnings substantially. As for benefits themselves, over the past few years many companies are now offering medical benefits, paid time off, pension plans, life insurance, etc. So all in all, being a transcriptionist can be very, very lucrative.


  • Do I need a transcriber to complete the program? Yes, absolutely. Typing without a foot pedal is difficult when it comes to doing the actual transcription in that you have to keep taking your hands off of the keyboard to manually control the audio. Using a transcriber allows you to keep your hands on the keyboard through the use of a foot pedal, which controls the audio movement (forward, backward, stop, and start). A transcriber also has functions such as, an auto backspace that will prevent you from losing your place. This is very important in order to maintain the concentration needed to properly transcribe the documents with the utmost accuracy.


  • Do companies test and hire your graduates for at home positions? Yes they do. We have had many national and smaller transcription companies test and hire our graduates following completion of the program.


  • Do you offer job placement assistance? Yes, we do offer job placement assistance. Although no one can guarantee a job in any field, we do our best to provide you with job leads and referrals for testing. To date, our track record for referring and placing graduates or having graduates hired by companies has been substantial. We pride ourself in not only offering great training, but also completing it with job placement.


  • Are you a member of the Better Business Bureau? Yes, we are a member of the BBB both online and locally. You can go to our home page and click on the BBB Reliability Seal at the bottom of the left menu to view our rating. We have been a member of the BBB for quite some time now and our reputation has been impeccable.


  • Do I have to be a resident of New Jersey to enroll in the program? No, you do not have to be a resident of New Jersey in order to enroll in our program. We are licensed by the NJ State Department of Education to offer our distance learning program nationally. This does not mean you have to reside in New Jersey. It basically gives you complete assurance that our training program and school guidelines are monitored and approved by the State of NJ; the same institution that licenses our grade/high schools and universities.


  • Do you offer online and phone assistance/support to your students? We offer both online support via email and via a toll free line. You may contact us via phone or email Monday through Friday between the hours of 10 a.m and 3 p.m. EST. You may contact us via email 24/7.


  • Am I required to take the final examination? If you would like to receive a certificate, the final examination is required. This certificate allows you to use the CAI school name as a reference to attest to training completion. We also cannot provide job placement assistance unless you receive your certificate.


  • How do I know if a school is legitimate? There are many private organizations related to the medical transcription field that list schools on their web sites. Many of these require a hefty fee to be approved by them in order to have your school placed on the site. This is fine, but when a school or business has to pay to be placed on a web site, it does not mean they are necessarily a good school unless the organization is providing their guarantee that they will refund your money if you are not satisfied with that particular school they list on their site. The key to selecting a school is to be sure it is approved by a governmental agency not a private organization. Our school is approved by the Dept of Education; the same institution that licenses our high schools and universities and is required to go through a rigorous license renewal procedure each and every year.

  • Why is your program less costly than many other programs? With medical transcription being such a sought after job because of its at home work possibilities and lucrative earnings, the training costs have reflected this. It is common sense that the more people want something, the more you charge them for it. Well, in my personal opinion, I don't feel this benefits anyone except the person providing the training. I've been in this profession over 20 years and have seen training costs soar, but have not seen anything that has substantially changed in the training process to account for these high increases. We at CAI offer you a quality program with all of the components necessary to become work ready that is priced accordingly.


  • Will I be able to talk with other students/graduates before and during training? Yes, you can talk with other students/graduates through our training MT Chat Forum, which is accessible from the menu. Over the years, this has become a great support system for both students and graduates. It also helps out prospective students with questions and concerns they may have prior to enrolling.


  • Do I need to purchase anything other than the final examination? No, there are no other components to purchase other than paying the exam fee. The exam fee at this time is $89.00. We do not include this fee in the program since many are budgeting and every little bit helps. This allows students to pay the exam fee when they are ready instead of paying it up front thus paying for something they will not need until 4 to 6 months down the line.


  • Is the audio you offer actual doctor dictation and does it encompass different dialects and levels of difficulty? Yes, the audio is actual doctor dictation "real dictation". This consists of different dialects and at various levels of difficulty. It is based on acute care transcription, which is the most difficult area of training, but also the area where most medical transcriptionists are needed to fill at home positions on a national level.


