If you’re interested in a career working in a medical office, clinic, or hospital, many interesting healthcare administration jobs pay well. This guide looks at the most popular healthcare administration jobs and details how to prepare for them.
Many of the best jobs in the healthcare field are in the office, doing administrative work. These healthcare administration jobs that pay well include office manager, executive assistant, surgical scheduler, and medical biller.
Some of these jobs are more difficult than others. Some require, or at least recommend, some type of certification or degree. Other positions are open to anyone with a high school degree or equivalent, which opens up a lot of opportunities for a lot of job seekers.
Highest Paid Healthcare Administration Jobs in The United States
All types of healthcare facilities employ administrative workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 33% of all administrative workers are employed in hospitals, 12% in doctor’s offices, 10% in nursing homes and residential care facilities, 8% in governmental institutions, and 7% in outpatient care centers. These are typically full-time positions, but not always 9-5 jobs. (For example, some office managers and administrative assistants may have to work night shifts in 24/7 facilities.) While these are typically in-office jobs, some positions, such as surgical scheduler and medical biller, may be acceptable for remote work.
In terms of health administration jobs salary, you can expect to earn anywhere from $30,000 to $60,000, depending on the position, location, employer, and your background and training. Some jobs benefit from professional certification, which also tends to increase salary levels.
What type of person is best suited for a job in healthcare administration?
It helps if you’re an empathetic individual who likes to interact with and help other people. Having an interest in medicine is also good. But most of these jobs are administrative in nature, which means that having organizational and time management skills are important. For those positions that regularly interact with patients, strong interpersonal skills also matter.
Many of these jobs don’t require a college education, although many benefit from professional certification. For some people, a healthcare administration job is the first step towards a more substantive career in the medical field. For others, it’s a satisfying career in and onto itself.
What are the best-paying jobs in healthcare administration today? We’ll look at the following positions and what they entail, including:
- Medical office manager
- Medical executive assistant
- Surgical scheduler
- Medical biller
Medical Office Manager
Being the office manager of any medical facility is an important job. The office manager is the person responsible for keeping the entire medical office running smoothly. Without a strong office manager, most medical facilities would simply fall apart!
Medical Office Manager Job Description
Who keeps everything running on track in a medical office? It’s not the doctors or the nurses, or even the people at the front desk. The person responsible for managing the medical office, mainly behind the scenes, is the office manager.
Medical office manager is a position that requires a unique blend of managerial, organizational, leadership, and administrative skills. The office manager is the boss of the office, responsible for making sure that everybody else does their jobs and that everything that needs to get done gets done, accurately and on time. It’s very much a middle management position that has to work with both higher-level and lower-level staff—and one of the essential hospital administration jobs today.
What Are the Duties of a Medical Office Manager?
Unlike many positions that focus on just one or a handful of tasks, a medical office manager is responsible for a large number of important duties. The office manager’s chief responsibilities include:
- Overseeing all day-to-day operations of the medical facility
- Managing all office staff, including receptionists, administrative assistants, schedulers, and billers
- Interviewing, hiring, and onboarding new office staff
- Ensuring that all records, billing information, and other data are error-free and accurately filed
- Handling all customer service needs
- Developing and carrying out policies and procedures
- Ensuring compliance with HIPAA and other key regulations
- Helping to develop and monitor the office budget
- Managing and ordering office supplies
- Interfacing with physicians, nurses, and other clinical staff
In short, the office manager is responsible for everything that happens in the non-clinical part of the medical office. It’s a big job.
Medical Office Manager Education
While some employers have no set education requirements when hiring an office manager, others do recommend or require either an Associate or Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Healthcare Management, or Healthcare Administration. Most established medical office managers have Bachelor’s degrees, but not always in healthcare. In most instances, a general Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration is just fine.
Average Salary for a Medical Office Manager
According to ZipRecruiter, medical officer managers earn, on average, $51,362 per year. For those positions that pay hourly, that’s an average of $24.69 per hour.
Medical Executive Assistant
A medical executive assistant, sometimes called an administrative assistant or secretary, handles the chief administrative duties in a medical facility. Some are assigned to specific senior staff, while others serve in a more general role.
An administrative assistant is one of the more attractive entry-level healthcare administration jobs. It often functions as a solid stepping stone for those interested in higher-level administrative positions. It’s a position that requires a blend of organizational and interpersonal skills.
What Do Administrative Medical Assistants Do?
The specific duties of a medical assistant differ from employer to employer, but typically fall into three general buckets:
- Customer service, including greeting and interacting with patients, answering phones, scheduling appointments, and recording patient data
- Administrative, including creating and responding to letters and other correspondence, arranging staff meetings, gathering medical records, entering key data into the firm’s computer system, and filing insurance paperwork
- Other important tasks, including checking inventory, ordering office supplies, arranging necessary equipment maintenance, and more
Medical Administrative Assistant Education Requirements
Most healthcare employers require administrative assistant candidates to have nothing more than a high school diploma or GED. That said, candidates can get a leg up by obtaining some type of certification in medical administration. Candidates with prior healthcare or administrative experience are also in demand.
