What Is the Employment Outlook for Medical Assisting Jobs?

The medical assisting field is expected to experience rapid growth between 2016 and 2026, making it a good fit for individuals seeking career opportunities in health care. As an added bonus, medical assistant training programs only take a year or two to complete and prepare graduates for immediate entry into employment. This article delves into the career outlook for medical assistants in greater detail. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Employment Outlook for Medical Assisting Jobs

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that medical assisting is expected to experience a higher-than-average rate of growth in coming years. In 2016, there were 634,400 medical assistants in the U.S. workforce, but that number is expected to rise to 818,400 by 2026, representing a 29% increase.

This field's rapid growth is attributed to several factors, including growing numbers of group medical practices, demands of the aging of the U.S. population and increased access to health care due to changes in federal legislation. As the health care industry continues to grow, there will be an increased need for qualified workers to handle medical assisting tasks.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Key Skills Analytical, detail-oriented, skilled at working with others, skilled at handling medical instruments and machinery
On-the-Job Training Medical terminology, how to handle equipment, how to interact with patients, medical coding, daily tasks
Work Environment Full time work in healthcare facilities and offices; may work weekends and evenings
Similar Occupations Dental assistants, registered nurses, physician assistants, pharmacy technicians

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Prospects

Individuals who are certified in medical assisting may find the best job prospects, according to the BLS. Though no postsecondary education is required to become a medical assistant, many employers look favorably upon job applicants with formal education. Both associate degree programs and diploma and certificate programs in medical assisting are widely available, and a variety of professional associations provide certification, including the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

Salary Information

In 2018, the BLS reported that the average annual wage for medical assistants throughout the country was $34,540. Most of these workers were employed in physicians' offices and hospitals at that time, though the highest wages came specifically from junior colleges, which paid an average of $43,670 per year. Geographically, medical assistants in the District of Columbia, Alaska, Massachusetts, Washington and Minnesota earned the most in 2018, while jobs were most plentiful in California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and New York.

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