Intake SpecialistJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

An intake specialist is the first person to greet customers or patients, directing them where they need to go. It is important for intake specialists to have strong communication and organization skills to succeed in this position.

Intake specialists are usually found working in health clinics, legal offices, and social services agencies. They are primarily responsible for taking care of administrative duties for their organization. This includes checking patients in, obtaining personal history and emergency contact information, coordinating schedules, and processing paperwork.

This job opportunity is the perfect entry-level administrative job. Intake specialists will expand their skills and experience by supporting customers and performing simple bookkeeping tasks. Creating a friendly environment for staff and employees will help intake specialists to advance into other administrative positions, such as an administrative coordinators or managers.

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] is searching for an experienced and charismatic intake specialist to join our team. We are looking for someone who is experienced in customer relations and understands the key role that you would play in being the first face that our clients see when walking in. An intake specialist is responsible for making customers feel immediately comfortable and helping kickstart their positive experience with us. This initial interaction will set the tone for our customer’s entire visit and is crucial in our company’s success. If you have exceptional people skills and enjoy meeting new people then becoming an intake specialist may be a perfect fit.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Screen incoming calls and emails to the law firm
  • Review and record potential clients’ claims by phone and email
  • Submit claims to the attorney for review
  • Schedule appointments between potential clients and legal staff
  • Process and file necessary paperwork from the client and legal staff
  • Coordinate schedules for clients, lawyers and staff
  • Obtain signatures and other essential qualifiers from clients
  • Serve as a “friendly face” and “friendly voice” of the firm

Education and experience

This position requires a high school diploma or GED, but many law firms prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in data management, criminal justice, behavioral science, or a similar field. 

Required skills and qualifications

  • Proficiency using Microsoft Office Suite
  • Strong listening and interviewing skills
  • Proficiency using standard office equipment 
  • Ability to console and advise distressed callers
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Ability to multitask and organize in a fast-paced environment

Preferred qualifications

  • Bilingual Spanish 
  • Associate’s degree in behavioral science, data management, or related field depending on the company
  • Bachelor’s degree in behavioral science, data management, or related field depending on the company

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for an intake specialist is $43,750 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$43,500$58,900
Los Angeles, California$49,100$66,400
Denver, Colorado$40,900$55,350
Washington, DC$49,850$67,400
Miami, Florida$40,700$55,100
Orlando, Florida$37,550$50,800
Tampa, Florida$37,950$51,300
Atlanta, Georgia$39,800$53,850
Chicago, Illinois$45,750$61,900
Boston, Massachusetts$49,450$66,900
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$39,400$53,350
New York City, New York$52,050$70,450
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$42,400$57,350
Dallas, Texas$41,300$55,850
Houston, Texas$40,900$55,350
Seattle, Washington$47,600$64,400
National Average$37,200$50,300

Typical work environment

Intake specialists typically work in the medical field but can also work in a variety of industries like hospitals, law firms, clinics and mental facilities. The employees in most cases will have a desk with a computer to be able to accomplish their job. Most of the time intake specialists work full time and sometimes are required to work weekends depending on the company.

Typical hours

The work hours for an intake specialist are typically from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, in an office setting.

Available certifications

As they work in many industries, there are plenty of certifications to choose from. Here are a couple of popular ones:

  • Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS). This certification is geared towards those who will work on medical billing and coding. You must be 18 years old and obtain a high school diploma. It helps students translate medical diagnoses and symptoms into the codes in order to file a reimbursement claim. Renewal is required every 2 years.
  • Certified Medical Office Manager (CMOM). This certification proves that you are highly knowledgeable in all the areas needed to be successful. For example financial management, time management, risk management, facility management, and medical record keeping. 
  • Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA). This certification is a great one to have for this line of work. This proves that you have the ability to keep a healthcare office running correctly and efficiently. You are able to achieve clerical duties.
  • HIPAA Professional (HIPAAP). This certification helps you be more familiar with the HIPAA terminology, administrative simplification provisions, and procedures needed for organizations to comply with security and privacy standards.

Career path

Becoming an intake specialist starts by earning a high school diploma or GED, although some employers also require a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science, data management, or a similar field. 

A proven track record of solid work experience in the legal system or an intake setting can compensate for the lack of a degree. 

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 43-6013

2020 Employment611,200
Projected Employment in 2030676,100
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 11% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift64,900 increase

Although nothing can replace the value of in-person appointments, sometimes face-to-face meetings are difficult to arrange — if not impossible — between claimants and the legal team. Fortunately, new smart apps like Zoom are making telecommunications and video calling more accessible than ever. Intake Specialists will need to stay on top of emerging technologies to meet potential clients’ needs and ensure every claimant feels seen and heard.

Sample interview questions

  • Has there ever been a time when you had to deal with a difficult person that gave you a hard time? How did you handle that situation?
  • How do you determine what work to prioritize? 
  • What made you enter this line of work?
  • What would you say your weaknesses and strengths are?
  • What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
  • Can you tell us what you know about our company?
  • How did you hear about us?
  • If we had to relocate you, how open would you be to that location?
  • Would you say you are an optimistic person?
  • What skills do you have that would be beneficial at this position?
  • What would you say is key when communicating with the public?
  • What do you do to ensure that everyone is compliant with the regulations, and laws? 
  • What is the role of an intake specialist?
  • Can you tell me about your daily routine as an intake specialist?
  • How do you keep motivated?
  • Has there ever been a time you had to tell someone bad news? What was your approach on that?
  • Why did you decide to leave your last job?
  • Can you tell us about your greatest achievement?
  • Do you have any certificates applicable to this job?
  • Do you work well under stress?

Intake Specialist Jobs in Ashburn

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