Across the country, demand for Medical Assistants (MA) is skyrocketing, and this is good news for anyone searching for a career that promises financial opportunity and personal development.
Whether you’re a recent high school graduate or an adult looking to reinvent your career, breaking into the healthcare field has never been more promising.
Here are some of the Top 8 Benefits that you should know about when you consider a Medical Assistant Certification program.
1. Course Time Required to Complete the Certificate is Relatively Brief. The academic preparation takes 10 months to complete if you attend a program full-time. The medical assistant training program includes class work and 160 hours of practical experience in a clinical setting, such as an urgent care clinic, a multi-specialty group, or a physician's practice.
2. Credentials are Achievable. After successfully completing a CAAHEP program (accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs), a graduate is eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). This is a national exam that provides a credential that is recognized and valuable across the United States.
3. Competitive Entry-level Salaries. Entry-level salaries vary geographically. According to monster.com, Connecticut is number 4 among the top 10 highest paying states for an MA. The median annual medical assistant salary in Connecticut is about $36,403 (salary.com), which is above the national average. Additionally, with proper education and a wide range of experience, MAs have the potential to make more.
4. Medical Assistant Jobs Expected to Grow. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, MA jobs are expected to grow at the rate of 29 percent between 2012 and 2022. That’s a faster growth rate than for most other professions.
5. Wide Range of Job Settings. Graduates work in clinical and/or administrative roles in an outpatient environment. The primary work setting for MA is a physician's practice. Medical Assistants can work in non-clinical administrative settings in a physician's practice or other healthcare settings, for example in an insurance company. Work hours are typically during the day from Monday to Friday. A few jobs may have weekend or early evening hours.
6. Opportunities for Advancement. This is a growth career that offers opportunities for advancement. Some Medical Assistants go on to earn their Associate's Degree (AS), which qualifies them for advanced opportunities as a practice manager or clinical supervisor. An AS also enables them to move into administrative support occupations.
7. No Prior Healthcare Experience Required. You don’t need prior healthcare experience or a college degree. Some women who have been stay-at-home moms find that child-raising is excellent preparation for their careers in Medical Assisting. Some people enter the field after having had successful careers in retail or hospitality.
8. Perfect for Caring, Compassionate People. If you are a people person who enjoys being helpful, you’ll find the work stimulating. The regulations concerning what an MA can do vary from state to state. In general, you will find that an MA, in some states, may draw blood, prep patients for their exams, schedule appointments, complete insurance forms and do other jobs similar to these. Regardless, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing meaningful work—and making a fine living.
Ready to pursue a new career? Maybe one as a Medical Assistant? To learn more, read about the experiences of some of St. Vincent's College MA graduates in our Guide To Becoming a Medical Assistant.
More information is on the St. Vincent's College website. And, please come to an open house. Check here for dates and times.