25 Reasons Why Becoming a Medical Assistant is a Good Career Choice
Written By: Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN
Think you want to be a medical assistant? Well, you are not alone. A medical assistant is a great career choice for people who want to help others, and there are plenty of reasons why a medical assistant is a career that you can be proud of. There are a million factors to think about when it comes to deciding if becoming a medical assistant is a good career choice. So, I am sure you now have the question of, is becoming a medical assistant a good career choice? Well, I am here to help you answer that question. Below you will find the 25 top reasons why becoming a medical assistant is a great career choice. These 25 reasons will help you decide if this is a career for you.
WHY BECOMING A MEDICAL ASSISTANT IS A GOOD CAREER CHOICE?
(Here are the 25 top reasons why becoming a medical assistant is a great career choice.)
1. You will have an in-demand career.
Becoming a medical assistant is a good career choice because it is an in-demand career with many opportunities. The demand for medical assistants is expected to increase by 18.9 percent between 2020 and 2030, which is faster than average compared to other occupations. The benefits of having an in-demand career are that you have good job security, more career choices, and higher pay. This sounds like a great advantage to me and a smart career move for you.
2. Your requirements to enter the career are minimum.
The educational requirements for those who want to pursue a medical assistant career are not long and dragged out. You will be able to take two routes. These routes are an associate's degree or diploma. You should consider a program that is accredited by a nationally recognized certifying body, such as Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
3. Your training period is not that long.
One of the top reasons why becoming a medical assistant is a good career choice is because of its short training period. The training requirements for a medical assistant are relatively short, which means that you can get started working earlier on your career without losing too much time. You will also be able to get out there and start earning money sooner. A medical assistant program can range anywhere from 6 to 24 months, with the most common option being the 2-year program. You can find these programs in junior colleges, vocational-technical schools, and traditional campus-based and online universities and colleges.
4. You may be able to take some of your courses online.
Some people may find that learning remotely online is a better fit for them. Other people may find that they learn better at their own pace. When pursuing your education as a medical assistant, you will have the option to learn on an online platform. There are several reasons why this is an excellent choice for medical assistants, including the fact that it will allow you the flexibility to work around your home and professional life while still being able to get a quality education that can help you advance your career simultaneously. Learning online means that you can complete your work at your own pace, and you will not have to choose which is more important to you, school or your personal life.
5. You can work in a variety of settings.
Becoming a medical assistant is a great career choice because you can work in various settings; medical assistants are needed in many different work environments. Here are some examples of career settings available for medical assistants: hospital-based clinics, physician offices, public health agencies, outpatient care centers, nursing homes, and rehabilitation facilities. Having so many choices of work environments means that you can find the best fit for you and work in a setting that makes you happy.
6. You can have a flexible work schedule.
As a medical assistant, you can have a flexible work schedule. There are many time slots to fill for working as a medical assistant. These time slots are not limited to weekdays or weekends either. You can choose to work an early morning shift, a night shift after dinner, or a weekend shift. The beauty of having a flexible schedule is that you can balance your work life and social life.
7. Your day will be filled with a variety.
A medical assistant's day is filled with variety. Every patient may require different tasks and responsibilities on your daily list, depending on that patient's needs. Having a day filled with variety is not always easy, but it does make life enjoyable. Some days will be filled with administrative duties, while others will be filled with direct patient care. On some occasions, it may be a mix of both. As a medical assistant, you may wear many hats throughout the day, but one thing is for sure, you will not be bored.
8. You can make the leap to another healthcare profession.
As a medical assistant, you will possess the knowledge base that will help you excel as another healthcare professional should you choose to take the leap. As a medical assistant, you will be exposed to direct patient care, health education, administrative duties, and record keeping. Some examples of advanced healthcare careers you could choose are nursing or surgical technician. You will already have a great foundation to excel because of your medical assistant training.
9. You may be able to receive tuition reimbursement.
One of the top reasons why becoming a medical assistant is a great career choice is because of the educational opportunities available to you. As a medical assistant, you may be able to receive tuition reimbursement from your employer. This means if you want to advance your career, your employer will essentially pay for it. Tuition reimbursement as an employee benefit can make your career goals more attainable.
10. You will have a stable income.
Working as a medical assistant will provide you with a stable income. Imagine this for a moment, knowing that you will receive a paycheck on time every month and know the amount of that paycheck. You can relax and know that your bills are paid, and you will not be faced with the financial stress of not having enough money to pay your bills. This is what working as a medical assistant provides: stability.
