A medical office manager is responsible with all the non-clinical aspects of running a healthcare facility, with job duties varying according to the size and structure of the organization. A career in medical office management can offer a skilled and qualified candidate a wide range of opportunities.
National Average Medical Office Manager Salary
According to the job site Indeed.com, the national average salary for a medical office manager was $51,000 as of March, 2014. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t provide information specifically for medical office managers, the average salary reported by Indeed.com is slightly lower than the national average for first-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers, which was $52,830 per year. However, there has been a dip in the average, as Indeed.com reported medical office managers earned an average of $55,000 in 2013.
Medical Office Manager Salary by Region
Salaries for medical office managers vary quite significantly by region, with the highest variation being in the West. Thus, in San Francisco a medical office manager can earn $68,000, with $55,000 being the average for California, whereas in Hawaii, the average wage is $33,000, according to Indeed.com.
Moving across the map, Nebraska has a relatively low average of $38,000 per year, in contrast to the higher wage one can earn in Oklahoma of $47,000 per year. In the East, averages also vary quite a bit, but not quite as much as in the West.
In New York, the average salary for a medical office manager is $63,000, which is well above the national average. However, as we go further south, matters change and salaries drop, with Virginia averaging $52,000, North Carolina $50,000 and Florida being at the bottom of the pile with $48,000.
Job Description of a Medical Office Manager
A medical office manager is a vital part of any medical organization, including a physician’s office, a hopstial, nursing homes, and any other healthcare facilities. In this position, you will be responsible for all the non-clinical aspects involved in the daily operation of such facilities.
The job responsibilities are varied and a medical office manager has to deal with patients as well as administrative aspects. Thus, you will be required to supervise scheduling for patients as well as their registration. You will be required to offer financial counseling for the patients, as well as ensuring their medical records are in order. Supervision of billing, collection, cash posting, data entry and processing are also part of the job.
You will be responsible for making sure that customer service is excellent, which could involve merely supervision but also training of the staff in your office. Furthermore, you will be responsible with developing, implementing and maintaining various office policies and procedures to ensure smooth operations.
You will also be directly in charge of the medical office team, which means you will need to interview, hire and train the staff in question. Conducting performance reviews of your team is also required. Some of the positions you will need to employ staff for include medical records technician, billing technician, receptionist and more. Note that in a smaller setting, such as a physician’s office, you might have to do much of the work yourself.
Other responsibilities include ensuring the facility is clean at all times, choosing the equipment used in the facility and making sure it functions properly, selecting and ordering supplies, developing and implementing marketing campaigns and more. There is also a financial aspect to the job as you will be required to deal with various things including accounting and banking.
How to Become a Medical Office Manager
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While requirements vary from one employer to the next, most will want you to have some previous experience in healthcare as well as a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Accounting, Business, or Healthcare Administration. It also helps if you have some form of certification from a professional association, like the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management.
If you don’t have the right degree, that doesn’t mean you can’t become a medical office manager. It will simply require more time. One approach would be to apply for a position in the accounting department or to try and get a job as an assistant administrator. This will allow you to get your foot in the door and gain relevant experience.
When composing your resume, make sure to highlight relevant work experience, even if it isn’t in healthcare. Experience in supervisory roles, or with staffing, scheduling, and budgeting will all work in your favor, which is why you should emphasize these skills. If you’ve worked in middle management in any field, this will also work in your favor as the experience and skills you have gained are applicable in the healthcare environment as well.
To significantly increase your chances of obtaining the position, though, you should consider getting a Master’s degree in Health Services Administration, Public Administration, or Health Sciences. Obtaining certification from a relevant professional organization is also a good course of action.
Certification for Medical Office Managers
While certification is not mandatory to become a medical office manager, it certainly helps you stand out from amongst the other applicants. There are quite a few certificates that you can obtain but one of the most prestigious is from the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management, which offers a Certified Medical Manager credential based on an examination.
The Physician Office Managers Association of America also offers quite a few certifications, including Certified Practice Manager, Certified Human Resource Specialist, Certified Medical Practice Compliance Specialist, and Certified Health Information Technology Specialist. There are also a number of certifications under development, which should be available soon, including Certified Medical Office Supervisor and Certified Medical Office Chart Auditor Specialist.
Average Salaries of Medical Office Managers in Canada, Australia and the UK
According to PayScale.com, the median wage for a medical office manager in Canada is C$43,764, which translates into $39,434. On the low end of the scale, a medical office manager can earn $26,850, while the highest salary is $53,102.
In the U.K. a salary survey revealed that medical office managers earn an average of £40,200 per year, or $66,844. However, there are significant differences throughout the country, with the average wage being $75,700 in Greater London, whereas medical office managers in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales earn significantly less, with an average wage of $58,200.
Medical office managers earn a little better in Australia than Canada, with the average wage being AU$52,134 or $47,000. The lowest wage a medical officer earns is reported as being $31,000, while the highest is $66,700, which seems relatively close to wages in the United States.
Conclusion on Medical Office Manager Salary
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics is estimating an increase in the number of jobs for medical and health services managers by 22 percent until 2020, which is higher than the national hiring average across all industries and occupations. Thus, the Occupational Outlook Handbook concludes that jobs in healthcare are some of the most lucrative and stable careers in the United States. Furthermore, an increase in the number of patients in physicians’ offices and hospitals is expected, which should lead to a greater demand for medical office managers.
So, while the average national salary for medical office managers is relatively attractive at the moment, the increase in demand is likely to lead to an increase in wages as well. Also, wages for medical office managers increase based on experience and level of education, so by pursuing further education, you can significantly increase your earnings.