Medical Administrative Assistant Certificate: Program Summary

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.

Essential Information

Students can develop communication skills, improve computer literacy and learn about basic medical office functions. In some programs a cooperative education experience is included for real-world training among professionals. Because a high school diploma may not be required by some schools, students may be required to undergo assessment testing to ensure they meet minimal reading and math standards.

  • Program Level: Medical Administrative Assistant Certificate
  • Prerequisites: Students may be required to undergo assessment testing to ensure they meet minimal reading and math standards; some schools may not require a high school diploma for admission
  • Program Specializations: Programs may include an internship opportunity where students work in a medical office
  • Other Requirements: A criminal background check may be required; students may also be required to hold cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid certifications.

Medical Administrative Assistant Certificate

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. Courses in this program may include:

  • Healthcare ethics
  • Financial management for a medical office
  • Insurance coding and billing
  • Medical transcription
  • Keyboarding

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 2014, the same source reported that medical secretaries earned a median annual salary of $32,240. 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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