Medical Administrative Services: Career and Salary Facts

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in medical administrative services. Read on to learn more about career options along with education requirements and salary information. Schools offering Administrative Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Do Medical Administrative Service Professionals Do?

There are several different career options within the field of medical administrative services, including medical assistant, medical secretary and health services manager. Medical assistants perform administrative duties and provide basic clinical care. Medical secretaries work solely in the office, where they set up appointments, manage medical records and perform other clerical tasks. Health services managers are the supervisors in medical facility offices; they are responsible for ensuring that operations run smoothly in terms of both the medical service and business-related aspects of the institution.

The table below outlines the general requirements for these career options.

Medical Assistant Medical Secretary Medical and Health Services Manager
Education Required High school diploma or associate's degree High school diploma or associate's degree Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Clerical and clinical programs Medical related, finance, information systems Healthcare management, health services administration
Key Responsibilities Filling out medical documents, maintaining medical records, clinical duties Directing phone calls, interacting with patients, arranging lab work Overseeing billing, creating business strategies, supervising medical assistants
Job Growth (2014-2024) 23%* 21%* 17%*
Average Salary (2015) $31,910* $34,330* $106,070*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are Medical Administrative Services?

Working in medical administrative services, your duties may include transcribing charts and medical histories, managing records and using medical software to perform clerical tasks. You can find a range of entry-level and managerial positions in medical administrative services.

Medical administrative services may also include directing phone calls, interacting with patients and arranging lab work. You may also have accounting duties, such as billing patients, ordering supplies and bookkeeping.

Jobs in this field might be found in doctor's offices, nursing care facilities, hospitals or insurance offices. For any position, you will need an understanding of medical terminology to create and carry out medical policies.

What Careers Can I Find?

If you are searching for an entry-level position in medical administrative services, you might consider becoming a medical secretary or administrative medical assistant. Job duties for these positions include filling out medical documents and maintaining medical records; however, you might also have clinical duties as an assistant.

With additional education and work experience, you can pursue advanced positions, including health information manager and medical records or health information technician. Medical records and health information technicians use a numerical coding system to keep track of patient data and maintain confidentiality. Working as a health information manager, you might be hired by a group of physicians to oversee billing, create business strategies or supervise medical assistants.

What Training Will I Need?

Entry-level positions may require a high school diploma or associate's degree while managerial positions generally require at least a bachelor's degree. Most employers require that medical secretaries and assistants have a high school diploma.

You can also gain training through an associate's degree program in medical administrative services, which covers basic medical concepts, finance and information systems. Medical assistant associate's degree programs can prepare you for the clerical and clinical duties of an administrative medical assistant.

Bachelor's or master's degree programs in areas such as healthcare management or health services administration can prepare you for a career in health information management. You can also gain similar training through programs in health sciences, public health or business administration.

How Much Can I Earn?

Your salary as a medical administrative service professional will depend on education, experience and location. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that medical assistants earned an average salary of $31,910 in 2015. In the same year, the BLS reported that the average salary for medical secretaries was $34,330 and $106,070 for health services managers.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you are particularly interested in the clinical aspects of working as a medical assistant, you might also want to consider a non-administrative medical position like a job as a licensed practical or vocational nurse (LPN/LVN). These nurses work under the supervision of doctors and higher-level nurses to provide basic care; they must complete an undergraduate certificate program and pass a licensure exam in order to practice. Alternatively, you could pursue an administrative position outside of the medical field. Secretarial positions are available in many different kinds settings, including the offices of businesses, law firms and government agencies. Administrative manager positions are also available in a wide range of industries; most require at least a bachelor's degree.

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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