Certificate in Medical Office Administration Program Guide

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By Marisa Upson

Published on April 14, 2021

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Every medical office and hospital needs a team of professionals to administer the daily tasks found in healthcare settings, such as billing, maintaining medical records, processing patient information, and greeting patients. The demand for many of these professionals continues to grow as the baby-boom generation ages and requires more medical services.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 19% job growth for medical assistants between 2019 and 2029, much faster than the 4% average for all occupations.

A certificate in medical office administration qualifies graduates to work as medical records and health information technicians, medical assistants, and medical office administrators. This degree also prepares students for medical office administration certification exams, which can increase both job and career advancement opportunities.

Should I Get a Certificate in Medical Office Administration?

A certificate in medical office administration typically requires 15-20 credits and takes two semesters of full-time study to complete.

For individuals interested in pursuing a career in administrative healthcare, an online certificate in medical office administration can get them in the door. While not all positions in this field require this certificate, graduates may find more job opportunities and advancement potential with the certificate.

Graduates with a certificate can start their medical office administration careers in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, private medical facilities, pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies, and nursing homes. An aging population and the increasing use of electronic health records results in continued demand for these professionals.

A certificate in medical office administration typically requires 15-20 credits and takes two semesters of full-time study to complete. Some schools offer accelerated tracks leading to completion in as little as one semester. Other schools provide flexible part-time programs that may be attractive to students with additional work or family responsibilities. Prospective students can find online, on-campus, and hybrid program formats.

Check out the Best Online Certificate in Medical Office Administration Programs

What Will I Learn in a Medical Office Administration Certificate Program?

Students pursuing a certificate in medical office administration gain an understanding of medical terminology, basic bookkeeping principles specific to the healthcare industry, and medical coding and billing. Typical courses include keyboarding, medical legal issues, HIPAA regulations, workplace ethics, medical office terms, and insurance billing.

Graduates gain the administrative, computer, and management skills needed to work in this growing technology-focused industry. Students gain knowledge in the medical software and electronic health records that store medical information and patient interactions.

Some schools offer specialized tracks that enable students to focus their education on areas such as dental office administration or medical billing and coding. Other programs end in a simulation that allows students to apply their learned skills.

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How to Get Into a Medical Office Administration Certificate Program

Admission requirements vary by school. Most require applicants to hold a high school or GED diploma. The online application process requires basic information, official school transcripts, and test scores.

A residency determination service establishes if a student qualifies for in-state tuition. Most schools offer financial aid opportunities, including grants, loans, and scholarships.

What Can I Do With a Certificate in Medical Office Administration?

Students with strong interpersonal and organizational skills that enjoy working directly with healthcare providers and their patients may enjoy working in the healthcare industry.

The BLS projects 15% job growth for employment in healthcare occupations between 2019 and 2029, resulting in the addition of more jobs than any other occupational group. Earning a certificate in medical office administration can lead to an entry-level job in this growing industry.

Graduates work in hospitals, private medical practices, clinics, nursing care facilities, pharmaceutical companies, laboratories, and health insurance agencies. Candidates with a certificate in medical office administration may qualify for numerous roles, including medical administrative assistant and medical records and health information technician.

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How Much Money Can I Make With a Certificate in Medical Office Administration?

Salaries for graduates with a certificate in medical office administration vary based on role, employer, and location. For instance, medical assistants earned a median annual wage of $35,850 in 2020, according to the BLS. However, medical assistants that work in outpatient care centers earned slightly higher salaries, with a median annual salary in 2020 of $38,860. Medical records and health information technicians earned a median annual wage of $44,090 in 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions About Certificate in Medical Office Administration Programs

What do medical office administrators do?

Medical office administrators provide administrative and clerical support to busy healthcare facilities and medical practices. Specific tasks may include answering phones, scheduling appointments, coding insurance claims, and categorizing patient information. These professionals carry out everyday duties in the healthcare industry.

How much does a medical office administration certificate cost?

While the price of a medical office administration certificate varies by school, programs typically cost a few thousand dollars. Out-of-state tuition can significantly increase certificate costs. Many schools offer grants, loans, and scholarships that can help reduce tuition costs for students.

How long does it take to get a certificate in medical office administration?

A certificate in medical office administration program requires 15-20 credits and takes about two semesters of full-time study to complete. Accelerated tracks can lead to a certificate in as little as one semester.

Is medical office administration a good career?

Individuals with good interpersonal skills who enjoy working with a team in a fast-paced environment may find a rewarding career in medical office administration. Healthcare occupations continue to be in demand due to an aging population. Some professionals go on to pursue an associate or bachelor's degree in healthcare administration, which increases salary potential.

Can you get a medical office administration job without experience?

Applicants with a certificate in medical office administration are competitive for entry-level positions in this field. Earning a certificate demonstrates to potential employers that you possess valuable skills and knowledge in the field even if you do not yet have professional experience.

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