The job market for medical assistants has been showing a stable and consistent growth over the last few years. A Medical Assistant is a trained and qualified individual that provides assistance to nurses and physicians with administrative and medical tasks. A large majority of medical assistants are hired to work in doctor clinics as more and more doctors are now utilizing medical assistants to save time and provide optimal patient care. Some medical assistants are also hired to work in hospitals.
While this job segment is on the growth path, it is important to understand that chances of success as a medical assistant is greatly dependent on your qualification and skill. For those interested in acquiring the necessary education, there are two options available. They can either enroll in an accredited school that offers a two-year associate degree or they could opt for a one year medical assistant certificate. In any case, it is important to ensure that whichever program you enroll in, it is comprehensive enough to train you on basic medical terminology, billing, administration, first aid, math and science as these are the most essential skills you will be required to demonstrate in the workplace.
When making a selection between a 2 year associate degree and a one year certificate, there are several factors that you could consider. First, you need to know how many months you can actually commit to become a qualified medical assistant. You need to understand that a medical assistant program (whether a degree or a certificate) can be quite demanding and is generally very intense. You will have to spend hours studying and will also be required to complete internships and voluntary placements to gain practical experience. Therefore, if you decide to become a Medical Assistant, your decision needs to be firm. In addition, you also have to evaluate whether an online medical assistant program more suits your need or will an on-campus program be more useful for you.
Second, you need to conduct an informal survey of the medical assistant job market in your area. You need to gauge the preferences of the employers in your area and determine whether your chances of success would be higher with an Associate Program or will you still be on an equal footing with other candidates with a one year certificate. Be sure to do your research for other areas as well if you plan to relocate or start off your medical assistant career in a new state. Browse through job ads for medical assistants. That will help you see what employers are looking for and what skills and educational background they generally require from applicants.
Overall, the job market for Medical Assistants is showing a positive growth and if you are interested in this career path, this is the ideal time for you to improve your qualification and skills.