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 should experience greater growth than general administrative assistant positions from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). Employment growth for medical secretaries is expected to be fast at a rate of 21% over that period.

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 2014, the BLS reported that medical secretaries earned a mean annual salary of $33,530. Most earned salaries between $22,270 and $47,300 at that time. On the other hand, PayScale.com reported a salary range of $20,065-$40,4041 for medical office assistants as of September 2015. Your salary as an entry-level professional can vary, however, depending not only on your experience, but also your location and work field.

Salary by Experience Level

Your salary as an entry-level medical office assistant could be affected by the exact amount of experience you have. In September 2015, PayScale.com reported that entry-level medical office assistants in the 10th-90th percentile range earned from $19,795-$38,318, while mid-career professionals in the same percentile range earned $19,750-$39,951. Experienced professionals earned between $19,889 and $47,010, while late career professionals made between $22,106 and $49,460. 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 Washington had the highest mean salary nationally, earning $40,700 per year as of May 2014. New Jersey, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Connecticut all provided mean yearly wages over $38,000 per year, which means that entry-level salaries should also generally be higher in these regions. The lowest average salaries ranged from $21,960-$30,590 and were found in places that included Arkansas, Kentucky, Idaho, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

The BLS also reported that Texas, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts were the five states with the highest medical secretary employment levels in May 2014. Average salaries for these states ranged from $30,530-$39,730. Delaware and Oregon had the highest job concentrations at that time and offered average salaries of $33,620 and $35,530, 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 junior colleges had the greatest mean salary, earning $40,980 yearly as of May 2014. 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 $32,340, $33,800, $37,920, $29,850 and $32,710, respectively. Additionally, dentists' offices ranked in the five industries with the top pay.

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