If you enjoy administrative tasks and want a career that helps people, you might consider earning a medical office administration degree.
This associates program can teach you about managing records, analyzing data, and understanding medical terminology. It can also help you develop other skills that are necessary for administrative roles in the healthcare field.
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Graduates tend to pursue entry-level healthcare administration roles, such as medical assistants or healthcare administrative assistants. This type of program can also help you work toward industry certification in the field. In fact, a growing number of schools offer either on-campus or online medical office administration certification programs.
Online Medical Office Administration Degrees
If you’re looking for a career in the healthcare field that doesn’t involve being a practitioner, earning a medical office administration degree could be a strategic move. Medical office administrators may work more behind the scenes, but their roles are much needed.
Medical office administrators make sure the offices they work in run safely and smoothly. They often work in more administrative roles, such as receptionists or medical administrative assistants. Experienced administrative professionals may pursue more senior or leadership roles, such as medical or health services managers or facilities managers.
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There’s a wide variety of roles that a degree in medical office administration can help you qualify for. For example, graduates may also pursue positions as medical records specialists, medical registrars, and healthcare financial clerks.
While enrolled in an associates medical office administration program, you may study some of the following topics:
- Business administration
- Data analysis
- Records management
- Insurance claims
- Medical ethics
- Medical terminology
It’s important for health administrators to know basic medical terminology so that they can effectively work with patient data and help clients. In this type of associate program, you can also learn various business administration skills relevant to medical offices.
To grow your career in the medical field, you may choose to pursue licensure and certifications in your specialty. You may also choose to use your associate degree as a stepping stone toward a related bachelor’s degree program.
Medical Office Administration Careers & Salaries
Career paths associated with medical office administration vary widely, from medical office management roles to more administrative jobs. Administrative roles you may choose to pursue include medical assistants, medical records specialists, receptionists, and administrative assistants in healthcare institutions.
Many graduates go on to work in the healthcare field in settings like hospitals, doctor’s offices, outpatient care centers, and more. Daily tasks for these roles vary depending on the job, but they can include answering the phone, collecting data, and ensuring patient confidentiality.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the median salaries of some careers associated with medical office administration.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||$101,340|
|Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars||$55,560|
|Medical Records Specialists||$46,660|
|Medical Secretaries and Administrative Assistants||$37,450|
The roles you can specifically qualify for may depend on your skills, experience, and location. Leadership roles, like health services managers, can involve management, operations, compliance, and more. Management roles often require a bachelors degree, and these professionals may be responsible for running an organization, whether it be an entire healthcare institution, a department, or a team.
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Many of these roles are expected to grow faster than average over the next ten years, with employment for healthcare jobs overall projected to grow by 13% (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Medical Office Administration Associate’s Curriculum & Courses
While the curriculum in a medical office administration program can vary, here are a few courses you may take while pursuing an associate’s degree:
- Medical Terminology: You can learn to correctly identify various diseases, treatments, and more so that you can effectively communicate the right medical information.
- Patient Privacy: This course will teach you how to keep patients’ information secure according to HIPAA regulations.
- Healthcare Systems and Operations: You’ll learn ways to efficiently manage operations in a healthcare environment, including financial and legal processes.
- Administrative Skills for the Medical Office: This class will teach you how to perform essential administrative tasks, such as registering patients and handling office finances.
- Medical Law and Ethics: You’ll learn various medical laws to help create an efficient and safe environment in a healthcare institution.
- Pathophysiology and Pharmacology: This course focuses on recognizing and diagnosing diseases and covers pharmaceutical drugs that are commonly used to help with them.
- Insurance Claims, Processing, and Adjudication: You’ll learn the basics of processing insurance claims, including billing and reimbursement procedures.
- Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology: This class teaches you about cells, tissues, organs, and other human body components as well as how they all interact with each other.
- Health Information Management: You’ll learn how to analyze data in order to manage and ensure the accuracy of patient records.
- Keyboarding: This course focuses on maximizing efficiency when typing to help you process data quickly and accurately.
In addition to classes like these, your program may require the completion of an internship or research project.
The admissions requirements for associates medical office administration degrees can vary depending on the program, but here are some that are commonly seen:
- High school diploma or GED
- SAT or ACT test scores (only required by some schools)
- Personal statement
- High school transcripts
While a high school diploma is a common requirement, standardized test scores may not be required by all schools. Other potential admissions requirements include letters of recommendation, a resume, and a background check.
Attending a regionally accredited school ensures that you have the opportunity to obtain a credible and high-quality education. When a school is regionally accredited, it has met a series of standards for academic quality.
Future employers may check to make sure you attended a regionally accredited school, so it could have an impact on your eligibility for potential jobs down the line. Your school’s accreditation status may also affect whether you qualify for federal financial aid.
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To find out if the school you’re interested in is regionally accredited, you can visit the US Department of Education’s website.
