Doctor's Office Receptionist Career Info and Education Requirements

Sep 11, 2019

Doctor's office receptionists help medical offices function through processing patient information, performing inventory or managing phone calls and appointments. While there's no formal education required, many positions will require at least a high school diploma, certificate or associate degree in addition to the on-the-job training typically received in these positions.

Essential Information

Doctor's office receptionists perform administrative and clerical duties. They also provide customer service to the doctor's patients. Training and education requirements for this position vary by employer. Some doctor's offices hire receptionists with just a high school diploma while other employers may prefer candidates who have completed a formal education program, such as those that result in a certificate or associate's degree.

Required Education Varies, may range from a high school diploma to 2-year degree
Projected Job Growth 5% for all receptionists and information clerks from 2018-2028*
Mean Salary (May 2018) $31,210 for receptionists employed in physicians' offices*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Doctor's Office Receptionist Career Information

Doctor's office receptionists keep medical offices running smoothly. Basic job duties include processing and filing patients' insurance information and medical records, phoning or faxing patient prescriptions to pharmacies, ordering and stocking medical inventory, scheduling appointments, answering phones and preparing invoices. They must also have knowledge of medical terminology, as well as laboratory and clinical procedures. Because medical information is stored electronically, medical receptionists should be proficient with computers and computer software.

Career Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that the continued expansion of the healthcare industry will contribute to a 5% increase in employment for receptionists between 2018 and 2028 ( The average annual earnings of receptionists employed in physicians' offices were $31,210 in May 2018, according to the BLS.

Educational Requirements

Educational requirements for doctor's office receptionists may vary by employer. While some employers may provide on-the-job training, many prefer their medical receptionists to have some knowledge of medical office procedures. Although associate's degree programs may be found, most medical receptionist programs are part of diploma or certificate-bearing programs. These programs, found at many technical schools or community colleges, are usually completed in less than a year.

Common course topics include patient history documentation, patient scheduling, medical terminology, medical insurance and coding, business computing, medical laws, keyboarding and doctor's office procedures. Students may also participate in internships or co-op education to obtain on-the-job training. In addition to coursework, medical receptionists must be proficient in answering telephones and using office equipment.

A doctor's office receptionist is typically expected to have at least a high school diploma or a certificate or associate's degree. Because each office's procedures are different, on-the-job training is needed as well.

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