Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Where and under what conditions do office technology personnel work?
- What is the current job outlook for office technology?
- Where and under what conditions do medical office technology personnel work?
- What is the current job outlook for medical office technology?
- I have more questions about office/medical office technology at CTC. Where can I find answers?
Where and under what conditions do office technology personnel work? [Top]
Secretaries and administrative assistants held about 4.1 million jobs in 2010. The following tabulation shows the distribution of employment by secretarial specialty:
Secretaries, except legal, medical and executive - 2,032,000
Executive secretaries and administrative assistants - 1,236,100
Medical secretaries - 508,700
Legal secretaries - 233,200
Although secretaries and administrative assistants work in nearly every industry, many are concentrated in schools, hospitals, government agencies and legal and medical offices. Most work full time in comfortable office settings. Virtual assistants typically work from a home office.
What is the current job outlook for office technology? [Top]
Overall employment of secretaries and administrative assistants is expected to grow 12 percent from 2010-2020, about as fast as average for all occupations. In addition to jobs coming from employment growth, numerous job openings will arise from the need to replace secretaries and administrative assistants who transfer to other occupations or retire. Job opportunities should be best for applicants with extensive knowledge of computer software applications.
Although developments in office technology are certain to continue, many secretarial and administrative duties are of a personal, interactive nature and are not easily automated. Responsibilities such as planning meetings, working with clients and instructing staff require tact and communication skills. Because technology cannot currently substitute for these interpersonal skills, secretaries and administrative assistants will continue to play a key role in most organizations.
The median annual wage for secretaries and administrative assistants was $34,660 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $21,730 and the top 10 percent earned more than $55,960.
Where and under what conditions do medical office technology personnel work? [Top]
Most medical records and health information technicians worked in hospitals or physicians’ offices. Some worked for the government. Technicians typically work at desks or in offices and may spend many hours in front of computer monitors.
The medical coder/biller may work in a variety of facilities including hospitals, physician offices and clinics, long-term care facilities, insurance companies, government agencies or with home care providers.
Medical transcriptionists/medical documentation specialists held about 95,100 jobs in 2010. Most medical transcriptionists/medical documentation specialists work for hospitals or in physicians' offices. Some work for companies that provide medical documentation services to healthcare establishments and others are self-employed. Some work from home offices, receiving dictation and submitting drafts electronically. Most medical transcriptionists/medical documentation specialists work full time. Medical transcriptionists/medical documentation specialists who work from home may work outside typical business hours or have some flexibility in determining their schedules.
What is the current job outlook for medical office technology? [Top]
Employment of medical records and health information technicians is expected to increase by 21 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for health services is expected to increase as the population ages. An aging population will need more medical tests, treatments and procedures. This will also mean more claims for reimbursement from private and public insurance. Additional records, coupled with widespread use of electronic health records by all types of healthcare providers, should lead to an increased need for technicians to organize and manage the associated information in all areas of the healthcare industry. An increasing demand for standardized records should result in rapid employment growth in physicians’ offices, especially in large group practices. Prospects will be best for those with a certification in health information. As EHR systems continue to become more common, technicians with computer skills will be needed to use them. Most employers prefer to hire medical records and health information technicians who have professional certification. A medical records and health information technician can get certification from several organizations. Some organizations base certification on passing an exam. Others require graduation from an accredited program. Once certified, technicians typically must renew their certification regularly and take continuing education courses. Many coding certifications require coding experience in a work setting. The median annual wage of medical records and health information technicians was $32,350 in May 2010.
Employment of medical transcriptionists/medical documentation specialists is expected to grow six percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations. The volume of healthcare services is expected to continue to increase, resulting in a growing number of medical tests and procedures, all of which will require transcription or editing. At the same time, technological advances in recent years have changed the way medical documentation is done. In the past, medical transcriptionists/medical documentation specialists would listen to an entire dictation to produce a transcribed report. Today, many medical documents are prepared with the use of back-end speech recognition technology in which specialized software automatically prepares an initial draft of a report. The transcriptionist/specialist then reviews the draft for accuracy, listening to the original recording as needed. Such technological advances are expected to continue, making the individual transcriptionist/specialist far more productive and limiting employment growth overall. As healthcare providers seek to cut costs, some have hired documentation services in other countries. However, concerns about patient confidentiality and data security suggest a continued need for transcriptionists/specialists within the United States. The median annual wage of medical transcriptionists/medical documentation specialists was $32,900 in May 2010. The median annual wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $21,960 and the top 10 percent earned more than $46,220.
I have more questions about office technology at CTC. Where can I find answers? [Top]
Contact Office Technology at 254-526-1234, e-mail Lovie Dunn, department chairperson, at LDunn@ctcd.edu or stop by Bldg. 101, Room 6. We will be happy to answer your questions.