- So you want to be a medical assistant?
- The path to becoming a medical assistant
- The medical assistant job market
- The duties of a medical assistant
- The skills you need to be a medical assistant
- The training you need to be a medical assistant
- The certification you need to be a medical assistant
- The salary you can expect as a medical assistant
- The career outlook for medical assistants
- FAQs about becoming a medical assistant
The average length of time it takes to become a medical assistant is about 2 years. However, there are many schools that offer accelerated programs that can be completed in as little as 6-12 months.
Checkout this video:
So you want to be a medical assistant?
Medical assistants perform a variety of administrative and clinical tasks to support the work of physicians and other health professionals. If you’re considering a career as a medical assistant you’re probably wondering how long it will take to complete your training and start working.
The good news is that medical assistant programs are generally short, and many students are able to complete their studies in one year or less. Of course, the exact length of time it will take you to become a medical assistant depends on a number of factors, including the type of program you choose and your own personal schedule.
If you opt for a certificate or diploma program, you can generally expect to complete your training within one year. Associate degree programs usually take two years to finish, while bachelor’s degree programs may take four years or more.
Once you’ve completed your educational program, you’ll need to pass an exam administered by the American Medical assistants Association (AMMA) before you can start working as a medical assistant. The AMMA offers both certification and registration for Medical Assistants but certification is generally preferred by employers.
So, in summary, it will probably take you between one and four years to become a medical assistant, depending on the type of program you choose and your own personal schedule.
The path to becoming a medical assistant
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the amount of time it takes to become a medical assistant depends on a variety of factors. However, most medical assistants complete a formal education program that typically lasts anywhere from six months to two years. Once they have completed their formal education, medical assistants must then pass a certification exam in order to earn their credentials. After becoming certified, medical assistants can begin working in the field.
The medical assistant job market
The medical assistant job market is expected to grow by 31% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. The need for medical assistants will continue to increase as the population ages and as new technologies enable more procedures to be performed in physicians’ offices.
How long does it take to become a medical assistant?
Most programs take about one year to complete, although some certificate programs can be completed in as little as six months. An associate degree program generally takes two years to complete, but may take longer if you are enrolled on a part-time basis.
What education do you need to become a medical assistant?
Most medical assistants have postsecondary education such as a certificate or an associate degree. Some states have formal educational requirements for medical assistants, but most do not.
The duties of a medical assistant
Medical assistants are responsible for a range of clinical and administrative tasks in healthcare facilities. They may work in doctors’ offices, clinics, or hospitals, and their duties vary depending on the size and type of facility. Most medical assistants have at least a high school diploma, although some have completed postsecondary education programs.
In general, medical assistants can expect to perform a variety of tasks, including:
-Answering patients’ questions and providing them with information about procedures
-Scheduling appointments and helping to keep the office running smoothly
-Preparing patients for examinations
-Taking patients’ vital signs
-Assisting the doctor or nurse with procedures
-Drawing blood and performing laboratory tests
-Entering information into patient records
The skills you need to be a medical assistant
Medical assistants need to have a variety of skills in order to be successful in their roles. While some of these skills can be learned on the job, others will need to be acquired through formal education or training. Below is a list of some of the most important skills you will need to be a successful medical assistant:
-Communication: Medical assistants must be able to effectively communicate with patients, families, and other members of the healthcare team. They must be able to understand and interpret medical information and provide instruction to patients.
-Organizational: Medical assistants must be able to organize their time and work space efficiently in order to provide quality patient care. They must be able to keep accurate medical records and maintain a clean and safe environment.
-Interpersonal: Medical assistants must be able to interact with patients and families from diverse backgrounds. They must be able to build rapport and establish trust in order to provide quality patient care.
-Technical: Medical assistants must be able to use a variety of medical equipment and technology. They should have basic computer skills and be comfortable using electronic health records.
The training you need to be a medical assistant
The training you need to be a medical assistant varies by state, but most programs can be completed in about a year. Some states require certification, while others do not. In general, medical assistants perform administrative and clinical tasks in doctors’ offices, clinics, and other healthcare settings.
To become a medical assistant, you will need to complete a medical assisting program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). After completing your training, you will likely need to pass a Certification Exam administered by either the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or the National Healthcare Association (NHA).
The certification you need to be a medical assistant
There are a number of certification bodies that offer certification for medical assistants, but the most widely recognized is the National Healthcare Association (NHA). To be eligible for certification, you must have completed an accredited medical assistant program and passed the NHA’s Medical Assistant Certification Exam.
The salary you can expect as a medical assistant
How much does a medical assistant make?
The median annual wage for medical assistants was $34,800 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,760, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $49,180.
Most medical assistants work full time. Because they often work in settings that offer evening and weekend hours, they may be required to work some evenings or weekends. Some medical assistants are cross-trained to perform other office duties, such as billing and coding, transcribing medical reports, or scheduling appointments.
The career outlook for medical assistants
Medical assistants are in high demand and the career outlook is favorable. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 18 percent job growth for medical assistants between 2016 and 2026, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. It is estimated that there will be more than 631,000 jobs available in 2026.
In order to become a medical assistant, you will need to complete a training program. Most programs last between three and four months, but some can last up to two years. Once you have completed your training, you will need to pass the certified medical assistant exam before you can begin working.
FAQs about becoming a medical assistant
How long does it take to become a medical assistant?
The length of time it takes to become a medical assistant varies depending on the type of training you receive. Most medical assistants complete a postsecondary education program that lasts anywhere from several months to two years. Some programs may offer accelerated options that allow you to complete your training in a shorter amount of time. If you choose to attend a community college or vocational school, you may be able to earn an associate degree in medical assisting, which typically takes about two years. Alternatively, you could enroll in a certificate program, which usually takes one year or less to complete.