Career Step Is Not A Scam

UPDATE: Be sure to read the comments after this post.

Lately this website has been visited by a number of people looking for work at home jobs in medical transcription (MT) who seem to be concerned that Career Step may not be legit. We looked at the issue a while back and wrote that we though they were reputable, but we decided to dig a little deeper because of all the recent interest.


Short answer: Career Step is not a scam, far from it; they’re one of the good guys.

Long answer: Scams abound on the web, especially in the work-from-home category. Desperate people, in a weak economy, are willing to take desperate steps to find a way to make money at home. They overlook the obvious signs that the pitch is too good to be true, and fall for scams. We know because we wrote a whole book about it titled Undress For Success The Naked Truth About Making Money From Home.

Medical Transcription is a field that scammers particularly like to abuse because, on the face of it, transcription sounds like an easy job—listen to a recording and type what you hear. Easy, right? Not.

An MT is a knowledge worker and, in a very real sense, a linguist and interpreter—a medical language specialist. Medical transcriptionists need to know Greek and Latin suffixes, prefixes, and roots. They also need practical knowledge of anatomy, physiology, disease processes, pharmacology, laboratory medicine, and medical report standards so they can accurately translate and type what they hear. And if you can’t type 55 words a minute accurately, you won’t even be able to keep up with your training. If you can’t type 100 words per minute virtually error-free, you’ll have a hard time making money.

Top medical transcriptionists (MTs) are even able to transcribe and edit at the same time; a skill they cultivate called prior line editing. Like a pianist in a bar who can chat with customers and play at the same time, experienced transcriptions can let recorded dictation go in their ears and out their fingers, while their eyes and brain double-check the line they just typed.

Scammers are quick to proclaim that there are jobs waiting for qualified MTs, and that’s true. But they lead you to believe that no matter what your background or skills if you buy their $400 course, complete with books and software, in a few weeks you’ll be making $100,000 a year. Wrong.

Here’s one version of a slightly different MT scam:

• You post your resume on one of the general job boards and mention
something about typing skills or the medical profession.
• They send you a professional-looking e-mail saying how impressed
they are with your background and ask if you’d be willing to take a
free medical transcription test. If you pass, they say, they’ll pay for
your training and guarantee you a work-at-home job. All you have to
do is buy their transcription software.
• They send you a tape, which you transcribe and send back to them.
You ace the test (of course). They rave about your potential.
• So you fork over $400 for what turns out to be awful software and
start to work on their so-called free course. When you complain
about the program they up-sell you on their ‘‘professional’’ software
and a foot pedal to make you more productive.
• But that stuff’s junk, too, so you ask for a refund.
• ‘‘Read the fine print,’’ they say. ‘‘We don’t do refunds. Have a nice

So what’s the deal with Career Step? As an Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) approved school there’d no question you’ll get your money’s worth. Career Step had to go through a rigorous Approval Committee for Certificate Programs (ACCP) approval process conducted by a joint committee of AHDI and American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) professionals who oversee the approval of both medical transcription programs and medical coding programs. Career Step is a certified school and you’ll find a lot of companies will even waive the typical two-year experience requirement if you’re a Career Step grad.

So what’s the problem? There are a few loud mouths out there that love to spread hate and discontent in online forums because it makes them feel important. They tend to be two types of people: 1) Those that are unable to find work, despite the demand for good MTs. They whine about how no one is willing to hire them and bad mouth their school—kinda like a cabinetmaker blaming his tools because drawers don’t fit. And 2) Those who (out of intermural competitiveness)  are advocates for other schools such as M-TEC and the Andrews School. Both schools—and others—offer fine training, but not necessarily better than Career Step.

Insiders suggest that part of the jealousy in the second instance stems from the fact that Career Step developed an out-of-the-box program, took a fresh approach, and developed all their own materials. Other schools use widely known books, workbooks and dictation training materials people are familiar with, so a lot of the “noise” about Career Step is because some people question the quality of such an approach despite the fact that ACCP found them perfectly competent. And as a competitive strategy the loud mouths claim the loyal opposition isn’t as good or even a scam. We won’t go so far as to say that some companies—the bottom feeders in MT training—would encourage shills to bad mouth Career Step, but that wouldn’t surprise us in the highly competitive MT training arena.

In the end, you have to do your homework. Medical transcription is a technical field requiring a lot of smarts, not something you dive into because you can’t find anything else to do. In fact, if you can’t do the kind of research required to find a good school you probably won’t succeed as an MT anyway. But if you’re willing to work hard and have the skills required, we think Career Step will give you the training you need to land a job and start working from home. If you think we’re wrong we want to hear about it. Leave a comment here with some facts, not just your opinion, and we’ll research what you have to say.

For more on a career as a medical transcriptionist and other telecommuting, freelance, and home-based business jobs pick up a copy of Undress For Success at:

I wonder how many errors in this post the pros found? Typing it I kinda felt like a guy talking to a psychiatrist, worrying about Freudian slips or worse.

