Sidebar

Medical Assistant

Medical assistants usually do many different kinds of tasks, handling both administrative and clinical duties.

Medical assistants usually do many different kinds of tasks, handling both administrative and clinical duties.

Are you interested in joining the workforce right out of high school? Do you want to give the medical field a try, but without investing in an expensive, lengthy degree program? You may find work as a medical assistant to be both fulfilling and substantial. As a medical assistant, you would learn on-the-job, and help hospital or clinic staff in managing patients and patient records.

Fast Facts

Minimum Degree Required: High School Diploma

Top Skills: Following Directions, Organized, Patient Interaction

Average Starting Salary: over $20,000/year

Job Description

Medical assistants typically specialize in administrative or clinical work. (In smaller practices they may do both). An administrative assistant may be responsible for:

  • Processing patient records
  • Scheduling follow up appointments in person and on the phone
  • Keeping the office stocked and organized

A clinical assistant may be responsible for:

  • Taking patient vitals (blood pressure, height, weight, etc.)
  • Drawing blood samples
  • Sterilizing instruments after use

Medical assistants typically work full time, and some work evenings/weekends at 24 hour facilities.

Education

While no formal education is required, some institutions prefer that their medical assistants complete a training program at a community college, technical college, or university. These programs are typically one year in length and lead to a certificate. Some longer programs result in an associate’s degree.

Certification/Licensing:

Typically, no certification is required to become a medical assistant. However, sometimes states will require state certification for assistants performing specific tasks, like administering injections or x-rays.

Job Outlook: Excellent

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 31% increase in medical assisting careers between 2010 and 2020, which is well above the national average (10%). In 2010, a Medical Assistant could expect to earn an average of $28,860/year.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons