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Medical Assistant Jobs

Medical assistant jobs have relatively low barriers to entry and abundant job prospects, making them an appealing career path for individuals who aspire to work in the medical field without having to first complete lengthy educational or training requirements. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants can expect to see a 29 percent increase in employment rate between the years 2016 and 2026, with those who complete a formal medical assistant certification program having access to the most opportunities.

What Is a Medical Assistant?

Medical assistants play an important role on a health care team, performing duties such as recording patients medical histories and vital signs, administering vaccinations and blood draws, filing and coding insurance claims, and scheduling appointments. The exact nature of your job as a medical assistant will depend on factors such as whether you work in a clinic or hospital setting, the size of the staff and the medical specialty in which you work. An assistant in a primary care clinic, for example, may be responsible for recording weight and blood pressure readings, whereas ophthalmic medical assistants require the knowledge to instruct patients on topics such as proper eyeglass or contact lens care.

Medical Assistant Qualifications

Depending on the employer, medical assistant requirements consist of either postsecondary educationmedical training schools or on-the-job training. It takes about one year to complete a medical assistant certification program from an accredited university, vocational school or technical college, although some aspiring medical assistants opt to complete two-year associate degree programs. Some examples of certificates that help with landing medical assistant jobs include:

  • CMA: Certified Medical Assistant
  • NCMA: National Certified Medical Assistant
  • CMAA: Certified Medical Administrative Assistant

Its also highly beneficial to obtain training in electronic health records, or EHRs, as more medical facilities make the transition from paper to electronic billing systems.

Opportunities for both private sector and medical assistant government jobs continue to rise along with the ever-increasing demand for qualified individuals who can aid physicians with their daily duties so they can treat more patients. A career as a medical assistant lets you enter the job market with minimal training and begin earning a living and making a positive impact on patients' lives as soon as possible.

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