Make a Difference
If you're looking for a career where you can make a significant impact helping others while earning a decent salary, a job in medical or healthcare administrative services may be perfect for you. Whether you're interested in medical billing, medical transcription or medical office management, there are many different opportunities available to you.
It's the medical administrators who keep the offices running effectively at any healthcare office that you visit. They require a specialized knowledge of terminology and procedures, as well as billing practices, laboratory procedures and insurance rules that govern healthcare services.
Becoming a medical administrator requires learning about medical terminology, medical office procedures and record and database management. Successful administrators have superior keyboarding, spelling and grammar skills, can multitask in a busy work environment and are effective communicators and customer service representatives. Most medical administrators earn between $22,000 and $32,000 a year, with higher pay available to those with extensive skills, experience and certifications.
Medical transcriptionists are important to the healthcare system, as they transcribe recordings from physicians and help to keep patient files complete and up to date. While being a fast keyboardist is definitely an asset, transcriptionists are also required to have a detailed knowledge of medical procedures, treatments and terminology, as well as anatomy and even pharmacology, plus an expert attention to detail. They also must understand the legal requirements involved in working with confidential information.
The best way to enter this career is to graduate from a medical transcription training program. These can range in length from six months to two years and may result in a certificate, a diploma or an associate's degree. Certified medical transcriptionists must earn continuing education credits every three years to retain their certification. The average wage for medical transcriptionists is between $33,000 and $40,000 per year.
Medical coding is a job that evolved from the increasing need for thorough documentation for medical records and insurance claims. Medical coders assign an alphanumeric code to each specific injury, illness or medical procedure. These codes are universal across hospitals, insurance companies and federal and international organizations in order to ease the speed of communication and data collection between them all.
Coders above all require patience and accuracy—even a small error can cause delays in payments or treatments that can frustrate both doctors and patients alike. Because of the myriad rules and regulations involved, certification from the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPA) is highly encouraged and will greatly improve employment opportunities. Medical coding jobs are experiencing above average growth, with median earnings in the range of $36,000 to $45,000 per year.
The healthcare administrator oversees the management of all administrative and business needs of a hospital, clinic or nursing home. They supervise managers and staff members, create and enforce policies and procedures, and manage a budget. Healthcare administrators require plenty of credentials, starting with a two-year degree or certificate in healthcare administration, or a four-year degree in hospital management, human resources or healthcare information management, as well as a license if they intend to work in nursing homes.
Even with all these credentials, most healthcare administrators must work as managers for many years before landing a top spot in a hospital. The median earnings for healthcare administrators are between $95,000 and $110,000 a year.
Medical industry jobs are expected to exceed the average growth rate due to the aging population.