Medical Office

Train to Work the Front Desk of a Medical Office

SJVC’s Medical Office Certificate program prepares graduates to work in front-office positions for a medical practice, healthcare facility or insurance company. Develop the skills required to start a career in healthcare administration in as little as 9 months.

Medical Office Career Quick Facts

National Employment Estimate for Medical Secretaries 576520 (source)
Annual Mean Wage for Medical Secretaries in California $40630 (source)
SJVC Program Availability 13 campuses
Time to Complete Program at SJVC Approximately 9 months



Take the First Step Toward a Healthcare Career

Do you want to work in healthcare? If you have an interest in the administrative side, training to become a medical office assistant may be the right first step.

Front-office medical assistants, also called medical secretaries and medical office administrators, play a critical role in healthcare. These professionals act as contacts between physicians and patients, and between patients and insurance companies. Medical office specialists are equipped with business-related skills that allow them to process healthcare paperwork, schedule patient appointments and process medical billing information with great speed and accuracy.

What Do Medical Office Administrators Do?

Front-office medical assistants have a range of clerical duties and responsibilities, including:

  • Maintain medical facility records
  • Enter patient data into computers
  • Process medical billing information and insurance claims
  • Schedule patient procedures or appointments

Career-Focused Medical Front-Office Training

Students in SJVC’s Medical Office program receive all of the training required 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 courses taken by our Medical Office students include*:

  • HCP 203: Medical Office Management – This class helps students develop the skills needed to manage a medical office beyond fundamental administrative and communication skills. Students will identify the responsibilities that come with managing an office, and practice the professional behavior required in the healthcare setting. Students will learn how to use electrical medical software, as well as how to analyze legal and ethical scenarios while adhering to HIPAA regulations.
  • MOP 130: Billing Principles – Students will learn the procedures for billing in both hospital and clinical settings. They will identify the variety of source documents billing uses, 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 – Students learn 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. Students will improve keyboarding skills while in this course.

*Course listings are subject to change. Reference the SJVC College Catalog for the most current program information.

Hands-On Medical Office Training and Experience

SJVC’s Medical Office 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 Certifications and Credentials

Medical Office graduates are eligible to take several national certification examinations, including the National Certified Medical Office Assistant (NCMOA) exam or the National Certified Insurance & Coding Specialist (NCICS) exam offered by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). Graduates also earn other valuable career-focused healthcare certifications, including Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), AHA-Adult & Infant CPR, and First Aid Certification.

Career Outlook for Medical Secretaries in California

According to the California CareerZone, a resource of the California Department of Education’s California Career Resource Network, there will be approximately 2,280 annual job openings for medical secretaries in the state. California medical secretaries are also among the highest paid in the country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 8 of the top 10 paying metropolitan areas for medical assistants are in California:

Metropolitan Area Annual Mean Wage
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco $50580
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara $50020
Vallejo-Fairfield $47340
Salinas $46210
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande $46210
San Rafael $45830
Napa $45760
Santa Rosa $45630


Related Healthcare Career Training Programs

SJVC offers a wide range of programs for students interested in working in the medical field. If you are interested in medical office administration, you may also be interested in the following healthcare programs:

Medical Assistant – Clinical, or “back office,” medical assistants focus on the clinical aspects of a health practice, which may include preparing patients for medical examinations, documenting vital signs and assisting physicians. The 9-month Certificate-level Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA) program offers all the basic training required to work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, care centers and other health care facilities. SJVC offers the Medical Assistant program at 13 of our campuses and online.

Medical Billing and Coding – Medical billing and coding specialists are needed to help organize and manage health information. The online Medical Billing and Coding program prepares students for a career as health information technicians. Earn your Medical Billing and Coding Certificate online is as little as 8 months or enroll in the 15-month Associate of Science degree program.

Medical Office Program Details

Program Availability

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

Accreditation and Approvals

Institutional Accreditation

San Joaquin Valley College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Blvd., Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Additional information about accreditation, including the filing of complaints against member institutions, can be found at

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 (California Education Code, Title 3, Division 10, Part 59, Chapter 8) and Title 5, Division 7.5 – Private Postsecondary Education of the California Code of Regulations.

Any questions that a student may have regarding the college catalog and/or catalog supplement that have not been satisfactorily answered by the institution may be directed to the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education at:

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 980818
West Sacramento, CA 95798-0818

Physical Address
2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400
Sacramento, CA 95833

Telephone Numbers
Toll free (888) 370-7589
(916) 431-6959

Fax Number
(916) 263-1897


View additional State Approvals for SJVC.