Doctor's Office Receptionist Career Info and Education Requirements

Doctor's office receptionists require little formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and employment outlook to see if this is the right career for you.

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Essential Information

Doctor's office receptionists perform administrative and clerical duties. They also provide customer service to the doctor's patients. Training and education requirements for this position vary by employer. Some doctor's offices hire receptionists with just a high school diploma while other employers may prefer candidates who have completed a formal education program, such as those that result in a certificate or associate's degree.

Required Education Varies, may range from a high school diploma to 2-year degree
Projected Job Growth 14% for all receptionists and information clerks from 2012-2022*
Median Salary (May 2013) $28,190 for receptionists employed in physicians' offices*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Doctor's Office Receptionist Career Information

Doctor's office receptionists keep medical offices running smoothly. Basic job duties include processing and filing patients' insurance information and medical records, phoning or faxing patient prescriptions to pharmacies, ordering and stocking medical inventory, scheduling appointments, answering phones and preparing invoices. They must also have knowledge of medical terminology, as well as laboratory and clinical procedures. Because medical information is stored electronically, medical receptionists should be proficient with computers and computer software.

Career Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that the continued expansion of the healthcare industry will contribute to a 14% increase in employment for receptionists between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). The average annual earnings of receptionists employed in physicians' offices were $28,190 in May 2013, according to the BLS.

Educational Requirements

Educational requirements for doctor's office receptionists may vary by employer. While some employers may provide on-the-job training, many prefer their medical receptionists to have some knowledge of medical office procedures. Although associate's degree programs may be found, most medical receptionist programs are part of diploma or certificate-bearing programs. These programs, found at many technical schools or community colleges, are usually completed in less than a year.

Common course topics include patient history documentation, patient scheduling, medical terminology, medical insurance and coding, business computing, medical laws, keyboarding and doctor's office procedures. Students may also participate in internships or co-op education to obtain on-the-job training. In addition to coursework, medical receptionists must be proficient in answering telephones and using office equipment.

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