The 14 Best Online Certificate in Medical Office Administration Programs

| TBS Staff

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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for medical office administration and assistants are projected to grow 29% over the next decade, over three times the national average. Medical office administrators interact with patients, organize sensitive records, and help patients and family members navigate insurance claims and billing. Graduates can help families through medical emergencies and chronic illness as office administrators by completing a medical office administration certification online.

What Are the Best Online Certificate in Medical Office Administration Programs?

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Online Certificate in Medical Office Administration Degree Program Ranking Guidelines: We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.

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The value of any ranking list of schools and/or degree programs depends on having a methodologically sound assessment of each school’s/program’s characteristics, especially insofar as these can be objectively measured. A college or university is a complex entity, with numerous factors to consider, and distilling these down to the place where meaningful comparisons can be made to form a defensible ranking list becomes part science and part art.

To meet this challenge—and thereby provide you with the most useful and insightful educational rankings on the Internet — formulates our rankings based on five informational categories (six, when considering online schools). The major metrics and qualities for which we rank are these (with expanded, detailed considerations and weights listed):

1. Academic excellence based on a school’s curriculum generally or within the selected discipline [weight = 25%]

  • Weighs school against known leading schools in that discipline
  • Weighs number of core curricula listed as advanced courses within that discipline and compares against introductory courses
  • Weighs school’s curriculum against known knowledge needs of major employers in that discipline
  • Considers number and types of specializations offered within that discipline
  • Considers faculty expertise in that discipline
  • Considers range of electives within that discipline
  • Considers quality of online environment offered to students (if applicable), particularly within that discipline

2. Strength of faculty scholarship [weight = 25%]

  • Considers education background of the faculty
  • Considers years of faculty experience both inside and outside of academia.
  • Considers faculty membership and leadership within relevant, prominent associations
  • Considers academic papers published by faculty in relevant, prominent periodicals
  • Considers awards and recognitions given to faculty members from prominent organizations and from other sources

3. Reputation [weight = 20%]

  • Considers a school’s reputation among academic peers and employers regarding the following:
    • Faculty
    • Curriculum
    • “Freshness” of academic knowledge
    • Adaptability to changes in employment sectors
    • Suitability of graduates for the workplace

4. Financial aid [weight = 10%]

  • Mandatory: Requires full accreditation from an agency endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and listed on the federal register to accept student federal financial aid
  • Considers range of school-sponsored financial aid such as scholarships and grants

5. Range of degree programs [weight = 20%]

  • Considers range of degree levels: associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral and professional
  • Considers range of degree subjects offered, such as art & design, computers & technology, education & teaching, criminal justice, and business

6. Strength of online instruction methodology (if applicable) [weight = 25%; subtract 5% from each of the above for online schools/programs]

  • Considers the following of the online classes:
    • Types of online technology used to deliver content
    • Pedagogy style: asynchronous, synchronous, or both (depending on the degree)
    • Extent and quality of the online, community learning environment, including options for communication, interactivity, and collaboration between students and also between students and instructors
    • Variety, breadth, and depth of coursework, and its support, including project options and online tutoring
  • Considers the following of instructors:
    • Extent of training for teaching within an online learning environment
    • Amount of timely, consistent feedback to students
    • Extent of collaboration with prospective employers to ensure suitability of instructional materials for achieving desired skills
    • Ratio to number of students in a class
  • Number and quality of internships in a student’s geographical area for applicable degrees

Because students tend to review a variety of information when choosing a school, the weight a student gives any one criterion will vary. For instance, it’s not enough to offer a carefully constructed ranking of great schools if many are too expensive or too difficult to get into.

To better serve the needs of prospective students, we are therefore increasingly offering filters that help you better use our rankings to find the schools that match your specific needs. These supplement our ranking criteria and include:

  • Accreditation
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  • Region
  • State
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Citations: For a broader account of our ranking methodology, especially as it relates to's underlying educational philosophy and, in other ranking articles, looks beyond academic excellence (as here) to such factors as return on investment or incidental benefit, see our article "Ranking Methodology: How We Rank Schools at TBS." Reputation of schools and degree programs can at least in part be gauged through the school or department's publishing activity, citations, and desirability. At, we keep track of such social and peer validation: "Making Sense of College Rankings." For nuts-and-bolts information about colleges and universities, we look to the National Center for Education Statistics and especially its College Navigator. Insofar as salary and inflation data are relevant to a ranking, we look to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Finally, nothing beats contacting schools and degree programs directly, which our researchers often do, with the result that all the entries in this article should be considered as belonging to this citation!

