What Does a Medical Administrative Assistant Do?

Medical administrative assistants perform a variety of duties to aid in the efficient workflow and operations of a medical-related facility. A number of industries employ medical administrative assistants. Some typical duties are discussed in this article. Schools offering Administrative Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Duties

Medical administrative assistants perform general administrative duties specific to the healthcare industry. General responsibilities may include answering the phone, greeting patients and visitors, ordering supplies, sorting mail, bookkeeping, and creating invoices. Tasks that might require specialized knowledge include updating and maintaining patient medical records, processing insurance forms, scheduling patient appointments or medical procedures, and coordinating lab services. They may also assist physicians or medical personnel with various tasks, including transcribing dictation, writing correspondence, or preparing reports and presentations.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Required EducationNo formal education is necessary to work as a medical assistant, but most assistants have a high school diploma, and many do complete some form of postsecondary education. Some jobs may require assistants to pass an exam or complete an accredited program.
TrainingMany medical assistants receive on-the-job training once they begin work. This training can take a number of months to complete.
CertificationCertification is not required, but it is preferred by employers and can help applicants get a job.
Similar OccupationsDental Assistants, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, Medical Transcriptionists, Pharmacy Technicians

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Work Environment

Medical administrative assistants are employed in a variety of settings and their job duties vary depending on the employer. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), over 50% of medical assistants worked for physicians' offices in 2016. Others work for hospitals, chiropractors, optometrists, podiatrists, dentists, outpatient care facilities, and long-term care facilities.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

The BLS reported that medical assistants, including medical administrative assistants, earned a median salary of $33,610 a year in 2018. Those employed by junior colleges earned the most money in 2018, averaging $43,670 annually. Other high-paying employers included computer systems design and related services, amusement and recreation industries, insurance companies, and medical and diagnostic laboratories, per the BLS. The Bureau indicated that the employment of medical assistants were projected to increase by 29% between 2016 and 2026.

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