Starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare sector may be just around the corner for those interested in becoming part of the front office staff in medical offices!
There are many parts of a well-functioning medical office, including the doctors, nurses, patient-care aids, and front office staff. Each of these parts is essential for optimal patient care and outcomes. If becoming a doctor or nurse isn’t up your alley, then consider attending one of our top 30 accredited online colleges in medical office administration to launch your job managing the front end of the medical practice.
Those working in medical office administration are often the first contact for patients in a medical clinic. This is why well-trained medical office administrators are invaluable and can either enhance an experience or be the reason that the patient doesn’t return.
What Will You Learn With a Medical Office Administration Degree?
There are many tasks that medical office administrators may be asked to do in the course of the day, ranging from answering phone calls to checking out patients, to coding and submitting bills to insurance companies. As a jack-of-all-trades, medical office administrators must have a wide knowledge and practical skillset.
Whether you decide to pursue one of our top-ranked medical office administration degrees, diplomas, or certificates, there are classes that are common among these programs. Classes you’ll likely need to take will cover medical terminology, medical billing and coding, and healthcare administrative procedures.
Students will also be expected to have a solid grasp of how to operate computers, since computers are an essential component of modern medical practice. While there are classes you’re likely to encounter no matter the program you choose, each program has specific requirements that must be met for students to graduate. Before taking the plunge and enrolling in a program, make sure you fully understand the graduation requirements.
What Are the Best Medical Office Administration Degrees?
Accredited Online College uses the most recent data from the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. Each program is scored individually. It’s then compared to all other universities offering that degree to determine the final score you see by each ranking. Accredited Online College considers the affordability, student-to-faculty ratio, and the number of programs offered on-campus and online. For more information, see our methodology page.
Our No.1 spot for the best accredited online college in medical office administration goes to Liberty University, which offers a medical office assistant associate’s degree that can be completed in only two years of full-time study. This entire program consists of 64 credit hours, of which 75% of the credits can be transferred from another college or university. The classes are held in an accelerated eight-week format, which is ideal for those who prefer a quick pace.
Students who choose Liberty’s program will learn the ins-and-outs of working in a doctor’s office or clinic as well as how to communicate with other healthcare professionals and patients, among many other skills. You’re also unlikely to be hit with unexpected rises in tuition midway through the program, as this university has frozen tuition rates for their students for over six years!
Sliding into our second spot is Southwestern Community College with its Associate of Applied Science in Medical Office Administration degree. This degree is offered entirely online and consists of 66 credit hours of coursework. Since this is a standard associate’s degree, you can expect your studies to take around two years to complete, unless you have previously earned credits to transfer into your program.
SCC eases its students into more difficult coursework by enabling them to enroll in either a General Psychology course or Introduction to Sociology course during their first semester. During the first semester, students will also take courses like College Student Success, Introduction to Computers, Word Processing, and Text Editing Applications. With successive semesters, students will begin taking more classes directly related to medical office administration.
With job opportunities in hospitals, medical offices, dental offices, insurance companies, and other healthcare organizations, obtaining a good medical office administration education could really pay off. Surry Community College offers the opportunity to obtain a degree, diploma, or certificate in medical office administration. With the school’s associate’s degree, students will work to complete the required 67 credit hours and take classes such as Records Management, Medical Legal Issues, and Medical Insurance and Billing, among others.
Students who either don’t want to earn a degree or already have another degree and want to obtain in-depth training in this field will want to check out Surry’s 44-credit-hour diploma program. This program is estimated to take students four semesters to complete, or just over a year. The shortest educational route for medical office administration is the schools’ certificate program, which consists of 17 credit hours. This program will take students around two semesters to finish.
Whether you’re looking to get into your first career or transition to a new one, Wayne Community College has an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Office Administration that will give you the tools you need to succeed. This AAS degree consists of 69-73 credit hours of study, and students will take 18-22 credit hours each semester. With this kind of semester load, the program is best suited for dedicated students who have the time and energy to invest in their studies.
Students in this program will begin taking major-specific courses during their first semester, with classes like Medical Terminology I. The rest of the first semester is dedicated to building foundational skills used every day in the work environment, such as word processing, keyboard skill building, and office editing.