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59 Responses to Career Step Is Not A Scam

  1. Shannon Devine says:

    I will be the first to be offended by this statement “out of intermural competitiveness.” Here is the reason I tell people how great M-TEC is: Because I don’t want to see other people (usually moms) struggle. I have a great job also by the way.

    Did you even compare the content difference of each school named? Did you notice that Career Step does not have actual teachers, much less CMT teachers? How can you say “Both schools and others offer fine training, but not necessarily better than Career Step.” I don’t think you did YOUR homework.

    Don’t you dare insult students of M-TEC saying we have some sort of high school attitude and go around saying a school is great just because we went there. I’m 38. I’ve been over that for quite a while.

    Unlike some schools, M-TEC does not pay people to sell their program; word of mouth does that just fine. M-TEC and Andrews students have never engaged in “bashing” of the other school. That is because both are respected because they sell quality and those who know — know.

    I think you did a great disservice, not to the schools but to the STUDENTS and potential students.

    Go back to these schools’ websites. CHECK which each one covers in detail. If you still say they are not necessarily better, you are very simply lying.

    This is what I have seen in the last 3-1/2 years. Graduates of M-TEC and Andrews saying they had a great experience with their schools, got a job, kept that job. Each recommend the other school as easily as the one they went to.

    CS students saying they got a job just fine. CS students saying they wished they went to a different school. CS students saying they cannot find a job because they cannot past the tests. CS students saying graduates of other schools are mean because they don’t say CS is the best.

    Sorry if the truth hurts but when you are trying to actually help people, you give them the truth. Anything else, like this article, does not help.

    You might be worried about typos– you should be far more worried about ACCURACY in your facts.

  2. Tom Harnish says:

    There’s no question that M-TEC and Andrews offer excellent programs, they’re probably the top two schools in the business. But that doesn’t mean Career Step has a bad one. And you have to admit the three of them are far superior to MT schools that are not ACCP certified, some of which are outright scams.

  3. Tom Harnish says:

    There’s an excellent post about Career Step at

    They take us to task for not mentioning, in the post above, the affiliate programs that promote Career Step, which they do; but they misunderstood what we wrote about shills. We don’t for a second think M-TEC or Andrews have shills touting their program or bad-mouthing others. Those two school are far too classy for such antics we said bottom feeders might be guilty of such under-handed tactics, and thats who we meant.

    They also mention that we didn’t make an issue of the fact that Career Step does not have instructors. We explained they use a very different approach to training, one that was good enough to meet the stringent requirements of ACCP and receive ADHI approval, but we didn’t point that out, and we should have.

    If you’re considering training as an MT be sure to go read the whole post, and by all means dig deep in the MTexchange site. There’s a lot to learn there.

  4. Joanna Eberhart says:

    Let me guess… Undress4Success is the latest to cash in on those Career Step referral fees – a tidy $50 a pop for anyone clicking that direction to sign up on your recommendation. Don’t worry – it’s probably the biggest moneymaker for people trying to recoup their tuition, too. You just park a favorable blog online and wait for the money to roll in.

    Sorry, but as Shannon says, you have obviously failed to do your homework. As a sucker who HAS completed the CS course and had to go on to supplement in order to fill in the gaps and undo much of the wrong information they taught, I can assure you that homemade booklets do NOT compare to legitimate materials, a student forum is not a legitimate source for answers, and CMTs versus no instructors at all is just too ludicrous to compare.

    In my ensuing years as an MT, I can assure you that employers do not find CS grads comparably trained to Andrews and M-TEC grads. The only reason CS grads were being hired was because the school had made a deal to funnel grads into mentoring in exchange for utilizing their sideline testing service to weed out general applicants. The sour grapes you hear nowadays is coming from those CS grads who suddenly find these deals have dried up and they no longer have an edge on other matchbook schools.

    Don’t fool yourself either about the value of an ADHI approval because that process was compromised almost as soon as they realized only two schools were likely to pass.

    If this speaks to the quality of information on this website in general, I think you have a credibility issue.

  5. Tom Harnish says:

    No, Joanna, we’re not an affiliate. We have no relationship whatsoever with Career Step or any other MT school. Our only interest in MT training has been trying to ferret out what’s best for people who are interested in becoming an MT, and because my daughter was scammed by, as you say, a matchbook school.

    I am, indeed, beginning to feel as if our credibility on this subject is questionable. We talked with a number of industry insiders and based our comments on the information they provided. I’m beginning to realize that we weren’t offered the whole story. Your comments are very interesting, and helpful. Thanks for sharing them.

    Since we seem to have the attention of passionate MTs, would anyone be willing to share their opinion on the impact electronic medical records will have on future MT’s careers?

  6. Kyle Royal says:

    I feel that the comments here are about as one-sided as the people commenting claim this article is. For one thing, it is an established fact that negative word of mouth travels much faster than positive word of mouth, and I note that even those who praise other schools in their comments focus on negative comments about CS, even those who have not taken the course! Tom Harnish is being swayed in his findings by the posted comments of two people who have absolutely no real credentials or backing for their comments. The credibility of those commenting is no more concrete than Undress4Success, if not less so, as there is no traceable research occurring or accountability behind these comments.

