Online Associate In Medical Office Administration

Read and learn more about medical office administration careers, the projected job outlook, and the education requirements.

Updated September 20, 2022

Reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Online Associate In Medical Office Administration

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Intro to Medical Office Administration

To perform vital, life-saving work, every medical facility needs reliable medical office administrators. These professionals ensure things run smoothly in an office by keeping track of medical records, stocking medical supplies, helping with billing, and performing patient scheduling. This work requires medical procedures and terminology knowledge, so most employers call for at least an associate in medical office administration to perform this role.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a $36,580 median annual wage for this occupation, and about 604,780 individuals in America work in this position. Keep reading to learn more about medical office administration careers, the projected job outlook, and the education requirements.

Understanding Medical Office Administration Programs


What can you do with a medical office administration degree?

Medical office administration degree-seekers may work as medical office administrators, receptionists, or secretaries. They find employment at doctors' offices, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, and dentist offices.

How long does it take to get a degree in medical office administration?

Most medical office administration positions require at least an associate degree. This takes full-time learners about two years to complete.

What is a medical office administrator?

A medical office administrator uses industry terminology knowledge to perform essential secretarial and administrative duties. Some of these professionals oversee payroll, schedule patient appointments, and organize medical records.

Is medical office administration in demand?

The BLS projects a 5% decline in office and administrative support jobs between 2019-2029. However, the BLS also projects healthcare professional jobs, in general, to grow 15% during the same timeframe.

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Why Get a Degree in Medical Office Administration?

While the BLS projects a 5% decline in the job outlook for office and administrative support professionals between 2019-2029, data reports that the industry still needs a new workforce as current professionals retire. Additionally, medical office administrators may experience more job openings than other office administrators in the future due to the increased need for medical professionals.

Pursuing a medical office administration associate degree allows learners to quickly and affordably enter the workforce. Many community colleges offer two-year degrees in this subject. Additionally, students can complete the degree entirely online. Community college and online programs generally offer lower tuition rates than private four-year universities.

How Much Does a Medical Office Administration Degree Cost?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average annual cost at a public two-year institution measured to $10,281. However, the average yearly price for a two-year degree at a private institution averaged $25,596 during the same academic year. These figures include tuition, fees, and room and board.

Many factors influence a medical office administration degree's cost. Comparing tuition between multiple colleges allows learners to form a realistic estimate. For example, some schools offer lower tuition rates for online learners. Additionally, online learners save money on commuting, room and board, student activity fees, and campus maintenance fees.

Prospective learners can lower tuition costs with financial aid. The FAFSA allows students to apply for multiple government grants and loans through one form. The application takes about 45 minutes to complete and requires tax information. Students who file their taxes under a dependent status must enter their guardian's financial information.

Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.

How Much Do Medical Office Administration Majors Make?

Based on BLS data, medical secretaries and administrative assistants earn a $36,580 median annual salary. The BLS also estimates a $26,180 median annual salary for earners in the bottom 10 percentile. For earners in the top 90 percentile, the median salary estimate rose to $53,230 per year.

Work experience also impacts pay. March 2021 PayScale data reports that individuals with less than one year of experience in this field earn a $13.78 average hourly rate. In contrast, professionals with more than 20 years of medical office administration experience earn an average $20.33 hourly rate. These rates may also vary by location. For example, medical assistants in larger cities might earn more than the same professionals working in rural areas. Professionals who want to earn more should consider pursuing an advanced degree in the field.

Courses in Medical Office Administration

Through their studies, medical office administration students develop interpersonal communication skills and learn how to use software for billing and patient scheduling. Certain associate in medical office administration programs may allow students to select a concentration, such as medical coding or insurance billing. Learners graduate with the ability to provide a seamless check-in process for patients, keep medical supplies stocked, and accurately accept and document payments.

Most associate courses feature lecture-based learning and multiple-choice exams. Additionally, associate programs rarely require a thesis or capstone project. Below, we discuss three courses that offer a sample of the degree's typical curriculum.

Certifications and Licensure for Medical Office Administration

To position themselves as competitive job candidates, aspiring office administrators may earn certifications or licenses. Certifications vary from academic certificates. Certifications substantiate professional achievement, and professional organizations and companies issue these accolades. Certifications usually require an exam and online learning modules, while certificates require actual college courses. Take a look at these common certifications for medical office administrators.

The American Health Information Management Association provides this certification to aspiring medical coders and medical office administrators. Before taking the certification exam, the organization suggests applicants attain six months of coding experience and complete coding training on medical terminology. Nonmembers pay $299 to take the exam, while members benefit from a $199 discounted fee. Learners who pursue this certification must pass an exam covering topics such as managing medical records, coding, billing, and insurance processing. The American Medical Technologists association oversees the exam and application process and provides professionals with study materials and resources. The National Center for Competency Testing provides this certification for medical office assistants. Current students must pay a $90 exam fee. The test features questions focusing on communication, medical office computer applications, scheduling, medical records, and general office upkeep. In 2020, this exam yielded a 74% pass rate.