The Medical Office Administration programs at Craven Community College emphasize practical skills and essential knowledge. The school offers an associate’s degree, which can be concentrated in either General Studies or Medical Billing/Coding, in addition to diploma and certificate programs. Whether you pursue the General Studies or Medical Billing/Coding concentration for the associate’s degree, you’ll work to complete 68-69 credit hours of study to graduate. It’s expected to take associate’s students five semesters to earn their degree.
Craven’s Diploma in Medical Office Administration is composed of 43-44 credit hours. The program lasts three semesters, and students are expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 throughout their studies. The certificate program also allows students to concentrate their coursework in either General Studies or Medical Billing/Coding. Certificate programs are 15 credit hours and will take students two semesters to complete.
Students who complete one of Vance-Granville Community College’s Medical Office Administration programs will become eligible to take a variety of certification exams, which may include Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist, Certified Medical Administrative Assistant, Certified Professional Coder, Certified Billing & Coding Specialist, and Microsoft Office Certifications.
VGCC’s Associate’s in Medical Office Administration degree is a 64-67 credit hour program that is estimated to cost students around $5,000 in total. Students can also either pursue a certificate program along with this degree or work toward a certificate program in a specific area of interest without pursuing a degree. The school’s certificate programs, such as the Medical Coding Specialist Certificate and the Medical Office Administrative Assistant Certificate, are composed of 16-18 credit hours each. Tuition for the certificate programs is only expected to cost students between $1,216 and $1,368 in total.
Pitt Community College gives its students the ability to concentrate their studies in a variety of areas related to medical office administration. Those enrolled in the Associate of Applied Science in Medical Office Administration, for instance, can choose a concentration in Medical Auditor, Medical Billing and Coding, or Patient Service Representative. Non-degree seekers can enroll in a diploma program in each of these specialties, and the school offers a certificate program in Patient Service Representative and Medical Office Receptionist.
PittCC’s AAS in Medical Office Administration degree consists of 76 credit hours of coursework. Alternatively, the diploma programs are composed of 46 credit hours, and the certificate program will require students to complete 17 credit hours. The diploma program takes students approximately two years to complete, with students enrolling in 6-12 credit hours per semester. Those working toward the AAS, on the other hand, will take around 15 credit hours per semester and will graduate in two years.
Central Texas College has an online medical office assistant training program that may be particularly suited to veterans and active military members, as it features a Military Credentialing Program. The completion of this program enables students to sit for the National Healthcareer Association’s Medical Administrative Assistant certification exam. Combine the ability to obtain a recognized credential along with an affordable program cost of $1,880 with an exam voucher, and you can see why this school secured one of our top-ten spots.
The program’s $1,880 tuition includes 12 months of access to the course’s content, which is self-paced. Since the program is asynchronous, coursework is suited to dedicated and organized students who are self-motivated. The content is expected to take students around 265 hours to complete, which works out to about five hours per week with the 12-month access.
Learning the ins-and-outs of Medical Office Administration is made easier with Beaufort County Community College’s Associate’s in Medical Office Administration. This 66-credit program consists of six credit hours of required coursework: Med Ins & Billing and Office Editing. The core curriculum consists of five classes: Word Processing, Med Office Terms I, Med Office Terms II, Medical Legal Issues, and Office Admin Capstone.
Students enrolled in this program will also take courses such as Business Math, Med Document Processing, Procedure Coding, and Diagnostic Coding. Students who want to obtain real-life experience in their future job roles are able to take three credit hours of work-based learning with a school-approved employer. BCCC’s program focuses on both the theoretical knowledge and applicable skills necessary for success as a medical office administrator.
Wake Technical Community College knows it takes more than the knowledge learned in textbooks to become an outstanding medical office administrator. That’s why this college focuses on teaching its students problem-solving skills that can be utilized, not just in the medical setting but also throughout students’ lives. At Wake Tech, students can pursue a dynamic Associate of Applied Science in Medical Office Administration. Financial aid is available for those unable to pay for the tuition of this 66-credit-hour program.
Wake Tech also has AAS degrees in Medical Billing and Coding and Medical Office Professional. A diploma and certificate in Medical Office Professional are available as well for students who aren’t interested in pursuing a degree. The diploma program consists of 36 credit hours of coursework, while the certificate program is composed of 18 credit hours.
