Quick summary of this post: We examine the career of Medical Office Administration from 6 different angles. Find out if this role is right for you by understanding the following points:
- Job description
- Training requirements
- Job outlook in Ottawa
- Career options
- Pros and Cons
Many different factors come into play when you’re deciding on a career path. On the one hand, there are practical matters like salary, job description, and career outlook where you live.
On the other hand, there’s your interest in the role and whether doing this work will make you truly happy and fulfilled.
Wondering if medical office administration is a good career choice for you?
You need to think it through from all the angles—practical and personal.
In this post, we’ll guide you through 6 main points to consider. By the end, you’ll know if this career path makes sense for you. Let’s get started.
Are you suited to the role of a Medical Office Administrator?
The first thing you should consider is what a medical office administrator actually does. What is this role all about? What kinds of tasks will you be doing on a daily basis?
Medical office administrators (MOAs) are the first person to greet you when you arrive at a clinic. They often sit at reception, coordinating appointments and directing patients to the correct department or specialist.
But MOAs do a lot more than that. They play an essential role in helping clinics and hospitals run smoothly. Responsibilities for this role include:
☑️ Receiving patients and collecting their information
☑️ Updating patient records and files
☑️ Scheduling appointments and making reminder calls
☑️ Doing triage (helping decide which patients should be seen first, depending on level of urgency)
☑️ Answering emails and phones
☑️ Checking inventory and ordering supplies
☑️ Preparing examination rooms
☑️ Processing OHIP and billing
☑️ Assisting with examinations as needed
☑️ Collecting lab results and requisitions
☑️ Transcribing medical documents and reports
To start a career in medical office administration, you need training in healthcare software, reception skills, records management, health office procedures, and transcription.
Employers also want MOAs who are friendly and warm. The most important thing is to genuinely enjoy caring for others.
Clinics want to hire MOAs who will make patients feel comfortable and at ease. Does this sound like you?
How much time do you have for training?
If you’re looking for a short, efficient training program there’s good news. Medical Office Administration training takes less than one year to complete.
At Herzing College Ottawa, our Medical Office Administration program is just 7 months long, including a 4-week internship.
It’s a full-time, accelerated program that gets students ready for work quickly.
But you can find part-time, slower programs if that’s what you need.
Consider your timeline. When do you want to start work? How much time do you have for MOA training?
Is there demand for Medical Office Administrators where you live?
This is a key question. No one wants to invest in a career that has poor job prospects. It’s important to know if there are good job opportunities in your field, before you start training.
We looked at the Government of Canada Job Bank to find the employment forecast for Medical Office Administrators in Ottawa.
The Job Bank says the employment outlook for MOAs in Ottawa is “fair”. This means there is a balanced number of job-seekers and available jobs. The occupation gets 2 out of 3 stars for growth (which is average).
What does all this mean? it means we don’t have a huge demand for medical office administrators in Ottawa, but there is a steady flow of jobs.
Important: The Job Bank says the right training is key to qualifying for these jobs. Here is what you need to get hired:
“Candidates with training in medical office administration should have the best opportunities for securing employment...
Strong interpersonal and customer service skills, such as scheduling and clerical skills, are assets for job seekers...and those who have a strong working knowledge of health care information system software, such as electronic medical records, and Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) billing.”
What are your medical office administration job options?
According to the Job Bank, 90% of Ottawa’s medical office administrators work in hospitals and clinics. The rest work in nursing homes and residential care facilities.
This means your most likely job options would include:
☑️ Medical clinics
☑️ Dentist offices
☑️ Physiotherapist clinics
☑️ Chiropractic clinics
Your responsibilities will vary a bit depending on where you work, and what the doctors and nurses need.
Your schedule would also be different at a medical clinic versus a hospital. Hospitals often have shift work, whereas clinics usually keep regular business hours.
pros & cons of working in Medical Office Administration
We did a survey of popular pros and cons for medical office administration, and here’s what we found:
Pro: Medical office administration training is quick (faster than many other health care programs)
Con: It can be difficult to find work in rural areas, as clinics and hospitals are concentrated in bigger cities
Pro: MOAs get to interact closely with patients and make a real difference in their lives (this work is fulfilling)
Con: If you work at a hospital, you may have to deal with rotating shifts, which can be difficult for some people (clinics offer more regular work schedules)
Pro: This is a non-medical health care job, which means you won’t have to deal with bodily fluids (like blood)
Con: Clinics and hospitals are busy places that can be stressful. You’ll need to work quickly, meet deadlines, and stay organized.
Do the benefits outweigh the challenges? Our best advice is to talk to someone who already works in this field.
Ask them about their experience, and how they would define the pros and cons of becoming an MOA.
Check out this interview with MOA graduate, Priscilla. She explains why she chose this career and what to expect in class: My Experience in Herzing's Medical Office Administration Program
What is the average MOA salary?
We checked the Government of Canada Job Bank for the most recent salary information for Medical Office Administrators in Ottawa.
Median salary: $23/hour (about $40,000-$45,000 per year)
At the low end, some MOAs are making about $15 per hour. At the high end, some MOAs making over $29 per hour.
Your salary will increase with experience. You can expect to start out making between $30,000 - $40,000 per year.
Still need help deciding?
We recommend speaking with a qualified Admissions Advisor. Advisors are experts in matching people with programs.
They ask the right questions to determine if you have the background and skillset required for a career in medical office administration.
Advisors can also explain application requirements, costs, financial aid options, and other program details.
Chat live with an Admissions Advisor now to get your questions answered.
Or click below to explore Herzing’s Medical Office Administration program, and see if this training is right for you. We're here to help!