What Does a Medical Administrative Assistant Do?

Medical administrative assistants perform a variety of duties to aid in the efficient workflow and operations of a medical-related facility. A number of industries employ medical administrative assistants. Some typical duties are discussed in this article. Schools offering Administrative Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Duties

Medical administrative assistants perform tasks specific to the healthcare industry and general administrative duties. General tasks may include answering the phone, greeting patients and visitors, ordering supplies, sorting mail, bookkeeping, and creating invoices. Tasks that might require specialized knowledge include updating and maintaining patient medical records, processing insurance forms, scheduling patient appointments or medical procedures, and coordinating lab services. They may also assist physicians or medical personnel with various tasks, including transcribing dictation, writing correspondences, or preparing reports and presentations.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Entry-Level EducationNo formal education is necessary to work as a medical assistant, but most assistants have a high school diploma, and some do complete some form of postsecondary education. Some jobs may require assistants to pass an exam or complete an accredited program.
TrainingMany medical assistants receive on-the-job training once they begin work. This training can take a number of months to complete.
CertificationCertification is not required, but it is preferred by employers and can help applicants get a job.
Similar OccupationsDental Assistants, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, Medical Transcriptionists, Pharmacy Technicians

Work Environment

Medical administrative assistants are employed in a variety of settings and their job duties vary depending on the employer. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), over 50% of medical assistants worked for physicians' offices in 2012. Others work for hospitals, chiropractors, optometrists, podiatrists, dentists, outpatient care facilities, and long-term care facilities.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to PayScale.com, most medical administrative specialists earn between $22,654 and $53,756 a year, as of September 2015. The BLS reported that medical assistants, including medical administrative assistants, earned median salaries of $29,960 a year in 2014. Those employed by scientific research and development services earned the most money in 2014, averaging $36,670 annually. Other high-paying employers included insurance companies, personal care services, and dental offices, per the BLS. The Bureau indicated that the employment of medical assistants providing administrative and support services is projected to increase by almost 29% between 2012 and 2022.

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