Medical Office Manager Salary
According to BLS the salary for a medical office management professional may range based on geographic location and the type of setting, however it is typically a lucrative profession. Office managers traditionally earn between $15-20 per hour if they are starting out without a degree. Practice managers make anywhere between $35,000-60,000 per year. Practice administrators typically start at around $60,000 and can make well into the six figures. In most practice administrator roles a master’s degree is required.
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What opportunities exist for career advancement?
At a corporate practice there are more opportunities for career advancement than there would be at a private practice. The hierarchy includes the following: the office manager, practice manager, practice administrator, and then some practices have a director too. However, most places do not employ all four of these positions, rather having just one individual fill an office management role. Although there are not a lot of ways to advance with the same employer in this role, oftentimes these professionals advance by moving from one employer to another. Other employers may provide better compensation packages or a higher position on the rank. And while not the norm, in today’s changing healthcare industry, there are practices that as they continue to grow, need multiple levels of medical office management professionals.
What are the hours like in this field?
Contrary to a job that many people may think of as having “banker’s hours”, these professionals are oftentimes on call 24 hours, 7 days a week, just like the doctors. If there is an issue with a patient that may involve a liability issue, the office manager professional is called in. Also, some times of year like the close of the fiscal year, office management professionals must balance accounts payable to patients’ records, which oftentimes takes more hours than a typical work day. However, on a day-to-day basis this job has fairly regular hours.
What are the advantages of a job in this field?
This job can be very rewarding in that you are able to make a difference in people’s lives by helping patients personally when they have a problem and also by helping the doctors and other medical staff on the back end. Medical office management professionals have a great deal of autonomy since they are able to make decisions and utilize their ideas to better the practice. Finally, for medical office managers who excel in a certain area, such as finance or accounting, they can put more emphasis on that and hire others to fill the roles they lack in.
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What are the challenges of a job in this field?
The challenges of a job in this field are working and communicating well with multiple types of personalities and people at different levels within the practice. Also, working directly with doctors can be challenging. Physicians are busy seeing patients so they need to be able to rely on the medical office manager to keep the business running. This can also be a stressful job due to the responsibility of managing a practice.
Another challenge is that medical office managers are somewhat “alone” in their role. They are not part of the “physician/provider” world, nor are they a part of the general staff. This is another reason why membership in a professional organization is helpful. It puts these individuals in touch with peers who can oftentimes be their sounding board when they are struggling with a problem or decision.