What’s the Difference Between a Medical Technician and a Medical Assistant?

Many people don’t know the difference between a medical technician and a medical assistant. Here’s a quick rundown of the differences between the two professions.

Checkout this video:

Job Duties

While medical assistants and medical technicians both work in health care, their job duties are quite different. Medical assistants primarily perform administrative and clinical tasks, while medical technicians generally perform more laboratory-based tasks.

Administrative tasks performed by medical assistants can include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing and coding insurance forms, and handling correspondence. They may also be responsible for teaching patients about medications and special diets, preparing them for examinations, or helping to remove sutures.

Medical technicians typically work in hospital laboratories or diagnostic imaging facilities. Their job duties may include performing X-rays or other diagnostic tests, preparing specimens for examination, operating laboratory equipment, or conducting various chemical analyses. Some medical technicians specialize in a particular area, such as phlebotomy (drawing blood) or electrocardiography (recording electrical activity of the heart).

Education and Training

Medical technicians and medical assistants both work in the healthcare field, but they have different roles. Medical technicians typically have more education and training than medical assistants. Medical technicians usually need an associate’s degree or certificate, while medical assistants can typically get on-the-job training. Medical technicians typically work in labs, while medical assistants usually work in doctors’ offices.

Certification

There are several key differences between medical technicians and medical assistants, including their roles and responsibilities, educational requirements, and certification.

Medical technicians typically have more specific roles within the medical field than medical assistants. For example, medical technicians may work as phlebotomists, EKG or X-ray technicians, or histology technicians. Medical assistants, on the other hand, generally provide more general support to doctors and other medical staff. Their duties may include administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments and handling billing, as well as clinical tasks such as taking patients’ vital signs and preparing them for examination.

Medical technicians usually need to complete an accredited certificate or associate’s degree program in order to enter the field, whereas medical assistants typically only need to complete a short diploma or certificate program. However, both medical technicians and medical assistants must obtain certification from a professional organization in order to be eligible for employment in most settings. The most common certification for medical assistants is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). The most common certification for medical technicians is the Registered Medical Technician (RMT) credential from the American Medical Technologists (AMT).

In summary, medical technicians generally have more specific roles within the medical field than medical assistants,medical assistants typically only need to complete a short diploma or certificate program whereas medical technicians usually need to complete an accredited certificate or associate’s degree program,and both medical technicians and medical assistants must obtain certification in order to be eligible for employment.

Salary and Job Outlook

Both medical technicians and medical assistants are in demand in the healthcare industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs for medical assistants will grow by 29% from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Medical technicians can expect a slightly slower but still strong growth rate of 22% during the same time period. Salary prospects are good for both medical technicians and medical assistants. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for medical assistants was $32,480 in 2016, while medical technicians earned a median salary of $38,040.

Key Differences

Medical technicians and medical assistants are both important members of the healthcare team, but they have different roles. Medical technicians usually have more responsibility for patient care than medical assistants. They may also have more training and education. Here are some key differences between medical technicians and medical assistants:

-Medical technicians usually have more responsibility for patient care than medical assistants.
-Medical technicians may have more training and education than medical assistants.
-Medical assistants typically work in outpatient settings, while medical technicians may work in both outpatient and inpatient settings.
-Medical assistants typically perform clerical duties, while medical technicians may also perform clinical duties.

Medical Technician

A medical technician is a professional who provides support to medical staff and patients. They may work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, private practices, and laboratories. Medical technicians typically have an associate’s degree or certification from a trade school. They are trained to perform various tasks, such as taking medical histories, measuring vital signs, and administering injections. In some states, medical technicians may also be allowed to perform limited diagnostic tests, such as EKGs and X-rays.

Medical Assistant

The medical assistant occupation is one of the most rapidly growing in the United States, with an expected growth rate of 29% between 2016 and 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is more than double the average growth for all occupations.

A medical assistant is an unlicensed individual who performs many routine administrative and clinical tasks in a doctor’s office or other health care facility. Duties may include taking and recording patients’ vital signs, updating patient medical histories, scheduling appointments, handling correspondence, handling billing and coding information for insurance purposes, greeting patients, preparing examination rooms and instruments and assisting physicians during examinations.

A medical technician generally has more clinical training than a medical assistant and may perform more invasive tasks such as drawing blood. Medical technicians typically work in hospitals or other larger health care facilities where they have access to more extensive diagnostic equipment. They may also work in blood banks or perform laboratory research.

Which One is Right for Me?

There are many different types of medical professionals, each with their own set of skills and responsibilities. It can be difficult to keep them all straight, let alone decide which one is right for you. If you’re interested in working in the medical field but don’t know where to start, this guide will help you understand the difference between two of the most popular roles: medical technicians and medical assistants.

Medical technicians typically have more formal training than medical assistants. They often have an associate’s degree or certificate from a trade school, and they may be required to pass a certification exam. Medical technicians usually have more responsibility for laboratory work and diagnostic testing, while medical assistants are more likely to be involved in direct patient care.

Both medical technicians and medical assistants can be found working in a variety of settings, from hospitals and clinics to private practices and research laboratories. The job outlook for both roles is positive, with an expected growth of 23% for medical assistants and 14% for medical technicians between 2018 and 2028.*

So, which one is right for you? If you’re interested in working directly with patients and providing them with hands-on care, then a career as a medical assistant might be a good fit. If you enjoy working with technology and performing diagnostic testing, then a career as a medical technician might be right for you. Ultimately, the decision is up to you!

*Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Conclusion

In conclusion, medical assistants and medical technicians both play important roles in the healthcare industry. Medical assistants are typically responsible for administrative and clinical tasks, while medical technicians typically focus on laboratory work. However, there is some overlap between these two job titles, and the responsibilities of each position can vary depending on the employer.

Scroll to Top