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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Secretaries in San Jose, California

Medical secretaries can find many career and educational opportunities in the San Jose, California area. Currently, 59,000 people work as medical secretaries in California. This is expected to grow 18% to 69,400 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for medical secretaries, which sees this job pool growing by about 26.6% over the next eight years. In general, medical secretaries perform secretarial duties utilizing specific knowledge of medical terminology and hospital, clinic, or laboratory procedures.

Medical secretaries earn about $14 per hour or $30,380 yearly on average in California and about $14 per hour or $29,680 annually on average nationally. Earnings for medical secretaries are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Secretarial in California and not quite as good as general Secretarial category earnings nationally.

There are eleven schools within twenty-five miles of San Jose where you can study to be a medical secretary, among fifty-nine schools of higher education total in the San Jose area. Given that the most common education level for medical secretaries is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn to be a medical secretary if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Medical Secretary

Medical Secretary video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, medical secretaries perform secretarial duties utilizing specific knowledge of medical terminology and hospital, clinic, or laboratory procedures. They also duties include scheduling appointments, billing patients, and compiling and recording medical charts, reports, and correspondence.

Medical secretaries answer telephones, and direct calls to appropriate staff. They also greet visitors, ascertain purpose of visit, and direct them to appropriate staff. Equally important, medical secretaries have to transmit correspondence and medical archives by mail, e-mail, or fax. They are often called upon to operate office equipment such as voice mail messaging systems, and use word processing and other software applications to ready reports, invoices, financial statements, letters, case histories and medical archives. They are expected to receive and route messages and documents such as laboratory results to appropriate staff. Finally, medical secretaries schedule and confirm patient diagnostic appointments, surgeries and medical consultations.

Every day, medical secretaries are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for medical secretaries to interview patients to finish documents and forms such as intake and insurance forms. They are often called upon to perform various clerical and administrative functions. They also maintain medical archives, technical library and correspondence files. They are sometimes expected to compile and record medical charts and correspondence, using typewriter or personal computer. Somewhat less frequently, medical secretaries are also expected to maintain medical archives, technical library and correspondence files.

and arrange hospital admissions for patients. And finally, they sometimes have to complete insurance and other claim forms.

Like many other jobs, medical secretaries must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in San Jose include:

  • Administrative Assistant. Provide high-level administrative support by conducting research, preparing statistical reports, handling information requests, and performing clerical functions such as preparing correspondence, receiving visitors, arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings. May also train and supervise lower-level clerical staff.
  • Legal Secretary. Perform secretarial duties utilizing legal terminology, procedures, and documents. Prepare legal papers and correspondence, such as summonses, complaints, and subpoenas. May also assist with legal research.
  • Library Clerk. Compile records, sort and shelve books, and issue and receive library materials such as pictures, cards, slides and microfilm. Locate library materials for loan and replace material in shelving area, stacks, or files according to identification number and title. Register patrons to permit them to borrow books, periodicals, and other library materials.
  • Secretary. Perform routine clerical and administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, or providing information to callers.
  • Typist. Type letters, reports, or other material from rough draft, corrected copy, or voice recording. May perform other clerical duties as assigned.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Secretary Training

West Valley College - Saratoga, CA

West Valley College, 14000 Fruitvale Ave, Saratoga, CA 95070-5698. West Valley College is a large college located in Saratoga, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,585 students. West Valley College has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary.

Heald College-San Jose - Milpitas, CA

Heald College-San Jose, 341 Great Mall Pky, Milpitas, CA 95035-8008. Heald College-San Jose is a small college located in Milpitas, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 990 students. Heald College-San Jose has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical Office Assistant/Specialist which graduated two and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Heald College-Hayward - Hayward, CA

Heald College-Hayward, 25500 Industrial Blvd., Hayward, CA 94545. Heald College-Hayward is a small college located in Hayward, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,274 students. Heald College-Hayward has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical Office Assistant/Specialist which graduated six and eighteen students respectively in 2008.

