Average Medical Secretary Salary in South Africa (2024)

The average Medical Secretary Salary in South Africa is R20,500 per month. An entry-level Medical Secretary earns a salary range of R8,500, a mid-career level Medical Secretary earns a salary range of R16,508 and a senior/experienced level Medical Secretary earns R22,325 per month.

Average Medical Secretary Salary in South Africa

Job Title Approximate Monthly Salary (ZAR)
Entry-Level Medical Secretary 8,500
Mid-Career Medical Secretary 16,508
Experienced Medical Secretary 22,325

Medical secretaries in South Africa play a crucial role in the healthcare system by providing administrative support to medical professionals and healthcare facilities. The salary of a medical secretary can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and the specific type of medical facility. Below are some common types of medical secretary roles and their functions in South Africa:

Types of Medical Secretary and Salary in South Africa

1. Administrative Medical Secretary

The Administrative Medical Secretary efficiently manages patient appointments, ensuring proper scheduling and avoiding conflicts. They maintain accurate and up-to-date patient records, including personal information and medical history. They also handle billing processes, generate invoices, and manage insurance claims for patients.

2. Clinical Medical Secretary

Clinical Medical Secretaries assist healthcare professionals in managing patient interactions and providing support during examinations or treatments.
They also regularly update patient files with relevant medical information, test results, and treatment plans.

3. Hospital Medical Secretary

The Hospital Medical secretary facilitates communication and coordination between different departments within the hospital to ensure smooth operations. They also schedule surgeries, tests, and other medical procedures, coordinating with various departments.

4. Specialized Medical Secretary

Specialized Medical Secretaries possess specialized knowledge related to a specific medical field, enabling effective support for healthcare professionals in that area.
They also manage administrative tasks specific to the medical speciality, such as handling specialized equipment orders or coordinating with relevant specialists.

5. Front Desk Medical Secretary

The Front Desk Medical Secretary greet patients, answers phones, and addresses initial inquiries, creating a positive and welcoming environment.
They also schedule appointments and direct patients to the appropriate departments within the healthcare facility.

6. Transcription Medical Secretary

Transcription Medical Secretary transcribes dictated medical reports, ensuring accuracy and clarity in medical documentation. They deliver transcriptions promptly to support healthcare professionals in their record-keeping.

7. Billing and Coding Medical Secretary

Billing and Coding Medical Secretary manage medical billing processes, ensuring that invoices are accurate, and payments are processed promptly. They also assign appropriate codes for diagnoses and procedures, adhering to coding standards and regulations.

8. Executive Medical Secretary

The Executive Medical Secretary provides high-level administrative support to healthcare executives, managing calendars, arranging meetings, and handling confidential information with discretion. They also act as a communication liaison between healthcare executives and other staff members.

9. Dental Practice Secretary

Dental practice secretaries manage administrative tasks in dental offices, including appointment scheduling, billing, and patient records.

10. Home Health Care Secretary

Home healthcare secretaries assist healthcare professionals who provide services in patients’ homes. They may handle scheduling and administrative tasks.

Factors Affecting Medical Secretary Salary in South Africa

Several factors can influence the salary of a medical secretary in South Africa. These factors can vary widely and can have a significant impact on the compensation a medical secretary receives. Some of the key factors affecting medical secretary salaries in South Africa include:

1. Experience

Experience is one of the most significant factors affecting salary. Medical secretaries with more years of experience tend to earn higher salaries. Those with a track record of handling complex administrative tasks and working efficiently may command higher pay.

2. Location

Salaries can vary significantly based on the geographic location within South Africa. Major cities and metropolitan areas typically offer higher salaries compared to rural or less densely populated regions. For example, salaries in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban are often higher than in smaller towns.

3. Type of Healthcare Facility

The type of healthcare facility can impact salary. Medical secretaries in large, prestigious hospitals or specialized medical centres may earn more than those working in smaller clinics or general practitioner offices.

4. Specialization

Working in a specialized field of medicine or with a specific medical speciality can affect salary. Medical secretaries who work in specialized areas such as neurosurgery or cardiology may receive higher compensation due to the specialized knowledge required.

