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Medical Assistant Programs in Michigan

Michigan maintains a site called Health Careers in Michigan -- and for good reason. Health care is, after all, Michigan’s largest industry. Finding qualified workers is a challenge, but also a bright spot in tough times. As the website notes, there are more than 200 different health care occupations. How does a person know if a career as medical assistant is right for them?

25% job growth through the next decade for Medical Assistants in MI. ~ BLS

Medical assistants have a multi-faceted role, assisting physicians in both administrative and clinical duties The most common work setting is the doctors’ office. The most nearly universal duty, according to a survey by AAMA, is taking patient history and vital signs. Another very common one is scheduling appointments The reality is that medical assistants do a little bit of everything -- at least a little bit of everything that can be carried out safely and competently after a relatively short period of education and training. The job variety is one thing that attracts people to the profession. Of course it helps to be a people person and really like assisting patients and giving them that bit of reassurance they need while waiting for the doctor.

How to Become a Certified Medical Assistant in Michigan

Clinical classwork typically includes anatomy, microbiology, first aid, and medical ethics, as well as training in a wide variety of clinical and laboratory procedures. Administrative coursework may include medical accounting, billing and coding, medical records management, and computing. There are many schools to choose from, with a variety of scheduling options. Classes can sometimes be taken online, but expect to do clinical work in a real medical setting toward the end of the program. Make sure that the program you choose has a good reputation and qualifies you to sit for board exams, ideally through AAMA or AMT. To qualify to sit for the certified medical assistant exam through the AAMA you must first complete a program that has been accredited by the CAAHEP or the ABHES.

The National Healthcareer Association also offers a certificate in medical administrative assisting. The requirement for exam eligibility is set somewhat lower. A person must have either completed a training program or have a year of experience in the field. Some respected programs do prepare their graduates to sit for this exam. An example would be high school vocational programs.

Medical Assistant Salary and Job outlook in Michigan

There were 19,470 medical assistants in Michigan in 2008. The demand, though, was expected to grow to 24,470 by 2018. This reflects more than 25% growth in the field. Fully 717 openings were expected a year: 500 by growth and 217 by replacement.

Several years back, the state anticipated a shortfall of 2,800 medical assistants by 2015 and took steps to remedy the situation. Now, however, as the website notes, the number of people completing training programs is expected to be greater than the number of openings, so certification will be an advantage, as will be the ability to handle multiple roles, both clinical and administrative. In other words, a person will more likely secure a position if they are highly qualified. Medical assisting does qualify as an in-demand profession for governmental purposes in many areas of Michigan. This means that some displaced workers could qualify for governmental retraining assistance. (It also offers confirmation to all that prospects are better than in many other fields.)

What does a medical assistant earn in Michigan? The average is $13.68, according to the BLS. Averages mask a lot of difference, though. Urban areas often pay more than rural ones. Wages are particularly good in the college town of Ann Arbor. It is listed at $15.46 by the BLS, while the Detroit metropolitan area, not so far away, is at $13.31. Jackson is at $14.70 and Lansing $13.89. As in other industries, workers start somewhat lower than the average. Those who completed vocational training programs in Michigan in 2007 had an average starting wage of $9.13. Wages, thankfully, do tend to go up with experience.

Medical Assistant Programs Offered in Your State

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