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How to Become a Scheduler

If you’re looking for an entry-level administrative job to begin your career path, becoming a scheduler may be the perfect first step for you. Schedulers are responsible for scheduling appointments for clients to visit their company office. People in this position will need to provide excellent customer service to the people they speak with and have a basic knowledge of computer applications.

Schedulers are usually the first point of contact for customers, so it is important they keep a professional and friendly demeanor while speaking with clients over the phone or in person. Schedulers are not only responsible for booking appointments, but also for calling clients for appointment reminders, payments, and insurance claims. 

Schedulers are usually found working for medical offices, health care facilities, and law firms. As a scheduler, you are often seen as the “face” or “voice” of the company. At first impression, it is critical for schedulers to have the right communication skills to leave clients feeling happy. If you’re upbeat, enjoy working with others, and are extremely organized, this could be the career for you!

Sample job description

Looking for a full-time remote scheduler to work at [Your Company Name]. The scheduler will be responsible for booking clients and patients for appointments. You must have excellent communication skills as well as the ability to accurately record, manage, and oversee data. Previous experience in scheduling and calendar software is not required but is a plus. You will be in charge of answering phone calls and emails from clients and potential clients, as well as scheduling appointments for consultations and visits. If any scheduling issues occur, it will be your responsibility to resolve these issues as well. You should be hardworking and have the ability to resolve any communication issues that may occur. If the duties described seem like they would fit you perfectly, please apply for this position. [Your Company Name] looks forward to hearing from you!

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Schedule appointments for patients
  • Call for appointment reminders
  • Answer phones and greet patients
  • Submit billing and insurance claims
  • Resolve questions and complaints
  • Handle paper and electronic files
  • Basic bookkeeping

Education and experience

Schedulers should have a high school diploma or equivalent. An associate degree in a business or medical field would be helpful, although it isn’t required. Some knowledge of health care would be a plus.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Computer skills, including Microsoft Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel)
  • Experience with electronic health records (EHRs)
  • Strong interpersonal skills for dealing with patients, doctors, and staff
  • Discretion and the ability to handle confidential information
  • Organizational skills and the ability to multitask
  • Calm, professional demeanor
  • Attention to detail

Preferred qualifications

  • Completed HIPAA training
  • Experience with scheduling software and working in healthcare
  • Obtained previous medical certifications
  • Strong mechanical aptitude
  • High ethical standards and the ability to hold accountability

Typical work environment

Schedulers will typically work in either an office, reception, or remote position. It is the responsibility of the scheduler to ensure that clients, patients, and employees are booked for appointments, consultations, and meetings respectively. Oftentimes, a scheduler will be in charge of recording the data into a scheduling or calendar software. The scheduler will also be responsible for resolving any issues which may arise, and resolving any conflicts between appointments. Because of this, a scheduler must have excellent communication and problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to accurately record and input data. This position is almost always full-time due to the on-call nature of the position, although there may occasionally be part-time scheduling positions available.

Typical hours

Schedulers typically work regular office hours, 9 AM to 5 PM, during the week. However, some medical facilities with extended hours might require evening and weekend shifts.

Available certifications

The scheduler has a few different certifications they can choose from. Some of these include:

  • PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP). The PMI Scheduling Professional certification allows those who have a comprehensive knowledge of scheduling, project management, and administrative techniques to showcase their knowledge with a widely recognized certificate. This certification is offered by the Project Management Institute.
  • Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA). A certified medical administrative assistant is required to have a comprehensive understanding of administrative tasks within medical offices. This certification can be immensely beneficial to any scheduler looking to gain entry to the medical scheduling field or expand their potential job spectrum. The certificate is offered by the National Healthcareer Association.

Career path

The first step to becoming a medical scheduler is to earn a high school diploma or equivalent. A college degree is not required, but employers often prefer candidates with an associate degree in a business or medical discipline. 

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 43-6000

2020 Employment3,363,900
Projected Employment in 20303,137,700
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 7% decrease
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift226,200 decrease

Some graduates decide to become certified by the American Society of Administrative Professionals or as a medical administrative specialist to enhance their job prospects. The International Association of Administrative Professionals also offers an exam and certification.

The growing number of older Americans who need medical care, along with advancements in technology, means that medical schedulers are in demand.