Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Secretaries in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cambridge, Massachusetts provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for medical secretaries. Currently, 18,600 people work as medical secretaries in Massachusetts. This is expected to grow 9% to 20,300 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.

Income for medical secretaries is about $16 hourly or $34,360 per year on average in Massachusetts. Nationally, their income is about $14 per hour or $29,680 yearly. Medical secretaries earn less than people working in the category of Secretarial generally in Massachusetts and less than people in the Secretarial category nationally.

The Cambridge area is home to 149 schools of higher education, including seventeen within twenty-five miles of Cambridge 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 training to become 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 Cambridge 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

Millennium Training Institute - Woburn, MA

Millennium Training Institute, 600 West Cummings Park, Suite 2550, Woburn, MA 01801. Millennium Training Institute is a small school located in Woburn, Massachusetts. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 107 students and an admission rate of 83%. Millennium Training Institute has a less than one year program in Medical Insurance Specialist/Medical Biller which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Lincoln Technical Institute - Brockton, MA

Lincoln Technical Institute, 375 Westgate Drive, Brockton, MA 02301-1818. Lincoln Technical Institute is a small school located in Brockton, Massachusetts. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 181 students. Lincoln Technical Institute has a less than one year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated 109 students in 2008.

Gibbs College-Boston - Boston, MA

Gibbs College-Boston, 126 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116. Gibbs College-Boston is a small college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 264 students. Gibbs College-Boston has an associate's degree program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated forty-five students in 2008.

Nashua Community College - Nashua, NH

Nashua Community College, 505 Amherst St, Nashua, NH 03063-1026. Nashua Community College is a small college located in Nashua, New Hampshire. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,925 students. Nashua Community College has a less than one year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated one student in 2008.

Massasoit Community College - Brockton, MA

Massasoit Community College, One Massasoit Boulevard, Brockton, MA 02302-3996. Massasoit Community College is a medium sized college located in Brockton, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,394 students. Massasoit Community College has a less than one year program in Medical Insurance Specialist/Medical Biller which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.

Everest Institute-Brighton - Brighton, MA

Everest Institute-Brighton, 1505 Commonwealth Ave, Brighton, MA 02135-3605. Everest Institute-Brighton is a small school located in Brighton, Massachusetts. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 180 students and an admission rate of 45%. Everest Institute-Brighton has a less than one year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated fifty students in 2008.

Fisher College - Boston, MA

Fisher College, 118 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02116. Fisher College is a small college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,262 students and an admission rate of 62%. Fisher College has an associate's degree program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary.

The Salter School-Tewksbury Campus - Tewksbury, MA

The Salter School-Tewksbury Campus, 515 Woburn Street, Tewksbury, MA 01876. The Salter School-Tewksbury Campus is a small school located in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 299 students. The Salter School-Tewksbury Campus has a one to two year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated thirty-five students in 2008.

Quinsigamond Community College - Worcester, MA

Quinsigamond Community College, 670 West Boylston Street, Worcester, MA 01606-2092. Quinsigamond Community College is a medium sized college located in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,227 students. Quinsigamond Community College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Secretary. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, associate's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, one to two year which graduated 5 students in 2008.

North Shore Community College - Danvers, MA

North Shore Community College, 1 Ferncroft Rd, Danvers, MA 01923-0840. North Shore Community College is a medium sized college located in Danvers, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,223 students. North Shore Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated three and five students respectively in 2008.

Newbury College-Brookline - Brookline, MA

Newbury College-Brookline, 129 Fisher Ave, Brookline, MA 02445. Newbury College-Brookline is a small college located in Brookline, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,042 students. Newbury College-Brookline has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Medical Office Assistant/Specialist which graduated three and three students respectively in 2008.

Lincoln Technical Institute - Somerville, MA

Lincoln Technical Institute, 5 Middlesex Ave, Somerville, MA 02145. Lincoln Technical Institute is a small school located in Somerville, Massachusetts. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 385 students. Lincoln Technical Institute has a less than one year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated twenty-six students in 2008.

Massachusetts Bay Community College - Wellesley Hills, MA

Massachusetts Bay Community College, 50 Oakland St, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481-5399. Massachusetts Bay Community College is a medium sized college located in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,975 students. Massachusetts Bay Community College has a less than one year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated one student in 2008.

Bunker Hill Community College - Boston, MA

Bunker Hill Community College, 250 New Rutherford Ave, Boston, MA 02129-2925. Bunker Hill Community College is a medium sized college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,500 students. Bunker Hill Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated two and nine students respectively in 2008.

Salter College-West Boylston - West Boylston, MA

Salter College-West Boylston, 184 West Boylston Suite # 1, West Boylston, MA 01583. Salter College-West Boylston is a small college located in West Boylston, Massachusetts. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 852 students. Salter College-West Boylston has a one to two year program in Medical Office Assistant/Specialist which graduated twenty-nine students in 2008.

Everest Institute-Chelsea - Chelsea, MA

Everest Institute-Chelsea, 70 Everett Ave - 4th Floor, Chelsea, MA 02150. Everest Institute-Chelsea is a small school located in Chelsea, Massachusetts. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 150 students and an admission rate of 66%. Everest Institute-Chelsea has a less than one year program in Medical Insurance Specialist/Medical Biller which graduated four students in 2008.

The Salter School-Malden Campus - Malden, MA

The Salter School-Malden Campus, 2 Florence St, Malden, MA 02148. The Salter School-Malden Campus is a small school located in Malden, Massachusetts. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 423 students. The Salter School-Malden Campus has a one to two year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated seventy-seven students 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: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge, Massachusetts photo by Scs

Cambridge is located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 105,596, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Cambridge, 142, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Cambridge are priced at $1,078,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, twelve new homes were constructed in Cambridge, down from twenty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Cambridge are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 65.1% of Cambridge residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 38.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cambridge is 5.6%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Cambridge residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 73.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Western Avenue Baptist Church, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Chapel and Cambridgeport Baptist Church are some of the churches located in Cambridge. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.

Cambridge is home to the Great Court and the Cutter Square as well as John A Ahern Field and Sheridan Square. Shopping malls in the area include Porter Square Shopping Center, The Atrium Shopping Center and Cambridgeside Galleria Shopping Center.