- What is a medical assistant?
- Duties of a medical assistant
- Education and training requirements
- Job outlook and salary information
- What are the benefits of becoming a medical assistant?
- The best states for medical assistants
- The worst states for medical assistants
- The top cities for medical assistants
- The bottom cities for medical assistants
- How to become a medical assistant
The Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting program at ABC Community College prepares students for a career in the medical field. The program provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform medical assisting duties such as taking medical histories, scheduling appointments, and performing basic laboratory tests.
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What is a medical assistant?
Medical assistants are key members of the healthcare team who provide patient care, administrative support and clinical services. They work in physician’s offices, hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities.
Medical Assistants perform a variety of tasks, including taking and recording medical histories and vital signs, preparing patients for examinations, assisting with procedures and providing instruction to patients on health maintenance. They also schedule appointments, bill patients, order supplies and perform basic laboratory tests.
Duties of a medical assistant
Medical assistants perform a variety of administrative and clinical tasks to support the work of physicians and other health care professionals. Their duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records billing patients, and assisting with examinations.
Education and training requirements
Education and training requirements for medical assistants vary by state. Some states require medical assistants to have completed an accredited program, while others require only a high school diploma or equivalent. Many community colleges offer accredited programs that typically last about two years and lead to an associate’s degree.
After completing an accredited program, medical assistants must pass a certification exam administered by the National Healthcare Association (NHA) or the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Some states also require medical assistants to be licensed.
Job outlook and salary information
Medical assistants are among the fastest-growing occupations in the United States according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In fact, employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 23% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.1
As the healthcare industry continues to grow, medical assistants will be needed to perform administrative and clinical tasks in doctors’ offices, clinics, and other healthcare settings. With an aging population and advances in medical technology, there will be an increasing demand for preventive medical services, which are often provided by medical assistants.
While most medical assistants have completed a postsecondary education program, some states allow them to work without formal training. However, employers generally prefer to hire candidates who have completed a program.
Medical assistants typically earn an annual salary of $34,800 (or $16.73 per hour), according to the BLS.2 Salaries can vary depending on experience, location, and employer. The top 10% of earners make more than $49,560 per year (or $23.81 per hour), while the bottom 10% earn less than $24,290 per year (or $11.70 per hour).2
What are the benefits of becoming a medical assistant?
There are many benefits to becoming a medical assistant As a medical assistant you will be able to work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and physician’s offices. You will also be able to choose from a variety of job duties, such as administrative tasks or patient care. Medical assistants are in high demand, and the job outlook for medical assistants is very positive.
The best states for medical assistants
There is a growing need for medical assistants across the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the occupation will grow by 29% from 2016 to 2026, adding about 175,000 new jobs.
While there are many states with a large number of job openings for medical assistants, there are some states that offer better conditions regarding salary and cost of living. Mapping these states can help you make an informed decision about where to pursue your career as a medical assistant.
The five best states for medical assistants, based on salary and cost of living, are:
With an average salary of $41,770 and a cost of living that is 9.4% below the national average, Alaska is the best state for medical assistants. Medical assistants in the state earn nearly $4,000 more than the national average salary for the occupation.
With an average salary of $39,380 and a cost of living that is 5.6% below the national average, Hawaii is the second-best state for medical assistants. Medical assistants in Hawaii earn nearly $2,000 more than the national average salary for the occupation. However, keep in mind that the cost of living on some islands in Hawaii can be much higher than on others.
With an average salary of $38,610 and a cost of living that is 4% below the national average, Massachusetts is the third-best state for medical assistants. Medical assistants in Massachusetts earn approximately $1,700 more than their counterparts across the country. You may also be able to find work as a medical assistant in Boston or one of its suburbs if you are willing to commute into the city.
The worst states for medical assistants
There are many factors to consider when determining the best and worst states for medical assistants. With that in mind, we’ve analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical Assistants Salary by State, Cost of Living Index and Open Jobs to identify the worst states for medical assistants.
Here are the five worst states for medical assistants:
5. West Virginia
The top cities for medical assistants
There are plenty of reasons to become a medical assistant. The position offers good pay, job security, and the opportunity to work in a rewarding profession. But where you work can also make a big difference. You might want to consider these cities, which offer some of the best opportunities for medical assistants.
As the capital of Massachusetts, Boston is home to a number of hospitals and healthcare facilities. This means that there are plenty of job opportunities for medical assistants. And as one of the most populous cities in the Northeast, Boston also offers a lot in terms of city life and amenities.
Portland is another city with a strong healthcare industry. It’s also a great place to live, with a high quality of life and plenty of things to do. If you’re looking for an outdoorsy lifestyle, Portland is definitely the place for you.
Like Portland, Seattle is known for its high quality of life. It’s also home to a number of major hospitals and healthcare systems. So if you’re looking for a city with good job prospects and a great lifestyle, Seattle should be at the top of your list.
The bottom 10 cities for medical assistants, according to our rankings, are:
60. Detroit, Michigan
59. Hialeah, Florida
58. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
57. Riverside, California
56. Baltimore, Maryland
55. Cincinnati, Ohio
54. Las Vegas, Nevada
53. St. Louis, Missouri
52. Cleveland, Ohio
51. Kansas City, Missouri
How to become a medical assistant
In order to become a medical assistant, you will need to have at least an associate’s degree from an accredited school. You will also need to pass the American Association of Medical Assistants’ Certification Exam.