Your Path from Education to Job Search
If you’ve recently pondered how to become a certified medical assistant, you’ve placed yourself in a position to have one of the most rewarding careers available today. You’ve no doubt heard that anything in the health care industry is a solid career choice, though perhaps thought it only applied to those with doctorates. A medical assistant works with doctors quite closely, similarly to a nurse. The only difference is that a medical assistant helps explain medical procedures and makes patients feel more comfortable in outpatient clinics or in care facilities.
It’s also one of the fastest growing careers in the health care field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that medical assistant jobs will grow by 29% over the coming decade. Pay is also good to excellent, with starting wages around $14 an hour, then going up considerably depending on your experience level.
As with all careers, your education level makes a big difference. Getting certified for a medical assistant job takes a little time. However, it doesn’t take quite as much time as it would a doctorate. Also, some alternatives to education are possible today so you have more personal training that physicians prefer.
Afterward, looking for a medical assistant job requires some ingenuity in where you’ll land your first job as well as particular interview techniques.
It’s possible to land a medical assistant job with just a high school diploma. These don’t pay as much, yet it’s one of the only health care jobs available where you don’t necessarily need college. For a true professional salary, it’s best to get certification for your medical assistant career. Keep in mind that many certification courses are available, but you should seek only those accredited.
Find training only from those accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. These organizations both assure your training is accurate and teaches you what’s required as a true professional.
If you don’t want to wait long for your education to complete, the good news is that certification takes only about a year or less. Associate degrees are also possible in community colleges or universities in less than a couple of years.
You won’t have any challenges finding medical assistant courses based on how plentiful they are due to the demand. Even online courses are available now, despite in-person training being much better. Many students now combine the two due to time reasons. The combination option is best because it still gives you a chance to focus on family time while completing assignments in an on-site lab.
Personal interaction is very important in a medical assistant job because you’ll be working closely with doctors and patients in understanding and explaining medical procedures. Teaching superior communication skills is always part of the training.
Some doctors now provide on-the-job training for medical assistant jobs. It’s something worth investigating, despite certification being preferred by most top medical clinics.
Seeking Your First Job
Thanks to medical assistant jobs being so plentiful, you’ll find plenty of opportunity in every town or city. Regardless, every clinic has their own mission and approach to how they run things. It’s best to research what they want and tweak your resume to fit their values.
You should also use certain keywords in your resume that relate to the medical industry so they capture attention. Emphasize your skills that you’ve just acquired in college and use the right medical terminology you know will impress.
In interviews, you’ll be asked many questions to prove your worth. Most of those will relate to asking about your hard skills, your practical experience, plus how well you communicate with patients. By answering these honestly and thoroughly, you’re guaranteed to make a good first impression.
With so many careers not lasting nowadays, you’ll feel proud in knowing you picked a career that’s expected to stay in demand likely forever. As the Baby Boom generation ages, you’ll be at the forefront in caring for those people as they require more health care than ever.