    Sure, CS has students who left the course feeling dissatisfied, angry, or feeling cheated. I can guarantee that M-TEC and Andrews have had the same thing occur. It is impossible, in this day and age, to offer any kind of service that will not have its naysayers. To take the negative comments of the few and dismiss the positive comments of the majority is little more than discrimination.

    One issue I would like to address that was mentioned in previous comments is the lack of CMT instructors at CS. The implication given by the previous commenters is that the lack of instructors is a guarantee of poor service, when in fact, it is anything but. As Tom Harnish mentioned, CS has taken a different approach to the process of MT education. The lack of instructors doesn’t harm the student’s ability to perform the coursework, especially with the extensive and available Student Support provided by CS employees, who are willing to work with a student for extensive periods of time in order to assist them with questions or problems. Some of these Support staff are CMTs themselves, and all are very knowledgeable about the MT field.

    The Student forums do not only allow students to provide each other with support, but are also constantly moderated by CS staff who comb through the forums, answering all questions that cannot be answered by other students. This helps to provide another level of support that is overlooked by naysayers who dismiss it out of hand as a ‘student forum’ and nothing else.

    Rather than basing what I have to say on hearsay, however, you are welcome to look at more credible sources than I. CS has been a member of the Better Business Bureau for about eight years now, and they have always maintained the highest possible rating – an A+. There have been only 8 complaints about the company in the past 3 years, out of thousands of graduates and thousands more current students, and all of those complaints were resolved.

    But don’t take my word for it:

    You won’t see me badmouth other transcription companies, because that helps nobody. Perhaps you might like to take that into account when you consider the motives of those who comment on the quality of CS. What I do know is that while, like any other company, there are inevitably those who will, as it was put, will spread hate and discontent, with or without a good reason. But those negative reviews have no bearing when considered against thousands of satisfied graduates and students.

  7. Valcore says:

    After reading such immature banter it makes me stop and really think about what I was about to do. If any website goes to such lengths to bad mouth and act so immature, it has me saying, well hummmm. Thanks but no thanks to any of those schools.

  8. Tom Harnish says:

    Don’t confuse the message with the messenger . . . and, if you’re serious about a career in transcription, don’t let your pique blind you to the fact that some of the very best, if not THE very best MT schools are discussed here along with Career Step.

  9. Tom Harnish says:

    If you’re a military spouse, you might be interested to know that Andrews School, Career Step, and M-Tec are approved by the Department of Defense to train military spouses under the department’s Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) education funding program. Much of the cost of MT training programs can be covered by MyCAA funds.

    The MyCAA funds are available to spouses of active duty, activated National Guard, and activated Military Reserve service members. Those who qualify can receive up to $6,000 of financial assistance to pay for education in high-growth, high-demand, portable career fields.

  10. Kyle Royal says:

    It might be worth pointing out that while some of these comments are emotionally charged or aggressive, none of them are immature or without merit, regardless of the point of view they put forward.

  11. Jim says:

    Thanks for your report. It is helping to ease my mind while making this decision for a MT school.
    Jim Allred

  12. Michelle says:

    I decided to go with the Career Step course after I saw the demo. I like how the course is all online and self paced so I can work on it when I have time and I don’t have to attend class. So far, I have really enjoyed it. Still in the beginning of the course but I am glad I decided to go with them. Check out the demo and see what you think. I found Career Step through a website that talks about what to look for in a MT training course. But the demo is what convinced me.

  13. Pat says:

    I’ve been an MT for 30+ years without one minute of formal training through a school; they just didn’t exist back in my day. We learned “on the job” and it worked out just fine. I’ve worked in hospitals, clinics and offices. I was a Supervisor for a large Radiology office for many years and trained girls – all without the benefit of “formal schooling”. When I needed to learn a new modality or a new dictator, I simply put my headset on and learned it – no big deal. I have worked for large MTSO’s and small MTSO’s. Not once in all the years I have ever applied for a job has anyone EVER asked me where I went to school…NOT ONCE!!!! The only thing anyone was concerned about was my experience. I now work from home for a large private practice AND I have a few private accounts that I do on the side as an IC. Instead of everyone bickering back and forth about which is the “better school” why can’t everyone just accept that each school will offer a different experience for each student. You will either do well or you will fail – its up to the student to decide – NOT the school.

  14. Meg says:

    AMEN Pat! You are absolutely right! It is not so much WHERE you are trained, but how good of an MT you actually are. Your employer is not going to care as much about where you came from as they are how experienced and accurate you are as an MT. I think all three schools mentioned above have definitely put out quality students. And, there are thousands upon thousands of MT’s who received NO formal training at all and are now working for major companies with good pay. If you do choose a school just make sure they are reputable. Do your homework. It really all depends on how hard you work and apply yourself. All you will need is a basic MT training to get started, as it will be up to your employer’s individual desires as to the way they want their reports dictated. And this can vary depending on who your employer is. So, you have to be adaptable. All three of the top schools (M-TEC, Andrews, and Career Step) can provide you with quality training if you really apply yourself to the courses. There is a reason they are the top three. Pick which one is right for you, and leave the others to make their own choices.

