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What Does it Take to Be a Medical Assistant?

Medical Assistant Example Perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of a physician. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding information for insurance purposes. Clinical duties may include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, and administering medications as directed by physician.

Daily Life Of a Medical Assistant

  • Record patients’ medical history, vital statistics, or information such as test results in medical records.
  • Keep financial records or perform other bookkeeping duties, such as handling credit or collections or mailing monthly statements to patients.
  • Perform general office duties, such as answering telephones, taking dictation, or completing insurance forms.
  • Interview patients to obtain medical information and measure their vital signs, weight, and height.
  • Change dressings on wounds.
  • Prepare treatment rooms for patient examinations, keeping the rooms neat and clean.

Medical Assistant Skills

When polled, Medical Assistants say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Other Medical Assistant Job Titles

  • Clinical Office Technician
  • Chiropractor Assistant
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Medical Office Technician
  • Sleep Technician

Medical Assistant Employment Estimates

In the United States, there were 634,400 jobs for Medical Assistant in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 29% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 184,000 new jobs for Medical Assistant by 2026. There will be an estimated 94,900 positions for Medical Assistant per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Medical Assistants in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Medical Assistant are Utah, Arizona, and Florida. Watch out if you plan on working in Rhode Island, Mississippi, or Illinois. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Medical Assistant Average Salary

The typical yearly salary for Medical Assistants is somewhere between $24,790 and $47,250.

Salary Ranges for Medical Assistants

Medical Assistants who work in Alaska, District of Columbia, or Washington, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Medical Assistants in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $28,460
Alaska $45,490
Arizona $33,410
Arkansas $30,320
California $38,250
Colorado $36,180
Connecticut $38,350
Delaware $33,350
District of Columbia $42,010
Florida $32,870
Georgia $32,060
Hawaii $38,040
Idaho $33,540
Illinois $35,910
Indiana $32,580
Iowa $34,990
Kansas $31,400
Kentucky $31,900
Louisiana $28,740
Maine $35,160
Maryland $36,350
Massachusetts $40,270
Michigan $32,540
Minnesota $40,320
Mississippi $30,470
Missouri $32,260
Montana $34,520
Nebraska $34,670
Nevada $33,610
New Hampshire $36,730
New Jersey $35,840
New Mexico $30,750
New York $37,560
North Carolina $32,710
North Dakota $36,560
Ohio $31,900
Oklahoma $30,960
Oregon $38,260
Pennsylvania $32,770
Rhode Island $35,830
South Carolina $32,120
South Dakota $29,890
Tennessee $32,370
Texas $31,580
Utah $33,000
Vermont $37,740
Virginia $35,010
Washington $41,340
West Virginia $28,160
Wisconsin $36,410
Wyoming $33,830

Tools & Technologies Used by Medical Assistants

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Medical Assistants:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Database software
  • Intuit QuickBooks
  • MEDITECH software
  • Medical procedure coding software
  • Epic Systems
  • Healthcare common procedure coding system HCPCS
  • Medical condition coding software
  • Electronic medical record EMR software
  • Billing software
  • GE Healthcare Centricity EMR
  • Appointment scheduling software

How do I Become a Medical Assistant?

Are there Medical Assistants education requirements?

Medical Assistant Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Medical Assistant Work Experience

Where do Medical Assistants Work?

Medical Assistant Sectors

Medical Assistants work in the following industries:

Medical Assistant Industries

Similar Careers

Those interested in being a Medical Assistant may also be interested in:

Those who work as a Medical Assistant sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

References:

Image Credit: Ryan Conroy via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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