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Medical Office Assistant

Medical office assistants support doctors and other health-care professionals. They perform a wide variety of clerical and administrative tasks. These include scheduling appointments, word processing, billing, data entry, filing, and answering telephone calls. They may also perform minor medical duties. For example, they may take vital signs and prepare the consultation room.

  • Avg. Salary $46,210.00
  • Avg. Wage $27.09
  • Minimum Education 1 year post-secondary
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 5,100
  • In Demand High
Also Known As

Administrative Support Personnel, Medical Administrative Assistant, Medical Office Administrator, Medical Secretary, Office Coordinator, Office Personnel

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Medical Secretaries (1243) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Medical Secretaries (B213) 
  • 2011 NOC: Medical administrative assistants (1243) 
  • 2016 NOC: Medical administrative assistants (1243) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Interest Codes
The Medical Office Assistant is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Medical Secretaries

Interest in speaking with people to schedule and confirm medical appointments, to receive and communicate messages for medical staff and patients, and to interview patients


Interest in operating computers and other office equipment; may train other staff in procedures and in use of current software


Interest in compiling information to complete documents, case histories and insurance and other claim forms, to maintain confidential medical files and records, and to order supplies and maintain inventory; may supervise other staff

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Mar 31, 2019

Duties and responsibilities vary from one type of health-care organization to another. In general, medical office assistants answer the telephone, schedule and confirm medical appointments, greet patients, and take messages. They may perform any or all of the following duties:

  • Use health software and other computer applications to book appointments or prepare reports, invoices, financial statements, letters, case histories, and medical records
  • Interview patients to complete intake forms or other documents, or help patients complete health history forms
  • Transcribe handwritten notes, electronic dictation, or oral instructions
  • Complete insurance and other claim forms
  • Submit billing claims
  • Process payments, bank documents, and accounts receivable
  • Set up and maintain records management systems, including classifying and coding electronic and hard-copy files
  • Operate complex office equipment such as voice mail systems, photocopiers, fax machines, and document scanners
  • Keep examination areas clean, orderly, and stocked with supplies
  • Perform minor medical duties, such as preparing the consultation room
  • Take vital signs and help with examinations
  • Use word processing, spreadsheet, database, and presentation software to prepare medical documents
  • Perform other clerical and administrative functions, such as ordering and maintaining an inventory of supplies

In large offices, these duties may be divided among several people.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Medical office assistants work in health-care settings. They may work standard office hours or be required to work some evenings and weekends. Much of their shift is spent on their feet. Those who work in hospitals and doctors’ offices may regularly be exposed to contagious diseases.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Medical office assistants need:

  • Discretion
  • Communication, organizational, and time-management skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Interpersonal skills to establish a professional rapport with and instil confidence in patients
  • Conflict-resolution skills to deal effectively with the sometimes difficult behaviours of people in distress
  • The ability to maintain accuracy while multitasking or working under pressure
  • A mature attitude toward the human body, wellness, and disease processes
  • The ability to work independently or as part of a team

They should enjoy dealing with people. They should be comfortable operating equipment such as computers and photocopiers. They should like compiling and organizing information.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Medical administrative assistants
NOC code: 1243

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 19 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Sep 20, 2021 and Oct 16, 2021.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Complete insurance and other claim forms
Enter and format electronically based medical reports and correspondence and prepare spreadsheets and documents for review
Schedule and confirm appointments
Determine and establish office procedures and routines
Personal Suitability: Team player
Perform general clerical work, such as order supplies and maintain inventory
Personal Suitability: Effective interpersonal skills
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Personal Suitability: Organized
Interview patients to obtain case histories
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Most employers require medical office assistants who can type at least 50 words a minute (preferably 60) with a maximum of 3 errors. Knowledge of medical terminology and some medical instruments or tray items is vital. A working knowledge of human anatomy and physiology is also vital. Medical and dental offices in particular most often require candidates to have a diploma or be certified by a medical office assistant program.

Prospective students should ask employers about the suitability and reputation of training programs before enrolling.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

ABES (Alberta Business and Educational Services) - Calgary

Alberta Paramount College

Alison College

Bow Valley College

Bredin College of Business and Health Care - Calgary

Bredin College of Business and Health Care - Edmonton

Bredin College of Business and Health Care - Red Deer

Bredin College of Business and Health Care - Spruce Grove

Canadian Health & Business College

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary City Centre

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary North

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary South

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton City Centre

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton North

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton South

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton West

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Red Deer

East-West College - Edmonton

East-West College of Business & Technology

Global College of Business & Technology

Grant MacEwan University

MCG Career College - Calgary

MCG Career College - Cold Lake

MCG Career College - Red Deer

Medical Reception College 1 Ltd. - Calgary

Medical Reception College 1 Ltd. - Edmonton

Mount Royal University

NorQuest College

Peerless Training Institute

Prairie Western College

QCom College of Technology (QCT)

Reeves College - Calgary City Centre

Reeves College - Calgary North

Reeves College - Lethbridge

Reeves College - Lloydminster

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

The Royal Alberta College

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Medical office assistants work in:

  • Doctors’ offices
  • Hospitals
  • Medical clinics and other health-care settings
  • Public and private insurance companies
  • Health software companies

In large organizations and with experience, they may move into supervisory positions.

Medical office assistants are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 1243: Medical secretaries. In Alberta, 88% of people employed in this classification work in the Health Care and Social Assistance (pdf) industry.

The employment outlook (pdf) in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • Size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

In Alberta, the 1243: Medical administrative assistants occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 3.4% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 150 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Salaries vary according to duties and experience. For information about current collective agreements in the public and not-for-profit sectors, see the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website.

Medical administrative assistants

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $16.37 $24.99 $23.23 $24.99
Overall $18.75 $29.11 $27.09 $28.96
Top $21.00 $34.86 $31.74 $34.39

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Public Administration
Health Care & Social Assistance

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Clerical and Administrative Support

Updated Mar 31, 2019. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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