Medical Administrative Assistant Education and Career

Find out what a medical administrative assistant does on a daily basis. Learn about training requirements and educational options along with employment possibilities. Schools offering Administrative Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

To work as a medical administrative assistant, you'll need industry-specific knowledge related to the healthcare industry, which can be obtained through a certificate or associate's degree program in medical office administration or a bachelor's degree program in healthcare administration. Due to an aging baby boomer population and the administrative support needed to handle these patients' cases, the job growth in this industry is much faster than the average job growth across all industries.

Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 22% job growth, which is much faster than average
Degree Options Certificate or associate's degree in medical office administration; bachelor's degree in healthcare administration
Certification National Healthcareer Association (NHA) offers a Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) credential

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Kind of Education Do I Need?

While you can complete a medical assistant administrative certificate program in about a year, you may be able to graduate from a medical administrative assistant associate's degree program in two years; however, you will need to complete general education requirements. If you earn an associate's degree, you have the option of continuing your education in a bachelor's degree program. During each program, you may have the opportunity to work in a clinic or doctor's office to gain practical experience in the field.

Coursework in these programs relates to the procedures and processes involved in working specifically in the healthcare industry. In addition, you'll gain administrative knowledge and skills that will assist in your career in a medical office. Courses you might take include:

  • Medical terminology
  • Medical transcription
  • Medical billing
  • Health insurance
  • Medical office technology

After earning your degree or certificate, you may choose to become certified. Certification as a medical administrative assistant may help you earn a higher salary or gain more skills.

What Might My Career Be Like?

As a medical administrative assistant, you may find work in a hospital, doctor's office, clinic or other healthcare setting. Employers look for a job candidate with an understanding of the latest billing and insurance technologies. You will work with doctors, nurses, insurance company representatives and patients on a regular basis, so a professional demeanor and good communication skills are also important. A medical administrative assistant may be responsible for many job duties, including scheduling, maintaining patient charts, third party billing, transcription, organizing medical records, bookkeeping.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for medical secretaries is set to grow by 22% between 2016 and 2026, which is much faster than average. The BLS projects there will be 703,200 medical secretaries employed by 2026, mostly due to an aging baby boomer population and their additional healthcare needs. In addition, the BLS reports that the median annual salary for medical secretaries in May 2017 was $34,610.

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:
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