The Best Online Certificate in Medical Office Administration Degree Programs

Pitt Community College View School Profile Winterville, NC 46% Pitt Community College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Originally founded in 1961, Pitt Community College now offers classes both online and on campus in Winterville, North Carolina. Students at PCC can pursue associate degrees and certificates in the arts, sciences, business, and health. PCC offers a medical office administration certificate online that prepares students to work in areas such as medical administration, billing, medical auditing, and insurance.

The medical office administration program at PCC covers skills such as diagnosis coding, billing and filing software, and patient privacy laws and regulations. The curriculum includes courses in word processing, data entry, medical terminology, keyboarding, professional development, and healthcare customer relations. The certificate requires 17 core semester hours of coursework.

Johnston Community College View School Profile $ Smithfield, NC 58% Johnston Community College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Johnston Community College has offered associate degrees, certificates, and diploma programs since 1969. Johnston's sprawling campus in Smithfield, North Carolina features a 16-acre arboretum, and one of the satellite campuses maintains a 2,800-acre wildlife preserve. Johnston serves around 15,000 students every year, both online and on campus.

Johnston offers a 44-credit medical office administration diploma that students can complete completely online. Learners may choose to enroll on a full-time or part-time basis. The curriculum includes classes in medical terminology, keyboarding, diagnostic and procedure coding, and records management. Students can also pursue a degree in medical office administration.

Piedmont Community College View School Profile $ Roxboro, NC 49% Piedmont Community College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

With two campuses in Roxboro and Yanceyville, North Carolina, Piedmont Community College serves students across Person and Caswell counties. With the growth of its online programs, Piedmont also educates learners from across the country. Piedmont offers degrees, diplomas, and certificates in a variety of fields, including business studies, public health, natural science, and manufacturing.

Students can earn certificates in medical office administration and electronic health records entirely online. These online medical office administration certifications each require 16 credits, with courses in medical terminology, medical office transcription, and keyboarding. The electronic health records certification requires an additional course. Students can complete both certifications as part of a medical office administration associate degree, which consists of 65-67 credits and includes general education courses.

Surry Community College View School Profile $ Dobson, NC 46% Surry Community College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Located about an hour northwest of Greensboro, North Carolina, Surry Community College serves students from all over Surry and Yadkin counties. Distance learners can enroll in Surry's programs from anywhere in the country. Surry offers courses in 48 different areas of study, including public service, law enforcement, fire and rescue, and business and computer technologies. The school awards associate degrees, certificates, and diplomas.

Surry's 17-credit medical office administration certificate online generally takes about two semesters to complete. Students take courses in keyboarding, records management, office editing, text entry and formatting, and medical terminology. Graduates often work in medical and dental offices, hospitals, and medical supply companies.

Craven Community College View School Profile $ New Bern, NC 41% Craven Community College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Craven Community College has served students in North Carolina for over 50 years. Craven offers fully-online and hybrid programs, including degree, certificate, and diploma options. The school focuses on workforce development and concrete skills that students can use to find long-term employment.

Craven offers both a diploma and certificate in medical office administration that students can complete almost entirely online. The curriculum emphasizes office skills, keyboarding, text entry, spreadsheets, and general management. Student can also specialize their certificate in areas such as medical billing and coding or patient services. Each certificate requires 14-19 credits. Online students must complete a special online orientation prior to the start of classes.

Lenoir Community College View School Profile $ Kinston, NC 35% Lenoir Community College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Lenoir Community College offers extensive online programs in areas such as applied science, aviation management, and accounting. Lenoir maintains an "open-door" admissions policy, which encourages anyone over 8 who may benefit from post-secondary education to enroll in courses. The school also serves dual-enrollment high school students.

Students can earn a certificate in medical billing, coding, and insurance entirely online. The 15-credit certificate includes courses in medical office terminology, medical insurance and billing, and procedural and diagnostic coding. The program prepares learners to find entry-level jobs in medical offices, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities.

Gaston College View School Profile $$ Dallas, NC 42% Gaston College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Gaston College focuses on affordability, student success, and program completion. The school offers over 170 programs of study, including 81 unique certificates. With more than 200 distance learning courses, students can complete several programs entirely online. Gaston also promotes workforce development and continuing education.

The medical billing and coding online certificate at Gaston consists of 16 required credits. Students can complete the program over one academic year. The curriculum includes courses in medical terms, procedural and diagnostic coding, medical legal issues, and coding for billing and insurance. Students begin this program during the fall semester and complete it at the end of the following summer term. Learners take just two classes per term.

Randolph Community College View School Profile $ Asheboro, NC 29% Randolph Community College is regionally accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Located in the center of North Carolina, Randolph Community College offers distance learning courses in accounting, education, English, computer science, medical technology, and several other fields. Despite starting with just 75 students in 1962, the college has grown to serve thousands of students across many academic programs.

