Medical Administrative Assistant

In the US, administrative assistants are the workers who make offices run smoothly and efficiently. This is just as true in healthcare as it is in finance, publishing or any other field. Medical administrative assistants help to maintain and organize well-run office environments throughout the healthcare industry. These admins possess knowledge in the highly specialized fields of medicine and work in hospitals, nursing homes and private medical practices.

While formal educational training is not required, many medical administrative assistants do receive certification. For some employers, training will be provided on the job. This is a great entry level position that many times can lead to further opportunities in the healthcare industry.


Medical administrative assistants may be required to explain certain medical procedures to patients as well as resolve insurance and billing issues. They may also be asked to transcribe notes from the physician, update a patient’s medical history or to conduct the inventory of both medical and office supplies.

In addition to organizational skills, medical administrative assistants need to possess good people skills. Sometimes these healthcare workers are the public face of the practice or facility where they work. They may be the first person that patients see when they arrive, so admins should be friendly, comforting and able to explain the various practices and procedures that are routinely conducted by the medical facility.

Admins in this field will also likely be required to answer phones and schedule appointments so verbal and written communication skills are essential.

Education Requirements

Much of the knowledge that medical administrative assistants acquire will be gained though experience working on the job, however, training and certification is available.  Someone looking to start a career in the medical industry may pursue certification such as the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) credential issued by the National Healthcare Association (NHA). Medical administrative assistants will need to be computer and tech-savvy enough to learn and use the latest software.

Work Conditions

Medical administrative assistants work in medical facilities which are clean, sterile and bright environments. Medical offices are well organized as they obtain and store a large amount of data. Medical administrative assistants will typically work a 9 to 5 work day, five days per week, Monday through Friday, although hospitals and nursing homes may make different requirements.

Job Outlook

Careers in the medical field are likely to continue to grow in the US. Good medical administrative assistants will be required to handle the increase in patients and help implement and understand new technology as it is developed. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for administrative assistants is expected to increase by almost 30 percent from 2008 to 2018.