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Medical Office Assisting Programs in New Jersey

According to government figures, there were over 512,000 medical admin assistants employed in various health care settings around the nation as of May 2013. Future students interested in working in the growing health care industry may want to investigate medical administrative assisting programs in New Jersey as entry-level jobs often require less than two years of college and as few as one.

A medical office assistant is often one of the first people that a patient in a doctor’s office may see. The assistant may provide a variety of tasks for the facility that range from handling payments, entering insurance codes into computer programs, and completing various administrative duties like scheduling new appointments and filing records.

A recent publication from the State of New Jersey reveals rapid growth in the last two decades for health care job creation, with 171,100 new jobs added to the economy from 1990 to 2011. Although employment in hospitals has slowed, employment in all other areas has risen swiftly, which bodes well for medical administrative assistants who often work in doctor’s offices.

Medical Administrative Assistant Programs in New Jersey

Students in a medical secretary program at the certificate or associate’s degree level will take courses that range from basic administrative work to classes in medical terminology and insurance coding. For example, a student in a certificate program will probably take classes in billing for insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as handling correspondence and various basic accounting topics. The program may also feature topics on communication and writing to help the student handle admin duties in a busy office.

Students should expect to remain in school for anywhere from one to two years, depending upon the type of degree or certificate sought. An associate’s degree will typically take 20 to 24 months to complete, and a certificate program may require 9 to 12 months of study. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggests medical admin assistants enjoy median pay of more than $39,750 a year in New Jersey.

Certification and Accreditation for Medical Admin Assistants

The state of New Jersey doesn’t require certification in a particular area for working medical admin assistants; however, taking the exam to gain Medical Administrative Assistant Certification, which is administered by the National Healthcareer Association may provide more opportunities for employment.

For some students, taking the Medical Administrative Assistant, Billing, and Coding Specialist Exam from the NHA will also provide employment opportunities. Students may also want to consider getting a CPR certification as provided by the American Red Cross. Basic medical certifications in a healthcare facility are always helpful even if a student is on the administrative staff.

Career Possibilities and Benefits for Medical Office Assistants in NJ

Using the official job search website for the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development reveals a variety of jobs available for graduates of medical admin assistant programs. Some potential careers include secretary nursing services, marketing coordinator, unit secretary, and medical receptionist.

Future medical office assistants who are naturally social and who have good people skills will also have a positive impact on their place of employment. By ensuring the office runs smoothly, medical assistants can improve the patient experience, which is particularly important when a patient is nervous about visiting a health care facility.

Another one of the benefits of becoming certified and obtaining a degree in medical office assisting is that the career may foster further growth regarding employment and education. After gaining work experience in a doctor’s office, a graduate with an associate’s degree will be well-prepared to enter a more advanced program that will lead to jobs like physician’s assistant, nurse, or medical assistant. Reach out to schools today to learn more about your options.