Students at Randolph can earn their medical office administration certificate online. The certificate program consists of 18 credits, including many that carry over to the 36-credit diploma program. Courses include introduction to computers; medical office procedures; medical office terms; and medical coding, billing, and insurance. Student can complete the certificate in two semesters by taking three courses in the fall and three in the spring.

Wake technical Community College View School Profile $ Raleigh, NC Wake Technical Community College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

As North Carolina's largest community college, Wake Technical enrolls 74,000 adults every year. Wake Tech students can take courses through six different campuses, three unique training centers, and various community learning sites around the state. Learners can also take classes online through Wake Tech's extensive distance learning program. Wake Tech offers more than 240 different programs of study, including associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates.

The medical office professional certificate online program requires 18 credits. Students can complete all courses online, and some courses are offered on campus in a hybrid format. The curriculum features courses in keyboarding and word processing skills, medical office terms, medical insurance and billing, spreadsheets, and electronic health records. The certificate provides the skills students need for entry-level positions in medical offices and settings. The courses and credits in the Medical Office Professional Certificate program apply to both the diploma and AAS degrees.

Bladen Community College View School Profile $$ Dublin, NC 35% Bladen Community College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Originally known as Bladen Technical Institute, Bladen Community College offers 14 unique academic programs both on campus and online. Situated in Dublin, North Carolina, Bladen hosts college transfer programs, early college high school courses, adult education, and distance learning. Students can begin their degree at Bladen and seamlessly transfer to a four-year institution.

Students interested in working for medical offices can earn their medical office administration certificate online. Students must have at least a high school diploma in order to begin the 18-credit certificate program. The diploma in medical office administration includes many of the same courses as the certificate program, including medical office terminology, medical billing and coding, and word processing.

Guilford Technical Community College View School Profile Jamestown, NC 38% Guilford Technical Community College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

More than 35,000 students attend courses through the five campuses of Guilford Technical Community College, the fourth largest institution in North Carolina's community college system. Guilford offers more than 80 programs of study, including associate, diploma, and certificate options in areas such as accounting, dental hygiene, and medical assisting. Students can also attend classes at Guilford's Small Business Center.

Students interested in earning their medical office administration certification online can enroll in Guilford's medical office administration billing and coding diploma program. The program prepares students for entry-level careers in medical billing and coding. Coursework emphasizes skills in writing, medical legal issues, and medical office terminology. The program requires 15 credits, and students generally complete the diploma in two semesters.

Fayetteville Technical Community College View School Profile Fayetteville, NC 18% Fayetteville Technical Community College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Located in North Carolina, Fayetteville Technical Community College serves 16,000 students through six campuses and education centers. Students can pursue more than 250 unique programs of study, including occupational, transfer, technical, continuing, and general education programs.

FTCC offers several fully online programs, including a medical coding specialist certification. The 18 credits required for this certification also apply toward FTCC's associate medical office professional degree. Students generally take three semesters to complete the certificate. The curriculum includes courses in medical office terminology, medical insurance and billing, and procedure coding. FTCC students can also take advantage of a career coach and job center to help find employment upon graduation.

Green River Community College View School Profile Auburn, WA 21% Green River Community College is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Located less than an hour from Seattle, Washington, Green River Community College enrolls 8,000 students in 75 different programs of study. International students make up more than 1,700 of Green River's student body, representing more than 64 countries. All new students enjoy a trip to Seattle as part of orientation. Green River offers degrees, diplomas, and certificates in areas such as economics, computer science, and accounting. The school also provides transfer options to four-year universities.

Green River offers three unique medical office administration certifications online: medical front office, medical office manager, and medical office support. All of these programs include hands-on learning and internship opportunities. Students may also earn credit for prior experience. The certificates require 54-59 quarter credits each, including coursework in medical office procedures, business correspondence, business math applications, and human relations.

Pueblo Community College View School Profile Pueblo, CO 28% Pueblo Community College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The medical coding certificate program is accredited by the American Health Information Association.

Based in Pueblo, Colorado, Pueblo Community College serves more than 7,000 students through three campuses and one high school learning site. PCC emphasizes open access and admits any college-ready student over 18. Students can pursue general, technical, and career education programs. In the last academic year, more than 400 graduates from PCC transferred to public four-year institutions in the state. The school confers associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates.

PCC offers a medical office administration certificate online. The 27-credit program usually takes two or three semesters to complete. Courses emphasize skills in communication, project management, organization, and problem-solving. Credits earned in the certificate program can also contribute towards an associate degree in applied sciences with a concentration in office administration. The associate degree requires 68-78 credits.