CET-Sobrato - San Jose, CA

CET-Sobrato, 701 Vine St, San Jose, CA 95110. CET-Sobrato is a small school located in San Jose, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 497 students. CET-Sobrato has a less than one year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated thirty-two students in 2008.

CET-Watsonville - Watsonville, CA

CET-Watsonville, 10 Blanca Lane, Watsonville, CA 95076. CET-Watsonville is a small school located in Watsonville, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 151 students. CET-Watsonville has a less than one year program in Medical Office Assistant/Specialist which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.

Everest College-Hayward - Hayward, CA

Everest College-Hayward, 22336 Main Street, Hayward, CA 94541. Everest College-Hayward is a small college located in Hayward, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 576 students and an admission rate of 48%. Everest College-Hayward has 2 areas of study related to Medical Secretary. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, less than one year which graduated 150 students in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Specialist/Medical Biller, less than one year which graduated 28 students in 2008.

De Anza College - Cupertino, CA

De Anza College, 21250 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino, CA 95014. De Anza College is a large college located in Cupertino, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,677 students. De Anza College has a two to four year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary.

Institute for Business and Technology - Santa Clara, CA

Institute for Business and Technology, 2400 Walsh Avenue, Santa Clara, CA 95051-1303. Institute for Business and Technology is a small school located in Santa Clara, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 605 students and an admission rate of 100%. Institute for Business and Technology has a less than one year program in Medical Insurance Specialist/Medical Biller which graduated forty-seven students in 2008.

Gavilan College - Gilroy, CA

Gavilan College, 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd, Gilroy, CA 95020. Gavilan College is a medium sized college located in Gilroy, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,159 students. Gavilan College has a two to four year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary.

CET-Gilroy - Gilroy, CA

CET-Gilroy, 7800 Arroyo Cir, Gilroy, CA 95020. CET-Gilroy is a small school located in Gilroy, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 151 students. CET-Gilroy has a less than one year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated twenty-seven students in 2008.

Cabrillo College - Aptos, CA

Cabrillo College, 6500 Soquel Dr, Aptos, CA 95003. Cabrillo College is a large college located in Aptos, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,822 students. Cabrillo College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated five, zero, and five students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Patient Account Manager: American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM) CPAM certification is available only to National AAHAM members who are in good standing and have a minimum of four years health care experience, or two years health care experience and a two-year college or university associates degree.

For more information, see the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management website.

Certified Coding Specialist: Coding accuracy is highly important to healthcare organizations, and has an impact on revenues and describing health outcomes.

For more information, see the American Health Information Management Association website.

Registered Health Information Technician: With experience, the RHIT credential holds solid potential for advancement to management positions, especially when combined with a bachelor's degree.

For more information, see the American Health Information Management Association website.

Certified Medical Administrative Specialist: This certification is for medical administrative specialists who serves a key role in medical office, clinic and hospital settings.

For more information, see the American Medical Technologists website.

Certified Medical Coder: Experienced medical office professionals with exceptional coding skills are eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Coder (CMC) exam.

For more information, see the Practice Management Institute website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: San Jose, California

San Jose, California
San Jose, California photo by Leslie

San Jose is situated in Santa Clara County, California. It has a population of over 948,279, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in San Jose, 163, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Jose are priced at $163,800 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred fourteen new homes were built in San Jose, down from three hundred twenty-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in San Jose are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is computer and electronic products, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 31.6% of San Jose residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in San Jose is 13.2%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of San Jose residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Almaden Hill United Methodist Church, Almaden Valley United Methodist Church and Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses are some of the churches located in San Jose. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Muslim Estimate.

San Jose is home to the Evergreen Ranch and the Rosegarden Branch San Jose Public Library as well as Almaden Winery Park and Albertson Park. Shopping malls in the area include Almaden Plaza Shopping Center, Almaden Via Valiente Plaza Shopping Center and Foxworthy Shopping Center. Visitors to San Jose can choose from Atrium Gardens, Best Western Airport Plaza and Best Western Inn Airport Plaza for temporary stays in the area.