One of the most important aspects when running a medical clinic is dealing with and getting paid by insurance companies. Those trained in this aspect of medical office administration are valued members of the office staff and are crucial in ensuring that the rest of the medical office staff gets paid. Lenoir Community College recognizes how essential billing, coding, and insurance reimbursement is to medical practices, which is why they created their Medical Coding, Billing, & Insurance Certificate program.
This certificate program consists of 15 credit hours of coursework, with the core curriculum comprising nine credit hours. The three core curriculum classes include Med Office Terms I, Med Office Terms II, and Med Ins and Billing. The other six credit hours necessary to graduate are spread over two classes, which are Procedure Coding and Diagnostic Coding. Since this is a certificate program, you will only take essential classes that are directly related to your future career.
The Medical Front Office Assistant Certificate program from Georgia Northwestern Technical College will enable graduates to become eligible for jobs as medical receptionists in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals and physician offices or clinics. No time will be wasted on information you’ll never see again with this certificate program, which is composed of 22 credit hours of study.
There are five required courses in this program, with an additional six credit hours needed to be obtained in Occupational-Guided Electives. The five required courses include Introduction to Computer Literacy, Medical Terminology for Allied Health Sciences or Medical Terminology, Healthcare Administrative Procedures, Fundamentals of English I, and Document Production. You’ll work with your academic advisor to select your required electives. To graduate with this certificate, all the classes must be passed with a grade of C or higher.
There are two essential components that make medical offices succeed or fail: the physicians who provide clinical care and the office administrative staff. Minnesota West Community and Technical College’s Healthcare Administrative Assistant Associate of Applied Science will provide you with the tools and knowledge to ensure you’re an indispensable asset to medical practices. Healthcare administrative assistants perform a wide variety of tasks, ranging from scheduling appointments to processing insurance claims, to bookkeeping. With so many tasks that could come your way, you’ll need a vast array of skills, which is what you’ll learn with this degree.
This AAS degree program is composed of 60 credit hours of coursework, which commonly take students around two years to complete. Each semester students will take 12-16 credit hours. You’ll start learning applicable knowledge during the first semester of study by taking Body Structure & Function, Medical Terminology in Healthcare, Reimbursement & Insurance in Healthcare, and three other classes.
What was once called the Associate of Science in Medical Office Administration at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has been repackaged under a different name. You’ll get the same high-quality curriculum but earn an Associate of Science in Healthcare Management Technology. This school also offers a Diploma in Healthcare Management Technology and a Healthcare Management Technology Billing and Coding Essentials Certificate. The Diploma program is composed of 39 semester hours, and the certificate program is composed of 12 credits.
Those who decide to pursue the associate’s degree will need to complete 72-73 semester hours of study to graduate. This degree program is expected to take students two years of full-time study to complete. Each semester students will take 12-16 credit hours of coursework. Examples of classes in this program include Principles of Financial Accounting, Med Office Sim, and Diagnostic Coding.
With an Associate’s in Medical Office Administration, an Electronic Medical Records Certificate, and a Patient Relations Diploma, Guilford Technical Community College likely offers a program in the medical office administration field that’s right for you. The Associate of Applied Science in Medical Office Administration is going to prepare students for the first day on the job in a medical or healthcare facility. Students in this degree program have options when it comes to selecting their Medical Office Administration electives, as the school features nine unique courses. These electives include classes such as Intro to Healthcare Management, Social Media for Office Prof, Records Management, and Office Publications Design, among others.
Students wishing to gain in-depth knowledge in managing medical records will want to check out GTCC’s Electronic Medical Record Certificate program. This program is composed of 18 credit hours of studies divided between two semesters of study. In the first semester, students will take Office Applications I, Med Office Terms I, and Med Ins & Billing. In the second semester, they will enroll in Electronic Health Records, Records Management, and Med Office Terms II.