  15. Tom Harnish says:

    For the sake of people who come here looking for something, anything, that they can do from home Meg and Pat’s comments suggest that it’s possible to find work as an MT with no formal training. I don’t see how that’s possible. Let’s assume that someone can type 100 words per minute with essentially no mistakes a big assumption how do they learn all the technical terms, how do they learn to do the necessary research, to be a productive MT? Or am I’m just misinformed. . .can someone who is really good with a keyboard contact an MSTO and expect to get a job? If they can, can they expect to make a reasonable income when they’re paid for production (in other words, if they aren’t experienced and can’t bang out a lot of dictation, will they make enough to make it worth their effort?

  16. Meg says:

    I am not saying someone should assume they can get an MT job without training. I just know of people who did get “on the job training” like Pat did. The ones I knew started working for small town doctors, who were mostly likely very patient. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it DOES happen. They did not receive training while working for a huge transcription company like Spheris, and no one should expect that. But I do know people who just got “lucky breaks” and received on the job training. I do not know how it works. You would have to ask them! I personally would not feel qualified to start a job as an MT without schooling (I went through an online course myself), but I was just saying that I know people that have done so and are doing well now. So, it is not impossible. And my MAIN point was that it is not the name of the school you attend, but how ACCURATE and EXPERIENCED you are as an MT, that is going to get you a job. There are 3 tops schools, M-TEC, Andrews, and Career Step. Those are the 3 I chose from, and those are the ones I would encourage others to look into if they are interested in this as a career.

  17. Pat says:

    Of course I was not insinuating that anyone can sit down in front of a keyboard (even with great typing speed and accuracy) and bang out medical reports left and right. I was merely relating my personal experience of 30+ years without the benefit of formal training. Alot of us “old timers” only had books at our disposal back then to look up a word or we turned to our fellow worker and asked for help listening to a word. Computers??? They didn’t exist – the Internet?? That was just space-age stuff. I started on a Smith-Corona with white-out tabs. To this day, it would never occur to me to look up a word “on-line”… I still refer to my books; I guess you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. However, if there are schools available to teach the profession – and if you can afford to go – more power to you!!! Since I have been in the business for so long and have worked for quite a few different types of organizations, I just thought it was interesting that in all the years I’ve worked – not one prospective employer has ever asked me where I went to school. The only thing they were interested in was my experience; even the large MTSO’s never inquired about my school background. After reading all the comments going back and forth about which school was better, I just wanted to put things in prospective. It’s really all about the student and their own desire to learn no matter where they go to school. Good luck to all. PS Tom… my son is a US Marine stationed in Camp Pendleton in San Diego and I recently had the pleasure of visiting your wonderful city when I came to see my son.

  18. Candy T. says:

    What type of RSS feed do you use here, because i can’t seem to get it working with my reader… :( hopefully I’ll figure it out because I like this place!

  19. Tom Harnish says:

    Career Step recently raised $22 million in equity funding (venture capital) from DW Healthcare Partners II LP and BB&T Capital Partners II LLC. For what it’s worthj, investors don’t commit $22 million without carefully investigating where the money is going, who’s going to spend it, and how it’s going to be spent.

  20. T. Dish says:

    Credibility is always an issue when someone prognosticates about anything. Career Step is currently involved in a lawsuit as a defendant with multiple other defendants. There isn’t anything uncommon about being sued, but the nature of the suit is telling. Career Step is being sued for copyright enfringement, unjust enrichment, and fraud just to name a few of the causes of action. Many of the co-defendants are colleges aledgedly retailing their products. The suit also names affiliates that will be identified in the future as co-defendants. Apparently the companies that equity funded Career Step didn’t investigate carefully enough. Do yourself a favor and don’t throw good money after bad.

  21. Tom Harnish says:

    Care to offer a source for your allegations?

  22. T. Dish says:

    Allegations? 10th circuit court, Utah. Wilcox v. Career Step, et al. You have to, of course, pay for access to the docs. To change the subject a little, long live HIM training. All you students training to work in the medical field are entering a rewarding career. Good luck!

  23. Tom Harnish says:

    The case was filed December 30, 2008. DW Healthcare Partners II LP and BB&T Capital Partners II LLC announced their equity involvement March 2009. You’re allegation that, “the companies that equity funded Career Step didn’t investigate carefully enough” is ridiculous.

  24. T. Dish says:

    So, I guess from your response, with full knowledge, you’d throw 22M into a company that is being sued for a multitude of causes. Interesting. I presume that there could be many legitimate reasons for a business to invest in another business, time will show.

