How to Become a

Medical Secretary

The complete career guide to be a Medical Secretary: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $34,330
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 20.5%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute

Medical secretaries perform basic clerical and administrative duties utilizing specialized knowledge of medical terms and hospital, lab or clinic procedures. This includes answering phones, scheduling appointments, billing patients, updating medical charts, filing and organizing documents.


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What is a Medical Secretary?

Medical secretaries have to be organized, courteous individuals with excellent communication and time management skills. They must be discreet and have a strong sense of integrity, as they are responsible not just for maintaining and promoting the efficient operation of the office or organization, but are also entrusted with extremely sensitive information, some of which must be kept confidential by law.

The median wage for medical secretaries is on par with the average for all occupations in the United States. The majority of medical secretary jobs are full-time, Monday through Friday, with only occasional overtime and weekends needed.

In the course of their work, medical secretaries perform the following duties:

  • Take dictation and write reports for doctors, administrators and healthcare professionals
  • Greet patients and take basic medical histories; process their insurance coverage and take payments; arrange for hospitalization if necessary
  • Schedule patients for office visits, follow-ups, diagnostic testing, consults or surgery
  • Function smoothly with computers and various office equipment, such as word processors, varied software applications to sort medical histories, invoices and financial statements, copiers, printers and voicemail systems
  • Properly maintain medical records in accordance with the law, along with more standard office filing and correspondence

Medical secretaries work in physicians’ offices, hospitals, outpatient care facilities and research centers. Responsibilities include making arrangements for various procedures for patients, recording medical histories, taking payment and completing insurance paperwork. In research settings, they will also take notes, make arrangements for speaking engagements and assist with the writing and publication of articles. Medical secretaries must be practiced and comfortable with medical terminology and codes, hospital and laboratory procedures and medical ethics.


Job opportunities for medical secretaries are expected to rise at a rate far in excess of the national average for all occupations, however this is largely tied to the prospects of the healthcare sector. An aging population with more access to health insurance will require more medical secretaries to handle the increase in administrative tasks. Regardless of the particulars of the industry, medical secretaries will find their skills easily transferrable to numerous other job prospects.

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How To Become a Medical Secretary

Most medical secretaries are required to have a high school diploma. Postsecondary institutions and vocational training covers increasingly important knowledge and skills, such as instruction in the complicated and industry specific terminology used in the medical field. Graduates are highly sought by employers since it means less training will be needed upon hiring.

Certification is not a requirement for employment, but it oftentimes results in higher pay upon entry into the field and opportunities for advancement. Many engage in such programs and continue on to an associate’s degree, which generally takes two years to complete. Courses typically consist of medical communications, billing and insurance procedures, medical software and general office instruction. Since technology is becoming more and more sophisticated with every passing year, some employers prefer to hire those who have a degree or have completed training programs at a postsecondary institution.

Medical Secretary Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Medical Secretary salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Medical Secretary's can make an average annual salary of $34,330, or $17 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $27,070 or $13 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #629 Nationally for All Careers

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Medical Secretary. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Medical Secretarys

  • 0.4%   Doctorate
  • 3%   Masters
  • 17.7%   Bachelors
  • 14%   Associates
  • 33.5%   College
  • 29.2%   High School
  • 2.1%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Medical Secretary job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 108,200 jobs for a total of 635,800 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 20.5% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #50 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Medical Secretarys

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Offices of physicians 182,700 41,200 41%
General medical and surgical hospitals; private 109,200 7,700 8%
Offices of dentists 79,600 14,800 15%

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