Medical Assistant

Career Overview

Medical assistants complete administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. Their duties vary with the location, specialty, and size of the practice.

Education

Programs for medical assisting are available from community colleges, vocational schools, technical schools, and universities and take about 1 year to complete. These programs usually lead to a certificate or diploma. Some community colleges offer 2-year programs that lead to an associate’s degree. All programs have classroom and laboratory portions that include lessons in anatomy and medical terminology.

Salary Expectations

Low End:
Median:
High End:
$24,790 /yr
$33,610 /yr
$47,250 /yr

Recommended Courses

  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • English - as much as possible!
  • Communication
  • Science - as much as possible, including biology and psychology!
  • Anatomy
  • Health
Work Environment

Most medical assistants work in physicians’ offices, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and other healthcare facilities.

Future Outlook

Employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 29 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. The growth of the aging baby-boom population will continue to increase demand for preventive medical services, which are often provided by physicians. As a result, physicians will hire more assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties, allowing the physicians to see more patients.

References
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook
Explore Careers, Labour Market Information, Government of Canada