With as little as a postsecondary certificate, you may be able to secure a job as a medical secretary. An associate's degree provides more detailed and area-specific information. In addition, job opportunity projections for the immediate future are very favorable.
Schools offer certificate or associate's degree programs in medical administration or health information technology. These programs may include a clinical practicum. Students who complete these programs often go on to become medical secretaries.
|Education Requirements||Certificate or associate's degree|
|Projected Job Growth (2018-28)||16% (all medical secretaries)*|
|Median Salary (2018)||$35,760 (all medical secretaries)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Medical Administration Education Options
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many medical administrators receive special training before working in the field. Schools may offer certificates or associate's degrees in medical office administration. A certificate program often takes one year to complete, whereas an associate's degree requires two years of study. Certificate programs may cover keyboarding, healthcare laws, medical terminology, transcription and medical office procedures. Associate's degree programs typically include these same courses but also expand on more advanced administrative subjects, like records and office management.
Aspiring medical administration professionals might instead choose to earn associate's degrees in health information technology. These programs focus on medical records management, including the safety, confidentiality and availability of medical records. They provide instruction in topics like human anatomy, diagnostic procedures, insurance coding and medical-office financial management. These programs may also require students to complete clinical practicums.
Medical Administration Career Information
Medical secretaries perform many of the same duties as their counterparts who work in other fields. Common job tasks include drafting reports, scheduling appointments and managing databases; however, secretaries who work in healthcare settings also need to have specialized understanding of medical terminology, billing procedures, legal regulations and other subjects unique to the medical industry. Depending on the size of the organization, medical secretaries might also fill out medical forms, file reports and transcribe physicians' recordings.
Salary and Job Outlook
According to BLS data, there were 601,700 medical secretaries in the nation in 2018. These professionals earned a median annual wage of $35,760 in 2018, the BLS reports. The BLS further indicates that employment of medical secretaries is expected to increase 16% from 2018-2028, which is much faster than average among all the country's occupations.
While medical secretaries perform many of the same functions as office secretaries, they receive training in additional, medical-related areas such as medical terminology, medical records management, insurance coding and billing procedures. One-year certificate and two-year degree programs are available. Job opportunities are projected to increase at a much faster rate than the national average of all occupations.