How to Become a Medical Office Assistant

How to become a medical assistant

If you’re interested in becoming a medical office assistant, you’ll be happy to know the occupational outlook in the field is healthier than ever. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for medical office assistant professionals are projected to grow 16 percent from 2021 to 2031—much faster than the average for all occupations. During that time, about 123,000 job openings are projected each year, on average. 

Read on to learn more about how to become a medical office assistant in today’s job market.

Medical Assistant Job Description    

What does a medical office assistant do? These in-demand professionals complete administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and other healthcare facilities. 

Depending on their work setting and specific duties, a medical office assistant could be referred to as a hospital office assistant, a doctor office assistant, a healthcare office assistant, or a medical administrative assistant.

Common job duties for medical office assistants include scheduling patient appointments, greeting patients and visitors, managing and updating patient records, verifying insurance coverage, assisting the billing department with processing claims, and more.

Common qualities of a medical office assistant include good customer service skills, strong communication skills, attention to detail, and ability to multitask.

During an online job search, it may be helpful to expand your parameters by plugging in different job titles. Just be aware of differences in the field. For example, when looking at a job for a medical office assistant vs medical assistant, the latter typically includes clinical tasks, such as doing basic laboratory tests, disposing of contaminated supplies, and sterilizing medical instruments.

The median annual medical office assistant salary was $37,190 in May 2021. 

Education Requirements of Medical Assistant

If you’re exploring how to become a medical office assistant, chances are you are interested in whether you will need a medical office assistant degree or medical office assistant certification in order to get hired.

Though some individuals enter the field with a high school diploma and learn through on-the-job training, the majority of medical assistants have postsecondary education such as a medical office assistant certification. Individuals who earn the credentials needed to become a medical office assistant are often more marketable to employers and command higher salaries.

Earning Medical Assistant Credentials

If you’re a healthcare office assistant hopeful in the Finger Lakes region of New York, there’s no smarter choice than earning your Medical Office Assistant Credential at Tompkins Cortland Community College. 

TC3’s program empowers graduates with the skills they need to be an integral part of the administrative team in many types of healthcare settings. The program allows students to distinguish themselves from other applicants for medical administrative assistant positions. 

The education requirements of medical assistant students at TC3 are as follows: Completion of six courses, including Intro to Word ProcessingIntro to SpreadsheetsIntro to DatabasesMedical TerminologyHealthcare Office Assistant Fundamentals, and a Healthcare Office Assistant Internship.  These six courses can be applied towards the Liberal Arts and Science: General Studies A.S. degree (and can be taken with nursing prerequisites). 

At TC3, you can begin a professional career in as little as one semester and fill a need for highly qualified medical office personnel. There are many jobs for medical office assistant professionals in today’s market, allowing students to secure a position soon after completing the program.

Learn more about how to become a medical office assistant and explore the Medical Office Administrative Assistant Credential at Tompkins Cortland Community College today.