What You Can Expect to Earn as a Medical Assistant Technician

If you’re considering a career in medical assisting, you might be wondering how much you can expect to earn. Here’s a look at what medical assistant technicians make, on average, in the United States.

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Job Description

Medical assistant technicians are responsible for performing a variety of tasks in doctor’s offices, clinics and hospitals. They may work under the supervision of a licensed medical assistant or registered nurse.

The duties of a medical assistant technician may include:
-Answering patient phone calls
-Scheduling and confirming appointments
-Preparing patients for examinations
-Taking and recording patients’ vital signs
-Assisting with minor surgical procedures
-Drawing blood
-Administering injections
-Applying dressings to wounds
In some states, medical assistant technicians may also be allowed to perform additional tasks, such as electrocardiograms (EKGs) or administering medications.

Duties and Responsibilities

Medical assistant technicians typically have a wide range of duties and responsibilities. They may be responsible for scheduling appointments, taking medical histories and conducting initial patient interviews. In addition, they may also perform routine laboratory tests, take X-rays and provide clerical support to the medical staff. Some medical assistant technicians may also be responsible for billing and coding patients’ medical records.

Education and Training

Education and training requirements for medical assistant technicians vary by state but typically include completing an accredited postsecondary medical assisting program and passing a competency exam. Depending on the state, medical assistant technicians may be required to complete continuing education credits to maintain their certification.

In most states, medical assistants must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent, although some states may require postsecondary education, such as completion of an accredited medical assisting program. Many medical assistants have completed formal training programs that last anywhere from several months to a year, although some may have on-the-job training. Formal training programs for medical assistants typically include both classroom and laboratory instruction in subjects such as anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, transcription, pharmacy, and insurance processing.

Certification

There are several different types of medical assistant technician certification. Each type of certification has its own specific requirements, but all require the successful completion of an accredited medical assistant program and passing scores on a certification exam.

The most common type of medical assistant certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential. To earn this credential, candidates must complete an accredited medical assistant program and pass the nationwide CMA Exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

Individuals who already have a health care related degree or diploma may be eligible for other types of medical assistant certification, such as the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential offered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT). To earn the RMA credential, candidates must have completed an accredited health care program, have at least one year of full-time work experience as a medical assistant, and pass a national certification exam.

There are also several state-specific medical assistant certifications, such as the California Certified Medical Assistant (CCMA) credential. State-specific certifications typically have similar requirements to national certifications, but may also require additional coursework or training in topics specific to that state’s laws and regulations.

Skills

Earning your medical assistant technician certification can lead to a career in a high-demand, rewarding field. As a medical assistant technician, you will be able to work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, and physician’s offices. With the right skills, you can earn a good salary and enjoy job security.

Medical assistant technicians perform many of the same duties as medical assistants, but they also have additional responsibilities. Medical assistant technicians may be responsible for handling patients’ insurance paperwork and scheduling appointments. They may also take X-rays and diagnostic tests, remove stitches, and perform other clinical tasks.

To become a medical assistant technician, you will need to have completed a medical assisting program and have passed the certified medical assistant exam. In some states, you may also need to pass a state-specific exam. Once you have passed these exams, you will be eligible to apply for jobs as a medical assistant technician.

Salary and Job Outlook

As a medical assistant technician, you can expect to earn a median salary of $33,610 per year. Job growth for medical assistant technicians is expected to be much faster than average at 30% from 2018-2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Career Paths

Medical assistant technicians provide support to physicians, nurses and other medical personnel in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, physician offices and surgery centers. While many medical assistant technicians start their careers with on-the-job training, most will eventually pursue formal education and certification.

With experience, medical assistant technicians may advance to supervisory positions or move into other areas of healthcare such as nursing, physical therapy or physician assistance. Some medical assistant technicians also choose to become certified medical assistants, which requires passing an exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants.

In terms of earnings, medical assistant technicians typically make slightly less than certified medical assistants. The median annual wage for medical assistants was $33,610 in May 2017, while the median annual wage for medical assistant technicians was $32,480 during the same time period. However, both occupations are expected to see strong job growth in the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for medical assistants will grow 29 percent from 2016 to 2026, while employment for medical assistant technicians is projected to grow 31 percent during the same time period.

Pros and Cons

As with any career, becoming a medical assistant technician has its pros and cons. It is important to consider both before making a decision about whether or not this is the right path for you.

Pros:
-Earnings potential. Medical assistant technicians can expect to earn a good salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for medical assistants was $33,610 in 2017.
-Job security. The demand for medical assistants is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2026, according to the BLS. This growth is due in large part to an aging population and advances in medical technology.
-Flexibility. Many medical assistant positions offer flexible hours, which can be a great perk for those who have other commitments outside of work.

Cons:
-Education requirements. Most medical assistant programs require at least a high school diploma or equivalent, and some may require postsecondary education or certification.
-Training required. In addition to any formal education requirements, most medical assistants will need on-the-job training before they are fully qualified for the position.
-Stressful work environment. Medical assistants often work in high-pressure situations and may be exposed to potentially dangerous chemicals and materials.

FAQs

Q: How much does a medical assistant make?
A: Median pay for medical assistants in May 2017 was $16.00 per hour, or $33,610 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $22,880, while the highest 10 percent made more than $46,480 per year.

Q: How do I become a medical assistant?
A: Most medical assistants have completed postsecondary education programs of at least one year. Some states have approved postsecondary certificate programs in medical assisting that usually take less time to complete than degree programs.

Conclusion

In conclusion, medical assistant technicians can expect to earn a median salary of $33,610 per year. Job growth in this field is expected to be above average at 17% from 2019-2029, and those with experience and postsecondary education should have the best job prospects.

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