What Can I Do with a Degree in Medical Assisting?

Although they aren't an essential prerequisite for employment, associate degrees in medical assisting give workers the skills they need to perform well as medical assistants. The following article describes what you can do with this degree and how you can earn one. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Options for Graduates of Medical Assisting Degree Programs

Graduates of medical assisting degree programs may eventually return to school to become licensed practical nurses (LPNs), physician assistants (PAs) or registered nurses (RNs). However, a medical assisting degree program primarily prepares you for a career as a medical assistant.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Key Skills Analysis, attention to detail, working with people, handling medical equipment and technology
Training On-the-job training and/or clinical experience as part of degree program
Work Environment Majority work in physicians' offices and other healthcare facilities; may be required to work weekends and evenings
Similar Occupations Nursing assistants, medical records and health information technicians, dental assistants, physical therapist assistants

Job Responsibilities

A medical assistant's job responsibilities vary with the size and location of the facility or practice in which he or she works. Additionally, clinical procedures medical assistants may perform vary by state. Common non-clinical duties include tasks like:

  • Greeting patients and answering phones
  • Handling billing, bookkeeping and correspondence
  • Maintaining exam rooms
  • Taking patients' medical histories
  • Explaining medications and special diets to patients

Clinical duties may include measuring patients' vital signs, helping with examinations, and taking and preparing blood for testing in a laboratory.

Degrees and Certification

Though they aren't required for employment, associate degree programs in medical assisting help individuals enter the field with the maximum amount of training. Employers also tend to place a high value on certification credentials, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports. The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), which offers medical assistant certification, requires that applicants taking the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam first graduate from an accredited training or degree program in medical assisting.

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

The yearly salary for most medical assistants in 2018 ranged from $24,790 to $47,250, the BLS indicates. Medical assistants working in the District of Columbia, Alaska, Massachusetts, Washington and Minnesota earned the highest wages at that time, while California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New York employed the highest numbers of medical assistants.

Medical assisting is a fast-growing career field in the health care industry - the BLS predicts a 29% increase in medical assistant opportunities between 2016 and 2026 as the health care industry continues to expand. Certified medical assistants who are knowledgeable about electronic health records will be increasingly utilized, the BLS states.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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Popular Schools

  • Purdue University Global

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Regent University

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  • Penn Foster High School

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  • The Chicago School

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  • Southwestern College

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    • Ohio: Florence, Cincinnati, Dayton, Franklin
  • Eastern Kentucky University

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    • Kentucky: Richmond