6 Great Reasons to Become a Medical Assistant
There’s one reason for becoming a medical assistant (MA) — or any healthcare worker — that we can all agree on: We care about people and want to serve. We want to make people feel better and put a smile on their face if we can.
But beyond the service mindset that characterizes people in the medical field, there are a lot of other reasons to become a medical assistant! If you’ve been looking for an easy-entry job with wide-open career prospects, medical assisting is the place to start!
1. Get a career — fast!
Even if you don’t have the patience or time for a bachelor’s degree, school might still be the answer you’re looking for.
Earning an associate degree in medical assisting at Ameritech — as well as through most healthcare college programs — takes just three semesters, plus 180 clinical hours in an externship program. In total, most students finish their medical assistant certification in less than two years.
In addition to quick certification, MAs have opportunities to participate in cutting-edge research. The American Association of Medical Assistants spotlights MAs each month who assist with immunology, HIV medication trials, and medical technology.
Related resource: Common Interview Questions for Medical Assistants
2. Earn certification in a licensed profession
Since more employers are requiring certification as a hiring criterion, being certified tends to make MAs more attractive to employers. Because certified medical assistants have demonstrated their expertise in medical assisting duties, employers see them as more of an asset than non-certified ones.
3. Enjoy great job prospects
Guess who has job prospects expected to increase at a rate more than three times faster than lawyers or teachers?
You guessed it: MAs! We anticipate medical assistant jobs to grow 23 percent through 2024 — more than almost any other career path. This is mostly due to the size of the baby boomer generation — including 76.4 million Americans, or almost 20 percent of the U.S. population — who access healthcare services more frequently as they get older.
What does that mean for you?
You’re in demand. It means that almost anywhere you go, you can find a job quickly. It means that when you want to negotiate a higher salary, you’ll have the leverage to do it. It means you’re a rock star!
Related resource: 4 Reasons We Love Medical Assistants
4. Make a living wage
We all want to make a living doing what we love … but we all want to make a living.
Medical assistants make $11 to $18 per hour, with a national average of $14 per hour, or close to $30,000 per year.
5. Find a stable, flexible career
Ahh, the luxury of not worrying about your job!
Stability is the goal of most job-seekers, and the fact is, a career with 23 percent growth (see reason number three) is as stable as it gets in this life. MAs have low turnover and low unemployment, and quickly find new jobs. All of this is to say, medical assistants are in control.
Another benefit to being an MA is flexibility. When you’re in demand, you can choose where you want to work. That might be a doctor’s office, hospital, outpatient clinic, or other healthcare facilities, in Utah … or in Hawaii.
If your spouse or partner travels for work, you can go with them and quickly find a job almost anywhere. (We like Hawaii.)
6. Advance your career on a solid foundation
Some people love medical assisting and work in their chosen career for a lifetime. Others see medical assisting as a starting point for a longer healthcare career trajectory. As an MA, you might become:
- Clinical team leader
- Lead medical assistant
- Medical office manager
- Clinical office manager
- Medical assistant instructor
- Medical records manager
- Healthcare administrator
- Executive medical office secretary
- Transcription supervisor
Many MAs find career success by choosing a specialty, such as pediatrics or gerontology. Or you might choose to go back to school and earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or other medical certificate.
So you want to be an Medical Assistant. What will you do?
The job description of a medical assistant usually looks like this:
- Schedule patient appointments and greet patients.
- File insurance forms and interact with insurance companies.
- Record patients’ medical histories, vital statistics, or information such as test results in medical records.
- Convert charts to electronic charting, moving patient information online with an electronic health records system.
- Authorize drug refills and provide prescription information to pharmacies.
- Prepare treatment rooms for patient examinations.
- Show patients to examination rooms and prepare them to see the physician.
- Interview patients to obtain medical information and measure their vital signs, weight, and height.
- Clean and sterilize instruments and dispose of contaminated supplies.
- Prepare and administer medications as directed by a physician.
- Explain treatment procedures, medications, diets, or physician’s instructions to patients.
- Help physicians examine and treat patients, handing them instruments or materials or performing such tasks as giving
- injections or removing sutures.
- Collect blood, tissue, or other laboratory specimens, log the specimens, and prepare them for testing.
Related resource: What Does a Medical Assistant Do?
Sound good? Here’s one more reason to become a medical assistant at Ameritech: We know medical assisting.
Ameritech has been teaching MAs for over 30 years! We have a 77 percent job placement rate, and 100 percent employer and employee satisfaction rates. We prepare students to pass all of the medical assisting certification exams after graduating, including the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA), Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), and Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exams.