Medical Assistant Career Information

Medical Assistant Career and Schools

There are many different career opportunities available in the healthcare industry, all you need is the proper training. You can learn all about what a Medical Assistant Career is like below.

What does a Medical Assistant do?

Medical assistants perform a variety of administrative and clinical duties in the office of healthcare professionals such as physicians, podiatrists, and chiropractors. A medical assistant may move from the front office to the exam room.

Medical assistants perform routine procedures such as measuring vitals, administering shots and injections, and recording information for medical records. A medical assistant aids a healthcare professional yet is not the same as a physician’s assistant, who are licensed professionals able to practice medicine and surgical procedures under the observation of a physician.

What kind of certification will I need?

Medical assistants are often required to graduate from a qualified medical assisting program. Depending on the specific employer and state regulation, a prospective medical assistant may be required to become certified, which is strongly encouraged by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

A medical assistant may become a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) or a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)—or both. The AAMA awards a CMA designation to a candidate who passes an examination and subsequently renews their certification every five years.

The CMA is generally recognized as the more prestigious of the two accreditations. The RMA qualification is awarded by the American Medical Technologists (AMT) and can only be given if a prospective candidate has been employed as a medical assistant for five years or more.

What kind of salary can I expect to earn?

The annual wage of a medical assistant is about $28,860 per year and $13.97 per hour.* Higher wages are generally given at hospitals versus the lower wages that are offered in specialized offices (such as a chiropractic or optometrist’s office).

How long will I be in school?

Medical assistants are not necessarily required to complete any formal education—many complete on-the-job training. However, One-or two-year programs are common in vocational schools, private institutions, and community colleges.

A Day in the Life of a Medical Assistant Video

*Information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics