20 Amazing Reasons to Become a Medical Assistant
If you’re looking to start your career in the healthcare sector, why not consider getting your medical assistant certification? With quick training, lucrative salaries, and excellent job growth, this allied health profession is an excellent route for people who are new to healthcare or who already have hands-on experience.
Keep reading to learn why this career might be exactly what you’re looking for!
1. This Is a Quick Certification That Pays Well
While there are no formal requirements to work as a medical assistant, most employers prefer applicants to be certified medical assistants. Completing a certified medical assistant program or associate degree is often a necessity to get hired.
But instead of, say, a surgeon going to school for more than 15 years, medical assistant classes usually take less than a year.
2. This Career Makes a Difference
Well-trained and professional medical assistants make a massive difference in a patient’s hospital or clinic experience. On any given day, a medical assistant might administer medicine, help patients navigate complex insurance policies, and prep patients for examinations.
MAs often cite this wide range of responsibilities for why they’re proud to be part of this field.
3. Training Options Are Flexible…
There are multiple options for certified medical assistant programs throughout the country. You can attend a community college or a technical school and should be able to fit classes around your schedule (even if you’re raising a family or working full-time).
4…. and Won’t Break the Bank
Unlike costly university programs, medical assistant students aren’t required to take out tens of thousands of dollars in student loans.
Whether you opt for an MA certificate program (which usually takes around 9 to 12 months) or a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree, you’ll be paying substantially less than what a 4-year (or medical) degree would cost.
5. Learn with Exciting and Applicable Classes
MAs are unique in that they straddle the line between administration and treatment. During medical assistant classes, students will study physiology, patient care, sterilization techniques, and basic pharmacology. Classroom lessons on administrative tasks like insurance, HIPAA compliance, and medical billing and coding are equally important.
6. Continue Your Education Later on
Students who pursue a two-year associate degree program will be required to complete general education courses. While they may seem unnecessary for a quick entry into the medical industry, it’s a practical option for anyone contemplating on continuing their education in the future.
After several years of working, you may end up enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program. Some of these associate degree credits can be transferred instead of starting from scratch.
7. There Isn’t One Standard Working Day
The medical assistant job description is so varied that it’s impossible to be bored during your shifts. On any given day, you could be speaking with an insurance agency, drawing blood, managing the front desk, or helping take patient’s vital signs.
Medical assistants are trained to carry out a wide range of duties and are expected to step in where they’re needed the most.
8. Varied Working Environments
Some people like the fast pace of a surgical ward, general medical hospital, or trauma center. Others may prefer the quieter vibe of a private physician’s office. Smaller practices tend to rely on their medical assistants to handle both administrative and clinical duties, while MAs at larger practices and hospitals tend to focus on one set.
Whichever location you choose, you’ll be able to find one that fits your personality.
9. A Great Launchpad into the Medical Industry
In the medical world, experimenting with different career paths is a high-stakes game. Training as a nurse or a doctor takes incredible time and effort, and it’s not unheard of for medical professionals to dislike the field they’ve chosen.
Why not start with a job that allows you to experience the widest range of duties possible? Medical assistants can decide whether patient care or medical administration is more their speed, and many go back to school to gain their nursing degree or become a certified medical biller.
If you’re ready for more responsibility, many medical assistants move onto careers like sonography, nursing, and hospital management.
10. How Much Do Medical Assistants Make? You’d Be Surprised!
For a career that doesn’t require a 4-year degree, these allied healthcare professionals have great income opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a medical assistant was $33,610 in 2018.
Some states (like Alaska, Washington DC, and Minnesota) pay far more than $40,000 per year. Just like any other career, your income comes down to credentials and location. No matter how you slice it, medical assistants are some of the best-paid allied health professionals out there.
11. Training Others Can Be Part of Your Future
With a growing demand for trained medical assistants, there’s an increased demand for the professionals who train them. If you enjoy interacting with people, this may be a great option to work towards.
On average, educators make well over $50,000 per year, with the most experienced professionals in the field raking in more than $75,000.
12. You’ve Got Your Choice of Positions
Job vacancies for medical assistants are opening – fast. In fact, demand for medical assistants is set to grow by 23% between 2018 and 2028. Nearly 180,000 new medical assistants will be needed to fill up the new positions.
13. Health Insurance? Check!
A 2016 survey revealed that most medical assistants received medical insurance through their employers. Of the 8,200 professionals who responded, more than 75% said they had received major medical coverage, 69% received vision coverage, and 78% had dental coverage.
If you’re a full-time medical assistant trainer, you’re more likely to receive greater coverage.
14. You’re Not Tied to One Location…
Unlike physicians who need to obtain a license to practice in a new state, medical assistants are able to move across the country with great flexibility. As mentioned above, pay varies greatly from state to state, so be sure to consult governmental websites (like BLS.gov) before making any moves!
15. …or Even a New Country
Demand for qualified medical assistants is high not only in the US: Australia also has plenty of medical assistant job vacancies. Why not try the expat lifestyle in places like Singapore, Malaysia, or Dubai?
16. Do the 9-to-5 (But Only If You Want)
For the many healthcare workers, it isn’t possible to enjoy the same time off as friends and family. Working night shifts or long hours is simply a way of life for many doctors, nurses, and emergency services workers.
If you aren’t comfortable working late shifts or your priorities shift in the future,, it’s still possible to find a more conventional working routine at a smaller clinic or private practice.
17. Enjoy a Social Life
Many medical assistants at smaller practices follow 9-5 schedules. Create a stronger life-work balance (and avoid burning out) by being able to spend weekends and public holidays with friends and family.
18. Speaking of Stress….
US doctors report high levels of stress due to their demanding jobs, with as many as 50% experiencing burnout symptoms within the previous year. Nurses are also highly stressed due to being understaffed and overworked.
While medical assistant job duties aren’t completely free of stress, these allied healthcare workers have far less on their shoulders. And due to their wide range of training, MAs may be asked to help doctors and nurses with a variety of tasks (helping to relieve some of those burdens.
19. Get Your Hands on New Tech
The medical field is rapidly changing due to constant technological developments, from data storage to new monitoring tools, treatments, and artificial intelligence. It goes without saying, but technology’s impact on healthcare will only continue to grow.
As a medical assistant, you’ll play a key role in applying these technologies to deliver more precise and personalized care.
20. You’ll Become a Stronger Allied Health Professional
Whether interacting with doctors, hospital administrators, or patients, great medical assistants are solid and proactive communicators.
If you’re a people person, this job provides the stimulation you require. For the more introverted, don’t be put off: Good communication skills can be learned with experience and will translate to all parts of your life.
Check Out Our Medical Assistant Program Today
Interested in becoming a medical assistant? Still have a few questions about becoming one? Contact an AIMS Education representative to get the ball rolling!