  25. Tom Harnish says:

    You seem to confuse accusation with guilt. And again you make allegations that they’re being sued for “a multitude of causes.” As before, care to offer a source? Far as I can tell there’s only been one lawsuit filed, and there are no associated cases.

    And no, I don’t have full knowledge. Neither do you.

    I’ve read the complaint and answer; but I don’t know what Career Step, the venture firms, and their lawyers know about the situation. But the fact is, the venture funds made the investment and their new president is in place.

    Why don’t you let the legal process decide?

  26. T. Dish says:

    No, as a student of the law I recognize filing of a complaint as legitimacy, not guilt. First of all, I highly doubt that you’ve read the whole complaint with the attendant evidence. That would take a lot longer than you’ve known about the case. It would take quite a bit of time to read 1,299 some odd pages. Secondly, if you had read the complaint you would know all the causes of action they are being sued for. As stated before, the registered suit is the source.
    I find it funny that you would take such great offense at the posting of this information when you are so adamant about wishing that the Attorney General’s Office and the BBB would do something about improper business tactics. The legal process is the way to take care of questionable businesses. Most people just don’t have the fortitude, money or time to demand justice. The legal process WILL decide.
    There also has not been an answer to the complaint, only a motion by defendants to have two causes of action dismissed. More on this later.
    Tom, I think it a commendable thing you do here and in your book. People need a source to rely on for information regarding how they spend their money on education and work related ventures. That I’ve stepped on your toes I sincerely apologize and hope that this forum will always remain an open forum for information.
    In response to your post in this thread dated Apr. 17,2009; 1. It is a commonly held belief that the nature of transcription will completely change, possibly to a more editorial responsibility. 2. The nature of the new tool that will replace the transcribing machine is not known but there are many technologies being developed, primarily voice recognition software. 3. There will be a VHS answer to the beta in the market, there always is.
    Take if for what it’s worth!

  27. Tom Harnish says:

    I haven’t taken any offense at the posting of this information, only at what’s presented without any attribution. Indeed I want people to present facts here and elsewhere on the site. But not just unsubstantiated accusations.

    And that’s what’s bugged me about all the other stuff on here (and elsewhere). People moan about how they took an MT course and then couldn’t get a job. So obviously the school is a scam and Career Step is by no means the only one they blame.

    As for the lawsuit, I read the answer to the complaint this morning. It was presented to the court on June 2nd, and an answer to the amended complaint was filed June 30th.

    No apology necessary, what we’re dealing with is a communication problem both between us and on the broader topic. In the end, all we want to do is to provide reliable information to people who are interested in work-at-home jobs. In this case, we received a number of inquiries asking if career Step is a scam. I’ve seen no evidence that it is. I also know enough about the venture capital business to know that someone doesn’t plunk down $22 Million if they think the company is ripping people off.

    Do honest people disagree? Sure, that’s why we have courts. Do dishonest people disagree? Sure that’s why we have courts. As you say, let’s let the legal process decide.

    As for the changing nature of transcription, I couldn’t agree more. You make a very good point, maybe the best one presented anywhere in these comments. For folks reading all this diatribe, consider this: Voice recognition and electronic medical records are primed to turn the industry on it’s head. Add to that the problem that a huge percentage of the MTs are ready to retire. Things are bound to change, perhaps more rapidly than in other fields in the case of transcription. Shift happens, as this video aptly depicts. It’s makes a very good point, your point, really. That is, are we training people for jobs that won’t even exist in 10 years? Or conversely, are we not training people for jobs that will exist?

  28. Valerie Reid says:

    Wow! My fire’s been doused for MT! About 8 years ago, I started attending MT classes but had to make a choice between that and another opportunity. I chose the latter. However, I enjoyed the classes so much that I’m now considering trying it again. Do you really think that MTs will be out of a job in a few years? That’s a little scary. What other Work-At-Home careers would you suggest for someone who doesn’t necessarily have great people skills, but loves to read, type and learn?

  29. Tom Harnish says:

    Don’t overreact to what you’ve read, Valerie. While the field is changing, just as automobile manufacturing and banking are changing, there will still be jobs for medical transcriptionists. They’ll probably be more supervisory supervising systems, probably, but ythe way to land one of those jobs is establish yourself today.

  30. lorraine Mcguire says:

    Having researched many Medical Transcription Schools, I have found to be one of the best! Their course content really prepares MT’s for the world of “Acute Care” with a real internship on a real account. The best part is they are a Transcription Company with clients nationwide, having tripled in size in less than 3 years! They have hired 100% of their grads and they have proved to be at 99-100% accuracy on the accounts they are working on. There is no other school that can make this claim about hiring their Grads! You can even be from Canada and that is not a problem. Good Luck!

  31. Tom Harnish says:

    Why didn’t you mention that you’re the Director of Sales for Inscribe, Lorraine?

    That kind of dishonesty makes me very suspicious of your company.

    Readers beware.

