medical assistant jobs

Medical Assistant Jobs: The Top 10 Jobs with Good Pay and Growth Opportunity

As our average age increases and technology advances, medical assistant jobs are seeing an unprecedented growth. Whether you are looking to start your career or develop it, medical assistant jobs will give you the solid foundation you need to enter the professional world. Breaking into any new career is intimidating, so we’ve compiled some information about our favorite medical assistant jobs here.

What Is a Medical Assistant?

A medical assistant performs both clerical and clinical duties, primarily to make a physician’s job easier. Medical assistants are often the first and last point of contact for the patient; they check the patient in, prepare them for the physician, and often deliver the follow-up instructions before the patients leave.

Medical assistant jobs in every field are on the rise. Do your research into the medical assistant jobs you want before applying. Some may focus more on communicating with the patient or administrative tasks, and some may require more hands-on tasks such as drawing blood or administering treatment. Most medical assistant jobs have similar duties, but actual roles vary by the ​type of position and size of the practice.

Key responsibilities

  • Greeting patients and answering basic questions
  • Keeping a clean and pleasant office space
  • Approving insurance compatibility
  • Ensuring the patient understands the procedure and their own duties
  • Compiling and updating medical histories
  • Billing and scheduling appointments
  • Ordering prescriptions
  • Assisting the physician during procedures and examinations

Education and Certification

There are different types and levels of medical assistant jobs, and the type of education required is based on the position. Some employers require their assistants to be certified by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AMAA), but there are many opportunities being offered for those without certification. Experience in an office, particularly working with scheduling and billing, can help you get your foot into the door. Entry-level positions are diverse and plentiful.

Top 10 Medical Assistant Jobs

Take your time to research each of the medical assistant jobs to find the ones you are best suited for.

Health Information Technician


Health Information Technician

Also known as medical records technicians, health information technicians manage the accuracy and upkeep of a facility’s records. They may be in charge of records for a small practice, or there could be a team of medical records techs for a larger facility, like a hospital.


Although the push for electronic record-keeping eliminates much of the complexity of filing systems, health info techs must still be thorough in order to classify records correctly. This is a great career if you are organized, pay attention to detail, and are adaptable to new technology and processes.


Overview

  • No formal education requirements
  • Emphasis on secretarial duties
  • Average pay is over $16 per hour

Dental Assistant


Dental Assistant

Dental assistants in particular are on the rise. As with any position, the job duties will vary by practice, but many of them have similar components. Dental assistants run the administrative side of the office. They file insurance records, keep patients’ histories up to date, manage patient records, and are often the friendly first face a patient will see when entering the office.


Depending on the practice, dental assistants may also provide care for the patients. Many are responsible for preparing the client for the examination or procedure. The work of a dental assistant is rewarding, as you get to ease concerns of nervous patients and help them through possibly tense procedures.


Overview

  • Depending on the practice, an associate’s degree may be required
  • Over 91,000 new jobs expected by 2022
  • Average pay is over $16 per hour

Emergency Medical Technician


Emergency Medical Technician

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) take on one of the most rewarding medical assistant jobs. EMTs require only a basic understanding of sicknesses and injuries. They receive comprehensive training on handling a diverse range of medical conditions. They are responsible for providing immediate and preventative care for ailing patients.


EMTs are known for saving lives and responsibly delivering them to emergency-care physicians. As an EMT, you may work for a hospital, an urgent care facility, or even a fire department. If you thrive under high-stress conditions, working as an emergency medical technician will allow you to see immediate results saving lives.


Overview

  • No formal education requirements
  • High-stress environment
  • Average pay is over $14 per hour

Occupational Therapy Aide


Occupational Therapy Aide

Occupational therapists work with patients recovering from, or coping with, physical injuries or disabilities. They use basic, repetitive physical tasks to improve patients’ strength and mobility. Occupational therapy aides help facilitate the work of those physicians.


