Medical assistants have a huge role to play in physicians’ offices and they are an indispensable force. Depending on the type of office, their duties often vary from administrative to clinical responsibilities or both. With various options to specialize, this has become a career of choice for many mainly due to the job prospects and career opportunities.
A medical assistant (MA) is an essential link between patients and medical personnel. As a result, it is a very fulfilling job for these who like to work in such a capacity. The major upside of this is that there are high job satisfaction levels. It goes without saying that a high level of satisfaction is likely to be the norm where one feels relevant or important as part of the organization.
Many MAs complete a year or two of training to obtain a certificate of associate’s degree. Such formal training is not always required as one is able to perform duties with on-the -job training. Through volunteer experience in the healthcare field, one is able to obtain informal training that can be quite helpful in the hiring process.
Career opportunities for medical assistants are projected to grow much faster than most careers through to 2016. This is largely as a result of an expanding healthcare industry, technological advancements in medicine and an increasingly aging population. MAs who can perform both clinical as well as administrative responsibilities are expected to have better job prospects.
Advancements in the field offer many MAs an opportunity to grow in their careers to administrative positions in their respective institutions. On the other hand, others completely change their careers and obtain additional training and certification to become nurses or other healthcare workers. It is quite the norm for well performing workers to rise to the position of office managers without additional education.
According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, The median wage for a MA was about $30000 in 2012. This was a rise from the previous year and is still expected to rise. With the field expecting a significant gain in new jobs, this puts MAs among the top healthcare jobs of 2014.
One of the major advantages of aspiring MAs is that the job requires little formal training as compared to other jobs in the medical field. However, certification programs and networking with organizations in the field present a huge advantage among a sea of many aspirants. Keeping abreast of the changes in the industry and volunteering especially among aspiring MAs is highly recommended.
MAs work primarily in outpatient settings which offer a great amount of job flexibility. Most MAs work in shifts giving one the option to choose working times that are most preferred. This means that you can work part time and use the extra time to study and work on growing your career. Increasing utilization of MAs in the healthcare industry will stimulate job growth. It is no surprise that it is projected to be among the fastest growing occupations.