What Are the Job Duties of a Medical Office Specialist?

Medical office specialist is an umbrella term that covers a variety of medical office functions, from administrative tasks to the technical work of medical coding. Medical office specialists often hold professional certification or a degree from a two-year college or technical school. Schools offering Medical Office Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

The job of medical office specialist varies by health care facility. In smaller offices, a medical office specialist may be called on to perform all of the following tasks, while in larger facilities, the medical office specialist may handle just a few, including the following:

  • Assist in the lab or patient treatment areas
  • Assist with insurance submissions
  • Handle billing
  • Order and renew prescriptions with pharmacies
  • Schedule appointments
  • Take dictation and transcribe recordings
  • Update and organize patients' records

Important Facts about this Occupation

Medical Records and Health Information TechniciansMedical Transcriptionists
Median Pay (2014)$35,900$34,750
Job Outlook22% employment growth (faster than average)8% (average)
Key SkillsAnalysis, integrity, interpersonal communication, attention to detail, computer skillsComputer skills, critical thinking, listening, time management, writing
Certification/LicensingProfessional certification preferred by employersAvailable, voluntary

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Areas of Expertise

A medical office specialist may be known by a variety of titles, depending on the specialist's particular area of expertise. Some of these specialties require additional training or certification. Job titles that may apply to a medical office specialist are as follows:

  • Medical Receptionist/Assistant/Administrative Secretary
  • Medical Billing/Claims Analyst
  • Medical Coder
  • Medical Transcriptionist

Education: Associate's Degree

Students pursuing an associate's degree as a medical office specialist often choose to concentrate in specific areas, such as coding or transcription. Coursework leading to an associate's degree for medical office specialists covers the following topics:

  • Advanced medical terminology, coding, and transcription
  • Psychology
  • Medical ethics and legal issues
  • Pharmacology
  • Health information management


Some schools offer programs leading to certification as a medical office specialist. Such certification indicates that the medical office specialist has completed coursework and training in the following areas:

  • Medical terminology
  • Bookkeeping and accounting for medical facilities
  • Health insurance claims and coverage
  • Government health care regulations
  • Medical coding

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:

Popular Schools

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