  32. Edie says:

    I have just finished reading all the posts regarding Career Step online school…an am as confused as ever! Iam very interested in taking up medical transcription as my new career–after being a ‘stay-at-home-mom for the last 18 years…raising 3 kids. I was basically leaning more towards Career Step online school–but want to make sure that that is the best online school to go with. We are a single income household–so you can understand my concern for me to dish out so much money on tuition. I want to pick the right school for me and want to be 100% sure I am to chose the right one.

    Out of the three top schools mentioned, I feel very strongly leaning towards Career Step. But I really need more guidance and advice before I make my final decision.

    FYI, I’ve always wanted to become a doctor (Pediatrician to be exact) since I was a young girl. But when I was in high school, I wasn’t very academically inclined in the math and sciences. I was very frustrated and gave up too soon. To top that, I was the youngest of six kids with elderly parents with little financial help. Basically, my dream was ‘kaboshed’ due to lack of financial and other support.

    I want to have a career and I really feel that Medical Transcription may be the one for me…regardless of my age (will be 45 in April). I have the all skills that is required to be successful as an MT. In other words, I have the drive and determination to become the best MT possible…but just need to pick the right online school. One more thing, would you suggest I check out my local community colleges instead…to save money?

    Thanks for reading my post!

    Still confused! Edie

  33. Donna says:


  34. Tom Harnish says:

    Unless your willing and able to provide some substantiation for your claim I have to assume you’re just a crank. Well?

  35. Lorraine says:

    I seem to spend a lot of time on these forums defending Career Step. Listen, if you have lousy spelling and grammar, or aren’t willing to devote long hours of practice to studying, it doesn’t matter what school you go to. You HAVE TO score extremely well on pre-employment tests, and you aren’t going to do that if you don’t study and practice. I am very gainfully and happily employed as an MT after having graduated from the Career Step program, and I would recommend it to anyone.

  36. Brenda says:

    Ultimately, you do get what you pay for, and Career Step is much more competitively priced (a.k.a cheaper) than the other top two, but that does not necessarily mean you are getting an a substandard education. You have to weigh what you need in an educational program with your financial circumstances.

    SUNY has adopted the Career Step curriculum for its medical transcription program:

    Also, if you do a search I know you will come up with some other reputable colleges (including state/community colleges) that use the Career Step Curriculum.

    It is unlikely that one would find reputable schools adopting a “matchbook” curriculum.

  37. Renae says:

    I really enjoyed the posts about this topic, both negative and positive.

    I’m in a position where I am going through Vocational Rehabilitation to find a career and training. My situation changed over the last year and had no choice but to find a stay-at-home and online employment.

    Voc Rehab helps people to find employment or self-employment that suits their aptitudes, needs, and personal desires. The reason they are recommending Career Step for me is because of my personal situation, cost of the education, and the rate of success for CS students. It has been tailored to meet my “PERSONAL REQUIREMENTS”.

    All that said, I am glad and grateful for this program. Not only do they provide a well-developed program that teaches you the basics, but they also provide you with the information and resources for other sites to TEACH YOURSELF as much as you want to learn. How you can be successful at anything if you just learn “basics” is beyond me?

    The changing industry is addressed in depth at Career Step. They have expanded their program to not just mention that Voice Recognition is changing MT work, but train you how to use it, how to adapt yourself to the various requirements of VR and to provide your best editorial self to the work.

    They also have expanded to provide RMT and CMT test training so that accreditation is possible for someone who has either graduated or has experience working as an MT for years. I think it’s important that your skills and aptitudes are addressed, but also training to continue learning and growing through dedication to the field.

    One of the biggest selling points for me of this program is the practicum and the reason I agreed to go for it is the fact that there are 800 dictations to go through, with everything from very clear dictators to dictators in loud places dictating difficult terms and phrases in something approximating English but not quite getting there.

    The best part of this program is that if I don’t “get it” I can go over and over and over something until it’s rock solid in my head and I truly understand. But it’s only if I’m willing to put in the work! It’s at my pace and I get out of it what I put into it.

    I have looked at the other schools mentioned here and they offer great training programs, but whether I would have chosen one of the others over CS is a mute question. I wasn’t offered the choice.

    Any way I look at it, I’m going to have an education that will provide me with the resources I need to get where I need to go.

    Tom, thanks for providing this forum.

  38. Nika van der Meer says:

    I hope you’re still posting comments about Career Step. I took the course and finished it in about 7 weeks in 2002, working on it at night (after putting in 8+ hours of work at my job) and weekends. I set a very strict schedule for myself and stuck to it.

    Right after I finished the course, I started applying for MT jobs. I got the second one I applied for. I worked for that company until they merged or (or were bought up by) a national company. The national company flew me out to their HQ on the east coast to give me training on their system for 2 days, sent me a computer with their software on it, and off I went.

    After just a few months working for the national company, I was doing so well that in addition to doing MT, I was asked to begin editing other MT’s work. I was also assigned to the toughest doctors they had in the toughest specialities because the company knew I could deliver.

