Harper Mac — Not every job in the medical field demands years of education and a high stress tolerance. If years in med school isn’t your thing, a career as a medical assistant might be the right approach. Medical assistant positions don’t require anything near the education demands of doctors, but you get the opportunity to work alongside physicians, nurses and other professional staff while receiving on-the-job training.
And in doing so, you can also earn a great income and enjoy great job stability over the years. Plus, if you have a heart for helping others, you will receive personal satisfaction that an office job or some other position won’t be able to provide.
With that in mind, here are some things to consider as you mull over the idea of a career as a medical assistant.
Medical assistants: The benefits
One of the most alluring benefits is the income level relative to the education requirements. Medical assistants require far less time in a classroom, and other experience and/or training may increase your income-earning prospects. And while the average income is around $28,000 per year, some medical assistants earn much higher than that.
Medical assistants also get to work in an active environment like a hospital or clinic. While being more physically active than many other jobs, the position isn’t physically demanding, and it still requires the use of your brain as you perform a variety of routines throughout the day, which can help guard against the monotony and boredom that affects many jobs. And a huge benefit is the mobility of the position. Medical assistants are in need all across the country; so if you decide to move somewhere else, you should be able to find work at a different medical institution soon enough.
The numbers are very encouraging for anyone looking at a career as a medical assistant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to increase by 31 percent between 2010 and 2020 – a rate greatly exceeding the average growth rate among all jobs. That’s an additional 163,000 medical assistant positions opening up in a 10-year period, creating huge job demand that should keep you well-employed.
And your income will likely be determined by your area of specialty, in addition to other factors like cost-of-living in your area. If you choose to specialize, you might be able to create greater earning potential by becoming a more valuable assistant in the medical field.
Pursuing a career as a medical assistant
Some medical assistant positions only require a high school diploma, but extra education can be a big boon. In fact, some medical assistant schooling programs offer quick, efficient training that better prepares you for the job and could serve as an advantage over other applicants. You will likely receive on-the-job training once you start the position, but some extra training ahead of time could demonstrate initiative and ambition, and it could give you a leg up over your competition.
Medical assistants have the luxury of working in a field where job growth is very stable, protecting it to some degree from the ups and downs of the economy. Between this and the dynamic, challenging work environment, many intelligent individuals are drawn to this position. If you have a passion for medicine and/or helping people, you might want to take a long, hard look at what a medical assistant career can offer you.
About the Author
Lindsey Harper Mac is a writer and editor living in Indianapolis. She specializes in writing about education, social media and technology.