Medical Secretary Associate Degree Programs

As a medical secretary, also known as a medical administrative assistant, you perform the facility's necessary administrative and clerical functions. This article looks at the kinds of coding and medical terminology courses you will take as part of an associate degree program, along with job expectations and outlook information for medical secretary positions. Schools offering Administrative Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Some Program Specifics?

A program can take you about two years to complete and may consist of 60-68 credits. You might earn an Associate of Science (A.S.) or Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in an area such as administrative support technology, medical assisting or healthcare management. While an A.A.S. can prepare you to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation, an A.S. is often geared to be transferred toward a bachelor's degree at a 4-year school.

Coursework in a program may include anatomy and physiology, medical ethics and law, medical billing and insurance, medical terminology, pharmacology, customer relations, medical coding and medical office procedures. You may be required to complete lab courses and an internship, at a school-approved healthcare facility.

Schools may give you the opportunity to pursue a degree online. Usually, these programs are delivered asynchronously, which allows you to access them at your convenience. Some programs are hybrids and include an internship component. Internships cannot be completed online and are subject to the same regulations as those located in on-campus programs.

Common CoursesPharmacology, customer relations, medical coding, office procedures
Career Education RequirementsDegrees recommended for medical secretaries
CertificationExam given by American Medical Technologists
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 22% growth (for medical secretaries)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Can I Find Medical Secretary Associate's Degree Programs?

As mentioned by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), while some medical assistants are high school graduates who develop their skills through on-the-job training, you're better off if you complete a formal, specialized education program. Though you can earn a certificate as a medical secretary, you might be well advised to pursue an associate's degree.

Throughout the country, there are many colleges and technical schools offering associate's degree programs that could qualify you to become a medical secretary. However, your chances of employment might be enhanced if you complete a program that's been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

The CAAHEP maintains an online directory of over 270 schools that offer accredited medical assisting programs leading to an associate's degree. Listings include both clinical and administrative medical assisting programs.

Can I Go to Work Once I Graduate?

Holding an associate's degree as a medical secretary can qualify you to apply for a position at many different healthcare-related organizations. These include state and local health departments, hospitals, clinics, doctor's offices, insurance companies, group medical practices and medical research departments.

Though not a legal requirement, certification might enhance your chances of being hired. Graduation can help qualify you to sit for an examination administered by the American Medical Technologists. Passing the examination entitles you to use the designation Certified Medical Administrative Specialist (CMAS).

How Is the Employment Outlook?

The BLS projected that employment for medical secretaries was expected to increase 22% from 2016-2026 ( This is much faster than the national average for all occupations. The latest salary figures were compiled in May 2018. At that time, the BLS determined that the median annual wages for medical secretaries were $35,760.

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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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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