Clinical Receptionist Careers: Salary Information & Job Description

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Learn about a clinical receptionist's job duties, salary and training requirements. Get straight talk about the pros and cons of a clinical receptionist career.
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Pros and Cons of Becoming a Clinical Receptionist

Clinical receptionists greet and direct patients entering doctors' offices and hospitals. Take a look at the following pros and cons to determine if becoming a clinical receptionist might be the right career choice for you.

Pros of Becoming a Clinical Receptionist
A high school degree is often the minimum educational requirement for clinical receptionists*
With a large portion of the nation's population aging, healthcare fields are expected to grow *
Positions in doctor's offices, dentist's offices and elderly care facilities are expected to yield the most receptionist positions*
Clinical receptionist positions are available in nearly any geographic location*

Cons of Becoming a Clinical Receptionist
Lower than average median hourly wages ($12.87) in 2014*
Some clinical receptionists may encounter frustrated or irate customer complaints*
Technology advancements remove the need for some clinical receptionist duties*
Similar positions with equivalent educational requirements, such as an administrative assistant, can have a higher median hourly wages*

Source: *The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Essential Career Information

Clinical Receptionist Job Description and Duties

A clinical receptionist carries out the various administrative support duties that allow an office to run effectively, like transcribing doctor's notes, entering patient information into a database, processing insurance and working with financial records. Receptionists greet anyone entering the premises and answer phone calls. They provide information regarding the business, locations, departments or staff as requested. Receptionists work with the scheduling of appointments and ensure staff and patients are aware appointment dates and times.

Job Prospects of Clinical Receptionists

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the receptionist field is expected to grow at a rate of 14%, average for all occupations, between 2012 and 2022. Many of these receptionist positions are in the clinical healthcare industry. Those with experience or related skills in the field are expected to have the best job prospects. Although some traditional receptionist duties have been diminished by advances in technology, like voicemail and automated operators, advances in other areas of office procedure and equipment, like the Internet and mobile technologies, have created a demand for trained receptionists. The healthcare industry specifically has seen a large amount of growth and remains an environment that requires the human interaction provided by clinical receptionists.

Salary Information

In 2014, the upper 90% of receptionists in all occupations earned about $18.55 per hour, and the lower 10% earned about $8.94 per hour according to the BLS. According to Salary.com, the median annual wage for clinical receptionists specifically was $32,376 as of September 2015. Those with experience or education in the field may be able to obtain a higher hourly wage.

What Are the Requirements of Becoming a Clinical Receptionist?

Educational Requirements

Many receptionists receive on-the-job training after they have been hired. Most clinical receptionist positions require at least a high school degree or a GED. In general, a clinical receptionist should have experience in clerical procedures, such as transcription, file and data management, word processing and current office software. Strong communication and customer service skills are a priority due to the constant interaction with clients and time spent on the telephone. Time management and consistent organizational abilities are found in the best candidates because the job demands a lot of multi-tasking and follow-up.

Skill Set Requirements from Real Employers

Most clinical receptionists regularly use computers to perform essential job functions. Some employers require candidates to be familiar with specific office healthcare software. In addition to interpersonal skills, office technology proficiency, organizational skills and time-management abilities, the following job postings from April 2012 list their specific clinical receptionist requirements:

  • A medical facility in Mississippi is looking for a candidate who is not only positive and reliable, but who can work with little to no supervision.
  • A dermatology clinic in Virginia requires a candidate who has precise data entry skills.
  • One medical facility in Florida is in need of a medical receptionist who is able to accurately manage cash and other forms of payment in addition to clinical inventory.

How to Stand Out in the Field

If you are looking to secure a position in the field but do not have prior experience in medical or clinical reception, you may consider pursing an education program in order to gain an advantage. There are many medical office reception certificate programs at accredited schools across the nation. They typically last about one year long. These programs may offer courses that focus on topics such as bookkeeping, medical terminology, insurance processing, anatomy, medical or business software and keyboarding.

Related Alternative Careers

Medical Assistant

If you decide that you wish to pursue a similar career in the medical field but do not wish to become a clinical receptionist, you may wish to pursue a career as a medical assistant. A medical assistant is responsible for some administrative tasks, but also performs additional clinical job duties. Some responsibilities include clinical injections, laboratory tests, patient examination support and drawing blood. Like a clinical receptionist, a high school degree or equivalent is required for most positions. However, some offices and clinics prefer to hire medical assistants who are certified. Several nationwide agencies offer career certification for medical assistants. In 2011, the median hourly wage was $14.00.

Dental Assistant

If you wish to pursue a more specialized career, you may wish to become a dental assistant. The minimum educational requirement for this profession varies by state; some states require a high school degree while others require successful completion of a certificate or degree program, which typically last less than 2 years. In 2011, the median hourly wage was $17.00. Duties for dental assistants include patient care, record-keeping, preparing dental examination areas, sterilizing equipment and patient examination assisting.

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Featured Schools

Kaplan University

  • Master of Health Information Management
  • Bachelor: Healthcare Admin
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Which subject are you interested in?

The George Washington University

  • MSHS Clinical Operations & Healthcare Management
  • MSHS in Biomedical Informatics
  • Dual Degree: BSHS in Clinical Research Administration/MSHS in Regulatory Affairs
  • BSHS in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management

What is your highest level of education?

American University

  • Master of Science in Healthcare Management

What is your highest level of education?

Northcentral University

  • MS - Organizational Leadership: Health Care Administration

What is your highest level of education?

Regent University

  • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership - Healthcare Management
  • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Management

What is your highest level of education completed?

The University of Scranton

  • MBA - Healthcare Management
  • Master of Health Administration

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado Christian University

  • Health Care Administration, B.S.
  • Health Care Administration, A.S.

What is your highest level of education completed?

Trident University

  • Health Sciences (Ph.D.)
  • Health Administration (BSHA)
  • Health Sciences (BSHS)

What is your highest level of education completed?