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Medical Assistant Career and Salary

Article Sources

Sources:

"Boomers at 65: Celebrating a Milestone Birthday," AARP, http://www.aarp.org/personal-growth/transitions/boomers_65/

CAAHEP and ABHES Accredited Programs, American Association of Medical Assistants, http://www.aama-ntl.org/medical-assisting/caahep-abhes-programs#.U4ZZfCiHPJw

Medical Assistants, Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/current/oes319092.htm

Medical Assistants, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm

"New Roles for the Certified Medical Assistant to Enhance Quality and Effectiveness of Care," Donald A. Balasa, Medical Practice Management, March/April 2008. http://www.aama-ntl.org/news/articles-about-profession#.U4ZQryiHPJw

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Medical assistants are a vital piece of the health care puzzle, providing needed assistance to increasingly busy physicians while often serving as the patient's first encounter in a health care setting. According to the American Association of Medical Assistants, a certified medical assistant receives specialized training that makes him or her "uniquely qualified to 'speak the patient's language' and serve as the communication liaison between the busy physician and patients who are often afraid to ask questions."

Medical assistant career information

The duties medical assistants perform vary by practice and setting, but in general they perform basic patient care and administrative functions. These tasks often include taking patients' vital signs, record-keeping, preparing lab work, scheduling appointments and even, in some cases, giving injections or helping physicians to examine patients. In some practices, medical assistants may specialize in administrative work, adding billing and coding to their duties, while others handle predominantly clinical duties, such as sterilizing equipment, doing basic lab tests, removing stitches, drawing blood or providing instructions to patients.

Medical assisting career outlook

The future looks bright for medical assisting careers, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov) forecasting much faster than average growth of 29 percent from 2012 to 2022. One of the largest segments of the U.S. population, baby boomers, are turning 65 at a rate of about 8,000 per day, according to AARP, and this burgeoning senior population will place increasing demand on the health care system. That, combined with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act expanding insurance coverage, along with rapidly advancing technology and treatment methods, may cause some physicians to hire more medical assistants.

The BLS indicates that, while certification in this field often is not required, certification tends to improve job prospects.

Medical assistant salary information

In May 2013, the national median hourly salary for medical assistants was $14.24, and the national median annual salary was $29,610, according to the BLS. Most medical assistants work full time. Some employers may prefer candidates with certification, so this may also be a factor in individual earnings.

CareerProjected Number of New JobsProjected Job Growth Rate
Medical Assistants138,90023.5
Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Job statistics for medical assisting

In 2012, there were 560,800 medical assistants practicing in the U.S., according to the BLS. By 2022, it's expected that this number will jump to 723,700 as they spend more time interacting with patients while physicians manage acute symptoms or chronic disease.

There are nearly 250 medical assistant programs accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. Explore the list of schools provided here to help you decide if attending medical assisting program might be a good step for you.

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Medical Assisting
Platt College , Ontario
  • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
  • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
  • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
  • 3 campuses in Southern California.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Associate of Science in Medical Assisting Science
  • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
  • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
  • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
  • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
  • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
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Medical Assistant

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

About Education Corporation of America

Education Corporation of America's institutions broaden access to postsecondary educational opportunities.

Medical Assistant
  • Offers career placement assistance services to recent graduates.
  • Our short-term allied health programs will give you the skills and knowledge to become a part of the exciting health care field.
  • Programs include Medical Office Specialist, Medical Assistant, Dental Assistant and Healthcare Administration.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
  • Main campus is located in Van Nuys, California, north of Los Angeles.
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  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Certificate - Medical Assistant
  • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
  • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
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Medical Assistant
  • Offers a free trial period so students can attend classes before paying tuition.
  • Provides blended courses that combine traditional classroom instruction with online learning.
  • Lets students connect with peers at any time, and instructors during office hours with online chat rooms.
  • Gives students the chance to participate in externships and clinical training work under the general supervision of college staff.
  • Has accelerated programs that allow students to take the same coursework in a shorter timeframe.
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  • Accredited
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Medical Specialties (AOS)
  • Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
  • Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
  • Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
  • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

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Medical Assistant Program
  • Offers training in various types of massage therapy, physical therapy/sports rehab, and personal fitness training & wellness.
  • Teaches in an environment that promotes learning and encourages empathetic and compassionate therapists.
  • Career service professionals work directly with students from the start of their program, and help them pursue employment in day spas, luxury hotels, cruise ships, and other locations.
  • Students can work in the SOCHI Massage Clinic to gain experience and build their career skills.
  • Financial aid representatives help students develop a personalized financial plan to finance their tuition.
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Medical Assisting
  • Offers career programs in accounting, cosmetology, massage therapy, physical fitness training, and more.
  • Provides hands-on training led by instructors who have relevant, on-the-job experience.
  • Each campus features a public salon and spa for student practice.
  • Campuses are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) and Council on Occupational Education (COE).
  • 11 campuses across California, Texas, Nevada and Idaho, as well as 8 additional Milan Institute of Cosmetology campuses.
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  • Flexible Scheduling
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Medical Assistant (10-Month Diploma Program)
UEI College , San Marcos
  • Dedicated to providing  career training since 1975.
  • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
  • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
  • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
  • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
  • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
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  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
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