Like most medical assistant jobs, they are expected to handle administrative duties to help the practice run smoothly. Additional duties include assisting with the actual therapeutic exercises and monitoring improvement in patients. Most occupational therapy patients are long-term, and it is great work watching them improve and motivating them.


Overview

  • Some practices may require an Associate’s Degree
  • Often hands-on work with real-time results
  • Average pay is over $20 per hour

Dispensing Optician


Dispensing Optician

Dispensing opticians get to work more with customers and patients than other medical assistant jobs are able to do. These professionals design lenses and fill prescriptions and are also responsible for record-keeping and administrative upkeep.


Dispensing opticians will receive training and must be familiar with the product but do not need any special degrees. They cover orders and service customers who need help with everything from eyeglass repairs to general knowledge. You may schedule follow-ups with patients or call them once their prescription is filled.


Overview

  • No formal education requirements
  • Hands-on work
  • Average pay is over $16 per hour

Radiology Technologist


Radiology Technologist

Radiology techs work with radiologists. The techs administer standard tests (like MRIs, CAT Scans) which aide radiologists in diagnosing and treating ailments.


Radiology techs are not required to research the results of the tests or treat the patients. They will prepare the patients for testing, let them know what to expect, and ease their concerns. This position is a great stepping-stone into a larger role.


Overview

  • Techs hoping to advance in radiology should have an Associate’s degree
  • Medical expertize not required
  • Average pay is over $26 per hour

Laboratory Animal Caretaker


Laboratory Animal Caretaker

This position is the obvious choice for animal-lovers and aspiring veterinarians. Pet clinics and veterinarians require a lot of work beyond just diagnosing and caring for pets. There are caretakers who keep the animals fed, exercised, and hygienic.


Caring for animals is not for everyone. Some practices may also expect you to administer treatments to sick pets. But if you love pets, this is a uniquely rewarding position. You will get to work with families’ loved ones and deliver them back safe and sound.


Overview

  • No formal education requirements
  • Work with animals every day
  • Average pay is about $11 per hour

Phlebotomist


Phlebotomist

A phlebotomist is responsible for drawing blood. Many places have need of these medical assistants, whether the blood is to test, to research, or even to donate. These professionals must have superb communication skills as they will work one-on-one with uneasy patients of all ages.


As for training, phlebotomist jobs do not require anything formal. You must have a decent grasp on how the actual equipment works, but your employer will train you.


Overview

  • No formal education requirements
  • Work with patients directly
  • Average pay is over $14 per hour

Pharmacist Technician


Pharmacist Technician

Pharmacists dispense prescriptions to patients based on physician’s orders and needs. Most pharmacists have technicians, or techs, to assist with daily operations. Techs do not need an in-depth knowledge of medications and drugs: just the names and general uses. Many aspiring pharmacists will work as a pharmacy tech during their studies. Training is provided on-the-job, so no special degree is required.


Most pharmacy techs will also handle secretarial duties, such as communicate with patients, physicians, and hospitals. Your assistance will allow the pharmacist to complete more orders and help more patients.


Overview

  • No formal education requirements
  • Entry-level position with opportunities to move upward
  • Average pay is over $14 per hour

Physician’s Assistant


Physician’s Assistant

When it comes to medical assistant jobs, physician’s assistant (PA) is likely the one that comes to mind. Despite this, it is one of the most advanced, and requires the most training. PAs work directly under a practicing physician to diagnose and treat basic injuries. Most PAs are medical students training to be a physician themselves.


While this one is not an entry-level position, it is an end-goal for many medical assistants. Many medical assistant jobs are well-suited for students working towards being a physician or physician’s assistant. Keep this one in mind for later on in your career. If your chosen position ends up being your dream job, physician's assistant may be right for you.


Overview

  • Graduate degree in Medicine usually required
  • Great fit for students and hopeful physicians
  • Average pay is above $43 per hour

Conclusion

Now is a great time to start your career as a medical assistant. More medical assistant jobs are hiring than ever before, and this trend will only continue. Whether you are looking for something to supplement you while you are in school, or you are looking for your new career, our list is the perfect place to get started.

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