Medical Assistant Schools
Numerous medical assistant schools across the country are offering programs for aspiring medical assistants. These medical assistant programs are ideal for those who want to enter this high growth profession and earn handsome salaries. With an expected growth of 29% in the years from 2016 to 2026, medical assistant careers are expected to skyrocket.
If you are planning to enter this field, you would be interested in the following information on how to become a medical assistant, medical assistant salary, medical assistant schools and medical assistant jobs.
How to Get into a Medical Assistant School?
To get into a medical assistant school, the foremost requirement is a high school diploma. While in school, you are advised to take courses on natural sciences, anatomy and chemistry to help create a strong foundation for future studies.
Once you have a high school diploma, you can start searching for medical assistant programs around you. Since most states require certification for medical assistants, you are likely to find programs all over the US. You can begin your search by looking at programs offered by community colleges, technical schools, universities and vocational schools. These programs are likely to take up to 1 year to complete. After completing a medical assistant training program from an accredited institute, you can go for a certification exam. Some community colleges offer 2-year long programs that can lead to an associate’s degree in medical sciences. All medical assistant programs would have some component of practical lab work involved in the curriculum.
What is an Alternative to Medical Assistant School?
If you do not enroll in a medical assistant school, you can always opt for training on-the-job after getting your high school diploma. You may be able to land apprenticeship or externship opportunities to work under the supervision of senior medical assistants or physicians. This would help you get acquainted with the relevant medical terminologies, including names of instruments, performing daily routine tasks, communicating medical plans to patients and keeping an eye on the administrative end of the healthcare facility you work at. Medical assistants are also taught how to code paper and electronic health records and record patient data. This on-the-job training can take several months to complete, depending on the medical facility you are working at and on the intensiveness of the training program itself.
How Much is a Medical Assistant Salary?
As per data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants made an annual median income of $33,610 in 2018, which is roughly $16.16 per hour. The highest 10 percent in this occupation earned more than $47,250, while the lowest 10 percent made $24,790. The highest paying employer for medical assistants was outpatient care centers, paying $35,600.
The top paying state for medical assistants was Alaska, paying an annual mean wage of $45,490, followed by the District of Columbia, with an annual mean wage of $42,010. Washington paid its medical assistants $41,340, while Minnesota and Massachusetts paid $40,320 and $40,270 respectively.