Looking for a great career that includes good pay, excellent benefits, and a safe, yet stimulating environment? Have you considered medical office administration jobs?
According to statistics, the medical office administration job market is projected to grow 18 percent from now until 2028, as the baby-boom population ages and requires more medical services. The health care industry will require more doctors and nurses, and these professionals will need expert managers to oversee those offices.
If you’re new to the medical administration profession, you will have questions about job descriptions, salaries, education prerequisites, to name just a few. To get those questions answered, and to see if this is the right job for you, read on.
What Does a Medical Office Administrator Do?
Medical office administrators oversee the day-to-day tasks of a medical office, hospital, or clinic. The job title can cover a variety of functions, ranging from actual patient care, data entry and management, record keeping, accounting, and customer service.
Typically, medical office administrators are involved in both direct and indirect patient care. They will interact with patients, doctors and nurses, insurance companies, and vendors.
Here are just a few things a medical office administrator might do:
- Answer the telephone, answer and send emails
- Update patient records
- Supervise supplies, deliveries, and inventory
- Perform billing and accounting services
- Arrange hospital stays for patients
- Help doctors or nurses with patient examinations
- Open and close the office
What Skills Does a Medical Office Administrator Need?
If you want to be successful at medical office administration, you should possess several “soft” skills, that is, skills that relate to how you do a job. While not necessarily taught in schools, these are skills you can always work to improve on your own, in preparation for a job in the medical office field.
Some of these skills include:
- People skills, meaning that you enjoy working with all types of people, and are patient, outgoing, and courteous.
- Organizational skills, as there will be much paperwork and data to manage and process.
- The ability to multitask, and work independently.
- You must be detail-oriented and precise.
- You must be a person of integrity and understand and agree to a certain level of confidentiality.
Technical skills that apply to this type of job include:
- Computer literacy
- Basic math and analysis
- Excellent written and verbal communication ability
- The ability to train, teach, and manage other people
Of course, there will be specific knowledge you will need to acquire for a position in the medical office field, and you can get this via a short-term training experience and program of study.
What Kind of Education Is Required for Medical Office Administration Jobs?
Chances are you’re not interested in years and years of training, and the good news is you don’t need all those years for this type of job. The basic requirement is a high-school diploma or GED.
The next step is to enroll in a medical administrator training program, which you can do online, as well as in-person. These programs usually last only a year or two at the most, and, will provide you with all the necessary medical and technical coursework you will need for a job in medical office administration, including:
- Medical Technology
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Electronic Healthcare Records Management
- Insurance Billing and Coding
- Medical Office Procedures
Once you complete the coursework, your school will arrange for you to be officially certified as a medical office administrator via an accredited association, such as the National Healthcareer Association. An excellent school will also have a high rate of placement success and will assist you in securing a great job right away.
What Kind of Medical Office Environment Is Best for Me?
There are many different environments to practice your new career in medical administration, and you might want to consider which of these is most appealing to you.
Hospitals are one of the largest facilities that need administrators, and you will find you have more opportunities for advancement in this kind of setting. But hospital work hours are extremely variable, and you will be performing more patient care than in other medical office environments. If you are wedded to a traditional workweek and prefer being behind-the-scenes, hospital work may not be right for you.
Private practice work will require you to take on a variety of roles, because of the limited number of staff, compared to a hospital. You might even be the only administrator working in the office. However, the plus side is that here, you will build a variety of skills in a short amount of time, making you a valued employee, which in turn could position you in a higher pay grade.
Clinic work will be more routine, except for the occasional emergency event. You will do more scheduling and phone consultation, rather than direct work with patients, like in a hospital. Clinics run on traditional schedules and regular workweeks.
What Kind of Pay Will I Receive as a Medical Office Administrator?
In 2020, the average hourly wage for a medical office administrator is @ $15.12. Most full-time medical office jobs will offer benefits, such as medical, dental, and/or vision plans, as well as a 401K retirement plan. It is possible, as demand grows in the next decade, that the pay scale will rise, to attract more candidates to this field.
How Can You Advance Your Career As A Medical Office Administrator?
The great thing about working as a medical office administrator is that it offers some excellent opportunities for advancement. Even though you will start from the bottom doing basic admin jobs, a bit of hard work and dedication can open so many doors. Eventually, you can land a management role and start affecting change at a higher level.
If you want to advance your career, it’s important that you work hard and show your superiors that you can take on more responsibility. You should also consider furthering your education and getting an MBA in Healthcare Management. If you are interested in moving up the ladder, review MBAs in Healthcare Management and find a course that you can fit around your current job. That way, you can get qualified for a more senior position while still getting the experience that you need.
Networking is also a good way to find new opportunities, so look for any industry events that are happening nearby and go along. If you can make some good connections, you get a bit of a headstart when you start applying for positions.
Remember that entry-level medical office work can lead to higher management positions, with higher pay scales, provided you are excellent at what you do!
Ready to Get started?
If you’ve read this far, you may be ready to pursue medical office administration jobs by taking whatever next steps you need to be trained and prepped for interviews.
Invest in yourself and your future by contacting a medical office administrator training school, and get started on the road to an exciting career in an ever-expanding profession.
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