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As the baby-boom generation continues to age, healthcare offices, clinics, and hospitals should see increased demand. These facilities require support staff to run smoothly and meet administrative and clerical needs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 19% growth from 2019-2029 for medical assistants, making now a good time to pursue an online certificate in medical office administration.
This guide details common program requirements and potential career opportunities, preparing you to find the best online medical office administration certificate that meets your needs.
What Are the Best Online Certificate in Medical Office Administration Programs? Here Are Our Top Five:
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|1||Lenoir Community College||Kinston, NC|
|2||Craven Community College||New Bern, NC|
|3||Gaston College||Dallas, NC|
|4||Wayne Community College||Goldsboro, NC|
|5||Wake Technical Community College||Raleigh, NC|
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Best Accredited Online Certificate of Medical Office Administration Programs
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Lenoir Community College
|Kinston, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 19%||
Based in Kinston, North Carolina, Lenoir Community College champions affordable and career-focused education. The school offers a 15-credit, fully online medical coding, billing, and insurance certificate that teaches students the administrative and financial management skills needed to work in hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics.
This program covers the terminology and vocabulary that professionals encounter in various medical office settings. Candidates also learn about the fundamentals of medical billing, procedural coding (with an emphasis on CPT and HCPCS coding systems), and diagnostic coding.
Applicants can complete an online application and submit official school transcripts. Students must undergo placement assessment and demonstrate general education competencies. LCC provides a variety of financial aid.
Craven Community College
|New Bern, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 29%||
Craven Community College traces its history back to the early 1960s. Today, the institution enrolls over 3,000 students in academic and technical programs, including certificates in medical office administration. Candidates can complete a fully remote curriculum through Moodle or create a hybrid learning experience by taking some classes at the school's campus in New Bern, North Carolina.
Certificate students may enroll in a 14-credit general medical office or 15-credit medical billing and coding track. They can also pursue an 18-credit patient service representative certificate to learn about healthcare customer relations and office editing.
Craven maintains an open-door admission policy that welcomes any applicant with a high school diploma or the equivalent. The college offers low tuition prices based on residency status.
|Dallas, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 31%||
With a student population of over 5,300 individuals, Gaston College is one of the largest community colleges in North Carolina. The institution maintains three campuses and delivers remote learning opportunities through Blackboard. Candidates can enroll in an online medical office administration certificate program to learn the computer and management skills necessary for entry-level work.
To earn this certificate in medical office administration, students complete courses in comprehensive keyboarding and medical terminology. They also examine insurance and billing, with a focus on third-party payers and form preparation. Additionally, the program includes a medical legal issues class that covers the legal requirements for practice; liability concerns; and the relationships between provider, patient, and office personnel.
Applicants must complete a residency determination form and an online application. They should also submit official school transcripts and apply for financial aid.
Wayne Community College
|Goldsboro, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 26%||
Wayne Community College — located in Goldsboro, North Carolina — enrolls about 3,200 students each year. In addition to affordable campus-based programs, learners can pursue remote options like online medical office administration certificates. These programs train candidates to schedule appointments and complete insurance claims.
WCC offers a general certificate in medical office administration and specialized tracks for medical scribing and medical insurance. Additionally, students may enroll in a 17-credit dental office administration program and learn billing/coding procedures and terminology specific to the dental field.
Applicants need a high school diploma or GED certificate. Depending on their target program, candidates may need to take a reading placement test. WCC offers federal funding, flexible payment options, and institutional scholarships.
Wake Technical Community College
|Raleigh, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 18%||
Wake Technical Community College supports more than 74,000 students across six campuses and multiple training sites, making it the largest community college in North Carolina. The school delivers distance education through Blackboard, with program options like an online medical office professional certificate. This 18-credit course of study prepares graduates for entry-level employment.
Like other certificate in medical office administration programs, this pathway helps students develop practical text entry and spreadsheet formatting competencies. Distance learners also take two classes in medical office terminology. They round out their training by completing a simulation, using accumulated knowledge to solve daily challenges as an office administrator.
Applicants complete a residency determination interview and online admission form before submitting school transcripts. Wake Tech offers loans, grants, and scholarships.
Surry Community College
|Dobson, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 30%||
Surry Community College offers accessible academic programs to diverse students, including online credentials like a 17-credit certificate in medical office administration. Students can choose a generalist curriculum or follow a medical billing and insurance track.