How to Become a Medical Administrative Assistant
Aside from the basic requirements, there are two typical paths to becoming a medical administrative assistant. If you’re interested in this type of job, you can proceed by obtaining either:
- A certification or degree in medical administration, typically offered by community colleges, vocational schools, and online training programs
- An associate degree in medical administration, offered by accredited colleges and universities
Most associate degree programs provide additional education beyond the basic training provided by a certificate program.
Administrative Medical Assistant Salary
According to ZipRecruiter, a typical medical assistant earns, on average, $15.74 per hour or $32,745 per year. A certified medical assistant earns a little more—$34,171 per year, on average.
As the title implies, a surgical scheduler is responsible for scheduling surgeries for one or more surgeons. This is more challenging than it might appear.
What Is a Surgical Scheduler?
The surgical scheduler must coordinate with multiple parties to schedule necessary surgical procedures, including the surgeon or their office, the patient, and one or more hospitals or surgery centers. The scheduler is also responsible for scheduling any necessary pre-operative testing, accurately communicating pre-surgery instructions to the patient, and collecting the necessary documentation for all procedures. There’s a lot of communication involved, as well as a lot of paperwork.
Is Surgery Scheduling a Stressful Job?
Scheduling surgical procedures can be stressful. A surgical scheduler has to deal with a large number of phone calls and emails to and from patients, surgeons, and other parties. That generates a lot of paperwork that also must be dealt with, accurately and efficiently. The scheduler has to try to fit surgeries into everyone’s schedules and make everybody happy. The situation is made more challenging when surgeries have to be rescheduled at the last minute. Patients who don’t follow surgical instructions can also complicate things.
All that said, most surgical schedulers like their jobs. It’s a stable, well-paying position with regular 9-5 hours. If you like dealing with people—and their schedules—it might be a good fit.
How Much Does a Surgery Scheduler Make?
Most surgical scheduling positions are paid on an hourly basis. According to ZipRecruiter, the average base salary for a surgery scheduler is $37,790 per year, or about $18 per hour.
Surgery Scheduler Pay Scale
The pay scale for surgery schedulers varies considerably by state. According to ZipRecruiter, the state with the lowest yearly salary for surgical schedulers is Louisiana, paying just $26,903 per year. Mississippi, Florida, and Georgia, also have yearly salaries below $30,000 per year.
The highest-paying state for surgical schedulers is Nevada, with an average yearly salary of $42,960 per year. Massachusetts and Alaska also pay more than $40,000 per year.
The final high-paying healthcare administrative job on our list, is the medical biller. Medical billing is a key component of how healthcare providers receive payment for the services they render. It involves entering coded medical information into the firm’s system, generating invoices, sending those invoices to insurance companies or other payers, and making sure that payment is collected.
Medical billing is related to medical coding, so much so that they’re often seen as part of the same career track. There is certainly overlap between the two positions.
Medical coders operate at the start of the billing process, by converting information about a patient’s services into a series of universal medical codes used by both healthcare providers and insurance companies. Medical billers take the codes prepared by the medical coder and use them to submit claims to insurance providers. In some facilities, the jobs of coder and biller are combined into a single position.
Is It Hard to Get a Job as a Medical Biller?
The field of medical coding and billing is rapidly expanding and attracting many new applicants. This may make it difficult to find and win open positions, at least for those just starting out. The fact that it’s one of the highest-paying jobs in healthcare administration also tends to create a crowded field of applications for any open position.
Because employers tend to hire experienced coders and billers, many new entrants start out by getting jobs in related non-clinical healthcare fields. They can then leverage that experience to pivot into the coding and billing field.
What Skills Do You Need to Be a Medical Biller?
Becoming a successful medical biller requires a unique combination of skills, many of which can be gained in related healthcare jobs. These skills include:
- Attention to detail; it’s important to know the right codes and enter them correctly
- Communication skills; you have to interact with patients, medical staff, insurance companies, and more
- Discipline; you must be self-motivated to stay on task without constant supervision
- Willingness to learn; you need to learn new codes as they develop and be willing to pursue necessary education, certification, and accreditation
The last point is important, as there are always new procedures and new codes to learn. In addition, professional certification can increase a medical biller’s salary by anywhere from 3% to 25%.
How Much Do Medical Billers Make?
When it comes to medical billing jobs, obtaining certification can dramatically increase your salary. According to the AAPC, a healthcare certification organization, the average salary for non-certified medical billers is $47,200 per year, while certified billing and coding specialists make, on average, $60,097 per year. This makes medical biller one of the highest-paid healthcare administration jobs today.
What State Pays Medical Billers the Most?