5. Education and Training

Higher levels of education or training, such as a diploma or certification in medical administration, may lead to higher salaries. Employers may value certifications and qualifications that demonstrate competence in medical office management.

6. Skills and Responsibilities

The specific responsibilities assigned to a medical secretary can vary. Those with additional skills, such as proficiency in medical billing software or multilingual abilities, may receive higher compensation. Additionally, taking on more responsibilities and showing initiative can lead to salary increases.

7. Employer Size and Reputation

The size and reputation of the healthcare institution or practice can influence salary. Larger, well-known institutions may offer more competitive compensation packages to attract top talent.

8. Economic Factors

Economic conditions, inflation rates, and industry demand can also impact salaries. A strong economy and high demand for healthcare services may lead to higher salaries for medical secretaries.

9. Collective Bargaining Agreements

In some cases, medical secretaries who are members of labour unions or professional associations may benefit from negotiated wage agreements and collective bargaining.

10. Benefits and Perks

In addition to base salary, factors such as healthcare benefits, retirement plans, and other perks can affect the overall compensation package.

How to Become a Medical Secretary in South Africa

To become a medical secretary in South Africa, you need to acquire the necessary education, training, and skills. Here are the steps to help you become a medical secretary in South Africa:

1. Educational Requirements

Start with a solid educational foundation. Most medical secretary positions require at least a high school diploma or equivalent (Matric Certificate in South Africa). If you haven’t completed high school, consider obtaining a General Education Development (GED) certificate.

2. Enroll in a Medical Secretary Program

Consider enrolling in a medical secretary or medical office administration program at a recognized institution. These programs typically offer courses related to medical terminology, medical billing, office administration, and computer skills. Research accredited institutions that offer such programs, including technical colleges and vocational schools in South Africa.

3. Gain Computer Skills

Proficiency in computer applications, including word processing, spreadsheet software, and electronic health record (EHR) systems, is essential. Familiarize yourself with common software used in medical offices.

4. Understand Medical Terminology

Learning medical terminology is crucial. This knowledge will help you communicate effectively with healthcare professionals and accurately transcribe medical records.

5. Internships or Work Experience

Consider gaining practical experience through internships or entry-level positions in medical offices. On-the-job experience can provide valuable insight into the role of a medical secretary.

6. Certification (Optional)

While not always required, obtaining certification can enhance your job prospects. The Professional Association of South Africa (PASA) offers certification programs for medical secretaries. PASA’s Certified Medical Practice Administrator (CMPA) certification is highly regarded in the field.

7. Apply for Jobs

Start applying for medical secretary positions at hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, and other healthcare facilities. Craft a well-structured resume and cover letter highlighting your relevant skills and education.

8. Professional Development

Stay updated with industry trends and regulations. Attend workshops, seminars, and training programs to continue improving your skills.

9. Build Soft Skills

Develop strong interpersonal and communication skills. Medical secretaries often interact with patients, healthcare providers, and administrative staff, so effective communication is crucial.

10. Stay Organized and Detail-Oriented

Medical secretaries need to handle patient records, appointments, and billing with a high degree of accuracy and organization. Attention to detail is a key skill for success in this role.

11. Network

Join professional organizations or networks related to healthcare administration. This can help you connect with industry professionals and stay informed about job opportunities and best practices.

12. Continuing Education

Consider pursuing additional education or professional development opportunities to advance your career. This may include pursuing higher-level certifications or degrees.



The average Medical Secretary Salary in South Africa is R20,500. Becoming a medical secretary in South Africa involves completing a high school education, enrolling in a medical secretary program, gaining computer and medical terminology skills, and possibly obtaining certification. Practical experience through internships or entry-level positions is crucial.

While not mandatory, certification and continuous professional development can enhance career prospects. Effective communication and organizational skills, attention to detail, and proficiency in relevant software are essential. Networking and staying updated with industry trends are also valuable. Ultimately, success as a medical secretary depends on a combination of education, skills, practical experience, and ongoing commitment to professional growth.