Obtaining a medical assistant degree is the smartest thing you can do with your life when you consider the demand for this career. The American Association of Medical Assistants points out that medical assistant careers are burgeoning for very good reasons. The Baby Boom generation is now aging and will soon need medical care over the coming decade. Medical assistants will be there to help this generation understand medical procedures while working closely with doctors.
Also, with a growth in outpatient care facilities and better medical technology, a stronger demand for medical assistants is always there. There isn’t any better time than now in getting a degree for this health care career that’s steady without downsizing.
Pay is also quite good, though a professional level salary depends on whether you have a degree. Perhaps you’ve thought all along that medical assistant jobs require extensive educational requirements. In truth, you can still work as a medical assistant with just a high school diploma. However, those jobs pay much less.
With a degree or certification, you’re guaranteed to have a steady job with myriad benefits and an excellent salary. The important thing is the type of education you have in obtaining your degree since the options now expand beyond a general university.
What Kind of Degree Does it Require?
It only takes an associate degree in order to become a medical assistant, which you could easily acquire in a community college. The good news is that you’ll likely be able to acquire your degree in less than two years. When you don’t have four years available or the budget, an associate degree makes it easier gaining education for a rewarding career.
Your benefit to attending a community college or university for your degree is the on-site lab work. One of the most essential elements to a medical assistant job is in communication and working with doctors. Medical assistants explain medical procedures to patients and generally make them feel comfortable in the process. So working face-to-face with those in the field gives you experience like no other.
Regardless, other options are available for obtaining your degree, or your certification.
It’s important to have certification as a medical assistant as well since you need credibility in order to have the best job opportunities. Be sure to watch out for accredited education sources through the Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.
By making sure your certified course is from the above organizations, you’ll have major clout on your resume when applying for jobs. Certification in general helps get your foot in the door, with secondary school for your degree a good plan to expand your income.
It’s worth your time to read up about your certification exam through the American Association of Medical Assistants. Keep in mind you’ll likely have to take a certification course again later to keep your skills up to date.
Many people now turn to online learning when it comes to all careers. You also have this option for a medical assistant career, though it can have the disadvantage of not having on-site learning. In many cases, people combine online and on-site education for at least some on-site lab work.
Places like U.S. Career Institute offer online medical assistant courses that are much more interactive than online learning once was.
Training with a Doctor
Once in a while, a physician will offer to train a medical assistant on the job, which is sometimes the best way of learning. Nevertheless, most doctors prefer hiring assistants with formal education and some real-world experience. Then again, if you can find a physician willing to train you, don’t hesitate since learning while doing is the best way as you work with patients.