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Medical Office Manager: An Overview

By Steve Smith

The information presented here is true and accurate as of the date of publication. DeVry’s programmatic offerings and their accreditations are subject to change. Please refer to the current academic catalog for details.
August 23, 2023

8 min read

Medical office managers are one of several non-clinical healthcare jobs that make a difference in the way healthcare is delivered. They play an indispensable role in the healthcare industry as they oversee and manage the daily operations, the financial and the human resources of health service spaces like medical practices, outpatient care and nursing facilities.


If you’re interested in pursuing a career in healthcare administration, this article may be useful as we take a closer look at the responsibilities of medical office managers, what it takes to become one and the career opportunities and projected job growth associated with this role.

How to Become a Medical Office Manager

The first step along the path toward medical office management is to complete the necessary education. Even though these professionals are administrators who don’t deal in hands-on patient care, preparation for this career requires education that is specific to the healthcare industry.

Education requirements for jobs in healthcare management may vary, depending on the size of the organization, the requisite qualifications for specific roles and the level of the role.  At DeVry, we offer health services management- focused degrees and certificates at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including our Bachelor’s Degree Specialization in Health Services Management. Coursework for this degree program, for example, teaches skills in business affairs and strategies, organization of patient flow, budgeting and human resources planning, supervision and hiring of non-medical staff and more.

Looking for something beyond the bachelor’s level? Our Graduate Certificate in Health Services Management can help you get started. This graduate-level certificate can help you get acquainted with the ins and outs of healthcare administration, policy and finance, and can be earned as a standalone credential or as a steppingstone on the way to earning our Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Specialization in Health Services or our Master’s in Public Administration with an Emphasis on Healthcare Management.

What Does a Medical Office Manager Do?

Working in settings like medical practices, outpatient medical facilities, hospitals, long-term care facilities and mental health/behavioral health facilities, medical office managers keep track of the facility’s daily operations, expenses and patient billing. Their workday might include:

  • Engaging with vendors to procure the equipment, services or office and medical supplies needed for efficient and safe operation.

  • Establishing policies and procedures for the office or facility.

  • Managing facility staff work scheduling.

  • Hiring and training non-medical personnel and regularly evaluating their performance.

Common Skills Required

Because medical office managers often wear many hats, performing a variety of administrative duties and sometimes engaging directly with patients. To help them provide the best care possible, they should take the time to acquire and sharpen skills that may include:

  • Customer service: Effective customer service includes being empathetic, active listening, negotiating and other soft skills that can contribute to an office that runs efficiently and maintains positive relationships with patients, as well as the business and professional community.

  • Information technology: Proficiency with spreadsheet software, knowledge of electronic medical records systems and data analytics are a few examples of the technical skills they will need to be effective. 

  • Accounting: Medical office managers apply their knowledge of accounting to plan and manage budgets, manage the office payroll and track patient billing cycles.

  • Professional ethics: Professionals at all corners of healthcare management have an ethical and legal obligation to maintain the confidentiality of patient information. This includes compliance with the privacy and security rules of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Their skills in this area must be well sharpened, and they may be responsible for training staff on confidentiality rules and policies, creating confidentiality agreements and maintaining secure storage of patients’ medical files. 

  • Knowledge of medical terminology: It’s important for managers to understand medical terminology as it relates to the various diagnoses and procedures, frequently used by members of the medical staff in their facilities. Being familiar with this terminology can come in handy when coming across equipment and procedural terminology, medical charts, progress notes and diagnostic tests. 

Career Opportunities in Medical Office Management

Career opportunities in health services or medical office management are quite diverse. For example, graduates of our Bachelor’s Degree Specialization in Health Services Management may consider careers in medical office supervision, patient accounting and billing systems, managed care coordination, medical computer sales, management of provider networks and other areas of the vast U.S. healthcare industry.

But you may ask, is there strong need for medical office managers in general? The answer is a resounding yes. Based on job outlook data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 28% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. About 56,600 job openings in this occupational category are projected each year, on average, over the decade.1 This growth is projected on a national level and local growth will vary by location. This projection is not specific to DeVry graduates and may include earners at all stages of their careers.

The BLS accredits this substantial projected job growth to a couple of factors, including the increasing healthcare needs of the baby boomer generation and the widespread adoption of electronic medical records, which is stimulating the demand for managers with knowledge of health information technology and informatic systems. 

Thinking About Pursuing a Career in Health Services Management? DeVry Can Help You Prepare

If you’re considering a career in medical office management, DeVry University and our Keller Graduate School of Management can help you acquire many of the skills today’s healthcare employees need. We offer several degree and certificate programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels that can prepare you to pursue different careers in healthcare

Online learning with DeVry can help you balance your commitment to education with work, family and other aspects of your busy life. Classes start soon. Let’s talk about getting you started in our next session.

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