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The Medical Assistant Career

Learn about becoming a medical assistant in today's health care environment...

Becoming a medical assistant is a fast and lucrative way to enter the rapidly growing health care field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected medical assisting career opportunities to grow faster than average through 2016. You can become a formally trained medical assistant in 2-12 months with a diploma or certificate program and 18 to 24 months with an associate degree in medical assisting. Employers do prefer formally trained medical assistants that hold a national certification.

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Medical Assistant Certification

Your first step to becoming a certified medical assistant or CMA will require graduating from a medical assistant school accredited by the ABHES, the CAAHEP. Programs accredited by these organizations will allow graduates to take the Certified Medical Assistant exam, given by the American Association of Medical Assistants; or the Registered Medical Assistant exam, offered by the American Medical Technologists. Learn about our ABHES and CAAHEP accredited Medical Assistant Schools. Most medical offices, hospitals and specialty offices like to hire formally trained medical assistants that have passed a nationally recognized certification exam.

Medical Assistant Job Description

The extent of medical assistants’ duties will vary by state law. Medical assistants should be capable of answering phones and scheduling appointments, drawing blood, calling in refills, taking vital signs, taking patient history, record keeping, pharmacology, first aid, patient interaction, physician interaction, office staff interaction, lab techniques, Legal and ethical responsibilities, HIPPA and other responsibilities.

Medical Assistant Salary

Medical assistant salaries will vary depending on location, experience, facility and other variables. Our salary research team reviewed hundreds of medical assistant job postings, the leading salary websites and the Bureau of Labor Statistics and found that medical assistant annual salaries ranged from $23,917 to over $31,000 with formally trained medical assistants earning more than on the job trained medical assistants.

To learn more about becoming an medical assistant, you can contact schools that offer medical assisting programs. If you have not decided if this is the right career choice for you, take some time to explore additional careers in health care.

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