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SJVC’s Medical Office Administration certificate program prepares graduates to work in front-office positions for a medical practice, healthcare facility or insurance company.

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At a Glance

  • Earn a Certificate of Completion in as few as 9 months, or an Associate of Science Degree in as few as 15 months.

  • Hands-on training in Medical Office Administration

  • Offered at fifteen SJVC campus locations

  • Affordable tuition varies by location, learn more now!

About the Program

What Will I Learn?

Medical secretaries have a range of clerical duties and responsibilities1, including:

  • Maintain medical facility records
  • Enter patient data into computers
  • Process medical billing information and insurance claims
  • Schedule patient procedures or appointments
  • Transcribe dictation
  • Prepare reports or articles for physicians or medical scientists.
  • Arrange for patients to be hospitalized

Career-Focused Medical Office Classes

Students in SJVC’s Medical Office Administration certificate program receive the training necessary to provide basic administrative support in a variety of healthcare settings. Students in the program learn medical insurance principles, medical office operations, human relations, and medical law. Some of the medical office classes taken by our Medical Office Administration students include*:

  • HCP 203: Medical Office Management – This class helps students develop the fundamental administrative and communication skills needed to work in a medical office, students will distinguish the skills needed to manage a medical office including using electronic medical software. Students will analyze legal and ethical scenarios following HIPAA regulations and how to provide excellent customer service. Students will also identify the responsibilities that come with managing an office and practice the professional behavior needed in the healthcare setting.
  • MOP 130: Billing Principles – This course focuses on the procedures for billing in both hospital and clinical settings. Students will identify a variety of source documents used in billing, compare and complete the forms used in hospitals and offices, analyze the revenue cycles, and apply the correct codes to the different venues.
  • MOP 140: ICD Coding – This course covers coding concepts associated with the International Classification of Diseases and Clinical Modification codebook. Students will practice using terminology following documentation guidelines and applying codes to various forms and documents. Keyboarding skills are also emphasized in this course.

*Course listings are subject to change. Reference the SJVC College Catalog for the most current program information about our medical office classes.

Hands-On Medical Office Training and Experience

SJVC’s Medical Office Administration certificate program is designed to help students develop the actual skills employers are looking for. An externship component exposes students to hands-on, real-world experience under the direction of a medical office manager or director in an actual healthcare setting. Externships allow students to experience what it’s like to be a medical office administrator and learn practical skills in the types of places they may work in after graduation.

Medical Office Administration Certifications and Credentials

Graduates earn an Associate of Science degree and are eligible to sit for the National Certified Medical Office Assistant (NCMOA) exam or the National Certified Insurance & Coding Specialist (NCIS) exam offered by the National Center for Competency Testing.* Graduates also earn the following certifications: HIPAA, AHA Adult & Infant CPR, and First Aid Certification*. SJVC prepares students to take appropriate certification and licensure exams related to their individual majors. The College does not guarantee students will successfully pass these exams or be certified or licensed as a result of completing the program.

Career Opportunities

Medical Office Administration Career Facts


National Job Outlook

for Medical Secretaries and Administrative Assistants

SJVC Program


Time to Complete



11% Projected Growth Between 2020
and 20302
13 Campuses4 As Few as 9 to 15


Program Availability

SJVC’s Medical Office Administration certificate program is available at the following campuses:

*These campuses offer both the Certificate of Completion and Associate of Science Degree programs.

Cost & Financial Aid

Education is the most important investment you can make in your future. There is a financial plan available for everyone, including a broad range of financial assistance options. Visit SJVC’s Net Price Calculator to get personalized information on college costs and financial aid. Check out SJVC’s Academic Catalog to learn about program costs by campus and credential level. You also can talk to an Admissions Representative to discuss the costs of your chosen program, and schedule an appointment with an experienced financial aid officer.  Student loans, grants, and scholarships are available to those who qualify.

Accreditation & Approvals

Institutional Accreditation

San Joaquin Valley College is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, (510)748-9001.

The WSCUC is an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.

State Approvals


SJVC is a private institution and is approved to operate as an accredited institution by the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE). Approval to operate means that SJVC has been found in compliance with the standards set forth in the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (as amended) and Title 5, Division 7.5, – Private Postsecondary Education of the California Code of Regulations. As a prospective student, you are encouraged to review this catalog prior to signing an enrollment agreement. You are also encouraged to review the School Performance Fact Sheet, which must be provided to you prior to signing an enrollment agreement.

A student or any member of the public may file a complaint about this institution with the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education by calling (888) 370-7589 or by completing a complaint form, which can be obtained on the Bureau’s internet website (

View additional State Approvals for SJVC.

Read Our Career Guide On Medical Office Administration

Medical secretaries and administrative assistants act as the glue that holds together all the other pieces of the health care experience and allows doctors and other professionals to deliver the best possible care to patients.

Medical Office Administration FAQ

What can you do with a medical office administration degree?

Earning an Associate of Science Degree from San Joaquin Valley College can prepare you for several jobs in a medical office, including roles such as a:

  • Medical Secretary
  • Medical Receptionist
  • Physician Office Specialist
  • Medical Office Specialist
  • Health Unit Coordinator
  • Unit Secretary

Some of these career options may require education credentials, certification, or experience–which can vary by state. To learn more about other opportunities in the healthcare industry, visit our program and course overview page.

How long does it take to become a medical secretary?

SJVC’s Medical Office Administration program can take as few as nine to fifteen months, depending on whether it’s a certificate of completion or an associate degree program. 

What is a medical secretary?

Medical secretaries and administrative assistants mainly work at healthcare facilities or offices, performing daily tasks that keep operations intact. Whether they are scheduling appointments or tracking medical inventory, medical secretaries and administrative assistants have a variety of functions and work in various roles.

How do I become a medical secretary?

Although secretaries can train on the job, medical secretaries may require additional training to learn industry-specific terminology. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some medical secretaries learn industry-specific terminology and practices by attending courses offered at community colleges or technical schools. SJVC offers flexible classes, hands-on training, and affordable tuition rates by location. If you are interested in becoming a medical secretary, check out our resource page.

What is the difference between a medical assistant and a medical secretary?

Although there are some similarities between medical assistants and medical office administrators, they should not be used interchangeably. Medical assistants work directly with patients, doctors, and insurance companies 2–while medical secretaries manage the day-to-day tasks of a medical office.

What are the duties of medical secretaries and administrative assistants?

As a medical secretary, you will use your skills, education, and experience to support a large number of operational functions. Medical secretaries transcribe dictation and prepare reports or articles for physicians or medical scientists. They also take simple medical histories of patients, arrange for patients to be hospitalized, or process insurance payments. Medical secretaries need to be familiar with medical terminology and codes, medical records, and hospital or laboratory procedures.3

To learn more, please read the question below: What does a medical office administrator do?

What does a medical secretary do?

Medical secretaries are responsible for a broad range of duties, some of which may include:4 

  • Arrange hospital admissions for patients 
  • Complete insurance or other claim forms
  • Answer telephones and direct calls to appropriate staff
  • Maintain medical records, technical library, or correspondence files
  • Receive and route messages or documents, such as laboratory results, to appropriate staff
  • Interview patients to complete documents, case histories, or forms, such as intake or insurance forms
  •  Perform various clerical or administrative functions, such as ordering and maintaining an inventory of supplies

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