WHAT THEY DO:
A Medical Assistant is a person who completes administrative tasks in a doctor’s office or hospital. They perform a complete range of basic clinical, billing and clerical services in a medical office under the direction of a registered nurse or physician. Responsibilities include: greeting, receiving, and preparing patients; maintaining the examination areas; receiving and screening telephone calls; scheduling appointments; and coordinating patient flow.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING:
The suggested education requirement for a Medical Assistant is Associate of Science in Medical Assisting. In addition, those who have received certification through the AAMA as a Certified Medical Assistants can expect to receive a higher hourly rate. This is due to the fact that employers prefer CMAs because they fear that improperly trained assistants may lead to malpractice suits and other issues. Certification ensures that candidates have met rigorous training standards, demonstrated knowledge through testing, and are capable of providing high quality services.
As the demand for medical assistants increases, so does the medical assistant salary. Between 2002 and 2004, medical assistants earned an average of $25,000 a year. In 2008, the average salary jumped to $29,000, then again to $30,000 in 2010. As of 2013, the average salary of the top-earning medical assistants was $35,500, plus benefits. Considering that the demand for medical assistants and the related salary is predicted to keep growing at this rate, there has never been a better time to become a medical assistant.
Medical assistant jobs are growing much faster than most professions in America, with an estimated increase of 31% in available jobs between 2010 and 2020.