  • Do I receive a certificate upon successful passing of the final exam? Yes, a certificate is issued upon successful completion of the program and passing the final exam. This is necessary should a prospective employer require proof of training. This also allows you to use our school name as a reference for training completion.


  • Can two family members or friends share the same program? Although we do give a discount to two or more persons enrolling at the same time, we only allow sharing of programs by two members of the same household (please click on the family sharing on the menu to view details).


  • What is the refund policy? Our refund policy consists of a 7-day trial period. If for any reason you are dissatisfied with the program, you may return it within 7 days of receiving it. No questions will be asked. You may review full details of our refund policy by clicking on the refund policy link on our home page.


  • Do you offer payment plans? Yes, we do offer payment plans. Details can be reviewed by clicking on the Pay Plan link on the menu.


  • Once I enroll, how long does it take to get the study materials? We try to ship out the program on the day of enrollment, although sometimes we may be waiting for stock, so we have instituted a 7 to 10 day shipping time frame to facilitate these unforseen events. If you pay by personal check, there is a three-day wait for your check to clear prior to shipping the program.


  • I notice that many companies now do transcription via the Internet or phone line and I was wondering if I would use the same course equipment when I begin working. Basically, there are many, many transcription companies out there. Some may use the same equipment and some may not. You will eventually at some point in your career need what I call "tools of the trade". This may include several different types of transcription equipment.


  • Can I call or email present students/graduates and ask them questions directly? Unfortunately, because of problems with spam, we are no longer able to post emails on our testimonial page, however, you may visit our MT chat forum and chat with students. If you would like to speak with a graduate, please email us directly. We do have graduates that will allow you to contact them through us. You may also post a question on the MT chat forum directed to a graduate and they may answer. Some graduates still visit our forum when they are not busy working.


  • Do you feel that speech recognition programs will eventually replace medical transcriptionists? Definitely not. Because this field is so technical and ever changing, it is pretty much impossible to encompass the whole medical lingo on any type of software. Also, many physicians are ESL physicians (English as a second language) thus making use of this software alone almost impossible. I honestly don't see our jobs in any kind of jeopardy in the near future because of this software development. What this type of technology is bringing to the table for MTs is instead of typing a whole document from beginning to end, speech recognition produces a document that the MT willl listen to and edit rather than type as a whole. Complete MT training is required in order to perform this duty regardless and CAI provides this to their students. Our training provides you with MT skill to both transcribe a complete document or edit a document if need be.


  • What is EMR (electronic medical records)? Because this has been most recently instituted the past year or so by doctors and institutions due to Obama guidelines regarding healthcare documentation, many seem to think that EMR is a replacement of the traditionally transcribed document and thus taking away MT jobs. This could not be further from the truth. MTs have been transcribing electronic documents for years now. We type them via computer and then transmit them to the doctor or healthcare institution. Many doctors would then print them and store them in a physical file whereas now they keep them on computer servers so they can then be accessible to be viewed by or sent to other physicians regarding a particular patient. Also, because the EMR platforms are so vast and no one single platform has been instituted, many doctors find that until they institute one universal EMR platform, the purpose of the EMR ideal cannot be realized. Also, many doctors have not or will not institute this method due to the initial cost of purchasing an EMR software platform. In summary, because of the intricacy and importance of medical documents, MTs will always be required in some compacity to assure the accuracy of these documents.


  • What is a WAV player or computer based transcriber? A computer based transcriber or WAV player has a foot pedal and headphones.The foot pedal controls the stop and go motion rather than you having to remove your hands from the keyboard to stop, start, rewind, and fast forward. This unit also has an auto backspace, which you can manually set. Having this, allows you to remove your foot from the pedal, thus setting the dictation to automatically go back the amount of words you set the auto backspace to. This has pinpoint accuracy and is required so you do not lose your place or retype something you already typed. The transcriber is connected directly to your computer via a USB port. The transcriber controls are then located directly on your computer screen. This unit allows you to play the audio files you will be working on during your training and will also allow you to transcribe audio files via the Internet when you begin working.
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