Medical Office Receptionist Jobs: Salary and Career Facts

Research what it takes to become a medical receptionist. Learn about education requirements, job duties, average wages and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Medical Office Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Medical Receptionist?

Medical receptionists may work in a doctor's office, the office of other health practitioners or in hospitals, and they are responsible for answering phones, greeting patients, scheduling appointments and updating files. They may also assist patients with insurance billing. Medical receptionists should have strong organizational skills and will also review all incoming mail and deliver it within the office appropriately. They will order clerical supplies as needed, such as pencils, file folders and other items. As part of their duties they may call patients to confirm appointments.

The following chart provides more information about this career.

Degree Required High school diploma; postsecondary training options available
Key Responsibilities Answer phones, redirect incoming calls and take messages; schedule and confirm patient appointments or cancellations; perform some recordkeeping and filing tasks; greet patients and advise staff of arrival of patients
Job Growth (2014-2024) 10% for all receptionists*
Average Salary (2015) $29,450 for receptionists in a physicians office*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Do As a Medical Receptionist?

Medical receptionists typically offer the first impression patients encounter when visiting a medical office. As a medical receptionist, you also provide administrative support to the doctors or dentists you work with. To succeed in the position, you should possess tolerance for stressful situations, solid customer services skills and the desire to help people.

As a medical receptionist, you can expect to greet customers, answer the telephone, set appointments and manage multiple calendars. Other tasks include scheduling lab appointments for patients and working with bookkeeping or medical billing records. You may also receive co-payments for services, update patient records and verify the accuracy of documentation in patient charts.

Some medical receptionists also function as office managers or medical assistants. If you pursue a position that requires clinical medical assistant training, you can expect to work more closely with patients. Clinical medical assistants collect laboratory specimens, take vital signs and assist physicians with other procedures.

What Education Might I Need?

Most employers require you to have a high school diploma in order to work as a medical office receptionist, but some positions may also require some post-secondary education or certification. Some colleges offer courses in medical reception that lead to a certificate of completion. Medical office work requires familiarity with medical terminology and billing. As a result, you can expect to take courses in medical coding, office procedures, health insurance and customer service.

Some employers may prefer to hire candidates with administrative medical assistant training. Vocational schools and colleges offer medical assisting programs. You can expect to take courses in anatomy, medical terminology, biology and federal law pertaining to healthcare.

How Much Can I Earn?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that receptionists working in offices of physicians earned an average salary of $29,450 per year in 2015 (www.bls.gov).

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

General office clerks and secretaries share duties in common with medical receptionists. General office clerks and secretaries do not need postsecondary training, and they may be responsible for answering phones, greeting clients, scheduling appointments, updating files and filing information. Like medical receptionists, they benefit from strong organizational skills and may need to type documents.

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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