Considering a career as a medical assistant? Here’s what you need to know about medical assistant salary and job outlook.
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How much do medical assistants make?
Medical assistants are in high demand due to the increasing number of patients seeking medical care and the aging population. The median hourly wage for medical assistants was $15.21 in May 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The top 10% of earners made more than $20.87 an hour, while the bottom 10% made less than $10.53 an hour.
What is the job outlook for medical assistants?
The job outlook for medical assistants is positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for medical assistants will grow by 29 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due in large part to an aging population and the resulting increase in demand for healthcare services. In addition, as more physicians enter into group practice, they are likely to hire more medical assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical tasks, freeing up their time to see more patients.
What are the responsibilities of medical assistants?
Medical assistants are multi-skilled health professionals specifically trained to work in outpatient facilities such as medical offices and clinics. They perform both administrative and clinical duties, although the exact nature of their job may depend on the size and type of facility they work in as well as state regulations. Typically, medical assistants take on a great deal of responsibility and are an important part of the healthcare team.
Most medical assistants have responsibilities in both the administrative and clinical areas of the medical office. Their specific job duties may vary depending on the size and type of facility they work in, but typically include some or all of the following:
Answering phones, responding to patient inquiries, scheduling appointments, verifying insurance coverage, coding and billing patients for office visits, handling correspondence
Taking and recording patient histories and vital signs, preparing patients for examination, assisting with procedures such as lab tests and x-rays, instructing patients on taking medications and other treatments
What education and training is required to become a medical assistant?
Most medical assistants have postsecondary education such as a certificate. Some States have certification programs for medical assistants, although certification is not required in all States. Graduates of these programs typically earn a certificate, diploma, or associate degree.
Medical assistants must complete a formal educational program to be eligible for certification and recognized by employers. Although not required, the majority of medical assistants have postsecondary education such as a certificate, diploma, or associate degree from an accredited institution. These programs typically last from 1 to 2 years and lead to a credential such as the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), or the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential offered by American Medical Technologies (AMT). To sit for either of these exams, applicants must have completed an accredited medical assisting program and fulfilled any additional requirements, such as completing an externship.
What are the certification and licensure requirements for medical assistants?
There are no specific certification or licensure requirements for medical assistants, although many employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed an accredited medical assisting program and have earned certification from a professional organization such as the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).
What are the different types of medical assistant positions?
Medical assistants perform many different tasks, depending on their training, education and certification. Some of the most common tasks include taking medical histories and recording vital signs, preparing patients for examinations, assisting physicians with procedures, administering medications and injections, and scheduling appointments. In addition to these duties, medical assistants may also be responsible for billing and coding insurance forms, maintaining medical records, and ordering supplies.
What are the working conditions for medical assistants?
Working conditions for medical assistants vary by practice setting. Medical assistants in physicians’ offices and clinics typically work business hours, although some early-morning or evening hours may be required. Those in hospital settings may be required to work evenings, nights, or weekends on rotating shifts. Many full-time medical assistants work more than 40 hours per week.
What are the hours and schedules for medical assistants?
Most medical assistants work full time, although about 1 in 5 worked part time in 2016. Many Medical assistants have flexible hours and schedules. They may work evenings or weekends to accommodate the needs of medical practices and patients. Some Medical assistants may work in more than one office, often transitioning between morning and afternoon shifts on a daily or weekly basis.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of being a medical assistant?
Medical assistants are in demand. There are many reasons for this, but one of the main ones is that they can do a lot of the work that doctors and nurses do, but they don’t need as much training. This means that hospitals and other medical facilities can save money by hiring medical assistants instead of more highly trained staff.
Another reason for the popularity of medical assistants is that they can be very helpful to patients. They can answer questions, help with insurance paperwork, and make sure that patients are comfortable. They also often have more time to spend with patients than doctors or nurses do.
However, there are some drawbacks to being a medical assistant. One of them is that the pay is not always great. Medical assistants make an average of $33,610 per year, which is less than what most other medical professionals make. Another drawback is that medical assistants sometimes have to do tasks that they find unpleasant, such as cleaning up after surgeries or dealing with blood or other bodily fluids.
What are the salary and career outlook for medical assistants?
Medical assistants are highly skilled and versatile professionals who play a vital role in today’s healthcare system. They work closely with physicians and other medical staff to provide patient care and administrative support.
Medical assistants are in high demand, and the job outlook is very favorable. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical assistants is expected to grow 23 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Medical assistants typically earn an annual salary of $31,540 (or $15.20 per hour), although pay can vary depending on experience, location, and employer. Many medical assistants also receive benefits such as health insurance and paid vacation time.