The state of Illinois does not require any formal training or education to be eligible to work as a medical assistant. However, employers in the state might require it. Healthcare employers in the state might prefer to hire certified medical assistants. In order to become certified, aspiring medical assistants have to complete the relevant coursework and training requirements.The following guide provides a detailed look into the process of becoming a medical assistant in the state of Illinois. It also discusses the salary trends for medical assistants in depth, along with the career outlook.
Medical Assistant Programs in Illinois
In order to join this branch of healthcare, aspiring medical assistants have to follow a certain series of steps in Illinois. Let’s take a look at the steps to become a medical assistant in Illinois.
- Get a High School Diploma
This is the minimum level of education candidates would be expected to have. Once you have completed high school, you can either go directly to step 3 and begin on-the-job training or you can take the traditional route and complete a postsecondary nondegree award. High school students interested in a career as a medical assistant are recommended to take courses in chemistry, biology, anatomy, computer and business studies.
- Get Proper Educational Qualification
Students interested in becoming medical assistants should enroll in postsecondary education programs that are easily available at community colleges, vocational schools, universities or technical schools. Most such programs take about a year to complete. Aspiring medical assistants can also go for a 2-year long associate’s degree. All programs for medical assistants cover classroom training and practical syllabus as well.
- Complete On-the-Job Training
This step is especially important for students who do not have a degree after high school. Some employers may choose to hire medical assistants and train them on the job. These trainings are typically conducted by trained professionals, including physicians or certified medical assistants. The training would typically cover topics such as patient communications, performance of daily tasks, names of instruments and medical technology.
- Get Certified
Even though the state of Illinois has not made certification mandatory, it is still highly recommended. Potential certifying agencies include the American Association of Medical Assistants, American Medical Technologists and the National Center for Competency Testing, among others.
How Much Does a Medical Assistant Make in Illinois?
According to annual mean salary data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in Illinois made $35,910.
To further elaborate on this figure, let’s take a look at the following table which shows comparative data for medical assistants in Illinois and country-wide, for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018.
|Annual Mean Salary (IL)||$32,920||$34,710||$35,910|
|Annual Mean Salary (US)||$32,850||$33,580||$34,540|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
As is evident from the table, the salary for medical assistants has consistently risen over the three years discussed and has also remained well above the national mean.