Medical assistants work in a variety of different settings, such as doctors’ offices, nursing homes, hospitals, and dental clinics. They perform a wide range of duties ranging from the completion of medical histories to diagnostic testing. Typically they will be assigned responsibilities that require experience or certification specific to the setting they’re working in and the tasks assigned to them by their employers.
A career in medical assisting can be very rewarding. It can be a great way to help people and make a difference in their lives. There are many different paths you can take in medical assisting, and it’s a field that is constantly growing. There are many different schools and programs that offer medical assistant training, so there is no shortage of options when it comes to pursuing a career in this field.
1. What is a Medical Assistant
A medical assistant performs administrative and clinical duties to keep the daily operations of healthcare facilities running smoothly. They work under the supervision of physicians, registered nurses, and other members of the medical team.
2. How to Become a Medical Assistant
There are several ways to become a medical assistant. One way is to complete a medical assisting program offered by a vocational or technical school. These programs usually last about one year and will award you a diploma or certificate.
Another way to become a medical assistant is to complete an associate’s degree program in medical assisting. These programs last two years and will award you an associate’s degree.
The final way to become a medical assistant is to complete a bachelor’s degree program in medical assisting. These programs last four years and will award you with a bachelor’s degree.
After completing one of the three paths, you will need to become certified. The most common certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam given by the American Association of Medical Assistants.
After completing a program, it’s a good idea to gain experience through an internship or practicum, so you have hands-on knowledge. Many employers will require recent graduates to be certified before hiring them.
3. Salary and Career Options
Medical assistants are one of the fastest-growing occupations in the U.S., with a median annual wage of $30,000. The profession offers a variety of career opportunities and is not limited to hospitals or medical offices. Medical assistants can find jobs in nursing homes, dental clinics, medical laboratories, and schools. With certification from an accredited institution, they can move into management positions such as director of laboratory services or assistant director for school health programs. In addition to job security and good pay prospects, medical assistants have excellent benefits packages that include retirement plans and paid vacations for those who work full time.
4. Schools for Medical Assistants
When choosing a school, it is important to make sure that the institution you select is accredited by either one of these two accrediting bodies. Schools that are approved by the National Healthcare Association (NHA) or Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) will provide you with high-quality instruction and make it possible for your to sit for certification exams upon completion of your training.
Each of the schools listed below offers unique programs that are tailored to fit the needs of students. It is important to find a school that offers a program that matches your learning style and meets your career goals.
There are a number of top schools for medical assistants across the United States. Some of the best include:
1. Sanford-Brown College – This school offers an associate’s degree in medical assisting, which is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The school has a number of locations throughout the US which makes it convenient for individuals to attend while still maintaining their current employment or family obligations.
2. Chamberlain College of Nursing – At this institution, you can earn your medical assistant’s degree through their online program, allowing students to study from home and maintain their work schedule.
2. Kaplan University – Kaplan offers both an associate’s and a bachelor’s degree in medical assisting. The programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the National Healthcare Association (NHA).
3. Brown Mackie College – Brown Mackie offers an accredited diploma program in medical assisting.
4. Anthem College – Anthem College offers a diploma program in medical assisting accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
5. Everest College – This school offers a diploma program in medical assisting accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
6. Fortis College – This school offers an accredited medical assistant program approved by the National Healthcare Association (NHA).
7. Sanford-Brown Institute – Sanford-Brown Institute offers a variety of medical assistant programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
8. Brightwood Career Institute – This school offers an accredited medical assistant program approved by the National Healthcare Association (NHA).
5. Is Medical Assisting a Good Career?
The answer to this question really depends on the individual and their specific goals and interests. If you’re looking for a career that offers job security and a wide range of potential duties, medical assisting may be a good fit. However, if you’re looking for more creative or higher-paying opportunities, you may want to explore other options.
Medical assistants typically perform a range of duties depending on the setting they work in. They may be responsible for taking medical histories, preparing patients for exams, performing diagnostic tests, and much more. Their specific responsibilities will vary depending on their level of experience and certification.
6. Are Medical Assistants in Demand?
Medical assistants are in demand because they can work in a variety of different settings. They perform a wide range of duties ranging from the completion of medical histories to diagnostic testing. Medical assistants typically will be assigned responsibilities that require experience or certification specific to the setting they’re working in and the tasks assigned to them by their employers.
Medical assistants often have specialties, such as surgical assisting, laboratory assisting, radiology assisting, and more. There are many educational paths for those interested in this field, including certificates and degrees at community colleges, vocational schools, or universities. The job outlook is strong, with an anticipated growth rate through 2024 being much faster than average (34%).
7. How Long is Schooling for a Medical Assistant?
Medical assistant schooling can vary in length but is typically completed in around two years. There are many different programs available, both online and in-person, that will prepare you for a career as a medical assistant.
8. What is the Career Path for a Medical Assistant?
Even though a career path can vary from person to person, if you have pursued a medical assistant career, you may have thought about training towards pharmacy school, being a dental hygienist, or pursuing a career as a nurse. Let’s explore some of the most common career paths for medical assistants.
- Dental Hygienist
- Registered Nurse
- Certified Medical Assistant
- X-Ray Technician
- Certified Nursing Assistant
9. Where Do Medical Assistants Get Paid the Most?
A lot of times, it really just depends on where you’re working at. For example, I work in a doctor’s office and would get paid the most there because doctor offices usually give better compensation than other places like nursing homes.
The average salary for a medical assistant ranges from $23,000 to $29,000. However, there are a number of factors that will affect how much a medical assistant gets paid. For example, the type of work setting and level of experience are both important considerations. Additionally, medical assistants in certain states can expect to make more money than their counterparts in other states.
Medical assistants in the West and Northeast generally earn the highest salaries. A medical assistant in California, for example, can expect to make $30,000 or more while a medical assistant in Rhode Island and Massachusetts can expect to receive an average salary of over $31,000. However, geographic location is not the only factor that affects pay rates; the type of work setting can also have a big impact on salary.
For example, medical assistants that are employed by the federal government earn an average salary of $30,000 or more. However, those working in outpatient care centers and general medical and surgical hospitals typically earn slightly less than $30,000 per year. Those working for doctors’ offices earn an average of $27,000, while those employed by medical and diagnostic laboratories receive the lowest pay.
Employment projections for medical assistants indicate that salaries are likely to grow at a much faster rate than many other occupations.
10. Is the Medical Assistant Job Stressful?
The work of a medical assistant can be stressful at times, but it also has a lot of rewards. There are many opportunities for growth and advancement within the field, and the work is always changing. Medical assistants also have the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives by helping them stay healthy and providing support during difficult times.
If you’re looking for a career that will give you the opportunity to make an impact in people’s lives, consider becoming a medical assistant. Medical assistants are often relied upon by doctors and other healthcare professionals because of their experience with administrative tasks, diagnostic procedures, and knowledge of medical terminology. This career path involves lots of learning and growth opportunities. Thanks for your time, and we hope you have found this article helpful!