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Medical Assistants

Medical assistants usually complete many different kinds of tasks such as measuring a patient’s blood pressure or taking a patient’s temperature.

Quick Facts: Medical Assistants
2012 Median Pay $29,370 per year
$14.12 per hour
Entry-Level Education Postsecondary non-degree award
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2012 560,800
Job Outlook, 2012-22 29% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change, 2012-22 162,900

What Medical Assistants Do

Medical assistants complete administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and other health practitioners. Their duties vary with the location, specialty, and size of the practice.

Work Environment

Medical assistants held about 560,800 jobs in 2012. Most of these assistants work in physicians’ offices and other healthcare facilities.

How to Become a Medical Assistant

Most medical assistants have postsecondary education such as a certificate. Others enter the occupation with a high school diploma and learn through on-the-job training.

Pay

The median annual wage for medical assistants was $29,370 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 29 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. The growth of the aging baby-boom population will continue to spur demand for preventive medical services, which are often provided by physicians. As their practices expand, physicians will hire more assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties, allowing the physicians to see more patients.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Medical Assistants, 
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm (visited March 12, 2015).