    So if you worked hard at the Career Step course like I did, you could learn everything you needed to know to be a very successful MT. I liked the course as it is completely up to the individual how much time they want to put into it. I couldn’t see spending (at that time) 2 or 3 times as much for something that wasn’t going to be any better after investigating both M-Tec and Andrews. What really matters is what you bring to the course in terms of willingness to work hard.

    I have no connection whatsoever with Career Step other than having taken the course. I haven’t looked at their web site since 2003, so I didn’t even know whether they were still in business and ran across this thread while looking for something else on Google. I have told other people about CS but have never “referred” anyone to them or gotten a referral fee from them. I just tell people about my job, what I did to get it, and let them decide how they want to proceed.

    Probably a better indicator of whether someone is going to be a successful MT than looking at what course they took is to ask do they have the discipline to get the training, go after the work, and make a real job out of it.

  39. Johanna says:

    I am considering Career Step too, however; after doing so much research online, I’m even more confused. The Labor Statistics seem to indicate that the field of Medical Transcription is growing, but SO many other sources—to include my own physician say otherwise. IS the field of Medical Transcription dying out or not? Would Medical Billing and Coding be a better option? I’ve heard so many things about Medical Transcription dying out that I’m REALLY leery of buying the course— and I have to say that the Career Step program looks really good to me and I like what I’m seeing on their site.

    I’ve read through a number of these posts—-some of which are quite heated, but. . . in anybody’s opinion: are the MT jobs really out there?

    Peace All,
    the DragonLady—aka, Johanna

  40. Donna says:

    I have been working with a company that is teaching me MT through online training. I do have a trainer I am working with and taking a medical terminology course along with an English grammer course. I have not knowledge of the medical field at all. I have been doing this for about six months but only on a part time basis. I would like to get very good at it so I can quite my day job but until I do I need to continue doing this training on a part time basis. Should I go to a creditable school first? I am not sure what they could offer me that I am not already getting since both are online courses? I am loving what I am doing, but it just seems so hard to learn. I can’t understand some of the doctors that are transcribing especially the end of their words. I have a headset I listen through. Any feedback from anyone? I am getting pretty discouraged. Thank you in advance.

  41. Chris says:

    So what did you decide on? Our stories are very similiar and I would love to know what you decided/

  42. Cindy says:

    Hi Johanna….I’m anxiously waiting to hear responses on your question. I am 47 and considering training to be a MT also. I want to be sure that there will be a job out there for me when the time comes. Good luck to you!


  43. Amy says:

    Michelle…you must be one of those affiliate people. I saw this EXACT same posting on a forum earlier today while researching Career Step.

  44. Tom Harnish says:

    Figures. This is one of the reasons MT schools get a bad name. When people associated with a school are dishonest, it makes the school look bad too.

  45. Deb K says:

    I wouldn’t recommend signing on with Career Step unless you enjoy dealing with an arbitary computer program and having to pay increasing costs for extensions to complete the program. I left after Career Step had cost me so much money that I couldn’t afford any more expense and knew I’d made the right choice after reading online the number of Honor Graduates who can’t find a job, nor did Career Step help them in their job search. I decided to jump ship, despite the fees I had paid, and take on another much more hands-on, interactive program that guarantees positions after graduation for the most proficient in the student pool. It’s amazing what having a real instructor to work with can do to make your training that much more enriching and worthwhile. Don’t settle for Career Step’s computer program – sign up with a MT school that cares more about YOU than just getting your money. They’re out there. Career Step is just a big money making machine that doesn’t care about the individual…find a school that does – you’ll be so glad you did!

  46. Caron says:

    I am a current “student” of Career Step and am just about as frustrated as I have ever been in trying to get through something. I have found so many flaws in their program – I have pages and pages of notes on these flaws and errors and intent to report them to the ADHI,AMA, and whoever else I can find to stop this company from scamming people out of money. They say you can finish the course in four months . . . only if you can work on the program 24/7 maybe. The first part of the program was fine and I past it with flying colors. However, the second half of the program is rediculous in that they require you to complete about 600 reports before being allowed to take the final exam. They don’t prepare you for the second half up front. There is no way it should be necessary to complete that many reports in order to know what you are doing. They seem more worried about grammar and punctuation than they are about the medical knowledge and terminology you are trying to master to work in the medical field. They are setting you up for failure and their student/client support is terrible. I’m willing to sue to get my money back.

    Also, I have checked so many sources in my area (just outside of Atlanta) for doctors and hopsitals who use MT and can’t find any. Everyone I have talked to say because of all the enhanced technology out there, doctors are now doing their own reports – NOT USING MTs.
    Don’t waste your money on Career Step!!!!!

  47. Kayla says:

    Caron-I was just wondering how you found these errors and how you know that they are errors? Did you do any research? I’m asking because I am taking Career Step courses for MTE.

