Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk: Which Career Should You Pursue?   

Hospital unit clerk and medical office assistant program in Alberta- ABES College

Working in the medical field can be an exciting opportunity, and there are many more roles other than nurse or doctor to consider. For example, two accessible careers include working as a medical office assistants and unit clerks. These are vital positions that make hospitals and medical offices run smoothly.  

You’d be a vital part of the team in either of these roles without investing too much time in your education. Yet these two positions are very different. So, which is better for you? 

What is a Medical Office Assistant?

A medical office assistant (MOA) provides support within medical offices and clinics. Much of their work is administrative, with some direct patient contact, including greeting patients and managing the inventory in the office.  

How much does a medical office assistant make? 

Canada’s Job Bank states that MOAs earn a median wage of $21.55 an hour. 

What is a Hospital Unit Clerk? 

Hospital unit clerks usually support the nursing team. They may manage inventory, manage charts, communicate between different medical professionals and schedule tests. They are less likely to interact with patients and more likely to be working with various medical professionals. 

How much does a unit clerk make?  

Unit clerks tend to make slightly more than medical office assistants, with a starting wage of $25 per hour in Alberta.  

Learn more about medical office assistant and unit clerk here, or get started with your application by scheduling a 15 minute call with an ABES Advisor.

Medical Office Assistant vs Unit Clerk 

Both positions have a great deal of overlap in duties and responsibilities. However, most will find that as an MOA, they have more patient interactions, while hospital unit clerks may have slightly more paperwork. In terms of desirability, the higher wages of a unit clerk mean that many people prefer this work when they can get it—but there are other factors at play too. 

The most important distinction between these roles may be the place you work. Unit clerks work in busy hospitals with a wider range of people. They may also work in long-term care homes and hospices. Unit clerks also typically do shift work. 

MOAs work in smaller medical clinics and offices with fewer staff members. As a result, they may work more closely with a specific doctor or other medical professional and are more likely to work a standard Monday-Friday schedule.  

The environment you prefer and the hours you want play a large role in which career path is best for you.  

ABES College Programs

Luckily, you don’t have to choose between these two career paths right now. At ABES College, we offer a combined Unit Clerk and Medical Office Assistant program, which can qualify you to do both roles. When you graduate, you can choose a position that works with your schedule and even change it down the line. Best of all, our program is only 27 weeks.  

Reach out to an ABES advisor today to learn more about this exciting program.