Scholarships for Medical Office Administration

Learners should apply for multiple scholarships to fund an associate in medical office administration. Scholarships typically require an essay, recommendation letters, references, and official transcripts. Below, we highlight two scholarships reserved for learners studying medical office administration or a related degree.

Scholarships for Medical Office Administration
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

Medical Group Management Association Leaders Scholarship

$2,500-$5,000 Applicants must enroll in an undergraduate or graduate program related to medical practice management, such as medical office administration. Candidates must also hold MGMA membership.

Medical Group Management Association Section Scholarships

$2,500 MGMA offers various regional scholarships, including the Midwest, Southern, and Western Section scholarships, to students pursuing a medical practice management degree. Applicants must reside in eligible states to apply for each regional scholarship.

Online Associate in Medical Office Administration Programs 2022

#1

Vance-Granville Community College

School Information
Location Henderson, North Carolina
Graduation Rate 36%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 73% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Located in Henderson, North Carolina, Vance-Granville Community College operates as a public institution. At the school, degree-seekers select from 11 online associate programs, which include an associate of applied science in medical office administration program. The program admits applicants with a high school diploma or GED. The school uses placement tests to create an individualized graduation plan for admitted students. Students can also choose to submit their SAT or ACT scores.

The flexible schedule helps busy students balance school with work or other responsibilities. Learners can arrange coursework around their schedule rather than attending in-person classes at a set time.

With an associate degree in medical office administration, students enter the workforce or transfer into a bachelor's program. The school maintains articulation agreements with local four-year colleges. This helps students transfer their credits toward a bachelor's degree.

Vance-Granville Community College at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 2,313

Student Graduation Percentage: 36%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,824

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $6,432

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#2

Lenoir Community College

School Information
Location Kinston, North Carolina
Graduation Rate 30%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Situated in Kinston, North Carolina, Lenoir Community College has one of the best online course offerings in the country. The institution provides 30 on-campus associate programs and 10 online associate programs. Students can earn their online associate of applied science in medical office administration degree in around two years. While earning an associate degree, participants gain hands-on expertise in a technical field. Learners can access support services online and in person. Among the school's support services is professional tutoring.

After earning an associate degree, graduates can also pursue a bachelor's degree. After graduating from an associate program, individuals can apply for entry-level positions. The school charges lower tuition rates than most four-year institutions. To minimize student debt, associate degree-seekers often pursue financial aid. For admission to associate programs, learners typically need a high school diploma or passing GED scores. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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#3

Beaufort County Community College

School Information
Location Washington, North Carolina
Graduation Rate 33%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A public institution, Beaufort County Community College offers degrees from its main campus in Washington, North Carolina. The school offers many online options, including eight associate programs. The medical office administration program is a top choice for many learners. Prospective applicants can enroll in the online medical office administration program with a high school diploma or GED. The school administers placement tests to create customized graduation plans for incoming learners. Students can also choose to submit their SAT or ACT scores.

The online medical office administration program uses a flexible format that appeals to working professionals and busy students. Degree-seekers benefit from the program's asynchronous course options, which let learners complete courses on their schedule.

After completing the medical office administration program, graduates may be able to transfer into a bachelor's program. The school's articulation agreements with four-year colleges mean that graduates can transfer more of their credits toward a bachelor's degree.

Beaufort County Community College Fast Facts:

Online Enrollment: 826

Percent of Undergrads who Graduate: 33%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 10-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,432

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $8,576

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#4

Southwestern Community College

School Information
Location Sylva, North Carolina
Graduation Rate 50%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A public, religiously non-affiliated institution, Southwestern Community College has inexpensive associate programs. The institution features 28 on-campus associate programs and seven online associate programs. Online students can earn their associate of applied science in medical office administration in about two years. Associate degree-seekers complete hands-on components in their field. Learners can access support services at the school. Peer tutoring helps enrollees excel academically.

After completing an associate program, graduates can immediately apply learned skills to entry-level positions. After earning an associate degree, graduates can also pursue a bachelor's degree. Degree-seekers pay an average of $5,428 to attend the school, after factoring in financial aid. Learners seeking a bachelor's degree save money by completing the cheap two-year program in medical office administration.

Southwestern Community College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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#5

Wayne Community College

School Information
Location Goldsboro, North Carolina
Graduation Rate 45%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A public, religiously non-affiliated institution, Wayne Community College features inexpensive associate degrees. The school delivers online associate programs that emphasize affordability and accessibility, including the virtual associate of applied science in medical office administration. 

Many students choose online learning for its flexibility. They complete general education and other credits. Prospective learners can research graduation requirements on the school's website. While earning an associate degree, enrollees gain practical experience in their major. Student support services help degree-seekers succeed academically. This often means peer or professional tutoring in various subjects.

After earning an associate degree, graduates can also enroll in a four-year program. An associate degree qualifies holders for many entry-level positions. Associate degree-seekers at the school pay low per-credit tuition rates. Financial aid, such as grants and scholarships, can help learners pay for their associate degree. To qualify for admission to associate programs, applicants typically need a high school diploma or passing GED scores. The school has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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