Calling all helpers and healers. All the aspiring caregivers who desire to help others in need, and to pursue a rewarding career in the healthcare field. All the hard-working, compassionate, medical-minded people out there who desire to make a difference. Is a medical assistant career for you?
Medical assisting is one of the fastest-growing, most rewarding healthcare careers today. It is also one of the fastest entry points you can take into the booming healthcare field. If you are a natural caregiver who has a passion for aiding others, but do not wish to commit to years of medical school, a career as a medical assistant may be for you.
Below, Goodwin College outlines all you need to know about the medical assisting field, and all the career possibilities within it. From salary potential to career outlook, job description to job requirements, here’s what careers in medical assisting typically entail.
On the Job: What You Can Expect in a Medical Assisting Career
Perhaps the most important question to ask about medical assistant careers is, “What do medical assistants do?” You want to ensure that this position aligns with your own career goals and personal aspirations. You want to ensure it also aligns with your scheduling and overall needs. Goodwin College breaks down the medical assistant job description here, but you can find a summary of job duties – both clinical and administrative – below:
Administrative Medical Assistant Duties
- Welcome patients and answer phone calls
- Update and file patient records and claims
- Ensure reports, results, and information are filed appropriately in patients’ medical records
- Schedule patient appointments
- File and follow up on insurance claims
- Handle bookkeeping and billing tasks
- Arrange hospital admissions or laboratory services for patients
Clinical Medical Assistant Duties
- Record patient medical histories and personal information
- Measure patient vital signs, such as blood pressure
- Administer medications and injections as directed by a physician
- Set up EKG machinery
- Take ultrasounds and EKGs (may need to be licensed by state)
- Remove stitches and dress wounds
- Draw blood samples (or other specimens) and prepare for laboratory testing
- Prepare patients for examination
- Assist physicians during exams
- Stock medical supplies, manage inventory, and sterilize medical instruments
- Explain medical procedures or treatment plans to patients
Types of Medical Assistant Careers
When you earn your medical assisting degree or certificate, the most obvious, go-to job is that of a CMA, or Certified Medical Assistant. Certified Medical Assistants maintain certification from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), which enables them to work in a variety of healthcare settings completing administrative and clinical tasks.
However, becoming a CMA is not the only career option that medical assistants have today. Upon completing your medical assisting training, you can pursue positions such as:
- Medical Administrative Assistant
- Health Insurance Claims Processor
- Patient-Care Unit Clerk
- Phlebotomy Technician
- EKG Technician
Medical assistant careers can also be carried out in a range of care and clinical settings – you will not be limited to a job in a physician’s office. In addition to private practices and hospital settings, medical assistants may choose to work in medical laboratories, OB/GYN practices, ambulatory care, walk-in clinics, podiatrist offices, family medicine, chiropractic offices, outpatient care centers, and more. See more medical assistant career options here!
Job Outlook: The Future is Bright for Medical Assistants
Healthcare is, without a doubt, among the fastest-growing and most in-demand employment sectors today. With baby boomers aging, medical technologies advancing, and demand for preventive health services increasing, it’s no wonder why medical assistants are expected to see great career growth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistant careers are projected to grow 29 percent by the year 2026 – more than four times the average for all other occupations! In Connecticut, the Department of Labor predicts that employment of medical assistants will grow over 27 percent in the next several years.
Average Salary for Modern Medical Assistants
To become a medical assistant, you don’t need to spend your life-savings on years of medical school. And, you can expect to earn a comfortable salary upon landing a medical assistant career! On average, medical assistants in the United States earn $15.61 an hour, or approximately $32,500 per year. In Connecticut, however, the pay potential is even greater. While the starting salary for medical assistants is around $27,000, the average Connecticut medical assistant salary is more than $36,000 annually.
How to Land a Medical Assistant Career
In Connecticut, there are no educational requirements stating you must earn a degree before becoming a Certified Medical Assistant. However, it is required that you hold certification from the American Association of Medical Assistants in order to qualify for (and maintain) an active role in the field. You can earn this certification by taking your state’s examination. A medical assisting school can help you prepare for this exam, and a medical assisting degree program will position you for the greatest success.
At Goodwin College in Connecticut, you can choose to earn medical assistant certification through our certificate-level program. This is a hands-on training program that can be completed in as few as 12 months’ time. At Goodwin, you may also choose to move forward towards an associate degree in medical assisting, which takes 16 to 20 months to complete. Both programs will qualify you to apply for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) examination and the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) examination (administered by the American Medical Technologists) immediately upon graduation.
Find out more about medical assistant careers – and how you fit in – today! Visit us online at https://www.goodwin.edu/landingpages/medical-assisting or call 800-889-3282 to learn more.
Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.