Medical office and billing specialists help support the healthcare process by performing office-related duties for healthcare facilities, including those associated with billing for patient care services. Someone in a medical billing specialist position may also be responsible for certain aspects of medical coding. They might work behind the scenes or have face-to-face interactions with patients. Some may even work from home.
If you’re thinking of pursuing a medical office and billing specialist role, you may be wondering what this position pays. Here we do a deep dive into this topic, breaking down the medical billing specialist wage medians by the year, hour and month, the mean wage by the state in which you work, and more.
Medical Office and Billing Specialist Pay (Annually, Hourly, and Monthly)
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes medical office and billing specialists in the occupational category of secretaries and administrative assistants. For secretaries and administrative assistants in the medical field, the national median annual pay as of May 2021 was $37,450 per year, which breaks down to $18.01 per hour.1 Since this is a median, it means that one-half of medical office specialists nationally make more than this amount and the other half make less. According to the BLS, most individuals in this type of role work full-time.2 Based on this, the national median monthly pay for medical billing specialists is approximately $3,120. If you work part-time, your annual and monthly earnings would be less.
While the top 10% of workers (highest decile) earned $53,630 per year or more, the bottom 10% (lowest decile) earned $29,040 or less.3 UMA’s graduates in the 2021-2022 cohort of its Medical Office and Billing Specialist diploma and associate degree programs reported to UMA that they earned a median hourly wage that is approximately at or slightly higher than the BLS’s lowest decile.4
These numbers represent gross pay. After taxes are taken out, along with any other required deductions, the monies left over, also referred to as net pay, would be less.
Medical Office and Billing Specialist Wages by State
Your pay as a medical office and billing specialist can vary based on the state in which you work. Here is a breakdown of the mean (average) annual wages by state for medical secretaries and administrative assistants as of May 2021:2
|State||Mean Annual Wages|
Becoming a Medical Office and Billing Specialist
Generally, you only need a high school diploma and on-the-job training to qualify for an entry-level secretary or administrative assistant position. However, individuals working in the healthcare field may need additional training to learn the terminology used in this industry and those seeking to work in an administrative assistant position in the healthcare field may seek that training before entering the field.5
Other Factors That Can Impact Medical Office and Billing Specialist Wages
The wages for a medical billing specialist aren’t just affected by the state in which you work. They can be impacted by a variety of other factors as well, some of which include:6
- Years of experience
- Whether you work in an urban or rural area
- Skill sets (whether you have the key skills required)
Medical Office and Billing Specialist Job Outlook
Although the job outlook for secretaries and administrative assistants as a whole is projected to decline by 8% between 2021 and 2031, positions for administrative assistants working in the medical industry are anticipated to increase by 8% during this same time.7
This is due to healthcare industry growth that is due, in part, to baby boomers needing more medical services as they advance in age. This means that healthcare entities will have a greater reliance on medical office and billing specialists for seeking reimbursement from Medicare and other forms of patient insurance.
Ready to Pursue Training for a Career in Medical Office and Billing?
If you’re ready to pursue training for a career in medical office and billing, Ultimate Medical Academy offers both a Health Sciences – Medical Office and Billing Specialist degree program and a Medical Office and Billing Specialist diploma program. Each of these is available online, providing flexibility and convenience for those with other work and home obligations. The diploma can be completed in 11 months, or you can earn your degree in 18 months.8
Both programs include courses such as Introduction to Computers, Introduction to Medical Billing, Medical Terminology, and Healthcare Reimbursement and Claim Cycle. UMA’s Health Sciences – Medical Office and Billing Specialist degree program also includes the courses of Computer Fundamentals, Interpersonal Professional Communications, and Patient Relations courses – in addition to several courses in general education.
If you’re not familiar with UMA, we have been in healthcare education since 1994 and have more than 75,000 alumni. We’re institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and strive to offer our students a high level of support, not just while they’re in school but also long after graduation, such as by assisting with their job search and connecting them with one of our employer partners.
If you’re not sure whether medical office and billing specialist is the right entry-level healthcare position for you, UMA also offers a healthcare quiz designed to provide general information and in some cases, personality traits that UMA believes to be associated with UMA’s programs and related careers in the healthcare fields. No matter where you are in your life, UMA is here to help you achieve your healthcare career goals!
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Secretaries and Administrative Assistants. Pay. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/secretaries-and-administrative-assistants.htm#tab-5
2 Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics. Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates. May 2021. https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcst.htm
3 Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021. 43-6013 Medical Secretaries and Administrative Assistants. https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes436013.htm
4 UMA’s 2021-2022 graduate earnings estimate is based on wage information obtained for UMA’s graduates from the cohort. Earnings information was typically obtained by a self-report from the graduate, and occasionally from the graduate’s employer or other sources.
5 Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Secretaries and Administrative Assistants. How to Become a Secretary or Administrative Assistant. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/secretaries-and-administrative-assistants.htm#tab-4
6 CareerBuilder. 5 Essential Factors for Determining Compensation. https://resources.careerbuilder.com/staffing/how-to-build-employee-compensation-programs
7 Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Secretaries and Administrative Assistants. Job Outlook. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/secretaries-and-administrative-assistants.htm#tab-6
8 Completion times may vary depending on individual student.