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Medical administrative assistant vs. medical office receptionist: what's the difference?

Written by Ashworth College on Wednesday, 21 February 2018. Posted in Career

Medical administrative assistant vs. medical office receptionist: what's the difference?

Medical administrative assistant. Medical office receptionist. Are they one and the same? Does one require more training or schooling than the other? And what are job prospects and salary for each? In this article, we’ll break down the duties of each role as well as training requirements and recommendations, so you have a clear vision for which path to choose.

What is a medical administrative assistant?

A Medical Administrative Assistant, also referred to as a Medical Office Assistant, performs (not surprisingly)  a variety of administrative tasks at a doctor’s or dentist’s office, hospital, outpatient clinic, or surgical center.  Skills required include the ability to:

  • Assist doctors and nurses with basic patient treatment and procedures
  • Communicate clearly with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals
  • Manage sensitive and confidential patient-relations issues

While a high school diploma (or equivalent)  may  be sufficient for an entry-level position, most employers prefer to hire candidates that have received medical office assistant training and/or a medical office assistant certification.

Ashworth College offers a medical office assistant training program that gives you the training and certification you need. We prepare you for the National Healthcareer Association's (NHA's) Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) exam, with the fee for the exam 100% covered by tuition.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the medical administrative assistant field is growing with excellent job prospects--especially for those who have earned a certification; expected growth is 29% by 2024 and average salary is $31,540.

What is a medical office receptionist?

A Medical Office Receptionist  is the front-desk personnel of a doctor’s or dentist’s office,  hospital, physical therapy office, or long-term care facility. In this role, you deal less with medical staff on patient treatment and instead work more closely with the patients both before and after they see their treating physician. A Medical Office Receptionist is responsible for:

  • Creating a calm environment and maintaining work order and flow in the office
  • Greeting patients and answering phone calls
  • Registering new patients, scheduling appointments, filing medical and insurance records, and collecting co-pays

Once again, a high school diploma may suffice for an entry-level position in this field, but a medical office receptionist diploma will set you above the rest by training you on healthcare law and ethics, appointment scheduling, medical records handling, insurance plans, and billing and coding procedures.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the medical office receptionist field is expected to grow 10% by 2024 with an  average salary of $29,120.

Ashworth College offers all the resources you need to pursue a career in either (or both) of these exciting fields. Flexible, affordable online study means you complete your training at your own pace. And when you’re ready, our career services is there to help you launch your career!

Questions? We love them. Give us a call at 1-800-957-5412 or enroll today!

About the Author

Ashworth College

Ashworth College

Our community is full of independent, motivated, growth-focused students. Dive into our blog to explore diverse stories from our students, friends, experts, and executives. From tips & tricks to student experiences and alumni stories, the Ashworth Blog is all about celebrating our community's accomplishments and passions.

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