Whether you’re just wanting to pursue an associate’s degree or plan on going on to complete a bachelor’s degree, Minnesota State Community and Technical College’s Medical Administrative Assistant Associate of Applied Science program will fulfill your needs. This college has an agreement with Minnesota State University Moorhead that allows those who complete this associate’s degree to transfer up to 50 credit hours of study into MSU Moorhead’s Health Service Administration Bachelor’s degree program.
The Medical Administrative Assistant AAS program is 60 credit hours, which means most of your credits can be applied toward further education. M State’s program was designed to teach students not only to become competent medical office staff but also leaders, so that graduates may step into more advanced roles within organizations.
Sometimes all you need are the basics to begin a rewarding career. Certificate programs are created to teach students the most foundational knowledge of a particular field, and the Medical Office Administration Certificate from Purdue University Global will definitely build a solid knowledge base. Upon graduation from this certificate program, students will be prepared to sit for exams to become Certified Medical Administrative Specialists, Certified Coding Associates, and National Certified Medical Office Assistants.
Purdue Global’s certificate program is longer than most others on this list, at 57 credit hours offered in ten-week modules. Students enrolled in this program should plan to spend 9-15 hours each week studying for their classes.
Combining 45 credits of technical education and 15 general education credits, the 60-credit-hour Medical Administrative Assistant Associate of Applied Science from Minnesota State College Southeast has both breadth and depth of education. The general education requirements consist of three credit hours in written and oral communications; mathematics; history, social, and behavioral sciences; and humanities and fine arts.
The technical classes in this degree include courses such as Spreadsheets Concepts and Applications, Anatomy & Physiology Disease Conditions, Essentials of Healthcare Documentation, and Introduction to Health Information Management, among others. This degree is also one of the most reasonably priced on this list, with the approximate tuition costing students just under $14,000, including books and supplies. Perhaps best of all, if you choose this program, you’ll be taught by professors who have real experience working in the medical field.
Kentucky Community and Technical College ensures that its students enrolled in either the Medical Administrative Assistant Diploma or degree program graduate ready to tackle the rigors of a medical front-office job by requiring them to perform an internship or capstone course before graduation. The diploma program is no walk in the park, at 49 credit hours, and students are expected to maintain a grade of C or better in each of the classes taken to progress in the program.
KCTC’s diploma program consists of seven credit hours of general education and 42 credit hours of technical and support classes. The general education classes include Basic Anatomy and Physiology with Laboratory, Editing Skills for Office Professional, and Writing I. Within the technical and support discipline, students will take courses such as Business Communications Technology, Medical Terminology from Greek & Latin, and Electronic Health Records.
At just 13 credit hours, the Medical Office Assistant Certificate of Completion program from Montgomery County Community College is one of the shortest programs on this list. This program is made up of just four classes, which include Medical Terminology, Medical Law and Ethics, Medical Office Technologies and the EHR, and Medical Office Administration. The program aims to train its students to perform basic administrative duties in a medical office, develop critical thinking skills, and learn to manage electronic medical records.
After completing this certificate program, students will be eligible to take the national Medical Office Assistant certification exam. The school also offers a Medical Coding Certificate, Medical Assisting Certificate, and Office Management Certificate program. What’s more, Montco provides multiple scholarships for students each year, including scholarships for online students.
Riverland Community College’s Medical Administrative Assistant Associate of Applied Science is a genuine, recognized business program, as it’s an ACBSP-accredited business school. Riverland’s AAS degree program allows students to take advantage of specialized knowledge in medical administration while receiving a good liberal arts education. This degree program is composed of 60 credit hours, which can be completed in four semesters of full-time study.
Students can enter into this program three times throughout the year: in the spring, summer, and fall. Students enrolled in the AAS program will take 22 credit hours of general education, with the rest of the credit hours spent learning what it takes to run a medical office. The core curriculum consists of classes such as Business Communication, Medical Accounts Management, Medical Office Procedures, and Office Supervision and Management, to name just a few.
Two programs from Remington College Knoxville can help jumpstart your career in medical office administration: the Diploma in Medical Office Administration and the Bachelor’s in Health Information Management completion degree. Full-time students enrolled in the diploma program will be able to complete their studies in as little as eight months. The diploma focuses on teaching students skills such as medical coding, laws and ethics of medical records, structure and function of the human body, and business aspects of medical practice.
