Medical assistants are vital members of any healthcare team. They perform a variety of tasks, from administrative duties to clinical tasks, and they play a key role in helping patients receive the care they need. So, what is the average salary of a medical assistant?
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A medical assistant is a person who has completed a certified training program and performs various clinical and administrative tasks in a healthcare facility. The duties of a medical assistant vary from state to state, but generally include taking patient histories, measuring vital signs, preparing patients for examination, handling correspondence, scheduling appointments, handling billing and coding information, and assisting with minor office surgeries.
Most Medical assistants work in physician’s offices, but some may also work in hospitals or other healthcare facilities. In most states, Medical Assistants are not licensed or certified and do not need to be registered with the state in order to work. However, some states do require certification or registration.
Medical assistants perform a variety of administrative and clinical tasks to support the work of physicians and other health professionals.
Their duties vary from office to office, but they typically include taking and recording patient medical histories, measuring patients’ vital signs, preparing exam rooms, assisting with patient exams, scheduling appointments and laboratory tests, handling correspondence, billing and insurance matters, handling laboratory specimens and preparing patients for x-rays.
Education and Training
Most medical assistants have postsecondary education such as a certificate. Although not required, some students may choose to earn an associate degree in medical assisting. These programs usually take about 2 years to complete and are available at many community colleges and technical schools. Some employers may require their medical assistants to have completed a formal training program.
Medical assistants perform both clinical and administrative tasks in doctors’ offices, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. They typically work full time, although about 1 in 4 worked part time in 2019.
Most medical assistants have postsecondary education such as a certificate or diploma from an accredited program. Many programs take about a year to complete, although some last 2 years or longer. Some states have certification requirements for medical assistants.
Medical assistants perform a variety of administrative and clinical tasks to support doctors, nurse practitioners, and other health care providers. Depending on their size and location, duties may include answering phones, scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records billing and coding insurance forms, taking medical histories, preparing patients for examinations, handling laboratory specimen testing, performing basic laboratory tests themselves under a healthcare provider’s supervision, administering injections and vaccinations, taking blood pressure and EKGs (electrocardiograms), phlebotomy (drawing blood), preparing patients for X-rays or other procedures, providing postoperative care instructions to patients. Some medical assistants specialize in areas such as podiatry (foot care) or ophthalmology (eye care).
The average salary for a Medical Assistant is $16.02 per hour in the United States Salary estimates are based on 49,766 salaries submitted anonymously to Indeed by Medical Assistant employees, users, and collected from past and present job advertisements on Indeed in the past 36 months. The typical tenure for a Medical Assistant is less than 1 year.
The employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 19 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. The aging baby-boom population will continue to drive demand for preventive medical services, which are often provided by physicians. As their practices expand, physicians will hire more medical assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical tasks. In addition, as technological advances in medicine allow physicians to treat more patients in outpatient settings, the demand for medical assistants will increase in those settings as well.
Medical assistants are among the fastest-growing occupations in the United States, with employment projected to grow by 29% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. The aging Baby Boomer population is increasingly in need of medical care, as are members of Generation X, and medical assistants will be needed to perform administrative and clinical duties to keep doctors’ offices, clinics, and other healthcare facilities running smoothly.
Medical assistants typically have an associate degree or certificate from a medical assisting program. Some states have certification requirements for medical assistants. Although not required, voluntary certification can show employers that an applicant has the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the job and can help medical assistants get jobs and advance in their careers.
Pros and Cons
There are many pros and cons to becoming a medical assistant. The job outlook is good, with an expected 29% growth in jobs from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.1 But, like any career, it has its downsides. Let’s take a closer look at some of the pros and cons of being a medical assistant.
Job security: With such a high projected growth rate, there will be plenty of job opportunities for medical assistants in the coming years.
Good pay: The median annual salary for medical assistants was $34,800 in 2019.2 And while pay varies depending on experience and location, many medical assistants earn above-average salaries.
Flexible work schedule: Many medical assistants work full time, but some work part time. And because many medical facilities are open evenings and weekends, it’s often possible to find a job that fits your schedule.
The opportunity to help people: If you enjoy working with people and have a desire to help others, a career as a medical assistant can be very rewarding. You’ll get to interact with patients on a daily basis and play an important role in their care.
The job can be stressful: Working in the healthcare industry can be emotionally demanding. You may have to deal with sick and injured patients on a daily basis, which can be stressful.
You may have to work evenings and weekends: Many healthcare facilities are open 24 hours a day, which means medical assistants may have to work evenings and weekends. If you have young children or other family obligations, this could make it difficult to balance work and family life.
You may have to do unpleasant tasks: As a medical assistant, you may be responsible for tasks that are considered “unpleasant” by some people, such as taking blood samples or removing stitches.
-How much does a medical assistant make?
-On average, a medical assistant earns $15.31 per hour, or $31,860 annually