Medical secretary is an assistants who is trained in working with the medical staff, who understands medical terminology, and who deals with administrative tasks. They are among the fastest growing segments in the field of secretarial occupation. They often work in hospitals, dental offices, and laboratories. Medical secretary may either be the first person you’ll see if you have an appointment with a healthcare professional, or their job might have them staying behind the scenes, doing tasks such as examining your insurance card, double checking your shot records, collecting co-payments, and monitoring the appointments of the healthcare professional they’re working with. Based on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics a medical secretary’s salary averages at around $32,700 per year. They also a predicted 41.3% growth rate for 2010 to 2020 in the demand for medical secretaries in the US. Job opportunities are likely to open up in surgical hospitals and physician’s offices. If you want to know more about medical secretary salary and career requirements, keep reading.
What does a medical Secretary do
Medical secretary entertains the patients in the hospital or doctor’s office. They also answer the phones and keep track of appointments, which is why a medical secretary needs to have good computer skills and people skills.
A medical secretary is also responsible for collecting and organizing accurate patient records. This is why medical secretary needs to know medical terminology as well as the languages used by insurance companies and pharmacies. They also have to keep abreast with the latest federal privacy regulations that protect the patient’s information.
Another important duty for medical secretary includes clerical work. They prepare the physician’s correspondence and create patient reports out of the doctor’s dictation. They may even be tasked to manage the office’s website.
There are a lot of administrative support tasks, such as handling the paperwork needed in discharging patients or knowing the specific medical terminology often used in a dental office, which is different from that in a general hospital.
Find out more about Medical secretary skills and responsibilities.
How much does a Medical Secretary make ?
Average medical secretary salary
The average medical secretary’s salary in the US averages $32,670 per year, while the hourly wage is roughly $15.71 per hour, according to the BLS.
Medical secretary salary in the USA
The average medical secretary salary in the USA ranges from $21,295 to $40,175 a year, with their median salary being $29,739, according to PayScale reports. The hourly wage for these types of secretaries is $10.18 to $18.70 an hour, while the overtime pay is $0.38 to $27.25 per hour. For some secretaries, their employers might be generous enough to give bonuses of up to $979 and profit shares between $201.34 and $7,946.
The medical secretary salary for one who has been working for one to four years in the business is around $19,837 to $38,619. This increases for a secretary with five to nine years in the business, whose salary becomes $20,559 to $40,081. A more established medical secretary with 20+ years of experience gets $28,826 to $46,369 a year.
The certification that a medical secretary possesses also affects their salary. A Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) makes $30,968 to $43,000 a year, while the medical secretary salary for one holding a Medical Billing and Coding Certificate is $23,250 to $43,448.
The industry chosen by the secretary also determines the medical secretary salary. The health care industry pays their secretaries $19,800 to $38,458. The medical office pays them $22,188 to $44,220. The secretaries earn much higher when they work in an OB/GYN’s office with a salary of $20,783 to $47,010 a year.
Medical secretary salary by state
The city with the highest medical secretary’s salary in the US is San Francisco, California that pays an average of $42,780 a year. Boston, Massachusetts and Seattle, Washington follow closely with an annual salary of $42,390 and $42,190, respectively. Taunton, Massachusetts and San Jose, California also made it to the list, with a medical secretary salary of $41,210 for the former and $40,780 for the latter.
According to BLS, the top paying states for medical secretaries in the US are Alaska, with $40,280 a year; Washington, with $39,150; and District of Columbia, with $38,790. The other two included in the list are New Jersey and Massachusetts, with $38,360 and $38,060 per year, respectively.
Medical secretary salary in Canada
In Canada, the medical secretary’s salary averages C$26,863 to C$45,973 a year, while their median salary is C$35,808. Their hourly wage is around C$12.30 to C$21.47 per hour and their overtime pay may reach up to C$27.57 an hour. Some employers give a bonus of C$1,463.
Medical secretary with one to four years of experience makes C$25,838 to C$41,217 a year, while longtime secretaries with over 20 years of practice in the field take home C$36,188 to C$50,337.
Medical secretary who is working in British Columbia make C$30,652 to C$41,500, but Ontario pays a much higher medical secretary salary of C$27,617 to C$46,526 a year.
A secretary working in a physician’s office/private practice makes around C$28,854 to C$55,266, while one who’s in a general hospital earns C$36,849 to C$41,546 per year.
Medical secretary salary in Australia
The medical secretary’s salary for those working in Australia is around AU$40,560 to AU$62,666 a year. The hourly wage is AU$20.17 to AU$30.23. Aside from the basic salary, medical secretary also gets an overtime pay of up to AU$44.38 and a bonus of about AU$986.
A more experienced medical secretary salary for someone who has been in this occupation for over 20 years is AU$29,617 to AU$61,444, while a secretary who has only been around for one to four years make AU$35,524 to AU$58,197 per year.
Based on the state or province where they are working, a secretary in Victoria makes AU$31,900 to AU$56,586. This is higher than those in New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia, whose medical secretary salary only reaches up to about AU$52,000 to AU$53,000 a year.
Medical secretary salary in the UK
In the UK, the average medical secretary salary ranges from £13,471 to £24,543 a year, with the median salary being £18,401. The basic salary is about £11,304 to £25,165 but there may also be a bonus of £199.93.
London-based employers pay a higher medical secretary’s salary of £15,932 to £28,008 compared to those based in Manchester, who pay only around £15,000 to £20,219 a year.
Based on the hospital setting, medical secretary in private practice earn more at around £8,000 to £28,000 than the medical secretary working in general hospitals who make £11,850 to £24,832 per annum.
The industry where the secretaries are working also determine the medical secretary’s salary. A medical secretary working in health care makes £11,796 to £26,499. This is higher than those in general surgery and hospitals with an annual salary of £14,497 to £24,832 and £11,538 to £23,184, respectively. Medial secretary who opts to work in an orthopedist’s office make £16,705 to £21,758 and those who work in a medical office earn £8,854 to £17,296 per year.
Medical secretary salary in South Africa
A medical secretary’s salary in South Africa averages R56,720 to R149,827 a year, with their median salary being R99,424. However, the basic salary is actually R54,610 to R150,069 and it is boosted by a bonus of up to R10,331.
Based on their experience, medical secretary with one to four years of experience in the field make R43,800 to R108,000 but this increases to a salary of between R59,495 to R122,835 for those with five to nine years of practice in this occupation. The medical secretary’s salary for someone who has worked for more than 20 years is higher at R99,600 to R147,000 a year.
How to become a medical secretary
To become a medical secretary, one needs to have an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree, which takes two years to finish in vocational or technical schools and community colleges. This program usually includes subjects such as medical communications, general office procedures, and insurance and billing procedures. To find more employment opportunities, certification can be obtained from the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). Those who pass the certification exam can use titles such as Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) or Certified Professional Secretary (CPS). Candidates who want to earn the title Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) have to take the certification exam provided by the Certified Medical Association of Medical Assistants.
Conclusion about medical secretary salary
The average medical secretary salary in the US, as reported by the BLS, is $32,670 per year. The top 10% earners make $45,880, while the lowest 10% earn only $21,890 a year. The medical secretary salary increases as one pursues better certifications and more responsibilities at work. However, medical secretary earns less compared to other healthcare workers, such as registered nurses, pharmacists, dental hygienists, and clinical laboratory technologists.