Alternatively, with the school’s Bachelor’s in Health Information Management completion degree, you’ll spend much of your time learning how to handle and store sensitive patient health information. After the completion of this degree, graduates will be prepared for employment as medical record technicians or health information technicians.
The Ultimate Medical Academy offers two trajectories for its medical office administration programs. One option is an 11-month, diploma program, and the other is an 18-month associate’s program. If you pursue the diploma, you’ll deal only with core coursework.
UMA’s Health Sciences – Medical Administrative Assistant Associate’s degree features a total of 62 course credits, 32 of which make up the core courses for medical administration. These core courses cover topics such as medical terminology, coding, and anatomy, among others. The diploma route, on the other hand, requires only 38 credits for completion.
One of the strengths of UMA is its small class sizes. The most students allowed into a class are 25, which means learners can benefit from more attention from professors. In addition, there is 24/7 tech support to aid students in correcting any technical issues they encounter during their online studies.
Elizabethtown Community and Technical College makes it easy for students to gain specialized knowledge and training within the medical field with its array of associate’s degrees, diplomas, and certificates. The school’s Medical Administrative Assistant Diploma program requires that students complete 49 credit hours of study.
The majority of coursework in this program is spent in technical and support courses directly related to medical administration. The remaining credit hours are dedicated to general education classes, such as Basic Anatomy and Physiology with Lab, Editing Skills for Office Professionals, or Writing I.
Alternatively, ECTC’s AAS in Medical Office Management is 64 credit hours in duration, which isn’t much more of a commitment than the 42-credit-hour diploma program. The AAS degree program allows students to gain specialized knowledge in medical office business and finance, among other related topics.
The Institute of Medical and Business Careers’ Medical Office Administrator Diploma is a fully online program. In total, the program lasts 12 months on average, and each course is six weeks in duration. What’s more, IMBC maintains small class sizes, with a cap set at 25 students.
Because the program is fully online, students will not need to engage in an internship to fulfill the graduation requirements. After graduating with their diploma, alumni of IMBC are employed at a rate of 82%.
The skills with which students are equipped in this program are applicable to a wide array of work environments. Possible career settings after graduation include outpatient care centers, nursing care homes, hospitals, and medical or dental offices.
Northland Community and Technical College offers a 60-credit-hour Medical Office Assistant Associate of Applied Science that will make you a competitive applicant in the job hunt following graduation. Northland does allow students to transfer college credits that were earned at another university, as long as the credits have been earned within the past five years. During this program, students are expected to maintain a minimum grade of C in each class to continue their studies.
Courses in this program are held in a semester format. To be accepted, applicants are expected to have taken certain biology and health courses, but this requirement can be waived for those with either recent experience working or education in health-related fields.
The Medical Administrative Specialist program from Alexandria Technical & Community College is unique in that it enables students to obtain specific learning in computer, technical, and general education courses. The broad skills learned through this university allow students to be qualified for a vast array of jobs in the health field. ATCC’s program results in an Associate of Applied Science degree and is composed of 60 credit hours of coursework.
This program takes four semesters to complete if students are enrolled full-time. Each semester, students take 12-18 credit hours of coursework, with the average semester requiring students to complete 15 credit hours. Those enrolled in this program may take classes such as Document Fund of Editing & Scribing, Introduction to CPT/HCPCS, Pharmacology & Lab, and Medicolegal & Reimbursement Issues, among others.
After earning the Medical Administrative Assistant Associate of Applied Science from Dakota College at Bottineau, graduates will be prepared to sit for the Certified Medical Office Assistant exam through the American Medical Technologists association. The school makes a special point to emphasize that it’s up to the student to confirm whether or not the state in which the student resides accepts DCB’s Medical Administration Assistant program as grounds for licensure.
Students in this associate’s degree program will take two years to complete their coursework and can look forward to classes such as Medical Transcription I, Business Communication, Fundamentals of Public Speaking, and Concepts of Anatomy & Physiology, to name just a few.
By obtaining a Medical Administrative Assistant Certificate from Rasmussen University, you’ll be one step closer to making a real difference in other people’s lives and health clinic experiences. This program can be completed in just nine months of study, and the school ensures that its online students have full access to on-campus support from trained faculty when encountering difficulties in their studies.
