Medical Office Manager: Job Duties & Career Requirements

Mar 25, 2019

Discover what type of work a medical office manager performs. Learn about the skills and education that are necessary as well as employment outlook and salary to decide if this is the right career choice.

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Career Definition for Medical Office Managers

As the director of operations in a medical practice or healthcare facility, medical office managers - often called medical practice administrators or managers - have responsibilities such as hiring, managing non-clinical personnel, overseeing budgets, and supervising all business practices from records administration to billing procedures to treatment scheduling. Medical office managers in large organizations may even direct a team of assistant managers responsible for various clinical subsections.

Education Bachelor's degree for office managers, master's degree for generalists
Job Skills Conflict management, leadership, problem solving, communication skills, financial management
Median Salary $98,350 (2017) for medical and health services managers
Career Outlook 20% growth (2016-2026) for medical and health services managers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Though educational requirements vary by employer, most medical office managers have a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration or comparable degree, and those looking to apply for generalist positions should pursue a master's degree accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). Accredited curricula includes courses in health policy, information systems management, human resources, financial analysis, and healthcare organization structure. For the greatest career potential, graduates should then apply for and pass a written examination to become Certified Medical Managers (CMMs) through the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM).

Skills Required

Medical office managers must be very organized and have excellent leadership skills; they must also stay informed on current healthcare operations and technologies. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical office managers should be skilled in finance and information systems and able to communicate and motivate others effectively. Excellence in conflict management and problem-solving are crucial to handle various aspects of a medical office manager job, from office staff to appointment scheduling to budget maintenance.

Career Outlook

The BLS forecasts that medical office management jobs will grow at a pace of 20% in the decade from 2016-2026, with especially positive prospects for skilled business managers who have substantial healthcare experience. In 2017, medical and health services managers, including medical office managers, had a median salary of $98,350, according to BLS figures.

Alternative Careers

Related careers include:

Medical Secretary

If a job performing administrative duties in a healthcare facility or clinic is desired but management responsibilities are not, becoming a medical secretary could be a good career option. Medical secretaries schedule appointments and hospital procedures, document medical histories in patient records, file insurance claims and manage billing activities, in addition to other tasks such as answering phones, assisting with patient check-in and organizing files.

To qualify for employment as a medical secretary, a high school diploma is necessary, and some employers prefer to hire those with computer skills and knowledge of medical terminology and procedures. The BLS has projected 22% employment growth for medical secretaries between 2016 and 2026, with over 129,000 new jobs created during that time. As reported in May of 2017, medical secretaries received median yearly compensation of $34,610.

Administrative Services Manager

Similar to the function of a medical office manager, an administrative services manager has supervisory, budgetary and facility management activities, but in a non-medical environment. Administrative services managers also determine business department goals, acquire necessary supplies and make sure data is organized in a proper manner.

Depending on the size and complexity of the organization or company, educational requirements range from a high school diploma to a bachelor's degree in facility management, business or engineering. Obtaining professional certification from an organization such as the International Facility Management Association may also be beneficial when seeking employment. According to data provided by the BLS, administrative services managers should experience faster than average job growth of 10% from 2016-2026. The median annual salary of these managers is $94,020, as estimated by the BLS in 2017.

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