Posted in Career Insights
how to become a medical office assistant

If you want a career in the medical setting but aren’t ready to commit to a degree or other formal education program, you should consider becoming a medical office assistant.

This position not only has a low barrier of entry but also allows you to work directly with patients on a day-to-day basis.

Whether you have previous knowledge or are learning from scratch, courses like the one offered by Stratford Career Institute help you learn the basics. 

Medical Office Assistant Requirements

Much like any other career, working as an office medical assistant has some requirements related to education and experience. However, the skills and experience you have are a good place to start. Here are some of the requirements that employers may ask you to meet in job postings or interviews.

Skills and Experience

Since medical office assistants spend most of their day doing administrative tasks, it helps to have excellent time management and organizational skills. Just remember, there is a lot more to the job than just answering the phone and working a front desk. 

Due to the nature of their job, medical office assistants not only need to have great communication skills, but also:

  • Knowledge of medical terminology,
  • Experience using a computer,
  • Respect for confidential information,
  • Attention to detail, and
  • Situational awareness.

In addition to these skills, many employers are looking for experience providing customer service, setting schedules, or even following instructions. This means that a career as a medical office assistant is a great transition for somebody used to working in the service industry or as a general administrative assistant. 

Day-to-Day Duties

The daily duties of medical office assistants vary between employers. This is because the work setting could be anywhere from a private doctor’s office or hospital to rehab center or hospice care facility. Ultimately, there will be slight variations depending on where you decide to work.

That being said, there are plenty of duties that you can expect in almost any medical office assistant position. 

This includes things like:

  • Greeting patients,
  • Setting up appointments,
  • Recording patient vital signs,
  • Collecting new patient information,
  • Handling patient medical records,
  • Processing insurance claims,
  • Managing office financials,
  • Sharing test results with patients, and
  • Ensuring confidentiality compliance.

Most of this work will revolve around electronic health records, which are being adopted by many physicians. This means that, in addition to handling paper records, medical office assistants can expect to work with specialized computer software, printers, copiers, etc. In addition, medical office assistants need to handle these documents with care to comply with HIPAA and other regulations.

Medical Office Assistant Education

Believe it or not, becoming a medical office assistant doesn’t require a lot of education. At minimum, most employers request that you have a GED or high school diploma. After that, the requirements are up to the state. However, most states will allow you to work as a medical office assistant as long as you have a certification or a certain number of hours of supervised work experience.

Currently, the most popular certifications for medical office assistants are offered by the National Healthcareer Association and the National Center for Competency Testing. This means you may either pursue a Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) certification or a National Certified Medical Office Assistant (NCMOA) certification.

Keep in mind that you can take these certification exams after either gaining some work experience or completing an approved training program. Either way, there are many options for you to get the necessary experience.

Is It Worth Learning How to Become a Medical Office Assistant?

While figuring out how to become a medical office assistant, many students have the same question: Is it worth my time? For most, the answer is yes. Not only does the position provide decent pay, but demand for medical office assistants is on the rise.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for medical office assistants is set to increase by 16% between now and 2031. That is more than three times the national average for all jobs. This equates to an additional 117,800 openings in the next few years. 

Ready to Start Your Office Medical Assistant Career? Enroll With Stratford Today!

If you are looking to transition into a career as a medical office assistant but don’t know where to start, enroll in Stratford’s course. We go over all of the basics of administrative medical work, including medical terminology, HIPAA compliance, types of medical records, payroll management, measuring vital signs, and more. Whether you are new to the medical field or just need a refresher, this is the course for you!

Enroll today or request more information. We’re here to answer any questions you may have about our career courses.


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Become a Medical Office Assistant!

Become a Medical Office Assistant!

Explore Stratford Career Institute’s medical office assistant course to see if it is right for you. With our course, you will gain the basics of administrative medical work, including medical terminology, HIPAA compliance, types of medical records, payroll management, measuring vital signs, and more.