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Medical Administrative Assistant

Education and Training – Associate’s Degree
Average Salary – $28,000
Job Outlook – Excellent

A medical administrative assistant is responsible for performing a variety of administrative tasks within a medical facility such as a hospital, clinic, or physician’s office. The exact tasks of a medical administrative assistant will vary from facility to facility but typically include filling out and organizing patient records, filling out insurance forms, and scheduling admissions and testing times.
A variety of administrative tasks which are less specific to world of medicine and health care are also often part of the role. These may include greeting customers, answering telephones, writing and sending correspondence, and managing billing and payments.

Education and Training Requirements

The requirements for a medical administrative assistant vary and there is no universally required standard of education or training. It is generally expected that candidates should have a minimum of a High School Diploma to begin their training as a medical administrative assistant.

Although not essential, there are a range of accredited courses for medical assistants which give candidates a big advantage in securing a job. These are often two year courses which result in an associate’s degree. Often, these courses will involve a period of internship in a health care facility, which is a great experience for candidates to learn the job skills in a real world environment.

Regardless of whether candidates have a formal qualification in medical assistance or just a high school diploma, a lot of on the job training is required. This typically involves showing the medical administrative assistants the practices and procedures specific to the health care facility where they will work.

Getting the Job

Due to the lack of formal education requirements for this role, a large part of securing the job is down to displaying the right personal characteristics. People seeking to become medical administrative assistants need to show they are mature and caring individuals with a high level of attention to detail. Working within healthcare requires an immense amount of precision as the tasks involved make a real difference to people’s lives. Badly kept records or misplaced patient information can have serious consequences for people’s health.

Work experience within a healthcare facility is desired by employers and having an educational background in health or scientific fields is also an advantage.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Like all jobs in health care, there is expected to be a large increase in medical administrative assistant roles. This is due to the expansion of the health care industry. A combination of factors, such as federal health care laws, an increasing population, and the fact that the average age of the population is increasing will lead to a greater demand for health care workers at every level of the industry.

There are various possibilities for advancement for medical administrative assistants. Some may undertake additional training which enables them to move into nursing. Others may get promoted into a management role and be responsible for overseeing an administrative team within a health care facility.

Working Conditions and Environment

Medical administrative assistants work within health care facilities. These can be hospitals, clinics, or doctor’s offices. They typically spend time in the office or records keeping department of facilities as well as taking on a customer facing role, either at reception desks or through direct interaction with patients in treatment areas. Medical Administration Assistants typically work a 40 hour week and this may involve evening and weekend shifts.

Salary and Benefits

Newly qualified administrative assistants can expect to earn around $20,000 a year with the median salary being $28,000. Certified assistants with years of experience who have obtained a senior role may earn in excess of $40,000. Health care and paid sick leave are typically offered to people within this career.

Where to Go for More Information

American Association of Medical Assistants
20 North Wacker Dr., Ste. 1575
Chicago, Illinois 60606

American Medical Technologists
10700 West Higgins Rd., Ste. 150
Rosemont, Illinois 60018

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
1361 Park St.,
Clearwater, FL 33756

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesHealth & Medicine