Medical Assisting Schools | Find Medical Assisting online classes and Medical Assisting programs

Medical Assisting Schools and Programs

With projected employment growth in the medical assisting field, consider earning your diploma or certificate to quualify for a position. Career training could position you for future career success as a medical assistant.

How To Become A Medical Assistant

Would you like to score a career in the health care industry that ranks among the fastest-growing occupations in the country and usually requires only one to two years of formal education? If this sounds too good to be true, it's probably because your unfamiliar with medical assisting professionals. Medical assistants help keep the offices of health practitioners in top shape, performing a variety of clerical and administrative tasks. Specific duties vary from office to office, but may include the following:
  • Updating medical records
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Answering phones and greeting patients
  • Sterilizing medical instruments
  • Preparing and administering medications as directed by a physician
  • Changing dressings

Job Outlook for Medical Assistants

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) offers great news for aspiring medical assistants--double digit growth is expected during the 2006-2016 decade, much faster than average relative to all occupations. As medical technology grows ever more sophisticated and the aging population expands along with it, demand is expected to increase commensurately. Candidates with diplomas, work experience, and certificates demonstrating competence should fare best.

Earnings and Educational Requirements for Medical Assistants

Medical assistants' earnings vary by experience, skill level, and location. According to 2008 BLS statistics, the mean annual wage for medical assistants was $29,060. Those working in psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals accounted for the biggest earners, making a mean annual wage of $43,390. While formal education isn't always required, employers usually prefer applicants who have completed either 1-year vocational programs or two years of community college. Students learn laboratory techniques, first aid, how to administer medications, office practices, medical law, and ethics. Accredited medical assisting programs sometimes include internships. Certification, albeit elective, also makes a candidate more attractive to employers.