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Medical Receptionist Training Information and Career Options

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a medical receptionist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and salary to find out if this is the career for you.

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Medical receptionists can find work in any medical environment. Because of their positions and work setting, first aid training is required for most medical receptionist positions. To make themselves more attractive to employers, medical receptionists may consider completing a medical receptionist training certificate or degree program.

Essential Information

Medical receptionists work in hospitals and doctor's offices and are responsible for organizing appointments, maintaining patient records and managing non-medical supplies. A medical receptionist often can advance into practice management or patient care. A high school diploma or GED certificate is mandatory, and medical offices may prefer that these workers complete medical receptionist training programs resulting in certificates or associate's degrees. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most of the job growth for all receptionists is projected to be in the medical field during the 2014-2024 decade.

Required Education High school diploma or GED certificate; certificate or associate's degree preferred
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 10% (for all types of receptionists)*
Median Salary (2016) $29,386 (for medical receptionists)**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **PayScale.com.

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Training Information for Medical Receptionists

Programs for medical receptionist training are available through vocational schools and community colleges. Many of these programs can be completed in two years or less, resulting in a certificate or an associate's degree. Students enrolled in medical receptionist training programs learn about health and medicine topics, such as clinical procedures, medical terminology and physiology. Students in medical receptionists training programs generally concentrate on skills related to operating an office, such as typing, filing and patient management.

Training and education in first aid is also a mandatory part of any program for future medical receptionists. Some states allow medical receptionists to serve as medical office assistants, performing minor medical procedures, such as injections and X-rays. Individuals interested in pursuing a career as a medical receptionist also need to have experience with office technologies, such as copiers, scanners and fax machines. Some knowledge of current software programs used in doctor's offices and hospitals is helpful for employment as a medical receptionist.

Career Options

Medical receptionists work in all healthcare settings, including doctor's offices, clinics and hospitals. Advancement opportunities include becoming a medical office manager and moving up the administrative ranks to overseeing an entire practice's front office, according to PayScale.com.

Individuals with education and experience as a medical receptionist can also use the experience to begin a career as a medical assistant, which combines the medical office administration role of a medical receptionist with basic patient care. Individuals looking for employment as a medical assistant must complete a minimum of two years of post-secondary training from a community college or vocational school.

Medical receptionists can be responsible for office administration and managing patient records, and may even perform minor medical procedures. Training to prepare for these tasks can be acquired through certificate and associate's degree programs found at technical and vocational schools. Completion of a degree program can also help a medical receptionist advance their career when they are ready.

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