Medical Answering Service vs. Receptionist Salary: How to Save

receptionist salary

Did you know that about 18.4% of small businesses close down within the first year? Even though you’re trying to be more productive, your business might still suffer due to new technology and globalization.

Consumers gain more control over how they interact with businesses and expect quick responses and good service. But paying a full in-office receptionist salary might be too cost-prohibitive. That’s why you need a medical answering service to help your business.


A phone answering service can help you cut down on medical practice expenses and grow your business. If you’re interested in finding out the difference between a phone answering service and a receptionist, as well as the cost, then keep reading to learn how you can help grow your business.

How Much Is the Average Receptionist Salary?

The average receptionist salary can vary from state to state, based on the education and experience of the individual, the cost of living, and the state’s minimum wage.

Certain specialties and qualifications may also influence the total receptionist salary. A medical receptionist with special training is paid a higher receptionist salary.

Salaried receptionists are paid a fixed sum per year versus an hourly employee who receives a set pay per hour they are on the clock. Hourly wages are most often paid to workers who work less than the standard of a 40-hour full-time employee workweek.

For example, in California, the minimum wage is now set to become $15.50 per hour for hourly employees in 2023. Assuming a receptionist works 40 hours per week at a minimum of $15.50 per hour, that would be a base of around $620 per week before taxes.

With 52 weeks in a year, $620 times 52 totals an average starting receptionist salary of $32,240 per year. This is assuming they receive paid vacation time and sick days.

While there are benefits to having an in-office receptionist, the cost to hire a receptionist may be too high for smaller businesses.

What Is a Phone Answering Service?

When you hear the term phone answering service, you may be picturing a clunky tapedeck unit that records phone call messages circa the 1980s. But this is not what we’re talking about.

A phone answering service is a way businesses can redirect calls to a dedicated call center. These call centers are staffed by in-person receptionists to field and answer incoming calls to your business.

Call center receptionists are trained in all aspects of your business and can help answer frequently asked questions. They can also take messages, schedule appointments, and assist with a variety of customer service needs.

The total cost can vary depending on the specific level of services you require and the volume of calls you may receive. But overall it is much cheaper than an in-office full-time receptionist.

You only utilize the service when you need it most. And you only pay for the time a phone answering service takes per call or per minute.


Advantages of a Phone Answering Service Over a Traditional Receptionist

Through the use of a phone answering service, you not only save money versus paying a traditional in-office receptionist salary you can also improve your customer service. Patients will be met with efficiency and expediency through the phone answering service no matter when they call.

24/7 Support

Ordinarily, a business or medical practice is only available by phone during normal business hours. A phone answering machine gives patients and clients round-the-clock 24-hour assistance. If you want to offer an after-hours or 24-hour hotline to patients, a phone answering service is there 7 days a week to serve the needs of your patients.

Peak Call Times

This can also work to your advantage during peak call times in your office. Instead of waiting on hold, reaching a busy signal, or leaving a voicemail that may not be heard in time, patients can reach an answering service agent. The live agent can help them find the answers to their questions.

Holidays and Weekends

This service also works well for long weekends and holidays where in-office staff are unavailable to answer calls for an extended period. If you don’t want to leave your patients in a lurch, a phone answering service can be there.

Lunch Breaks

During in-office lunch breaks, the phone answering service can also assist in lightening the load of your phone lines. Many patients call medical offices on their own lunch breaks only to be met with a voice recording.

But a phone answering machine service can take detailed messages and even help them accomplish certain tasks.

Boosts In-Office Efficiency

With a phone answering service, there are no more lost or mixed messages and no more dropped calls. All of the calls and their information are kept in a secure HIPAA-compliant database.

Messages are dated and timestamped. And you can see when each message achieved a satisfactory resolution.

Appointment Scheduling and Medication Management

A medical phone answering service can also help patients schedule, re-schedule, or cancel appointments easier. This means your appointment books will always be full.

They can even provide patients with information on medication dosages, uses, and side effects.

Increases Patient Satisfaction

Your patients are the lifeblood that keeps your medical practice running. So doesn’t it make sense to provide them with the best possible experience when interacting with your office?

Patients who feel heard by a medical practice will also feel valued. They’ll be more likely to attend scheduled appointments. They’ll also review your practice positively and recommend you to their family and friends.

A phone answering service provides a personal touch for your patients at a fraction of the cost of a receptionist’s salary.

Phone Answering Service Solutions from 24/7 Doctors Answering Service

You can still get a live call-center service agent to answer the phones for your medical practice, without the high cost of a receptionist’s salary. This will help set you apart from the competition. It will also help you grow your business without prohibitive medical practice expenses.

24/7 Doctors Answering Service can help you find the right phone answering service to fit your medical practice needs. We provide you quotes to the top medical answering companies so you’ll know your medical practice is in good hands when you’re not there.

Contact Us today for your free phone answering service provider quotes.

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