Associate's degree programs in medical administration are two-year programs that emphasize office procedures in medical settings, including communicating with patients, working with doctors to monitor patients and handling medical records. Students learn skills needed for professional telephone interaction, records management, office automation and customer service. A high school diploma or equivalent is needed to enroll in one of these programs. Voluntary certification is available in this field.
Associate's Degree in Medical Administration
Curricula for associate degree programs in medical administration balance healthcare principles and office administration topics. Common courses include:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Medical terminology
- Medical office procedures
- Medical coding and billing
- Medical ethics
Popular Career Options
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the career outlook for medical secretaries, administrators and managers is very favorable (www.bls.gov). The BLS projects that demand for medical secretaries will increase by 21% over the 2014-2024 decade, which is a much-faster-than-average rate. Demand for medical records and health information technicians is expected to increase by 15% over the same period. An aging population and technological advances within the field could help fuel this growth. Graduates should have a bevy of opportunities within the healthcare field. Some popular career options include:
- Medical manager
- Medical office administrator
- Billing and coding specialist
In 2018, the BLS reported that the average annual salary for medical secretaries was $35,870 and the average salary for medical records and health information technicians was $44,010. Those who supervise administrative workers in physicians' offices earned an average of $34,760 a year, according to the BLS in 2018.
Certification and Continuing Education Information
Some employers of medical office administrators prefer job candidates who hold professional certification. One organization that offers certification in this field is the American Medical Technologists, which awards the Medical Administrative Specialist designation. Students who want to further their education might choose to complete a bachelor's degree program in healthcare administration or a similar subject.
To summarize, associate's degree programs in medical administration prepare students for entry-level positions in the healthcare field, such as medical secretaries and health information technicians. Obtaining certification after completing the associate's degree program may benefit graduates in career opportunities.