How to Become a Medical Assistant

Projected Job Growth: 31%
Projected Employment Change: 162,900

Though medical assistants cannot practice medicine, they perform many important tasks to assist doctors with their daily duties. For example, medical assistants are in charge of recording and examining patient histories, scheduling appointments, and performing administrative duties, which helps health care facilities like clinics and hospitals operate more efficiently. This is a strong field for individuals interested in health care, as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports faster-than-average job growth. Medical assistants also have the option of specializing in different types of medical fields, according to their interests.

Why Medical Assisting?

The field of medical assisting is expected to grow as demand for employees increases. Medical assisting also offers employees the opportunity to become skilled in both administrative and medical work — skills which benefit medical assistants who want to advance their careers within the health care field. In addition, medical assistants have the opportunity to advance their careers by seeking higher education. Many online college degree programs provide training in medical record keeping and electronic data. By pursuing accredited online degree programs, which tend to be more flexible in terms of scheduling, medical assistants can improve their careers without having to quit their jobs to make time for education.

Getting Into Medical Assisting

Prospective medical assistants must have, at a minimum, a high school diploma, after which they can earn on-the-job training or attend a college for instruction in medical assisting. While this position does not require certification or a degree, advanced education in medical assisting will improve job prospects, as medical assistants must know how to operate medical technology and perform basic medical tasks, such as taking blood. Prospective medical assistants have the option of looking into online college degree programs, which can prepare them for some of the tasks they will encounter when employed within the health field.