What's the Salary of an Entry-Level Medical Office Assistant?

Medical office assistants perform a variety of administrative duties while working in a medical setting at physicians' offices, hospitals and other health care facilities. Entry-level salaries can depend on your location and employer. Read on to find out more about how much you can expect to earn in this career. Schools offering Medical Office Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

A medical office assistant, also called a medical secretary, performs a variety of clerical tasks, including filing and maintaining patients' medical records; scheduling appointments, and managing insurance claims. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) had reported that medical secretary jobs are projected to grow by 22% from 2016-2026 (www.bls.gov).

Important Facts About This Occupation

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent; some postsecondary coursework may be beneficial
On-the-Job Training Usually lasts several months
Professional Certification Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) available by passing an exam administered from the International Association of Administrative Professionals
Key Skills Writing, interpersonal, and organizational skills; integrity
Similar Occupations Medical records technician, health information technician, medical transcriptionist

Salary Overview

As of May 2018, the BLS reported that medical secretaries earned an annual median salary of $35,760. Most earned salaries between $25,390 and $51,890 at that time. Your salary as an entry-level professional can vary, however, depending not only on your related experience but also your location and work field.

Salary by Experience

According to PayScale.com, in 2019, the median salary of an entry-level medical office assistant with less than 1-year experience was $30,262 while professionals with 5-9 years experience in mid-career level earned $32,669. An experienced professional with 10-19 years of experience earned a yearly median salary of $32,821 in that same year. Since PayScale.com relies on user-reported statistics, the information they provide is not guaranteed to follow any industry standards, although it can provide you with a general idea of what to expect.

Salary by Location

Geographic location can also affect your entry-level salary as a medical office assistant. According to BLS figures, medical secretaries in the District of Columbia had the highest mean salary nationally, earning $50,370 per year as of May 2018. Massachusetts, California, Minnesota, and Washington were the next highest paying states, all with an annual salary of over $40,000. The lowest annual mean wage ranged from $21,990-$33,090 were found in places that included Montana, Utah, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.

The BLS also reported that Texas, California, Ohio, Michigan and Florida were the five states with the highest medical secretary employment levels in May 2018. The average salaries for these states ranged from $33,520-$42,900. Delaware and Texas had the highest job concentrations at that time and offered average salaries of $37,110 and $34,150 respectively.

Salary by Field

Your entry-level medical office assistant salary can vary depending on the place where you work. The BLS reported that medical secretaries who worked for grantmaking and giving services had the greatest mean salary, earning $47,340 yearly as of May 2018. The five most common places of employment for these professionals were physicians' offices, general hospitals, dentists' offices, offices of other health practitioners and outpatient care centers. People working at these locations earned mean annual incomes of $35,930, $37,680, $40,350, $33,460 and $39,070, respectively.

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