2023 Best Online Medical Office Administration Certificate Programs

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An online medical office administration certification program can help prepare you for a number of fast-paced healthcare support careers.

Best Online Medical Office Administration Certificate Programs

Medical office administrators play a pivotal role in helping healthcare facilities run smoothly and improving patients’ experiences. They handle complex administrative tasks like billing insurance, hiring staff, and maintaining patient records. Individuals with strong customer service, management, and organizational skills may excel in this field.

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If you’re looking for a fast credential that can help you secure a satisfying job in healthcare, consider enrolling in an online medical administrative assistant certificate program.

Online Medical Office Administration Certification Programs

Woman pursuing Online Medical Office Administration Certificate

Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers diagnose and treat patients, but they can’t do this essential work alone.

Every healthcare facility has a skilled team of support staff who handle crucial administrative and operational tasks. These medical administrative professionals interact closely with patients and providers, often serving as helpful intermediaries between the two groups.

Some entry-level medical administrator jobs don’t require formal education, but obtaining a relevant postsecondary credential could help you boost your qualifications and marketability. A medical office administration certificate program can help you quickly develop the medical knowledge and technical skills required to succeed as a healthcare support professional.

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You can complete classes, hands-on practicums, internships, and other valuable learning experiences. The curriculum for medical office administration certificate programs generally includes a broad range of topics, such as:

  • Ethical issues in healthcare
  • Healthcare administration
  • Healthcare finance
  • Healthcare information management
  • Healthcare laws and regulations
  • Medical coding and billing
  • Medical terminology
  • Medical transcription

You can also develop essential skills that can aid you in your medical office administration career, such as:

  • Billing insurance companies and patients
  • Computer literacy
  • Customer service
  • Managing patient records
  • Ordering medical supplies
  • Organizing information and systems
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Tracking inventory
  • Oral and written communication

Your studies can help prepare you for a variety of careers in healthcare and other industries. You could use your medical administrative assistant certification to pursue positions like:

  • Billing specialist
  • Hospital receptionist
  • Information clerk
  • Insurance and claims specialist
  • Medical auditor
  • Medical office assistant
  • Medical records specialist
  • Medical transcriptionist

Most healthcare facilities need qualified medical office administrators, so certificate holders have many possible employers. For example, graduates can seek positions in dental offices, hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient rehabilitation centers, physician clinics, and other healthcare organizations.

If you enjoy working with medical information and helping people access healthcare, then earning an online certificate in medical office administration could be a strategic next step.

Medical Office Administration Careers & Salaries

Medical Office Administration Careers & Salaries

A certificate in medical office administration is a flexible credential that can qualify you for many positions in diverse industries.

Many graduates use their medical office administrative certificate to obtain a front desk or administrative position in the healthcare industry. For instance, clinics, hospitals, and rehabilitation facilities often hire healthcare support staff.

The administrative and interpersonal skills that you can develop during your certificate program can also make you an attractive candidate for employers in other areas. Relevant industries could include business, customer service, finance, human resources, marketing, and sales.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the median salaries for some common positions related to medical office administration.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Medical Records Specialists $46,660
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks $45,560
Financial Clerks $44,760
Medical Secretaries and Administrative Assistants $37,450
Information Clerks $37,450
Medical Assistants $37,190
General Office Clerks $37,030
Pharmacy Technicians $36,740
Medical Transcriptionists $30,100
Receptionists $29,950

The aging population, public health crises, and other factors have increased the need for medical services in recent years. In turn, the demand for skilled healthcare professionals has grown rapidly. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that several of these positions will experience faster-than-average growth over the next ten years. In fact, 13% job growth is projected for healthcare occupations overall.

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If you want to join a growing field with numerous career paths, a certificate in medical office administration could be a strategic choice.

Medical Office Assistant Certificate Curriculum & Courses

Students taking Medical Office Administration Certificate

Every medical office assistant certificate program has a unique curriculum, but you may have the opportunity to take courses similar to these:

  • Administrative Skills for the Medical Office: This course covers administrative procedures, healthcare systems, and software used to schedule appointments, register patients, and complete other tasks.
  • Electronic Health Records: This course teaches you the best practices for maintaining, protecting, and using electronic health records.
  • Healthcare Operations: You’ll learn how to complete everyday administrative and operational duties in healthcare facilities, such as communicating with patients and managing health information.
  • Insurance Billing and Bookkeeping: This class provides an overview of basic accounting principles in a healthcare context, such as bookkeeping and budgeting.
  • Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology: You’ll examine functions and structures of the human body, such as anatomical features, bodily processes, and organ systems.
  • Medical Insurance and Reimbursement: You’ll explore medical insurance laws and practices, medical billing, and records management systems.
  • Medical Law and Ethics: You’ll study medical regulations and ethical dilemmas in healthcare, such as bioethical problems, patient confidentiality, and medical malpractice.
  • Medical Terminology: This course thoroughly introduces key medical terminology, prefixes, and suffixes related to the body systems, diseases, and organs.
  • Pathophysiology and Pharmacology: You’ll learn how to identify human diseases and study foundational principles in pharmacology.
  • Patient Privacy: You’ll gain a thorough understanding of medical record security, patient privacy, and reporting requirements.

You may also be required to complete prerequisite courses in subjects like English, keyboarding, and math.

Admissions Requirements

Man preparing requirements for Medical Office Administration Certificate

Medical office administration certificate programs may have fewer admissions requirements than on-campus or online medical office administration degree programs. The admissions criteria for an online certificate program could include:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Letters of recommendation from employers or former instructors
  • Official transcripts from previous education institutes
  • Personal statement

Most schools also have an online application as well as an application fee. Some schools request ACT and SAT scores, but a growing number of programs no longer require standardized test scores.

Accreditation

University offering Medical Office Administration Certificate

Enrolling in a regionally accredited school to earn your online medical office administration certificate ensures that you can receive a high-quality education. Regionally accredited institutions have met rigorous quality standards set by an external agency.

Accredited programs offer many advantages. For instance, employers often prefer to hire graduates from accredited schools. Credits may also transfer more easily from accredited institutions, allowing you to change programs or pursue additional education. Plus, it’s necessary to attend an accredited school to receive certain forms of financial aid.

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As you research medical office administration programs, you can visit the US Department of Education’s website to verify each school’s accreditation status.

Medical Office Administration Licensure and Certifications

Bookkeeping & Auditing Clerks working in their office

An online medical office certificate program can help prepare you to sit for certification exams in the field. Examples of popular certifications include:

  • Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA): To earn CMAA certification, you’re required to pass a rigorous test administered by the National Healthcare Association. This credential verifies that you have mastered critical medical administrative assistant tasks.
  • Medical Office Administrator Certification: This credential demonstrates that you have a thorough knowledge of standard approaches and methods in medical office administration.

Professional certifications can demonstrate your knowledge of medical office administration and can help make you a more competitive applicant.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Medical Office Administration Certificate financial aid

Medical office administration certificate programs require fewer credits than associates or bachelors degree programs, which can make them more affordable. Many students still seek financial assistance, though, to reduce the upfront costs of their certificate program.

Depending on your program’s accreditation status and length, you may be eligible for federal or state financial aid. Some grants require a minimum number of credits, so shorter certificate programs may not qualify. You can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for federal aid programs.

Any student can apply for government or private student loans to help pay for educational expenses. You may also be eligible for scholarships. Many colleges offer institutional scholarships for students who meet specific criteria, and you can also apply for scholarships from community groups, professional associations, and other organizations.

What Can You Do with a Medical Office Administration Certificate?

Pharmacy Technicians working together

A medical office administration certificate can help you qualify for a range of healthcare support positions. Possible entry-level career paths include billing specialist, health information technician, medical administrative assistant, medical records specialist, and medical transcriptionist.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that many healthcare administration careers will experience greater demand over the next ten years as more people require medical services. An undergraduate certificate in medical office administration can help you launch a career in this growing field. You could apply your skills to administrative roles outside of healthcare as well.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Medical Administration Certificate Online?

Man taking Medical Office Administration Certificate Online

Most online undergraduate certificate programs can be completed more quickly than a full degree. Typically, a medical administration certificate takes two to three semesters to complete. Timelines can vary, though, as different certificate programs can require different amounts of credits hours.

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With full-time enrollment, some certificate programs can be completed in as little as 6 or 9 months. On the other hand, those with more course requirements could take up to 1.5 years. If you participate in experiential learning opportunities like externships or internships, it may take additional time to finish your program.

What’s the Difference Between an Online Medical Office Administration Certificate vs. Certification?

While a medical office administration certificate and medical office administration certification sound similar, they have some key differences.

Medical Office Administration Certificate Medical Office Administration Certification
  • Academic credential
  • Earned by completing specialized courses at an academic institution
  • Teaches approaches and skills for working in the medical administration field
  • Industry credential
  • Earned by passing an exam offered by a national or regional organization
  • Evaluates your knowledge of standard practices in medical office administration

Many online medical office administration certificate programs encourage students to sit for a certification exam so that they can graduate with both credentials.

What’s the Difference Between a Medical Administrative Assistant vs. Medical Assistant?

A medical administrative assistant program and a medical assistant program both prepare you to support healthcare providers, but these positions can have different responsibilities.

Medical Administrative Assistant Medical Assistant
  • Handles clerical duties
  • Has no clinical training
  • Focuses on patient support services, like answering phones and billing insurance
  • May handle clerical duties
  • Can perform hands-on clinical tasks, like administering vaccines and taking vital signs
  • May participate directly in exam rooms

A medical administrative assistant program may be a better fit if you prefer to focus on administrative and customer service duties.

Is a Medical Office Administrative Certificate Worth It?

Information Clerk discussing with a doctor

Yes, a medical office administrative certificate is worth it for many students. The short length of this certificate can allow you to complete your education and jump into your preferred position more quickly.

Many medical office administrators enjoy working in a fast-paced, patient-focused environment. You could directly improve patient care by solving challenging insurance issues, maintaining thorough records, and performing other clerical and customer service tasks.

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 8% job growth for medical secretaries and administrative assistants over the next ten years.

Universities Offering Online Certificate in Medical Office Administration Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer certificate programs online or in a hybrid format.

Beaufort County Community College

Beaufort County Community College

Beaufort County Community College offers a Medical Office Administration Certification program. This program may be an excellent fit for individuals pursuing entry-level support roles in the medical field. The curriculum spans 18 credit hours. Classes cover office fundamentals in the field of healthcare, like medical terminology, information systems, insurance billing, and communication.

Beaufort County Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Central New Mexico Community College

Central New Mexico Community College

Central New Mexico Community College offers a Certificate in Medical Office Administration. Potential classes include Information Literacy and Systems, Records Management, and Computers in Medical Offices. Accepted students can begin at any time, choosing part-time or full-time attendance. The program consists of 43 credits worth of classes that meet primarily on campus, though online learning opportunities may be available.

Central New Mexico Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Craven Community College

Craven Community College

Craven Community College offers a Medical Office Administration Certificate. This curriculum is designed to help students develop the skills needed to excel in a variety of administrative roles. Students must complete a minimum of 14 credit hours to obtain the certificate. Graduates often pursue careers in medical offices, hospitals, and other healthcare-related organizations.

Craven Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Forsyth Tech Community College

Forsyth Tech Community College

Forsyth Technical Community College offers a Medical Office Administration Certificate for medical receptionists. Students interested in pursuing roles related to patient services, insurance billing, or records management may find an ideal fit in this program. The program spans 18 total credit hours. Most students can complete the program’s requirements in 2 semesters.

Forsyth Technical Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Green River College

Green River College

Green River College offers a Certificate in Medical Office Administration. The program seeks to build on students’ existing communication and organizational skills to prepare them for work in healthcare settings. Classes cover concepts like insurance, records management, and basic medical terminology and anatomy. Students can choose from Medical Coding, Front Office, Manager, or Support specialties.

