The Most (and Least) Expected Places to Work As a Medical Assistant
“Where to work as a medical assistant” is a pretty common Google Search—and a variation of a question we hear regularly. Once you’ve earned your degree from a medical assistant program, you’re ready to work. You just need to know where to look for jobs. AmeriTech has been training, graduating, and placing medical assistants in healthcare careers for over three decades. We’re one of Utah’s longest-running medical assisting programs, so we’ve seen it all, and we’ve assembled a list of the most- and least-expected workplaces for medical assistants.
Primary Care Facilities
Easily the most common places to work as medical assistants are in hospitals and private practices. Primary care facilities hire medical assistants to support doctors and nurses by completing administrative and clinical tasks—and those tasks abound in these workplaces. Wherever there’s a doctor, there’s almost always a need for a medical assistant. Since doctor’s offices and urgent care clinics can be found in just about every town in America, and hospitals are rarely far away, medical assisting jobs exist all over the country. It also means medical assistants, like nurses, have more mobility and flexibility in where they live and work, since the demand is everywhere.
Part of any good medical assisting program involves training in collecting and processing lab specimens. Many healthcare clinics require this basic skill for handling blood samples and other lab tests, but it’s also valuable for working as a lab assistant. Research universities everywhere need to hire medical assistants to support their faculty and scientists in lab work, not to mention every corporation that conducts medical research and development. Though less common places to work, many labs unaffiliated with primary healthcare still employ medical assistants.
Since they belong to alternative medicine, people sometimes forget chiropractic offices are medical practices too, which means they, like any other physician, often need to employ medical assistants. Of course they’re very specialized, but chiropractors have administrative duties that any medical assistant is trained and well-suited to complete, so it isn’t uncommon to find job listings in their practices after you’ve finished your certification. If you have an interest or a history with chiropractic medicine, or similarly structured practices like podiatry, you may have an advantage over other applicants for these medical assisting jobs.
In 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported job growth for medical assistants was 29%, much higher than the 11% average forecasted for all occupations, and the 23% for other medical support jobs. At the time, the BLS reported this was likely due to the aging of the baby boomers, many of whom are starting to need medical care—the kind of work medical assistants are best suited for.
You may expect to find many medical assistant jobs in nursing homes, facilities that often resemble hospitals in the care they provide. Less expected, though, are medical assistant job postings in retirement communities, places where older (but not necessarily infirm) people live after finishing their careers. Many of these organizations operate like small towns, offering all of the amenities residents could need, include on-hand medical services. Many retirement communities hire more medical assistants than doctors because residents tend to be in good health and have their own primary care physicians. Still, small accidents happen, so it’s helpful to have medical assistants trained in wound care and injections on site.
You’ll learn more about these and other common places to work as a medical assistant when looking for positions for your externship. If you’re ready to start training to be a medical assistant, read more about our program, where you can complete your medical assistant certification in as little as 45 weeks. Be sure to contact us for more information!