Become a Medical Assistant
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Medical Assistants are highly valued members of today’s healthcare team because they keep the offices and clinics of physicians and medical specialists running smoothly. Medical Assistants work with doctors helping them care for patients by performing a combination of routine clinical, laboratory and administrative duties.
In addition to working in doctors’ offices and clinics, Medical Assistants also work in hospitals and for most other healthcare employers. They may have full time jobs or may work part-time, evenings or weekends. Although the specific responsibilities of a medical assistant vary depending on the site, size of the practice and type of medical specialty, the duties of a medical assistant are considered interesting and rewarding.
Medical Assisting is one of the fastest growing careers in healthcare that do not require a college degree. With formal training from an accredited medical assistant program, and a high school diploma or GED, this healthcare career can be launched in under a year. Although some Medical Assistants are trained on the job, healthcare employers generally prefer formally trained Medical Assistants. Medical Assisting is projected to be among the fastest growing occupations over the 2008-18 decade. In fact, employment growth for Medical Assistants is expected to grow over 34 percent during this period. Job opportunities for Medical Assistants will be especially good for those with training from an accredited medical assistant school and/or certification. In addition to offering excellent prospects for a steady career, with additional education, advancement to nursing, medical tech careers, such as sonography, and medical office management is realistic.
In addition to excellent job prospects, earnings for Medical Assistants which vary depending on experience, skill level, and location are generally among those jobs that pay higher than minimum wage. According to May 2009 U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, the median annual salary for Medical Assistants nationwide, was $28,650. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,750 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $39,970 per year.
During the same period, the median hourly wage for Medical Assistants in the New York Metropolitan Area, including Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island and Nassau and Suffolk counties was $15.69. The bottom 25th percentile was $13.53 per hour and the top 75th percentile was $18.13 per hour. With the New York State minimum wage currently at $7.25 per hour, high school graduates who want to earn more money and get ahead without a college degree can find the wage and benefits for medical assistants quite attractive.
To read more about wages for Medical Assistants in New York City or elsewhere the country go to http://www.bls.gov/bls/blswage.htm
U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010-2011 Edition
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Division of Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Medical Assistant (SOC code 319092), May 2009.