Medical office assistants handle administrative responsibilities, such as coding and billing, in healthcare settings. Students who complete an accredited certificate program in medical office assisting are eligible to take an exam, such as the one administered by the National Health Career Association which awards the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) designation. Those currently working in a medical office administrative capacity may be eligible to complete a self-study packet and take the same exam.
Medical office assistant certificate programs can be completed in about one year, and some programs are available online. Program prerequisites include a high school diploma or GED.
Certificate in Medical Office Assisting
In addition to interpersonal communication and introduction to health occupations, medical assistant certificate programs typically include coursework such as:
- Introduction to health occupations
- Medical terminology
- Medical office procedures
- Medical coding
- Medical billing
Medical assistants of all types - clinical, administrative and specialty - are lumped together by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov); job growth for the category as a whole is predicted to grow at a much faster-than-average rate of approximately 23% from 2018 to 2028. The BLS also states that the median annual wage for medical assistants was $33,610, as of May 2018.
Continuing Education Information
Medical office assistants who have successfully completed a certification program can continue their education by applying to an undergraduate or graduate degree program in a related field. Continuing education opportunities also exist via professional organizations. Several related or advanced certificate, degree and certification options exist in the medical coding, medical records and health information technology fields.
Students in medical office assistant certificate programs learn skills in medical terminology, healthcare office procedures and billing and coding. Certification as a medical office assistant is optional and can be pursued through a professional organization.