Required coursework includes keyboarding, office editing, and medical terminology. Candidates who pursue the medical billing and insurance certificate also develop procedure and diagnostic coding skills. For students who want to extend their education, SCC offers a 44-credit diploma and a 120-credit bachelor's degree in medical office administration.
In addition to low tuition, distance learners benefit from a variety of financial aid opportunities, such as Finish Line Grants for students facing personal hardships. SCC also provides career coaching services that help candidates build their resumes and prepare for interviews.
Vance-Granville Community College
|Henderson, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 43%||
Vance-Granville Community College operates within the 58-school North Carolina Community College System. The institution delivers distance education through Moodle and offers three options for students who want to earn a certificate in medical office administration.
The level one certificate program helps candidates develop a strong foundation in medical language and office procedures. Students who enroll in the level two program hone advanced skills for customer service with an emphasis on workplace ethics and healthcare laws. VGCC also provides a medical coding specialist certificate that prepares candidates to oversee information systems in hospitals, insurance companies, and laboratories.
Coursework overlaps with the associate degree plan, allowing certificate holders to easily complete their two-year credentials later on, if they want to. VGCC operates an open-door admission policy that only requires students to complete an online form and apply for financial aid.
Randolph Community College
|Asheboro, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 42%||
Randolph Community College maintains a flagship campus in Asheboro, North Carolina, and serves about 2,800 students annually. The school's academic catalog contains an online certificate in medical office administration that prepares graduates for entry-level support positions. Graduates can also pursue associate and/or bachelor's degrees. Distance learners can complete a fully remote curriculum or take some day and evening classes for a hybrid experience.
The 18-credit certificate program contains classes like medical terminology, legal issues, and insurance and billing procedures. Students cultivate practical skills for daily office tasks, including phone etiquette and inventory control. They also learn to use and maintain office equipment like printers and fax machines.
Prospective learners complete an online application and — depending on their enrollment status — take a placement exam. Through Moodle, RCC also offers an online medical office administration diploma program that includes 36 credits of coursework.
Pitt Community College
|Winterville, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 22%||
Pitt Community College delivers affordable academic programs and technical training that prepares graduates for career success, baccalaureate transfer, and global engagement. The school's catalog contains an online medical office administration certificate program. Through a flexible curriculum, candidates gain the skills needed to work as billing specialists and patient access representatives.
To earn a certificate in medical office administration, distance learners complete classes like office software applications and electronic health records. They also delve into advanced coding methodologies for insurance claims and patient updates with regard to HIPAA regulations. The program ends with a simulation experience that tasks students with applying learned skills to solve practical problems.
PCC maintains fall, spring, and summer entry dates. All applicants must complete a residency determination request to discern their tuition status. The college funds ample scholarship programs, including awards for students with interest in high-need occupations.
Fayetteville Technical Community College
|Fayetteville, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 20%||
Fayetteville Technical Community College serves over 11,500 students, many of whom obtain their credentials remotely through Blackboard. Learners can earn certificates in medical office administration that prepare them for careers in medical offices, hospitals, and insurance companies. Students who complete a certificate program earn credits that can be applied toward an associate degree.
FTCC offers certificates for electronic billing, medical coding, and dental office specialist. Students can also earn a patient service representative certificate by completing coursework in medical legal issues and terminology. These certificate tracks include 17 credits, which most candidates finish in two semesters.
First-time students need a high school diploma or GED certificate. After completing an online application, candidates take a placement exam and apply for financial aid. The FTCC Foundation funds a variety of scholarships and grants.
What Can I Expect From an Online Certificate in Medical Office Administration Program?
While certificates vary by institution, programs typically include 15-20 credits, with flexible courses that accommodate students with busy schedules.
While certificates vary by institution, programs typically include 15-20 credits and offer flexible courses that accommodate students with busy schedules. A full-time learner can generally expect to complete a certificate program in less than a year. Additionally, certificate credits can sometimes be applied to degree programs.
Certificate programs may prepare graduates to sit for certification exams, such as the medical administrative specialist exam. Such credentials can make candidates more competitive when applying for jobs. Additionally, programs may specialize in medical coding or certain medical office procedures.
The curriculum of a medical office certificate program provides an overview of medical terminology, such as anatomy and physiology terms and medical shorthand. Coursework also covers various medical legal issues, general keyboarding skills, and data entry.
