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.
Minimum Degree Required: High School Diploma
Top Skills: Following Directions, Organized, Patient Interaction
Average Starting Salary: over $20,000/year
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.
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.
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.
- Medical Assistant
- Ave Starting Salary:
- approx. $20,000yr
- Ave Median Salary:
- approx. $28,860yr
- Job Outlook:
- Education Required:
- Clinical/Medical Laboratory Assistant (Certificate)