Green River College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Guilford Technical Community College

Guilford Technical Community College

Guilford Technical Community College offers a Certificate in Medical Office Administration. The program offers concentrations in General Office Administration, Electronic Medical Record Management, and Patient Relations. The curriculum is designed to teach students best practices for patient registration, check-in and check-out, clerical support, and customer service. The certificate consists of 18 total credit hours.

Guilford Technical Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Liberty University

Liberty University

Liberty University offers a Medical Office Assistant Certificate. This curriculum is designed to help students learn how to provide vital support in patient care and well-being in diverse healthcare settings. On average, students can complete the program’s 19 required credits in just 6 months of full-time attendance. All classes meet fully online, and each one is 8 weeks long.

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Nash Community College

Nash Community College

Nash Community College offers a Certificate in Medical Office Administration. Many students pursue administrative roles in settings like hospitals, dental offices, insurance companies, laboratories, and private practices. Students can select specialties in Patient Services or Medical Billing and Coding. Classes cover key topics like communication, office management, information systems, medical law, and insurance billing.

Nash Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Purdue University

Purdue University

Purdue University offers a fully online program for a Medical Office Administration Certificate. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for industry certification exams and entry-level support roles in healthcare. Classes are typically 10 weeks long and require 15 to 18 hours of work per week. Most students finish the program’s 57 required credit hours in just 1.5 years.

Purdue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Randolph Community College

Randolph Community College

Randolph Community College offers a Certificate in Medical Office Administration. The program aims to provide students with an understanding of the fundamental role administrative personnel play in medical office settings. The curriculum spans 18 credits. Courses cover topics like medical terminology, coding, insurance, communication, and medical ethics.

Randolph Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Rasmussen University

Rasmussen University

Rasmussen University offers a Certificate for Medical Administrative Assistants. The curriculum covers best communication practices, a survey of medical technologies, and healthcare environments and systems. The program utilizes a 100% online learning format. Students can typically complete the program’s 38 required credit hours in just 9 months of full-time attendance.

Rasmussen University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Surry Community College

Surry Community College

Surry Community College offers a Certificate in Medical Office Administration. Classes provide overviews of word processing, medical terminology, and medical insurance and billing. Students must complete a minimum of 12 credits to earn the certificate. Graduates often pursue careers as medical transcriptionists, administrative services managers, medical records specialists, or information clerks.

Surry Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Colleges.

Vance-Granville Community College

Vance Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College offers a Certificate for Medical Office Administrative Assistants. Students interested in pursuing roles as medical receptionists, records managers, or insurance billing coordinators may find an excellent next step in this program. The 18-credit curriculum covers fundamental skills in the field. The program utilizes a convenient online learning model.

Vance-Granville Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Wake Technical Community College

Wake Technical Community College

Wake Technical Community College offers a Medical Office Professional Certificate. Potential classes include Text Entry and Formatting, Medical Insurance and Billing, and Medical Office Terminology. Students can attend this program fully online. The curriculum spans 18 credits and can usually be completed in 2 semesters of full-time study.

Wake Technical Community College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Wayne Community College

Wayne Community College

Wayne Community College offers a Certificate in Medical Office Administration. The curriculum is designed to familiarize students with the full array of administrative duties they may take on in future administrative roles in healthcare. The program offers specializations in Dental Office, Medical Insurance, Medical Scribe, and General Administrative Studies. Most classes are available online.

Wayne Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Getting Your Medical Office Administration Certificate Online

Student taking Online Medical Office Administration Certificate

An online certificate in medical office administration can help you launch or grow a career in the healthcare industry.

You’ll study a range of subjects, like insurance billing, medical terminology, and professional ethics. These topics can help prepare you for numerous positions in clinics, hospitals, physicians’ offices, and other healthcare facilities. As a medical office administrator, you could directly impact the lives of patients and providers. For instance, you may help patients access healthcare and understand their insurance plans.

If you’re ready to embark on this career path, you can begin your journey today by researching accredited schools that offer online certificate programs in medical office administration.

Ready to start your journey?
Brianna Anderson
WRITTEN BY
Brianna Anderson
Brianna has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Florida and an M.A. in English from the University of Kentucky. Her research interests include careers and professional development, digital pedagogy, and first-year writing.