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Medical

Medical secretary

Medical secretaries provide office support in hospitals, GP surgeries, private clinics and universities.

Annual Salary

£17,500 to £24,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 39 a week

You could work: between 8am and 6pm; on a rota

26%
Future employment

There will be 26% fewer Medical secretary jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

In this role you could:

  • handle questions from patients, staff and consultants
  • organise a doctor's diary, book consulting rooms and meetings
  • make travel arrangements
  • manage a waiting list of patients
  • update patient records and deal with confidential information
  • send samples for medical testing and record the results
  • type letters, clinical reports, minutes of meetings and do filing
  • monitor an office budget and deal with invoices

Working environment

You could work in an office, at a GP practice or in an NHS or private hospital.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
College

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include:

  • T level in Management and Administration
  • Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Medical Administration
  • Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Medical Terminology

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
For more information
Apprenticeship

You can get into this role through a business administrator advanced apprenticeship.

This typically takes 18 months to complete as a mix of workplace learning and off the job study.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
For more information
Work

If you already work in a healthcare setting, for instance, as a receptionist or clerical assistant, it may help you move into a medical secretary role if you take a relevant qualification while you're working.

The Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Managers, Administrators and Receptionists (AMSPAR) and the British Society of Medical Secretaries and Administrators (BSMSA) offer:

  • Level 2 Certificate and Diploma in Medical Administration
  • Certificate in Medical Terminology

Direct application

If you want to apply directly for jobs, employers will expect you to have some GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English.

You'll find it useful to have a typing or word processing qualification like an RSA certificate before you look for work. Some organisations may also want you to have knowledge of medical terminology.

More information

Career tips

To get a job as a medical secretary, you'll need experience of working in an office, ideally in a secretarial role. Temporary work can be a good way of getting this experience.

When applying for NHS jobs, you'll be expected to have an understanding of how NHS values apply in your work.

Further information

You can find out more about medical secretarial careers from Health Careers.

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With experience, you could manage a team of secretaries in a large organisation.

With further training, you could become an administration manager, office manager or GP practice manager.

You could also move into roles in finance or HR.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • administration skills
  • customer service skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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