Because of different state certification requirements, the salary for medical billers varies significantly from state to state. Employers in the District of Columbia pay the highest salary, at $70,083 per year, followed closely by Massachusetts ($67,260), Hawaii ($66,902), Maryland ($66,310), and California ($66,224). The state that pays the least is Mississippi, at just $46,250 per year.
For many individuals, pursuing a career in healthcare administration can be both personally and financially rewarding. This is especially true with the top administrative jobs in the profession, such as medical office manager, medical executive assistant, surgical scheduler, and medical biller.
Healthcare Administration Jobs Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do you have more questions about jobs in healthcare administration? Read on to find answers to some of the most-asked questions.
What can you do with a healthcare administration degree?
Many colleges and universities offer degrees in healthcare administration. Such a degree is desirable for many positions in the healthcare administration field, especially those focusing more on the business end of things, such as office manager and administrative assistant.
Classes in healthcare administration present many skills useful in the day-to-day duties of a healthcare administrator. These skills include organization, management, leadership, and technology—skills that can’t always be learned on the job.
There are many benefits to pursuing a healthcare administration degree, including:
- Qualify for more jobs that require degrees
- Hit the ground running without having to undertake long on-the-job training programs
- Potentially higher salaries
- More opportunities for career advancement
Which medical assistant certification is the best?
To get ahead in their jobs, many administrative and executive assistants engage in professional certification programs designed especially for medical assistants. There are many such certifications available, including:
- Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). This is the most popular certification for medical assistants today. CMAs need to be recertified every five years by 60 hours of continuing education or a new examination.
- Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), offered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT). This certification can be awarded to individuals who graduate from an approved medical assistant program, who complete an approved course of employment, or who are already certified by another organization.
- National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA), offered by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). To obtain this certification, an individual must graduate from an NCCT-approved medical assistant program or complete at least two years of employment as a medical assistant. To be recertified, NCMAs must complete 14 hours of continuing education.
- Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). To receive CCMA certification, an individual must complete an approved health program and be employed as a medical assistant for a year. To be recertified, CCMAs must complete 10 hours of continuing education.
- Clinical Medical Assistant Certification (CMAC), offered by the American Medical Certification Association (AMCA). This certification is designed for assistants in clinical practice, and includes tasks such as recording patient visits, taking vitals, and drawing blood.
- Podiatric Medical Assistant, Certified (PMAC), offered by the American Society of Podiatric Medical Assistants (ASPMA). This certification is targeted at medical assistants in podiatric practices.
- Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA), offered by the International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (IJCAHPO). This certification is targeted at medical assistants in ophthalmic practices.
Some of these certifications can be completed in six months, others require up to two years of work. Depending on the certification desired and where you take the classes, certification can cost anywhere from $1,200 to $4,000.
Which of these certifications are the best? It all depends on your specific circumstances.
The CMA is a good general certification with application across all manner of medical assistant positions. It’s also one of the toughest certifications to get, requiring graduation from an accredited post-secondary medical assisting program. For that reason, the CMA is held in high esteem by healthcare employers and very popular among aspiring medical assistants.
The other certifications are also good, some for specific positions. For example, the CCMA and CMAC are good if you’re assisting in a clinical environment, while the PMAC and COA are good for those working in the fields of podiatry and ophthalmology, respectively.
The best thing to do is consult with others at your workplace or those performing in a similar capacity elsewhere and see what certifications they recommend. Getting any certification is a major investment in time and money, so make sure you go after the one that will do you the most good in your career.
Where are medical assistants most needed?
Healthcare facilities of all types across the entire United States need qualified medical assistants. That said, some areas employ more medical assistants than others.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the five states with the highest concentration of medical secretaries and administrative assistants are, in order:
- New York
However, just because a state has the most job openings doesn’t mean it’s the best place to look for medical assistant jobs. One could argue that those states that pay the most are most in need of medical assistants, based on the theory of supply and demand. With that in mind, you should also look at those states that pay medical administrative assistants the highest salaries. The top five states with the highest average salaries are, in order:
- District of Columbia ($47,110/year)
- California ($46,140/year)
- Washington ($45,990/year)
- Massachusetts ($44,900/year)
- Rhode Island ($43,740/year)
Ultimately, however, the best areas for job hunting are those that have open medical assistant jobs that pay well. Using a staffing agency, such as Quadrant, is a good way to find the right openings for you.
Which certification is best for medical billing?
There are several certifications available for medical billing, including the following:
- Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS), offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- Certified Professional Coder (CPC), offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)
- Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) and Certified Coding Associate (CCA), both offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
- Certified Medical Coder (CMC), offered by the Practice Management Institute
All of these certifications are valid for both medical billing and medical coding. Costs to achieve these certifications range from $1,000 to $6,000 but can immediately and dramatically affect your salary potential.
If you are interested in a career in healthcare administration, turn to the employment experts at Quadrant.
Our experienced professionals will help you find the best position for you, so you can find the right healthcare administration job that pays well. Click here to search for new healthcare opportunities.
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