So you’re on the job hunt for a career in the field of medicine! Congratulations! But there’s a bit of a roadblock.
Not everyone wants to be or has the qualifications to be a doctor or surgeon. Maybe you’re aiming for a job that fits more into the business end of things than a typical medical job. Or, you want a job that’s lower stress and less life or death-y.
One such job that fits this interest to a T is the job of a medical office administrator. But that leaves you with more questions: what do they do, and how do you become one?
Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got a guide on how to become a medical office administrator in as few steps as possible! So sit back, grab a cup of your beverage of choice, and let’s get started.
First Things First: What Is This Job, And Why Should I Have an Interest in It?
A medical office administrator refers to someone who handles the office requirements that a medical firm would need. It varies by location, but these tasks can range from working up and center (scheduling appointments, checking people in, etc.) to organizing and preserving patient files or documents.
There is also a wide level of variation found with this position: some organizations may even have you working at a more supervisory level, managing and hiring staff or handling the accounting end of things.
From a financial standpoint, the annual amount actually changes a lot based on the level of position you will be in (the more supervisory a position you’re in, the higher the salary is the usual rule of thumb). However, the average comes out to be around $45,250 a year. The job also frequently comes with a standards benefits package (paid vacation, retirement funds, etc.).
This job can also come with the potential for you to rise up the ranks and get a promotion, though the chances of that happening are greater at large establishments like hospitals as opposed to businesses like local family practices.
So that you know what you’ll be doing, how do you get there?
Want to Become a Medical Office Administrator? Get That Degree
I know, no one ever wants to hear that the answer is more school. But if you don’t have roughly a bachelor’s degree in either health administration or business, that’s going to have to be your course of action.
If you’re not looking for four years in school though, some schools will offer a shorter, roughly one-year program that acts like a fast-track toward this administrator position. Be warned, however: this program does not have as much of an allure to potential hirers than a standard bachelor’s degree would.
Associate’s degrees in the aforementioned fields of study (which are only two-year programs) are also often accepted education “markers” to get a career in medical office administration.
Tailor Your Skills And Experience
But let’s say you’ve got the degree already, or you want to know what you should plan for post-degree. Well, it’s resume-crafting time!
Jobs in medical office administration will often lean hard on skills like organization and data entry, with clear attention to detail. So if you have past career experience where you did a lot of office work or a different job that required a great deal of focus and dedication, make sure to put it front and center on your resume.
Employers will tend to be looking for specific abilities like having expertise in the Microsoft suite (Word, Excel, etc.) and having a knowledge of how various medical documentation works.
If your work history leans towards the smaller side, try to prop up skills you have that are transferrable to this position. For example, having a strong knowledge of medical terms or having a high level of “computer literacy” are two skills that feature a lot in the medical office administrator position. So if you have those skills, advertise the heck out of them!
Even “smaller-scale” talents like being a fast and accurate typer are critical for the job and should be highlighted as well. The large majority of medical office administration jobs will require some level of prior experience in the field (generally 1 to 3 years), so prepare for that.
Know What the Hiring Process Entails
So now that you’ve got the skills and knowledge you need for the job, you still have one more step before the end: you have to get the job in the first place.
Some medical businesses will tell you to both pass a background check and a drug test in order to get the position. If you’re worried about cost however, these companies will sometimes refund you the cost for both the check and the test if you provide them with the proper documentation.
As for what your potential employers are looking for, try to keep some focus on the social or people-managing portion of the job, even if it’s not your favorite. Employers in this field often see hesitance or a lack of interest in talking about those you will be working with or managing as a negative.
In addition, some employers may ask you to complete a screening test before you can accept the position. These usually revolve around stuff like math and scenario-based problems and can be difficult to prepare for ahead of time. However, it’s better to be aware they might be coming than to get far in the hiring process not knowing and be blindsided.
It’s Time to Rock and Roll
There you have it! You are now armed with the knowledge of how to become a medical office administrator! Is there anything else you can do from here?
Well, if you have more questions on this career path, or want to look more into jobs in a similar vein, check out the other posts on our blog! A rewarding, steady job is out there waiting for you! You just have to reach up and decide to chase it.