Medical Office Associate's Degree
With the growing reliance on technology and the need for accurate record keeping, medical office professionals are employed to ensure the efficient organization and operation of a healthcare facility. Learn about medical office associate's degree programs and what the employment outlook is for this career path. Schools offering Medical Office Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Is a Medical Office Associate's Degree?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that with an associate's degree in medical office administration, you can fill the role of an information and communication manager at a medical facility (www.bls.gov). As a medical office administrator, you schedule meetings and appointments, organize and maintain files, manage projects, conduct research, and disseminate information by telephone and e-mail.
What Are Some Details of a Program?
A program can take you up to two years to complete, and you may be able to earn an Associate of Science (A.S.) or Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in medical office administration. An A.S. is transferable toward a 4-year degree, while an A.A.S. is more focused on the field and can prepare you for immediate employment in a medical facility.
Typical courses you might encounter include anatomy and physiology, coding, billing and reimbursement, medical terminology, medical transcription, medical office procedures, psychology, legal issues, keyboarding and customer service. During your final semester, you may be required to complete an internship at a school-approved medical office.
There are online programs leading to an associate's degree related to medical office administration. You need a computer equipped with high-speed Internet access, an up-to-date operating system and browser, and the capability to access the school's course management system. If there is an internship component, you're required to complete that portion of the program in person.
What Is the Occupational Outlook?
With a medical office administration associate's degree, you may qualify to work as a medical office assistant, medical tanscriptionist, medical records and health information technician, or medical secretary.
In 2010, the BLS projected that from 2008-2018, there would be significant increases in employment for all these positions. Opportunities for medical assistants are expected to rise by 34%, medical transcriptionists by 11%, medical records and health information technicians by 20%, and medical secretaries by 27% over that time period.
In 2010, the BLS reported that the mean annual wage for medical assistants was $29,760, while medical transcriptionists came in at $33,350. Records health information technicians had a mean annual salary of $35,010, and medical secretaries earned a mean wage of $31,800.
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