This program aims to develop critical skills in students through courses like Fundamental Office Management Expertise, Effective Communication Strategies, Medical Technology Overview, and Healthcare Environment Exploration. Students will take 12 courses for a total of 36 credit hours to earn the certificate. Students in this program can also expect to take classes such as Technology Today for Medical Administration, Customer Service in Healthcare, and Foundations of Medical Administration.
At Herzing University, you can pursue either an Associate’s in Medical Office Administration or a diploma program, depending on your future goals. Upon graduation from either of these programs, you’ll be able to sit for the certification exam to become a Certified Medical Administrative Assistant, and the school even covers the exam costs for the first attempt. If you choose Herzing’s diploma program, you can expect to finish in as little as eight months, while the associate’s degree will take you around two years to complete.
Individuals who pursue the associate’s degree can take advantage of a generous school transfer policy, which allows students to transfer up to 45 credits from another university. The associate’s degree is estimated to take students around 20 months to complete and requires either a capstone course or internship experience before graduation.
Do You Need a Degree to Work as a Medical Office Administrator?
Degrees are slowly becoming one of the distinguishing factors of whether or not someone gets hired for a job, particularly when it comes to healthcare. Technically speaking, you could work as a medical office administrator without ever taking a college course. There aren’t any specific laws that require a minimum amount of education for medical office administrators. With that said, just because there aren’t laws mandating a certain amount of education doesn’t mean that employers don’t give preferential treatment to those who have earned at least an associate’s degree.
With a diploma or certificate program in medical office administration, you’ll obtain the basic foundational skills and knowledge necessary to effectively work in a medical office. For some employers, all they are looking for in a candidate is a certificate or diploma, while others will want front-office staff to have at least an associate’s degree. Certificate programs typically include under 20 credit hours of coursework, which is often completed in two semesters of study, while a diploma program will likely take the learner around a year to complete.
So, why would an employer prefer to hire someone with an associate’s degree rather than a diploma or certificate, when all of the applicants have a foundational knowledge of medical office administration? Sometimes those who complete an associate’s degree are viewed as having more dedication and drive than those who don’t. Associate’s-degree holders were also required to complete general education classes, which teach students how to speak, write, and think logically and professionally. Although those without an associate’s degree may have the same skillsets, a degree gives a kind of assurance to employers that those refined skills are present.
While earning an associate’s degree may give you an advantage when it comes to seeking out your first job, it may also lead to higher pay, as employers are often willing to pay more for those with additional education. Now, this is not always the case, and if you already have an idea of where you’d like to work after attending a medical office administration program, then you should talk with that employer about their minimal hiring qualifications and pay. You may find that the employer only requires a certificate program, which will save you both time and money.
How Much Can You Earn After Attending an Online College in Medical Office Administration?
The number on the paycheck you take home at the end of the month will depend on a few factors, such as the specific healthcare clinic that employs you and the specific job you perform in the clinic. There are a variety of jobs that you may end up applying for after completing a program in medical office administration, such as working as a medical secretary and administrative assistant, medical records specialist, or medical and health services manager.
Those who choose a career as a medical secretary and administrative assistant will be asked to utilize the broad knowledge they learned through a medical office administration program to scheduling appointments, billing patients, and compiling and recording medical charts, reports, and correspondence. Medical secretaries and administrative assistants are reported to earn a median annual salary of $36,580.
Medical records specialists, on the other hand, spend the majority of their time managing medical records and coding and billing insurance. This career is projected to grow faster than average, at 8% or higher between 2019 and 2029. Medical records specialists can expect to earn around $20.50 per hour, which comes out to $42,630 annually.
If you’re looking to earn the big money, then becoming a medical and health services manager is where you’ll find it. You’re likely to need at least a bachelor’s degree to land this job, although it’s reported that around 19% of individuals working in this career only have an associate’s degree. If you end up going back to school for your bachelor’s degree to qualify for this job, it’ll pay off, as medical and health services managers are reported to earn $100,980 per year!
If you’re interested in pursuing higher education, then you should check out the 30 Accredited Online Colleges For Medical Assistant and the 30 Accredited Online Colleges for Occupational Therapy!