Job Appeal and Prospects For Medical Assistants

A medical assistant is a health care worker that performs office and/or medical duties in a licensed practitioner’s office, clinic or hospital.

Job Appeal

There are different reasons people choose to enter this occupation. Many workers enjoy this position because they want to help others in this stable career choice. Others enjoy short training programs to prepare for a new career.

Job Functions

Administrative tasks are usually office-type work that can include: registering patients, updating medical profiles, managing insurance forms and much more. Clinical responsibilities are directly related to health exploration or treatment. Tasks in the Benzo Withdrawal medical section include: recording patient vitals, explaining treatment procedures and performing basic laboratory tests.

Skills Needed

Persons interested in this career field should enjoy helping others and working with the public. They need to be able to multi-task and communicate health information in a simplistic way. Those having procedural knowledge aptitudes and an interest in medicine will increase probability of doing well in this profession.


Preparation to enter this career is in the form of one or two year programs that result in a certificate or associates degree. Training for this field is usually offered in vocational schools and community colleges. A recent trend is for accredited online colleges to offer programs for this career.

Required courses in this field can vary with the institution and program focus. At the very least, classes may need to be taken in Anatomy, Medical Terminology and Insurance Coding. Nearly all programs require an externship at a medical facility. An externship is when a student performs duties learned in class in a real environment.

Promotion Possibilities

Advancement is available with additional training and/or work experience. Related training programs are nursing, pharmacy technicians and medical secretaries. Experienced assistants can advance to administrative type positions such as office managers.


The two major accreditation organizations are the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and the Association of Medical Technologists (AMT). Both credentials legitimize career skills, increase job stability and advancement opportunities.
Certification is not required to practice in this profession, but may lead to a higher salary.


Compensation can vary due to a combination of many factors like: years of experience, education, job functions and location. New graduates generally start with salaries in the mid-twenties and experienced workers can expect earnings in the lower-thirties.

Job Prospects

Medical assistants are in high demand due to an increase in older populations and prevalence of long-term health conditions such as: obesity, diabetes and asthma.


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