Why It’s a Good Time To Be a Medical Assistant
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants are expected to remain in high demand throughout the United States for the next decade or so, and most likely beyond that point. Demand is being driven by an increased need for patient care in both private and public sectors. Despite the unassuming job tile, the work can be both challenging and rewarding.
Expected Job Duties of a Medical Assistant
Medical assistants tend to have a diverse education. A medical assistant handles various duties, typically working in the front office a doctor’s office or medical facility. A primary duty of a medical assistant is to collect information on new patients and confirm information on file for existing patients. Additional duties of a medical assistant include:
• Providing follow-up instructions to patients
• Preparing exam rooms and restocking supplies
• Supporting physicians with basic procedures
• Coordinating appointments and answering phones
Meeting an Increased Demand
The healthcare profession is currently experiencing a steady growth, with no signs of slowing down any time soon. The projected growth for medical assistants at nearly 30 percent through 2022, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics’ estimates. Even when compared to other medical professions, medical assistants rank near the top in terms of expected growth over the next decade or so. The outlook is even better for certified medical assistants. The same is true for candidates with more extensive medical assistant training.
Many Educational Opportunities
A career in this profession in healthcare is especially appealing since the medical assistant training period is relatively short, especially when compared to the commitment required to be a physician or nurse. Receiving an education as a medical assistant isn’t all that difficult, especially when considering the wide selection of programs available to interested individuals, ranging from 2-year certificate programs to 4-year college degree programs. It’s generally recommended that individuals looking to pursue a career as a medical assistant seek an accredited program since this is a requirement to earn certification.
Medical Assistant Salary
Approximately 15 percent of medical assistants surveyed by the American Association of Medical Assistants earn around $65,000, based on factors such as experience and expected job duties. Medical assistants assuming some supervisory duties, for instance, tend to have a higher salary. The average salary of a medical assistant is roughly $30,000 annually or about $13 per hour. With experience, earnings can reach nearly $20 per hour. Factoring in benefits such as retirement plans, social security benefits, healthcare coverage and paid time off, the average salary is around $45,000 per year.
Experience is the key to enjoying a steady income growth as a medical assistant. However, a solid education can certainly help a candidate stand out from other applications. Individuals currently working within this field can likely boost their earnings by taking courses online or earning a certification. Since medical assistant is considered an evergreen career, meaning there will always be demand regardless of economic factors, pursuing a career in this challenging field can be rewarding on many levels.