Medical Office Administration Licensure and Certifications
Here are some examples of different types of certifications related to medical office administration:
- CEHRS: Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist
- CMAA: Certified Medical Administrative Assistant
- CPB: Certified Professional Biller
- CPBS: Certified Professional Billing and Coding Specialist
There are a variety of medical office administration licenses and certifications that you can choose to pursue alongside your degree to boost your qualifications. The type of certification you pursue may depend on your interests, your skill sets, or your employer’s requirements.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Financial aid can come in the form of loans, grants, scholarships, and more for qualifying students. The Federal Student Aid website can help you determine if you qualify for federal financial aid and can explain some of their various aid options.
Financial assistance can be granted on the federal and state levels to those who qualify, and some schools may offer aid opportunities as well. Some schools also have work-study programs, where students can work part-time and earn at least the federal minimum wage. Certain forms of financial aid, such as grants or scholarships, can be valuable assets for students because they don’t need to be repaid.
What Is a Medical Office Administration Degree?
A medical office administration degree is designed to teach you healthcare administrative and management skills. These can include operations, leadership, data analysis, and more.
In a medical office administration program, you may take classes on laws, ethics, insurance practices, and other healthcare regulations. You can also learn about medical terminology, anatomy, pharmacology, and physiology, among other medical subjects.
Medical office administration can be a strategic avenue for students who want to help people from a healthcare perspective but don’t want to be a medical practitioner. Graduates often pursue entry-level careers as medical records specialists, medical administrative assistants, and more.
What Can You Do with a Medical Office Administration Degree?
There are a wide range of careers you can choose to pursue with a medical office administration degree. The most common ones are in the healthcare field in a managerial or administrative capacity. The jobs you qualify for may depend on your skills, experience, and other factors.
Administrative careers associated with medical office administration include healthcare financial clerk, medical administrative assistant, medical records specialist, and receptionist. Some graduates even pursue work as a medical assistant.
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The skills you can develop from an associate program in medical office administration could also apply to administrative positions outside the healthcare sector.
Is Medical Office Administration a Good Career?
Yes, medical office administration is a good career for many professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many careers associated with medical office administration are projected to grow faster than average over the next ten years.
Many graduates find careers in medical office administration to be rewarding, as they can help patients without having to become a medical practitioner. If you enjoy organization, data analysis, and communication with others, you might consider these types of careers.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Associates in Medical Office Administration Online?
The timeframe for completing a medical administrative assistant associate degree can vary depending on your program, schedule, additional obligations, and other factors. Online degrees can often provide additional flexibility.
Typically, it takes 2 years to complete an associates degree, provided you are enrolled in a 16 week semester and are attending classes full-time. You may be able to finish in even less time if you follow an 8 week semester, attend classes full-time, and are taking classes year-round.
What’s the Difference Between an Associates Degree in Medical Office Administration vs. Medical Billing and Coding?
While there is some overlap between medical office administration and medical billing associates degrees, there are a few key differences.
An associates in medical administration program may cover:
- Medical ethics
- Data management
- Medical terminology
An associates in medical billing & coding program may teach how to:
- Manage patient payments
- File insurance claims
- Create and send patient invoices
In general, a medical office administrator helps with all aspects of running a medical office, while a medical billing and coding professional works with insurance and helps with client payments.
Is a Medical Office Administration Associate’s Degree Worth It?
Yes, a medical office administration associate’s degree is worth it for many students. As long as there are healthcare offices and facilities, there will be a need for medical office administration professionals.
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for healthcare professions overall is expected to grow by 13% over the next ten years. Many careers associated with medical office administration are expected to grow faster than average as well. For instance, 8% job growth is projected for medical secretaries and administrative assistants (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Universities Offering Online Associates in Medical Office Administration Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Beaufort County Community College offers an Associate in Medical Office Administration. The curriculum covers essential concepts like medical terminology, healthcare technology, legal and ethical concerns, coding, billing, and insurance. The program requires the completion of 66 credit hours. Upon graduation, many students pursue administrative roles in diverse healthcare settings.
Beaufort County Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Bryant & Stratton College offers a Medical Administrative Assistant Associate. This program focuses on preparing students so they can provide effective administrative and business support within the field of healthcare. Students can attend either online or in-person at one of three campuses. Potential classes include Medical Office Procedures, Survey of Anatomy and Physiology, and Electronic Health Records.
Bryant & Stratton College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The Associate in Healthcare Administration program at Cambridge College offers a concentration in Medical Office Administration. This program may be an excellent next step for students interested in pursuing careers in human resources, office management, and other healthcare administration roles. Students must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours to graduate. All classes meet online.
Cambridge College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Craven Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Office Administration. The curriculum seeks to help students develop the background knowledge and skills needed to excel in healthcare.
The program can typically be finished in 5 semesters. Upon graduation, many students find fulfilling administrative careers in hospitals, dental offices, insurance companies, laboratories, and other healthcare settings.