  48. Lynn says:

    I just finished taking the Career Step practical portion (dictation) of the final exam for the second time and I am convinced that no one can pass it. I am not stupid. I aced the written portion back in February but failed the practical and I am sure that I just failed again today. I cannot understand the idiotic doctors they put on the test to transcribe. I have no clue what they are saying in certain parts of each report. I have spent hours looking up words online and in the medical dictionary and other sources, but if you don’t know what they are saying, how can you look it up? I have wasted the past 22 months of my life doing this and I am furious. Do not waste your money or your time with Career Step. I had to pay for 3 extensions and I wish I had never read about them in Will Work From Home by Tory Johnson when I was out of work more than 2 years ago. What a complete waste. Their program is crap because the doctor dictation they use throughout the course is hard to understand. Foreign doctors should not be used at the beginning. We are in America and should have normal English-speaking doctors to train with. Also, regional accents should not penalize me as I know they will for today’s test. They are worthless and I want my $3,000 and my last 2 years back. What a freaking waste.

  49. Deborah Nichols says:

    I am currently battling it out with CS. Got in the 90’s on portion I of Final, bombed out in transcription portion because CS could care LESS about their sound files, having a techie available for the entire weekend (when may working people take the finals), and whether the equipment really works. If you call, they will “hear” you, but they will not “listen.” It is always YOUR computer that messed up. Took another shot at transcription (and I’ve been doing it for 20+ years)…got DOUBLE dictation on 3 file records….literally voice on top of voice. Kept having to log off and back on. Complained. Heard today that some paragraphs were missing on one of my reports and “what did you do?”. I’m really angry. Their ‘professional readers’ in one portion of the exam actually say ‘prostate’ gland, for Pete’s sake!! What profession do these people come from? I hope this time, I “pass the exam,” but if I do not, I will chalk this up to an expensive lesson…after I report to the BBB and Attorney General’s office.

  50. Tammy says:

    I want to work as a Medical Transcriptionist so I can work from home. I have looked at different schools and then looked at reviews from those who attended hoping this would help me make a decision. After doing all this I am confused but really considering MTatHome and wondering has anyone taken the medical transcriptionist course? I really feel after reading so many negative comments about Career Step that this is not the direction to go. I just dont want to get caught up in something that is a scam.

  51. Lynn says:

    There are many different schools for medical transcription that are good. I would do a lot of research before you choose the school to go through. You are right, you do need to watch out for work at home scams. MTatHome is not a scam. They have been training in medical transcription for over 13 years. Their course follows the AHDI curriculum standards. I know two people that have gone through the MTatHome course and they were very pleased. One of the ladies said that she got personal attention whenever she had a problem and is now working as an MT. My other friend is almost finished with their course. Which school to go through t is a decision you will have to make. Just do your research and take your time when trying to decide who to go through. Lynn

  52. Online Medical Transcription From Home says:

    Before anyone thinks a MT school is “a scam” check their BBB rating. There are many great MT schools and most of them bad mouth the other ones because they feel it helps their school, but it really just makes THEM look bad.

    I suggest MTACC. Not only because I work for them, but because I went there!

  53. Tom Harnish says:

    The BBB is a very poor measure of the integrity of a school, much less the quality of its curriculum.

  54. Emily says:

    Has anyone taken the MT course through At HomeProfessions, Weston Distance Learning? Is it a scam,? I am looking for a program that will help guide me on the right path to a future job. So many mixed messages on where to go.

  55. Sarah Niece says:

    I’ve been reading all I can here and at MTchat. I started out looking at Career Step, then checked into M-Tec, but they absolutely said it would take a year, even though I’m a registered X-ray tech who is cross trained in lab and worked as an ortho tech for several years and did transcription for 5 years in the 80’s and early 90’s for the radiologists I worked as a tech for. Now I’m looking at Andrews. Talked to Linda Andrews for quite a while yest, explaining my background to her and telling her I hope to complete the course in 5 months, working 40 + hrs a week on it. Any thoughts on Andrews?

  56. Tom Harnish says:

    Andrews is among the best, far as we can tell.

  57. JoAnna Quintana-Davis says:

    I am currently a student at Everett Community College in Washington. For their medical transcription program, they use Career Step as part of the training. This is where we do most of our work. All of the practicums, workbook work, and pretty much all the learning comes from there. However, we are led by real instructors from the community college. So far, I believe this training program has been amazing. Very challanging, but my brain is constantly in learning mode, which is what it should be in when you are training as a medical transcriber. I don’t know how it would have been if I would have done a training program strictly through Career Step, but doing it through the community college has been a great experience so far.

  58. Allison Bennett says:

    If Career Step is not showing you proof that you failed…How can it not be a scam? They got your money… All they want is more money for extensions! To many scams going on out there!!!

  59. Scott Faber says:

    Bollocks to this article. Poor student support, failure to fulfill promises and an overpriced and underwhelming curriculum have left me $2500 poorer and still without long term employment. I was told during the enrollment process that once graduated and certified I would be able to land a job easily (and they would help). All a pack of lies. DO NOT INVEST ANY MONEY WITH CAREER STEP!!!

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