Successful administrators tend to be detail-oriented and possess strong interpersonal, computer, and communication skills. Occupations such as medical bookkeeping require some math skills, as well. These professionals typically work in an office environment.
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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Certificate in Medical Office Administration Program?
Specific coursework differs from school to school, although you will likely encounter the same basic curriculum at most institutions. Foundational courses teach students important medical terminology and how to carry out the day-to-day tasks they will encounter while working in a medical office.
As many jobs in this field require a lot of time at a computer, students take keyboarding courses to develop efficient typing skills. Courses help learners develop speed and accuracy.
- Medical Terminology
These courses provide an overview of prefixes, suffixes, and root words commonly used in the healthcare field. Additional topics include anatomy, physiology, and pathology. This vocabulary is essential to understand what occurs in a typical medical office. Students who complete this course should be able to spell, pronounce, and define many medical terms.
- Word Processing
These courses aim to familiarize students with word processing applications. Students learn to effectively prepare documents used in medical offices and take advantage of related software functionality.
- Records Management
Many professionals in this field oversee medical records and scheduling. A records management class covers the creation, upkeep, security, and transfer of medical records in varying formats. Coursework also focuses on geographic, numeric, and subject filing methods. Students who complete this course should be able to set up and manage an efficient record filing system.
- Text Entry and Formatting
These courses aim to familiarize students with business reports, memos, and tables. Upon completion, students should know how to enter information quickly and accurately.
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What Can I Do With an Online Certificate in Medical Office Administration?
A medical office administration certificate-holder's career prospects look bright in the near future. The BLS projects 19% growth for medical assistant jobs, as well as 8% growth for medical records and health information technicians from 2019-2029. This growth is much faster than the projected growth for all occupations in the U.S.
However, not all jobs in this field are booming — the BLS also projects a 2% decline in medical transcriptionists during that same time period. Be sure to check out job forecasts for different positions before picking your program.
- Medical Transcriptionist
Medical transcriptionists listen to and reproduce audio recordings as written reports for healthcare professionals. They may also translate medical shorthand into long-form copy using speech recognition technologies and word processing applications. Transcriptionists must have a familiarity with diagnostic procedures, treatment assessments, and medical terms.
- Medical Records and Health Information Technician
Medical records and health information technicians oversee and sort data to maintain standards of quality, accessibility, accuracy, and security. Technicians generally work at computers and hold regular office hours. Some workers can enter this field with a postsecondary certificate, although many positions require an associate degree.
- Medical Assistant
Medical assistants take care of clinical and administrative tasks in medical offices and hospitals. Their day-to-day tasks differ depending on the type of medical office they work in. General tasks include taking patient information and scheduling appointments.
These individuals are not physicians' assistants. Medical assistants cannot diagnose and treat patients.
- Medical Bookkeepers
Bookkeepers track a facility's expenses and transactions. They use spreadsheets and various accounting software for tasks such as payroll management and patient billing. To work in a medical setting, bookkeepers need to be aware of medical terminology and procedures specific to clerical work in the field.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Certificate in Medical Office Administration Programs
- What is a medical office administration certificate?
This certificate helps prepare you for career opportunities in healthcare offices or related settings. Programs focus on medical terminology and computer literacy. These programs may also provide eligibility for professional certification, such as the medical administrative specialist credential, which can make you more competitive when applying for jobs.
- What can you do with a medical office administration certificate?
A medical office administration certificate can lead to careers like medical assistant, office administrator, bookkeeper, records and health information technician, and transcriptionist. Certificate-holders can also work in a wide variety of medical settings; job opportunities exist at clinics, hospitals, insurance companies, medical supply companies, and private practices.
- Is a medical office administration certificate program hard?
Certificate programs are not as intensive as associate or bachelor's programs. They tend to be shorter and offer flexible scheduling options to accommodate your schedule. Many courses, such as keyboarding and word processing courses, apply to a variety of fields.
- How long does it take to get a medical office administration certificate?
Programs generally require 15-20 credits, and full-time students usually finish in less than a year. Additionally, if you attend an accredited certificate program, these credits may transfer to medical office administration programs at the associate or bachelor's level.
- What's the highest-paying job you can get with a medical office administration certificate?
Medical records and health information technicians who work in hospitals earn some of the highest salaries in this field, making a median annual wage of $45,710. Workers who serve in administrative/support services and professional, scientific, and technical services also tend to make more than $43,000 a year.