How to Become a Medical Assistant (MA), A Brief Overview

You may be asking, how does one become a medical assistant? An MA or Medical Assistant is responsible for many things, including the maintenance of patient records and assisting doctors, ophthalmologists, optometrists and other healthcare professionals with in-office procedures. Like other careers in the healthcare industry, an increase in demand for assistants is expected over the next 8-10 years.

In other words, there is job security in the field, which is something that many people are looking for today. So, how can you become a medical assistant?

How to Become A Medical Assistant

How to Become A Medical Assistant

The educational requirements vary, according to the specific job, but a high school diploma or equivalent is a must. In many cases on the job training is available and sufficient. However, one and two year degree programs are offered at many community colleges and universities.

A young person interested in pursuing a career in medicine might start by volunteering at a local hospital or nursing home. Not only does it help them become comfortable with the environment, the experience looks good on a resume.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the typical MA ends up working in a doctor’s private office, where they are responsible for making appointments and scheduling personnel. They often serve as links between the patients and the doctors. So, strong communication skills are a plus.

It is possible to advance to the position of office manager, without further education, and many MAs end up in that position, over the course of several years. It is also possible to advance one’s career through continuing education.

Because the educational requirements are similar to those of a licensed practical nurse, an MA may find it easy to earn that title. Nursing is a type of career in which you can continue to advance, starting with a 2 year associates degree and advancing to a bachelor’s degree.

There are many graduate nursing programs, as well. A nurse practitioner, for example, typically holds a master’s degree in nursing.

In the US, an examination to achieve state board certification is required to begin working as a nurse. Medical assistants, on the other hand, are not required to take the exams before they begin working in the field.

The salary range varies, depending on one’s education and experience, as well as the area in which a person lives. In areas with a higher demand, medical assistants make more than the average $28,000-$40,000 per year. The cost of living in an area affects salaries, too.

Surveys indicate that becoming an MA is a rewarding experience for many people. Whether it is a stepping stone to a more advanced degree or a lifelong career, it’s a highly respected profession.

Please visit MA to RN for more information on career choices for the MA or return to the home page for more information on LPN responsibilities.

Other career path considerations:




MA Medical Assistant

MA to RN

NP Nurse Practitioner

Legal Nurse Consultant

Return to the home page for more on LPNs.




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