Medical Assistant

Job Description: Medical Assistants complete administrative and/or clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and other health practitioners. Their duties vary with the location, specialty, and size of the practice. Typical activities may include interviewing patients and recording medical history, cleaning and sterilizing medical equipment, providing a welcoming and safe environment, collecting laboratory specimens and administering medications.

Work Environment: In 2010, over half worked in Physicians’ Office; they also work in Hospitals, Outpatient Centers, and Medical Facilities.

Industry: Health Care and Social Assistance

Average Wage: $13.87 hourly, $28,860 annual

Education Level: High School Diploma, many require training to qualify for certification. Typically, employers give hiring preference to certified assistants.

Certification Required: Recommended

Related Professions: Administrative Medical Assistants, Clinical Medical Assistants, Ophthalmic Medical Assistants, Optometric Assistants, Podiatric Medical Assistants, Physical Therapist Assistants/Aides, Occupational Therapy Assistant/Aides, Dental Assistants, Outpatient Surgery Assistant

Insider Information: Due to faster than average growth of this career, there has been an increase in Medical Assisting programs. To compete, some vocational training programs have employed unethical marketing and enrollment. After graduating, job seekers have been struggling to find jobs that would allow them to pay back their high student loans.

Before starting any programs, guarantee success by doing the following:

  • Complete your high school diploma (or equivalency)
  • Complete your informational interviewing/field research
  • Volunteer at hospitals, blood drives, health centers, and similar, to give your resume a competitive edge
  • Research and compare schools – do they offer job placement, assist with certification, offer continuing education resources, are they accredited, etc.

Websites:
Occupational Outlook (BLS)
Summary Report (O*NET)
American Association of Medical Assistants
American Medical Technologists
Check Accreditation with ABHES
Check Accreditation with CAAHEP

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