Medical Administrative Assistants

Occupation:Medical Administrative Assistants
Category:Business, Finance, and Administration

About the job

Nature of work:

Medical administrative assistants perform a variety of secretarial and administrative duties in doctor's offices, hospitals, medical clinics and other medical settings.

Job duties:
Medical secretaries perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Schedule and confirm medical appointments and receive and communicate messages for medical staff and patients.
  • Format electronically-based medical reports and correspondence, and prepare spreadsheets and documents for review.
  • Interview patients in order to complete forms, documents and case histories.
  • Complete insurance and other claim forms.
  • Initiate and maintain confidential medical files and records.
  • Prepare draft agendas for meetings and take, transcribe and distribute minutes.
  • Prepare financial statements and billing.
  • Establish and maintain various internal office administrative support procedures such as document tracking and filing and monthly reporting.
  • Order supplies and maintain inventory.
  • Determine and establish office procedures and routines.
  • May supervise and train other staff in procedures and in use of current software.
Sample job titles:
  • medical administrative assistant
  • medical secretary
  • medical stenographer
  • ward secretary - hospital

To work in these jobs, you need excellent grammar and communication skills. Accurate and fast typing speed is essential. You should have a working knowledge of computers, word processing software, and general office equipment. Interpersonal skills and the ability to work with others are important.

Job requirements:
  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • Completion of a one- or two-year college program or other specialized courses for secretaries or medical secretaries is usually required.
Other considerations:


Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Fair

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Medical Administrative Assistants most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common. With employment conditions being somewhat seasonal, periods of downtime or layoff throughout the year affect some workers.

The median employment income for 61% of Medical Administrative Assistants who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $38,502. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Medical Administrative Assistants1,895Moderate growth315Low
Minimum: $14.00
Median: $20.28
Maximum: $23.74
Minimum: $10,917
Median: $35,721
Maximum: $47,599
Occupations in Business, Finance, and Administration63,775Moderate growth6,600Low
Minimum: $13.00
Median: $21.03
Maximum: $35.90
Minimum: $6,754
Median: $36,515
Maximum: $70,271
Medical Administrative AssistantsCompared to: Occupations in Business, Finance, and Administration
Percent employed full-time82%81%
Percent self-employed9%7%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentMedical Administrative AssistantsCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton17%x13%$32,974
Annapolis Valley12%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeMedical Administrative AssistantsCompared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration
% Employed% Employed
Median Age5048
GenderMedical Administrative AssistantsCompared to: Occupations in Business, Finance, and Administration
% Employed% Employed
EducationMedical Administrative AssistantsCompared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school1.5%x4.7%$23,775
High school15.8%$37,07323.7%$30,074
Trades certificate7.2%x5.8%$32,871
College certificate or diploma57.0%$41,42634.4%$33,837
University certificate or diploma4.4%$48,3723.0%$35,053
Bachelor's degree12.1%$36,38622.9%$39,473
University advanced certificate or diploma1.2%x1.7%$40,672
Master's degreeN/Ax3.6%$23,407
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax0.1%$41,688
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP)
10502 N Ambassador Dr., Ste. 100
Kansas City, Missouri 64153
Tel: (816) 891-6600
Fax: (816) 891-9118
Canadian Health Information Management Association
99 Enterprise Drive South, Lower Level
London, ON N6N 1B9
Tel: (877) 332-4462
Fax: (519) 438-7001

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Medical administrative/executive assistant and medical secretary
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to perform the duties of special assistants and personal secretaries for practicing physicians and nurses, health care facilities and services administrators, and other health care professionals. These programs include courses in business and medical communications, medical terminology, principles of health care operations, public relations and interpersonal communications, software applications, record-keeping and filing systems, scheduling and meeting planning, applicable policies and regulations, and professional standards and ethics.
See all institutions providing this program+
Eastern College - Halifax
6940 Mumford Road, Suite 111
Halifax, NS B3L 0B7
(902) 423-3933
Academy of Learning - Halifax
6960 Mumford Road, Suite 155-1st Floor Mumford Professional Centre
Halifax, NS B3L 4P1
(902) 455-3395
Program Name:Medical office management/administration
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to manage the specialized business functions of a medical or clinical office. These programs include courses in business office operations, business and financial record-keeping, personnel supervision, medical and health care policy administration, conference planning, scheduling and coordination, public relations, and applicable laws and regulations.
See all institutions providing this program+
Maritime Business College - Dartmouth
45 Ochterloney Street, Suite 100
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 2N6
(902) 463-6700
Success College
800 Sackville Drive
Lower Sackville, NS B4E 1R8
(902) 865-8283
Centre for Distance Education
222 George Street, Suite C
Sydney, NS B1P 1J3
(866) 446-5898
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.