Medical Office Administration

Train to Work the Front Desk of a Medical Office

SJVC’s Medical Office Administration 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 with a Certificate of Completion in as few as 9 months, or an Associate of Science Degree in as few as 15 months.

Career Quick Facts

National Job Outlook
for Medical Secretaries
Annual Mean Wage
for Medical Secretaries in California
SJVC Program AvailabilityTime to Complete Program
16% Projected Growth Between 2018 and 2028¹$42,900²13 Campuses³As Few as 9 to 15 Months

¹ BLS, 9-18-19:

² BLS, 9-18-19:

³ Program credential level varies by campus.

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.

Medical secretaries, often called medical office assistants or medical office specialists, play a critical role in healthcare. These professionals act as contacts between physicians and patients, and between patients and insurance companies. Medical secretaries 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 Secretaries Do?

Medical secretaries 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 Administration 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 courses taken by our Medical Office Administration 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 Administration 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

Medical Office Administration 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), and AHA-Adult & Infant CPR Certification.

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:

Clinical Medical Assisting – 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 Certificate-level Clinical Medical Assisting (CMA) program offers all the basic training required to work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, care centers and other health care facilities. It can be completed in as few as 9 months. SJVC offers the CMA program at 13 of our campuses and online.

Clinical and Administrative Medical Assisting (CAMA) – Students in this program can earn an Associate of Science Degree in as few as 15 months. In addition to the skills learned in the CMA program, the CAMA program provides training so graduates can also manage the front office of a health care facility. This includes performing administrative tasks such as patient charting, billing, letter writing, and handling coding procedures for insurance purposes using a variety of applicable software. The CAMA program is offered at 8 SJVC 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 7 months or enroll in the Associate of Science Degree program, which can be completed in as few as 15 months.

Medical Office Administration Program Details

Program Availability

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

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

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

Questions or requests to review documents pertaining to accreditation should be directed to:

Crystal G. VanderTuig, Accreditation Liaison Officer
San Joaquin Valley College
3828 West Caldwell Avenue, Visalia, CA 93277
(559) 734-9000

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.