Medical Office Technology Associate Degree

Your career in medical administration can begin with an associate's degree in medical office technology. This article lists the types of associate programs you can find, along with common courses in transcription and terminology, plus some data about your potential career. Schools offering Electronic Medical Records degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Types of Medical Office Technology Associate's Degree Programs Can I Find?

If you're interested in working at a medical office, you can pursue a medical office assistant or medical office specialist program at a vocational school or community college. You also can enroll in a medical office technology or an administrative office technology program with a medical emphasis. Completion can lead to an Associate of Science or an Associate of Applied Science.

Degree FieldsMedical office technology, medical office specialist, medical office assistant
Common CoursesBilling and coding, medical terminology, computer information systems, data processing
Program FormatOnline or on campus
Job Growth*23% for medical assistants, 21% for medical secretaries

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Can I Expect During a Program?

A medical office technology program can consist of 60-98 credits. If you participate on a full-time basis, it usually takes two years to complete all requirements, but some programs only span six quarters.

A medical office assistant program is comprised of training in a number of critical healthcare administrative duties. Typical courses you may encounter include billing and coding, insurance reimbursement, medical terminology, medical transcription, computer information systems for medical offices and data processing. You also might take administrative classes in keyboarding, accounting and office management. There may be a number of practical lab sections, in addition to classroom lectures.

Schools may also require you to complete multiple internships. For instance, one particular type of internship may focus on billing and coding, while another may focus on general medical administrative duties such as transcription, patient relations and scheduling.

What Are My Online Program Options?

You may have the opportunity to take some of your courses for a medical office technology degree online. Internships and any lab sections usually must be completed at a healthcare facility. If you're already employed in the field, these in-person requirements may be fulfilled at your place of employment.

Other programs require you to complete all medical office technology classes on campus, but allow you to take general education courses online. Remote classes can allow you to turn in assignments, participate in class discussions and take tests on your computer. You might need to order specific software programs or online textbooks for your classes.

What Are Some Job and Wage Projections?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you may be able to secure a position as a medical administrative assistant or medical secretary with only a high school diploma and some on-the-job training. However, the BLS stressed that many administrative assistants are graduates of a 1- or 2-year formal training program, so you may have a better chance of employment if you hold an associate's degree.

The BLS projected that employment opportunities for medical assistants would increase 23% from 2014-2024. This growth was much faster than the national average for all occupations. Medical secretary positions were predicted to grow 21% during the same time.

Increases in job opportunities may be due in part to the ever-expanding healthcare industry, which is influenced by a growing senior population and advances in medical technology. These developments call for a greater number of well-trained medical support personnel, which includes medical office technology specialists. As of May 2014, the BLS reported that the median annual wage for medical assistants was $29,960. Medical secretaries earned a median yearly salary of $32,240.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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