Medical office assistants help keep hospitals, medical centers, physician's offices, and other medical facilities running smoothly. These professionals perform a range of administrative duties, including interviewing patients to help complete insurance and privacy forms, scheduling and confirming patient appointments, greeting visitors and answering their questions, answering telephone calls, and receiving insurance co-pay payments. In some medical facilities, medical office assistants may also help prepare patients for basic exam procedures.
Medical office assistants must have a good understanding of medical terminology and office procedures. Their communication skills help them liaise with medical professionals and patients. Medical office assistants are also well organized, to help them multitask, and flexible enough to adapt to changing technologies. Their discretion helps them keep the sensitive information of patients confidential.
Medical Office Assistant Job Education Requirements
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical office assistants require no formal education or training. However, medical office assistants typically require a diploma, certificate, or associate's degree in medical assistance. These courses teach basic biology, office administration, and clinical training topics including medical terminology, accounting, insurance processing, and medical ethics. Additionally, candidates may obtain optional certification through the American Association of Medical Assistants to gain a competitive edge.
Medical Office Assistant Job Market
As with other professions in the healthcare field, strong growth is accepted for medical office assistants. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects jobs in this field will grow 29 percent between 2012 and 2022. Most medical office assistants move on to more senior roles such as office managers or clinical supervisors after gaining several years' experience in this role, vacating their positions for new medical office assistants to take their place.
Medical Office Assistant Job Salary Information
On average, medical office assistants earn an hourly wage of $12.70. Average annual wages for these professionals range from $20,475 to $35,665.