Medical Administrative Assistant Certificate: Program Summary
Explore the curriculum and requirements of a medical administrative assistant certificate program. Learn about the employment outlook and optional certifications for those entering this field.
In a medical administrative assistant certificate program, students can learn how to prepare medical correspondence for healthcare professionals, assist in dictation, prepare medical documentation, maintain patient records, make patient hospitalization arrangements and order office supplies. Students can develop communication skills, improve computer literacy and learn about basic medical office functions, and a cooperative education experience is often included for real-world training among professionals.
To be admitted into a medical administrative assistant certificate program, students may be required to undergo assessment testing to ensure they meet minimal reading and math standards because schools may not require a high school diploma for admission. Some schools may require a criminal background. Students may also be required to hold cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid certifications.
In a medical administrative assistant program, students can focus on learning clerical skills. Most courses will focus on teaching students how to handle recordkeeping, billing and clerical duties in a medical office. Some medical-related courses may be included, but they will likely focus on the clerical side of the profession, such as terminology and billing procedures. Programs may include an internship opportunity where students work in a medical office. Some topics covered in a program include:
- Healthcare ethics
- Financial management for a medical office
- Insurance coding and billing
- Medical transcription
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical secretaries were expected to see a 36% increase in employment opportunities between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). In May 2013, the same source reported that medical secretaries earned a median annual salary of $31,890. That year, medical administrative assistants found the greatest number of job opportunities in the physicians' offices, while those working for state governments earned the most.
Continuing Education Information
There are no formal state requirements for medical administrative assistants. However, according to the BLS, individuals can seek professional assistant certification from various organizations, including the International Association of Administrative Professionals. Promotions in the field are ordinarily earned through time on the job and may include advancement into positions such as office manager or executive assistant.
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