Medical Office Assistant

A medical office assistant is responsible for a range of different administrative and clerical tasks for the efficient and effective running of the offices of healthcare practitioners and doctors. There are several factors that will affect the duties of a medical assistant, including the location and size of the medical office.

In a smaller practice an assistant may find that they perform a range of jobs both clerical and medical. In a larger practice an assistant will find that they will specialize in one particular area.

Medical Administrative Assistant

Medical assistants fall into three main classes.  An administrative assistant typically handles paperwork. They are responsible for duties such as filling out insurance forms and arranging laboratory tests. It may also be a requirement that they  work on the front desk answering the telephone, greeting patients and making appointments.

This is dependent on the number of employees and the size of the office. If a medical assistant has got specialized administrative training they may also be responsible for bookkeeping and clerical duties.

Clinical Medical Office Assistant

A clinical medical office assistant typically handles several medical tasks. These include drawing blood, and giving the doctor assistance during procedures. The clinical assistant will also be responsible for giving patients instructions for their medication and preparing examination rooms. Assistants who perform these duties will be just below a nurse who has had some medical training.


The third type of medical office assistant has some type of specified medical qualification. For example, a medical assistant who works in an orthopedic office. Orthopedics specialize in bones; therefore, the medical assistant will have had training in this area. Their duties include assisting doctors in procedures such as casting broken bones and x-rays.

Education Needed

You will increase your chances of employment by getting certified. Employers look for the most skilled and qualified candidates. By obtaining a certificate in medical office assistant training, you are demonstrating to your employer that you have the skills required to successfully fulfill the job post.

There are several community colleges that offer medical office assistant programs which focus on anatomy, keyboarding, insurance processes and a range of other useful courses to assist you in your role.


A medical office assistant that has less than one years experience in the field should expect a salary of between $23,500 to $33,000. The more experience that you have the more you should expect to earn. If you have had between 10 to 19 years of experience you should expect to earn between $24,400 to $36,000, as of January 2012 according to the website

Job Growth

With training and experience you can quickly advance in your career as a medical assistant. For example, you may go on to become a medical assistance teacher; others become health care workers and nurses. You have the opportunity to become an office manager or become a part of an administrative support team.

There is a lot of growth in this area of work due to the increasing numbers of clinics, group practices, and other health care facilities requiring large numbers of support. Outpatient settings are a rapidly increasing sector of the health care industry, and medical assistants work primarily in this area.

Overview Video

Check out this short video explaining what becoming a medical administrative assistant is like.

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