Craven Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Dakota College at Bottineau offers an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Administrative Assistance and Coding. The program aims to graduate professionals who will contribute essential technical and organizational expertise to the field of healthcare. Students can attend either in-person or fully online. On average, students can complete the degree in 2 years.
Dakota College at Bottineau is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Fayetteville Technical Community College offers a Medical Office Professional Associate. The curriculum covers concepts like medical terminology, healthcare software and electronic records, insurance reimbursement, and healthcare law. Classes can be attended online, in-person, or using a hybrid model. The program can usually be completed in 5 semesters.
Fayetteville Technical Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Guilford Technical Community College offers an online program for an Associate in Medical Office Administration. Students can select a specialization in General Studies, Electronic Medical Records, or Patient Relations. Students can typically complete the degree in 2 years. Many graduates pursue roles in patient registration, hospital clerical support, or health record management.
Guilford Technical Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Herzing University offers an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Office Administration that can be completed online. This program may be an ideal fit for individuals wanting to work in healthcare without being involved in direct patient care. On average, this 60 credit program can be completed in 20 months. Students may transfer in up to 45 approved credits from outside institutions.
Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Liberty University offers a Medical Office Assistant Associate. The curriculum covers topics like medical billing, diagnostic coding, medical law, and healthcare records and software. Classes meet entirely online, and each one is 8 weeks long. Most students can finish the program’s 64 required credits in 2 years of full-time attendance.
Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Minnesota State College Southeast offers a Medical Administrative Assistant Associate of Applied Science. The curriculum is designed to help students develop a thorough understanding of terminology, patient records, insurance claim cycles, and patient safety and confidentiality. The program requires the completion of 45 credits and can typically be finished in 2 years. Students can attend either online or in person.
Minnesota State College Southeast is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Minnesota State Community and Technical College offers a Medical Administrative Assistant Associate. The program seeks to prepare students for a wide variety of administrative roles. This 60 credit program can be completed fully online or on campus. The curriculum covers essential procedures like appointment scheduling, patient registration, electronic health record maintenance, and health insurance billing.
Minnesota State Community and Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Minnesota West Community & Technical College offers a Healthcare Administrative Assistant Associate of Applied Science. Graduates often pursue roles as bookkeepers, insurance claim processors, office managers, and patient registrars. The program requires the completion of 60 credit hours. Students can attend either online or in person at one of several campus locations.
Minnesota West Community & Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Monroe College offers an Associate in Medical Administration. This program may be an ideal next step for individuals with exceptional organizational, interpersonal, and technical skills. The program offers flexible attendance options, including online, in-person, and hybrid class models. The program can typically be completed in 4 semesters of full-time attendance.
Monroe College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
National American University offers a Medical Administrative Assistant Associate. The curriculum is designed to equip students with the communication, organizational, and reasoning skills needed to excel in healthcare. The program requires the completion of 90 credit hours. Upon graduation, many students pursue entry level administrative roles or further educational opportunities in the health sciences.
National American University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Northland Community & Technical College offers a Medical Administrative Assistant Associate of Applied Science. Students interested in purusing support roles within the field of healthcare may find an ideal next step in this program. All classes meet entirely online. Potential courses include Business Communications, Medical Billing and Insurance, and Medical Office Procedures.
Northland Community & Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Pittsburg Technical College offers an Associate of Science in Medical Office Administration. Central to this program is the understanding that competent administrative support is essential to the function of healthcare. The curriculum is designed to help students develop the skills needed to serve healthcare providers and patients. Classes meet online and are complemented by hands-on experiences in the field.
Pittsburgh Technical College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Surry Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Colleges.
Vance-Granville Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Office Administration. This program may be a good fit for students with excellent communication, management, and customer service skills. All classes use a convenient online learning format. Upon graduation, students often sit for one of several industry-recognized certifications or pursue entry-level administrative roles.
Vance-Granville Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Wake Technical Community College offers a Medical Office Professional Associate. The curriculum covers concepts like medical terminology, insurance and billing, word processing, and medical legal issues. The program requires the completion of 66 credits and meets 100% online. Students can typically complete the degree requirements in 2 years.
Wake Technical Community College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Wayne Community College offers an Associate in Medical Office Administration. Students can select additional specializations like Medical Coding, Dental Office, Medical Scribe, or Medical Insurance. Classes can be attended online, in-person, or using a hybrid learning format. On average, the degree can be completed in 2 years of full-time attendance.
Wayne Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Getting Your Medical Office Administration Degree Online
A medical office administration associate degree can open an array of job prospects in the healthcare field. Pursuing your degree online could enable you to take classes on a flexible schedule.
Medical administration degree programs can help you prepare for a career in healthcare that doesn’t require working as a medical practitioner. You can still have direct involvement with patient care through roles related to administration and customer service. Those who are passionate about helping people, organized, and detail-oriented often make effective medical office administrators.
You can explore accredited universities to learn more about medical office administration associate degrees and discover which program is best for you.