Expansion of the health care industry over the next decade means that job prospects for medical administrative assistants are excellent, although the certified medical administrative assistant salary is modest.
Medical administrative assistants handle much of the paperwork involved in running a doctor’s office.
They take care of medical records and insurance forms. They also arrange for patients to be admitted to a hospital or to have laboratory tests.
In small offices, they may have limited clinical duties.
Assistants often are responsible for greeting patients and explaining a doctor’s instructions, so they must have strong communication skills and an understanding of medical terminology.
Most work full-time, but some medical administrative assistants may work part-time or on evenings or weekends.
Certified Medical Administrative Assistant Salary Overview
The certified medical administrative assistant salary is influenced by several factors, including their skills and experience, the type of office or clinic, and the geographic location.
According to PayScale, the average annual salary for a certified medical administrative assistant is $35,000.
This involves many different occupations in the medical administration field, such as:
- Administrative Assistant
- Medical Office Assistant
- Medical Receptionist
- Front Desk Receptionist, Medical Office
- Medical Office Administrator
- Office Manager
- Medical Records/Health Information Technician
The Bureau of Labor & Statistics does not report directly on Certified Medical Administrative Assistants. However, they do indicate the salaries of Medical Assistants in general.
The BLS median salary reported is similar to PayScale’s. BLS reports that the median annual salary for medical assistants is $33,610.
Training and Education Requirements
Medical administrative assistants must be high school graduates, and they may have completed one-year or two-year educational programs. They also receive on-the-job training.
Volunteering with a healthcare organization can provide helpful experience, as can related high school courses such as bookkeeping, health, and biology.
Community colleges and vocational schools offer one-year programs that lead to a diploma or certificate as well as two-year programs to qualify for an associate degree.
Required courses cover a variety of skills related to running a medical office, such as:
- Insurance processing
- Laboratory tests
- Medical law
Some programs also require students to complete internships in medical offices.
Medical assistants may provide some basic medical services in some states if they have completed the appropriate training.
There are numerous qualities and skills required from a certified medical administrative assistant. These include:
You must be precise when taking vital signs or patient information. This information must be accurate, so it’s essential to have high attention to detail.
You must be able to follow medical charts and diagnoses. You also could be required to code a patient’s medical records for billing purposes.
Medical administrative assistants should be able to use basic clinical instruments to take a patient’s vitals.
You will be communicating with patients daily, and some of these patients may be distressed. It’s essential to know how to communicate with them properly.
Job Descriptions and Outlook
Medical administrative assistants perform many tasks and must be able to work on several tasks at the same time.
The paperwork handled by assistants includes keeping patient records up to date and completing insurance forms.
They also schedule appointments, answer telephones, open the mail, take care of billing, and do some bookkeeping.
They must transcribe dictation and help physicians with articles, reports, and speeches.
They may order supplies, keep offices and examination rooms clean, and keep track of instruments used in exams.
In smaller offices, medical administrative assistants who qualify for clinical duties may give vaccinations, take x-rays, or dispense medication under a doctor’s supervision.
In a large office, they may work with several other assistants and specialize in a particular type of job.
Due to the aging population and advances in medical technology, the number of jobs for medical assistants is expected to grow 29 percent through 2026, making it one of the fastest growing occupations. More clinics and medical offices are expected to open, and they will need assistants to staff them.
Medical administrative assistants with education, experience, and certification can compete for the best jobs. They also have excellent opportunities for advancement to become office managers, and with additional education and training, to become nurses or seek other medical careers.
Certified Medical Administrative Assistant duties
A medical administrative assistant performs various tasks throughout the day, which vary from office to office. Some duties may include:
- Measure vital signs, like blood pressure
- Record patient history and information
- Give patients injections or medications as directed by physicians and permitted by state law
- Assist physicians with patient examinations
- Prepare samples for lab tests
- Schedule patient appointments
- Enter patient information into medical records
Administrative Medical Assistant vs. Clinical Medical Assistant
There is a difference between an administrative and a clinical medical assistant.
An administrative medical assistant, as the name states, performs administrative tasks. This includes filling out insurance forms, coding patients’ medical information, answering telephones, and scheduling patient appointments.
A clinical medical assistant performs more medical duties. It depends on the state where they work and the laws there. However, a clinical medical assistant may perform tasks such as basic lab tests, disposing of contaminated supplies, and sterilizing medical equipment.
Certification is not required to become a medical administrative assistant, but it demonstrates a greater knowledge that can enhance salaries and job opportunities.
The National Healthcare Association offers certification as a Certified Medical Administrative Assistant after successful completion of an examination that covers billing, insurance, and medical terminology. The association also provides specialized billing and coding certification.
Other organizations that certify medical administrative assistants include the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and the American Medical Technologists (AMT).
AAMA certification requires passing an exam after taking a course in medical assisting. Assistants also can become certified in a specialty like optometry or podiatry. AMT provides certification for medical administrative specialists as well as laboratory technicians, dental assistants, and other medical workers.
A significant professional association for medical assistants is the American Association of Medical Assistants, which was founded in 1955 to enhance the skills and professionalism of medical assistants. American Medical Technologists, established in 1939, is a certification agency and membership society.
Medical administrative assistants also may become members of the National Healthcare Association, the International Association of Administrative Professionals, and the National Association of Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants.
Most popular careers in Health:
- Medical Assistant
- Medical Billing and Coding
- Medical Transcriptionist
- Pharmacy Technician
- Health Administration
- Medical Sonographer
- Dental Assistant
Is Becoming a Certified Medical Administrative Assistant Right For You?
Based on the certified medical administrative assistant, as well as learning how to become one, is it the right job for you?
If you have a love of healthcare, but also want to stick with an administrative job, then this is probably the perfect job for you.
Do you want to become a medical administrative assistant? Let us know in the comments!
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