Curriculum for an Online Certificate in Medical Office Administration

The list below details typical courses offered in medical office administration certificate online programs. While school curricula will differ, the classes below illustrate the training needed for competent office administration in the medical field.

  • Office Editing:
    In this course, students learn composition and editing skills, improve keyboard dexterity, and improve familiarity with computer programs. Learners also work on proofreading skills in grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. This course prepares students to compose memos and department emails independently.
  • Records Management:
    This course teaches current record-keeping software, filing methods, and hardcopy management and administration. Students acquire familiarity with record components and forms of security that protect patient confidentiality. /li>
  • Medical Terminology:
    To prepare students for complex medical terminology, this course delves into the etymology of anatomical and physiological terminology, hospital titles, and suffixes. Students learn to recognize and pronounce relevant terms by the end of this course. /li>
  • Medical Office Terms:
    This class covers the administrative levels of complex medical centers, such as hospitals, outpatient care centers, and rehabilitation facilities. Students learn about administration functions. This course teaches students about possible positions open to dedicated, rising professionals. /li>
  • Medical Billing and Insurance:
    Billing and insurance are incredibly important because of the high cost of medical assistance. Students learn about the medical billing process for patients and insurance companies, and the protocol for patients without medical insurance coverage./li>

What Else Can I Expect From an Online Certificate in Medical Office Administration Program?

A typical program takes one year to complete as a full-time student, consisting of four or five courses per term and totaling 40-50 credits. Part-time students will require more time for program completion, between two and three years depending on the number of courses completed each term. Prior experience and prerequisites, such as skills in computer programs or coding, also affect program duration.

For students with part-time or full-time employment restrictions, and family obligations, returning to school can be a big time commitment. The primary benefit of online education is flexibility. Online programs can lead to new career options or further current job positions.

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Careers with a Medical Office Administration Diploma

A medical office administration certificate online is different from a medical office administration diploma. A diploma has additional educational requirements and prepares graduates for higher levels of administration. A certificate benefits students who want to complete a degree quickly, while a degree requires two years of full-time enrollment.

There are many job opportunities in healthcare for graduates with a medical office administration certification online. For students with strong interpersonal skills, an office administration or receptionist position allows you to build a rapport with incoming clients and their families. For detail-oriented students, an information technician position or transcriptionist job may be the right choice. As you consider future career options, keep in mind your natural skill set.

  1. Medical Office Administrator:
    Administrators meet incoming clients and gather personal information and medical histories. They schedule patient appointments, deliver test results, and maintain patient records.
    • Median Annual Salary: $32,480
    • Projected Growth Rate: 29%
  2. Medical Records and Health Information Technician:
    These technicians review patient records for accuracy and completeness, and digitize documents. They track patient outcomes, monitor quality assessments, and maintain patient confidentiality.
    • Median Annual Salary: $39,180
    • Projected Growth Rate: 13%
  3. Medical Transcriptionist:
    These professionals translate a doctor's recorded or written documentation into a complete medical file. They review and edit dictation drafts, translate medical abbreviations, and troubleshoot inaccuracies or inconsistencies to maintain correct, detailed documentation.
    • Median Annual Salary: $35,250
    • Projected Growth Rate: -3%
  4. Information Clerk:
    Clerks create reports, file claims, and organize bills or orders in a medical setting or for government and juridical administrations. They answer client or patient questions related to files or paperwork and maintain physical and digital records.
    • Median Annual Salary: $33,680
    • Projected Growth Rate: 3%
  5. Receptionist:
    Receptionists keep the epicenter of an institution or company operating smoothly by answering calls and connecting customers and clients with company professionals. They schedule appointments, maintain calendars, check-in visitors and incoming or outgoing postage to ensure productivity.
    • Median Annual Salary: 28,390
    • Projected Growth Rate: 9%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Educational Paths for Graduates of Medical Office Administration Certificate Programs

A medical office administration online certificate qualifies you to work in healthcare facilities, or pursue further education and certifications. The following list details five associate and bachelor's programs related to an office administration certificate. Earning an associate or bachelor's degree significantly improves earning capacity. For example, medical and health services managers currently earn a median salary of $98,350, with a projected growth of 20%.

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Accreditation for Certificate and Diploma Programs

Regardless of the level of education you choose to pursue, finding an accredited school is a valuable component of your degree. Accreditation means a school or program meets a standard of recognized excellence. Many employers and higher education programs require accreditation. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) sanctions six accrediting bodies to monitor and regulate schools. You can check a school's website for accreditation, or search for the school directly in the ED's database of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs. Online students can look for support from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, a private, nonprofit monitoring system for online learning.

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