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Any Luck With Career Step?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I saw a link posted in the working and student mamas forum about Career Step for medical transcription. I am in desperate need of a WAH job and this sounds like it could work for me. I have 2+ years exp. working in a physical therapy billing office. So if you have any experience with Career Step please give me some feedback on it. My questions are:

Was it legit?
Did you complete the program, if so how long did it take?
Do you easily find steady work?
What was the cost from starting the program and being fully set up to work?
How many hours a day do you work?
How is the $$$?

I would greatly appreciate any info anyone has on this. I really need to make some $$$ from home. I have a 2 1/2 year old and a new 2 week old baby. I don't want to leave my kids but I really need an income. I have been a SAHM for 3 years now and I am pretty clueless about finding legit work to do from home. Dh is self employed so I would like to find something that provides a paycheck from an employer rather than try to be self employed too at this point, especially since his business isn't doing well right now.
post #2 of 12
I've heard good things about them. I have no experience with them though. I did get their brochure in the mail a few days ago but I haven't had a chance to look at it.

I know they have good placement numbers something like 96% of their grads find jobs relatively soon.
post #3 of 12
It's definitely legit. I'm starting with them on Monday. I actually have a Sallie Mae loan that is directly paying Career Step, so that tells you how legit it really is.

Billie is the person you need to talk to about this. I'm sure she will respond when she sees this thread.
post #4 of 12
.... For some reason this posted twice.
post #5 of 12
Was it legit? Yes, it is legit. If your looking into Medical Transcription, you want to attend a course approved by the AHDI (formerly the American Association of Medical Transcription). They set the standards for MT courses and employers know that graduates from these approved courses have the skills necessary to get started in the field.

Did you complete the program, if so how long did it take? The program is self-paced. I know a few people who have completed the course in only a few months. Others have taken a few years. It depends on how much time and effort you put into it. It took me about a year. I signed up just before my youngest son was born (again, not my brightest idea ). I actually didn't start on the course till months later. Even then, I was still adjusting to the late-night feedings and worked on the course VERY sporadically.

Do you easily find steady work? The success rate is really high, as mentioned by pp. I received a job offer less than a week after graduating. I have several friends who have been through the course and ALL were working within 3 weeks.

What was the cost from starting the program and being fully set up to work? There are several options you can chose. If you chose to take the course online, the platinum-level is $1560 and the gold-level is $1320. The Platinum-level offers job placement assistance, which I have heard wonderful things about. I never used it. Whether or not you will need to purchase anything else once you start working will depend on the company you work for (or whether or not you get your own clients). Some companies will provide everything, including a computer. My company provided all the software and some extra resource books. It was recommended that I purchase a Word Expander program, but I received a significant discount through the company. ---They do offer payment plans, Sallie Mae loans, and a scholarship to those who qualify. I'm not sure how much the scholarship is. Hubby makes quite a bit, so I think I received the minimum.

How many hours a day do you work? Again, this depends on who you work for and the contract you have with them. I chose to work part-time. I also work for a very flexible company. This way I can arrange my work schedule around my other activities (Being MOMS Club president, victim advocate, etc. ---- Activities which don't usually have a 'set' schedule).

How is the $$$? The US Department of Labor states "Medical transcriptionists had median hourly earnings of $13.64 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $11.50 and $16.32. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.67, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $19.11." ~http://stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos271.htm#emply
How much you make will be determined by your unique circumstances: How fast you type, how well you picked up the medical terminology, whether or not you use a word expander program, the difficult of your accounts, etc. Starting out can be difficult and it may take time to get used to your account specifics and the dictators. I actually made minimum wage for the first few months. I've been working for a year, this month, and my earnings are more on the high end. Again, though, this varies per MT.

It can be hard work, but I love it! I think that when it comes to working from home and being successful, you really have to find something you will enjoy. Hope that helps!!
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses! I requested an info packet off their website and I am looking forward to getting that. Billie thanks for answering all of my ?'s with such detail.
post #7 of 12
i'm about halfway through this program, could have been done by now if i had more time to work on it. I started August 8th.
I flew through most of it, because I used to be a nurse beofre i was a SAHM, so the medical terminology and anatomy and physiology stuff was just a quick review for me.
definatley legit. i spent tons of time looking into this place. You can check them out with BBB, i did.
post #8 of 12
is it Mac compatible? i do have Microsoft Word, if that helps any.
post #9 of 12
My company provided a software add-on for Microsoft Word that I use for work. I know that the course is definately Mac compatible. As for working, I think it depends on the company and whether or not your computer is compatible with their software/system. I'm assuming that since you can use Microsoft word, you can use other Windows programs? I don't think you would have a problem, but you may want to call the school and double-check.
post #10 of 12
OP, your previous experience won't change the course content, just so you know. It might get you through some sections faster--or not, you said it was medical billing? But everyone takes the same course. Medical billing is totally different and has nothing to do with transcription, as far as Career Step or work experience is concerned.
I'm a CS student, and I enjoy the program.
post #11 of 12
Glad to see that CS is the real deal. I just got their packet in the mail and I am really interested, as I have previous medical training and have been looking for an at-home job that will make use of that in some way.

One question I have, since they talk about how this is working on deadlines, how well does that fit with being a busy mom/running a family? Do you end up staying up burning the midnight oil just to get it done on time or is it more flexible than that?
post #12 of 12
It depends on the company you work for. Obviously, if you find your own clients you will have less flexibility and will work more to reach deadlines.

I work for a national company, one which is pretty flexible. There is a 'team' of MTs all working on my account. We give the company an estimate of what hours we plan on working. This lets them know if they need extra coverage for any specific shift.

The software is designed to upload the reports according to TAT (turn-around-time), so those that are more urgent are completed first. I log in, complete what reports I have time for that day, then log out. Because there is a 'team' working on this one account, we don't have to worry too much about deadlines, as there is always someone working.

Each company is different, though. Some companies ask you to work specific hours/shift. Others just ask that you put in X amount of hours within a 24-hour time frame. Some ask you to complete X amount of dictation minutes within so many hours. There are a lot of different options, just depends on the employer.
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