5 Steps to Becoming a Medical Assistant

Interested in working in healthcare and helping people? Consider becoming a medical assistant, which will give you a career working hands-on to help patients. Medical assistants work alongside a doctor in a healthcare facility to take a patient’s vitals, assist the physicians with exams, take blood and prepare samples for the lab, schedule appointments, and even give injections according to doctor’s orders.

It’s a fast growing field too, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting a 29-percent increase in jobs between now and 2022. According to PayScale, the average salary for a medical assistant is $29,843 per year, with a reported salary range of $20,871 to $37,337.

If it sounds like the right job for you, here are 5 steps you need to take to become a medical assistant.

Education

In order to become a medical assistant you will want to make sure you take anatomy, biology, chemistry, and anatomy courses in high school to build a foundation of medical knowledge.

Post-Secondary Education

Once you have graduated high school, or have an equivalent degree, you will want to enroll in a certification program or an undergraduate program, which can usually be completed in about 1 to 2 years. Most medical assistants hold an associate’s degree, but requirements vary based on the state in which you plan to work.

Licensure and Certification

There is a number of certification exams that you might need to pass to become a medical assistant, depending on the job or what state you live and work in. Do your research before starting your job hunt to figure out if you need to become licensed or certified before you can get hired as a medical assistant.

Job Search

Once you have completed your education you will want to start your job search. Using resources such as Monster, you can connect with healthcare recruiters and job openings around the country to find the right position.

Training

Luckily, medical assistants can oftentimes get on the job training directly from a physician and other medical assistants. You will learn medical terminology, how to interact with patients, and what is expected of you to help a medical facility run its day-to-day operations.

Don't forget to check out openings on Monster to find medical assistant jobs in your area.