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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Secretaries in Chicago, Illinois

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for medical secretaries in the Chicago, Illinois area. There are currently 14,330 jobs for medical secretaries in Illinois and this is projected to grow by 25% to about 17,860 jobs 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.

The income of a medical secretary is about $15 per hour or $31,820 annually on average in Illinois. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $14 per hour or $29,680 annually on average. Medical secretaries earn less than people working in the category of Secretarial generally in Illinois and less than people in the Secretarial category nationally.

The Chicago area is home to 180 schools of higher education, including eighteen within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree as a medical secretary. Medical secretaries usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying 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 Chicago 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.
  • Correspondence Clerk. Compose letters in reply to requests for merchandise, damage claims, credit and other information, delinquent accounts, or unsatisfactory services. Duties may include gathering data to formulate reply and typing correspondence.
  • File Clerk. File correspondence, cards, and other records in alphabetical or numerical order or according to the filing system used. Locate and remove material from file when requested.
  • Insurance Claims Processor. Obtain information from insured or designated persons for purpose of settling claim with insurance carrier.
  • 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.
  • Office Machine Operator. Operate one or more of a variety of office machines, such as photocopying, photographic, and duplicating machines, or other office machines.
  • Procurement Clerk. Compile information and records to draw up purchase orders for procurement of materials and services.
  • Production Proofreader. Read transcript or proof type setup to detect and mark for correction any grammatical, typographical, or compositional errors.
  • 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.
  • Statement Clerk. Prepare and distribute bank statements to customers, answer inquiries, and reconcile discrepancies in records and accounts.
  • 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

Everest College-North Aurora - North Aurora, IL

Everest College-North Aurora, 150 S Lincolnway #100, North Aurora, IL 60542. Everest College-North Aurora is a small college located in North Aurora, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 396 students and an admission rate of 57%. Everest College-North Aurora has a one to two year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.

Coyne American Institute Inc - Chicago, IL

Coyne American Institute Inc, 330 North Green Street, Chicago, IL 60607-1300. Coyne American Institute Inc is a small school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 840 students. Coyne American Institute Inc has 2 areas of study related to Medical Secretary. They are:

  • Medical Insurance Specialist/Medical Biller, one to two year which graduated 21 students in 2008.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, one to two year which graduated 17 students in 2008.

Everest College-Skokie - Skokie, IL

Everest College-Skokie, 9811 Woods Drive, Skokie, IL 60077-1074. Everest College-Skokie is a small college located in Skokie, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 188 students and an admission rate of 45%. Everest College-Skokie has a less than one year program in Medical Insurance Specialist/Medical Biller which graduated thirty-six students in 2008.

Kaplan College-Merrillville - Merrillville, IN

Kaplan College-Merrillville, 3803 E Lincoln Hwy, Merrillville, IN 46410. Kaplan College-Merrillville is a small college located in Merrillville, Indiana. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 405 students. Kaplan College-Merrillville has a one to two year program in Medical Insurance Specialist/Medical Biller which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.

First Institute Inc - Crystal Lake, IL

First Institute Inc, 790 McHenry Ave, Crystal Lake, IL 60014. First Institute Inc is a small school located in Crystal Lake, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 65 students. First Institute Inc has a less than one year program in Medical Office Assistant/Specialist which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated four and nine students respectively in 2008.

Westwood College-Dupage - Woodridge, IL

Westwood College-Dupage, 7155 Janes Avenue, Woodridge, IL 60517. Westwood College-Dupage is a small college located in Woodridge, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 659 students and an admission rate of 37%. Westwood College-Dupage has a one to two year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary.

Everest College-Chicago - Chicago, IL

Everest College-Chicago, 247 South State Street #400, Chicago, IL 60604. Everest College-Chicago is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 596 students and an admission rate of 48%. Everest College-Chicago has a less than one year program in Medical Office Assistant/Specialist which graduated 165 students in 2008.

Everest College-Burr Ridge - Burr Ridge, IL

Everest College-Burr Ridge, 6880 N Frontage Rd-Ste 400, Burr Ridge, IL 60527. Everest College-Burr Ridge is a small college located in Burr Ridge, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 446 students and an admission rate of 46%. Everest College-Burr Ridge has a less than one year program in Medical Office Assistant/Specialist which graduated 258 students in 2008.

College of Lake County - Grayslake, IL

College of Lake County, 19351 W Washington St., Grayslake, IL 60030-1198. College of Lake County is a large college located in Grayslake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 16,359 students. College of Lake County has 2 areas of study related to Medical Secretary. They are:

  • Medical Insurance Specialist/Medical Biller, less than one year which graduated 27 students in 2008.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, less than one year which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Westwood College-O'Hare Airport - Chicago, IL

Westwood College-O'Hare Airport, 8501 W. Higgins Road Suite 100, Chicago, IL 60634. Westwood College-O'Hare Airport is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 676 students and an admission rate of 48%. Westwood College-O'Hare Airport has a one to two year program in Medical Office Assistant/Specialist which graduated fifty-three students in 2008.

East-West University - Chicago, IL

East-West University, 816 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605. East-West University is a small university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,234 students. East-West University has a less than one year program in Medical Insurance Specialist/Medical Biller which graduated eight students in 2008.

The College of Office Technology - Chicago, IL

The College of Office Technology, 1520 West Division Street, Chicago, IL 60622-3312. The College of Office Technology is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 270 students. The College of Office Technology has a one to two year program in Medical Office Assistant/Specialist which graduated sixty-six students in 2008.

Oakton Community College - Des Plaines, IL

Oakton Community College, 1600 E Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016-1268. Oakton Community College is a large college located in Des Plaines, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,552 students. Oakton Community College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Secretary. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, less than one year which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Specialist/Medical Biller, less than one year which graduated 18 students in 2008.

Everest College-Merrionette Park - Merrionette Park, IL

Everest College-Merrionette Park, 11560 S. Kedzie, Merrionette Park, IL 60803. Everest College-Merrionette Park is a small college located in Merrionette Park, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 295 students and an admission rate of 55%. Everest College-Merrionette Park has a less than one year program in Medical Office Assistant/Specialist which graduated 237 students in 2008.

McHenry County College - Crystal Lake, IL

McHenry County College, 8900 US Hwy 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012-2761. McHenry County College is a medium sized college located in Crystal Lake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,374 students. McHenry County College has a less than one year program in Medical Office Assistant/Specialist which graduated nine students in 2008.

Taylor Business Institute - Chicago, IL

Taylor Business Institute, 318 West Adams Street, Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60606. Taylor Business Institute is a small school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 318 students and an admission rate of 80%. Taylor Business Institute has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical Insurance Specialist/Medical Biller which graduated zero and thirty-three students respectively in 2008.

Kaplan College-Hammond - Hammond, IN

Kaplan College-Hammond, 7833 Indianapolis Blvd, Hammond, IN 46324. Kaplan College-Hammond is a small college located in Hammond, Indiana. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 586 students. Kaplan College-Hammond has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated twenty and thirty-four 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: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.