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What is a medical receptionist?

A medical receptionist, sometimes referred to as a medical secretary, is someone who works in the reception area of a general practice, hospital, or any health facility. Their main duties are to greet visitors, answer phone calls, book appointments, process medical accounts, and maintain patient records.  

Medical receptionists are the first face patients see when they enter a health clinic or hospital. Due to the nature of their work, medical receptionists need to be extremely organised with a good understanding of medical terminology and great communication skills that enable them to work with patients and provide a pleasant customer service experience. 

What does a Medical Receptionist do?

Medical receptionists are the backbone of any medical setting and responsible for numerous daily duties, including: 

  • Welcoming patients & visitors 
  • Answering phone calls
  • Booking & managing appointments
  • Assisting patients with forms & documentation
  • Responding to patient queries and calming distressed patients
  • Managing & updating patient records
  • Processing payments
  • Communicating with medical practitioners
  • Sterilising and cleaning equipment & maintaining a clean and calm reception area
  • Monitoring & ordering stationery and clinical supplies
  • Maintaining confidentiality of business documents and patient records
  • Liaising with different departments and organising meetings

What is the best medical receptionist course?

You don’t need a qualification or certificate to become a medical receptionist in Australia, but a Certificate III in Business (Medical Administration) may give you an edge in the competitive job market. This nationally recognised qualification will set you up with the skills and knowledge you need to pursue your medical receptionist career, including an understanding of medical jargon, providing first aid, maintaining medical accounts and patient records, and working in the health & community services sector.

While it’s not a requirement for medical receptionists to have completed a qualification, 44.6% of medical receptionists have some form of further education. A Certificate III in Health Administration will help you stand out amongst a pool of candidates, start your medical reception career with confidence, and progress quickly in the industry. 

How much you can earn after Medical Receptionist courses

According to current resources, the average annual salary for a medical receptionist in Australia is $59,500. or $30 per hour. Entry-level medical receptionists can earn $54,698 while more experienced positions can offer up to $65,430 per year. You may increase your earning potential by studying a medical reception course online.

How to become a medical receptionist

While you can go out today and apply for a job in medical reception without any training, a formal qualification will give you the foundation you need to hit the ground running and have an edge over other candidates. 

Here’s our advice for pursuing a career in medical reception: 

  1. Gain valuable skills with a Certificate III in Business (Medical Reception) or a Certificate III in Health Administration and add some clinic experience to your CV. This will give you a sound understanding of what it’s like to work in a medical environment so you can start your career with confidence. 
  2. Pursue a Diploma of Practice Management to enhance your knowledge with an understanding of leadership, HR, medical terminology, and surgery specifics. This is the perfect qualification for you if management is your goal. 
  3. Apply for a National Police Check and ensure your criminal history check details are up-to-date. 
  4. Update all of your standard vaccinations, including COVID-19, and have proof ready in case you’re asked to provide documentation. 
  5. Search and apply for jobs with the confidence you have acquired and enjoy your career in medical administration! 

What are the skills you need to be a medical receptionist?

To excel in a career as a medical receptionist, it’s helpful to have developed the following soft skills: 

  • Organisation
  • Time management & prioritisation
  • Customer service
  • Rapport development
  • Written, verbal, and non-spoken communication
  • Practical skills
  • Problem solving
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Endless patience

Taking the time to develop these skills will not only make your job easier but make the medical environment you work in more pleasant for patients, visitors, and colleagues.

Is it hard to be a medical receptionist?

Working as a receptionist in the medical industry is extremely rewarding, but with great rewards come many challenges. Some of the more challenging aspects of working as a medical receptionist include: 

  • Communicating realistic wait times and managing reactions
  • Comforting distressed patients
  • Assisting people with complex documents
  • Maintaining an orderly flow of communication and filing

All of these challenges must be managed while remaining supportive and accessible. But with some experience and the right team on your side, you’ll be able to flourish and take this on easily. 

If you are looking for a challenging career with exciting growth opportunities in and outside Australia, then a medical receptionist online course is just what the doctor ordered. Begin your exciting journey with a medical reception course today.

What are the benefits of Medical Receptionist courses

Since medical receptionist courses are not necessary when applying for jobs, you may be wondering why you would take the time to earn a qualification. There are several benefits to studying medical receptionist courses, including:

  • Understanding medical terminology: Medical receptionists must have a good grasp of medical jargon, and these courses will teach you all you need to know so that you can start your career without confusion. 
  • Edge over the competition: If you have undertaken a Certificate III in Business (Medical Administration) or a Certificate III in Health Administration, you will have an edge over other candidates applying for the same job who do not have qualifications. 
  • Applying with confidence: You will be able to pursue your career with confidence gained from study that prepares you for working in a medical environment.
  • Career progression: Rather than learning important medical reception skills on the job, you will instead be able to focus on developing and enhancing these skills so you can progress your career quicker.  

Should you study a medical receptionist course online?

Yes! Online learning in a virtual classroom is the gateway to studying your way. With online delivery of course materials you can study wherever you are at a time that suits you best. Online medical receptionist courses mean you can start your training without letting day-to-day work hours or lifestyle commitments hold you back. 

Is a medical receptionist a good career?

If you’re passionate about helping people in their most vulnerable moments, and you’re not shy in a bustling atmosphere, a career in medical reception could be a fantastic opportunity for you. 

The entry points are easy, so take advantage of this and gain essential knowledge while securing a reliable salary package in a local clinic near you. From there, your progression is limited only by your ambition and your goals. You might find that you’re attracted to challenging settings like hospitals and emergency departments, or prefer working in quiet neighbourhood clinics and getting to know your patients on a deeper level. 

Medical reception is a versatile career, and over time you can progress to management such as office manager or practice manager. There are numerous management outcomes so don’t be limited by those two roles. They are only a small handful of many! 

It all begins with a medical receptionist course online so you can study anywhere in Australia. 

Medical Receptionist courses online

We offer a range of online medical receptionist courses that you can start as soon as you’re ready. Browse our courses and enrol as soon as tomorrow. 

You will be led by a team of specialists and technical advisors who will guide you through your training, including assignments, tricky topics, and practical tasks.  While you learn the theory in your own time, our suppliers will dedicate themselves to help you transfer these skills to real world settings so that your medical receptionist training goes beyond the page. 

Soon enough, everything you learn will become second nature to you and you can start your career in the health industry with confidence. Start your online medical receptionist course today!


  1. How do I become a medical receptionist in Australia?
    You don’t need a qualification to become a medical receptionist in Australia, but you’ll have an edge over the competition if you start with a course. We recommend a Certificate III in Business (Medical Administration) to learn everything you need and start your career with confidence.

  2. How long is a medical receptionist course?
    This depends on the certificate you have chosen to enrol in and the institution. It will typically take up to 12 months of self-paced study to complete a medical receptionist course online.

  3. How much is a medical receptionist course?
    The cost of a medical receptionist course will depend on the certificate you enrol in, the institution, and the payment method you use. Many institutions offer payment plans and may even offer a discount for some students. Browse our courses and ask for a free class pack to learn more about pricing.

  4. Is being a medical receptionist a hard job?
    There are some challenges to working as a receptionist in the health sector. These include comforting distressed patients, managing customer complaints, and maintaining an orderly environment. With the right education, you can handle these challenges with ease.

  5. What is the next level after being a medical receptionist?
    There are many options for career progression from medical reception, including office management or practice management. Start your career and learn which environment excites you the most!

  6. What is the difference between a medical assistant and a medical receptionist?
    A medical assistant assists doctors and health care workers with their daily duties, while a medical receptionist works in the front desk and manages the reception area.