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
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
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
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:
LPN to RN
LPN to BSN
LPN to MSN
MA to RN
NP Nurse Practitioner
Legal Nurse Consultant
Return to the home page for more on LPNs.