A career in medical assisting can be a rewarding and even prestigious path. The entry-level median pay for such a career begins at $30k per year, with opportunities to work your way up to $90k with more training.
Since no job experience is necessary, demand for workers is high, and only a short certification course is required, medical assisting can be an excellent career path. If you’re ready to begin the journey toward getting certified as a medical assistant, here are some things you should know.
Medical assistants typically work in physician’s offices, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and other health-care facilities. Duties to perform will vary, depending on the location, size of practice, and specialty, but you can typically expect to perform such tasks as:
- Check vital signs
- Record patient history and personal info
- Prepare blood samples for lab testing
- Assist the presiding physician with patient exams
- Schedule patient appointments
- Administer injections or medications under the direction of a physician
Many of the job requirements mirror those of nurses, but the latter often spend more time on the administrative side of things. They’ll often work with insurance companies, answer telephones, and schedule appointments as well.
The required training depends on how much you want to make as well as the career path you hope to pursue. Most medical assistants graduate from a post-secondary education program that awards the student a certificate upon completion.
If they wish, student may continue their training to receive an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, which will put them higher on the pay scale.
According to research, the majority of medical assistants (42 percent) choose to pursue a post-secondary certificate program without receiving a degree, which puts them in the range of $31k to $35k per year. Twenty-three percent will enter the medical assisting field with just a high school diploma, and earn just under $30k per year.
Twenty-two percent receive an associate’s with a median pay of $50k, and 7 percent receive a bachelor’s degree with the potential to make $90k per year. As with most careers, the more education you get in the field, the more money you can make from it.
Perhaps the best thing about the medical assisting degree is the job outlook. Once you become certified in your program, you’re highly likely to find a career-path position.
There are currently nearly 600,000 jobs in the field, which is an excellent outlook for job searchers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that job growth for the field is at 23 percent, which is well above average.
Given quickly advancing technology, physicians everywhere are steadily adjusting the way they do business, and that has increased the demand for certified assistants. In addition, the baby-boom population is aging, which is also expanding the need for assistants in the field.
Physicians are recognizing that when they employ more medical assistants, they’re able to offer higher-quality, more efficient care to their patients.
Medical professionals in any field are required to continue learning if they’d like to stay competitive in the market. As noted earlier, the more education you have under your belt, the higher your pay is likely to be.
If you’re interested in pursuing this field, it’s essential that you know you’ll need to continue learning as you go. It’s not uncommon for medical assistants to attend training seminars, take online courses, subscribe to blogs and magazines, and undertake other informal educational opportunities while they’re working, to stay fresh in their careers.
The occupation of medical assisting is extremely rewarding in more ways than one, but it takes work to get there. Before you begin your path, make sure you’re prepared for what’s in store.