11. You can increase your salary with overtime.
One of the benefits of being a medical assistant is that you will be able to earn overtime if you are looking to increase your salary. The opportunity to earn overtime is not offered to all professions. Working more than 40-hours/week will result in earning a higher salary.
12. You can work holidays for extra money.
As a medical, you can work holidays and earn extra money. Working holidays may give you an increased hourly rate in the healthcare setting. Working holidays will really increase your salary. As a medical person, working holidays will be very satisfying and rewarding once you see your paycheck.
13. You may receive health benefits.
One of the reasons why becoming a medical assistant is a good career choice is the medical benefits. Medical assistants may receive health benefits for themselves and their families. Because medical assistants are considered to be an essential part of the healthcare team, they may also receive free flu shots and discounted gym memberships to name a few.
14. You will get paid time off.
Becoming a medical assistant is a great career choice because you could receive paid time off. When you are sick or taking care of immediate family members, you can take advantage of your paid time off benefits. In addition, if you simply feel ill or need to stay home from work for a day, the paid time off benefit is a be a blessing.
15. You will work in an active work environment.
A medical assistant is a career that will keep you on your feet. If you are looking for a job where you will constantly be moving, there are few industries as fast-paced as health care. Because of this, if you enjoy staying active and meeting new people, becoming a medical assistant could be a good idea.
16. You will be helping people.
One of the biggest reasons why becoming a medical assistant is a great career choice is because you are helping people. Whether it is to get your patients feeling better or just by making them feel comfortable, whatever reason it is, being able to help someone else makes you want to be better at your job every day.
17. You can become certified.
As a medical assistant, you will have the opportunity to become certified. Earning Certification will open doors for your career and increase your chances of earning more money. You will be seen as an expert in your field.
The American Association of Medical Assistants offers the prestigious CMA certification for medical assistants. Through other bodies you can also get certified as either a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), or Certified Clinical Medical Administrative Assistant (CCMA).
18. You can work in any state.
As a medical assistant, you can work in any state. Your license is suitable anywhere, and there are plenty of openings for medical assistants across the country. The annual number of jobs available for a medical assistant by the year 2030 is projected to be 104,400. This number accounts for both the new and replacement jobs.
19. You could take a travel contract.
Becoming a medical assistant is a good career choice because you get to see the world while making money. As a travel medical assistant, you get paid for traveling the world and experiencing different cultures. You could go to numerous places because there are medical offices everywhere. You may get to spend the summer in California or some wintertime in Hawaii if that is what you want.
20. You could work full time or part-time.
As a medical assistant, you will have the option to work full-time or part-time. This is because the demand for medical assistants outweighs their availability in the workforce. Having the opportunity to work full-time or part-time is always a good thing because it allows you to decide what works best for you and your lifestyle. You will not feel like you are sacrificing.
21. You could work more than one job.
As a medical assistant, your schedule may allow for you to work more than one job. If your schedule allows for it, you may be able to work one job full-time and one job part-time. Think of all the money you could be making.
22. You could work from home.
If you like to work independently and from home, then a medical assistant job is probably for you. You could also choose to do both, eventually using your skills as a solo practitioner finally making the transition to the home office. While it might require some training, it can be done and can really give you more flexibility in terms of time and money.
23. You could teach
Another one of the reasons why becoming a medical assistant is a good career choice is because you can teach. You will be able to instruct the next generation of medical assistants. You will be able to make a great living all the while working a school calendar.
24. You can choose what population you want to work with
As a medical assistant, you will be able to choose the patient population that you want to work with. Maybe pediatrics is your forte, or perhaps you feel that adults give you a sense of security; either way, there is a position out there for you.
25. You are considered the right-hand man.
One of the biggest reasons becoming a medical assistant is a good career choice is because you will be known as the right-hand man of your doctor. You will be their go-to person when it comes to everything. Your position in the healthcare team is so valuable. The day could not run smoothly without you. This is why a medical assistant career path is so great!
Medical assistants are the backbone of every medical office. Not only do they help patients get to where they need to go, but they also perform everyday tasks that keep an office running smoothly.
7 Reasons That Make Medical Assistant A Not So Good Career Choice
1. You may have long work hours
As a medical assistant, you may have to work long hours, which can seriously affect your health and social life. Working long hours may also leave you exhausted and stressed.
2. Your job may be stressful
One of the downsides to choosing a career as a medical assistant is that you may have a stressful job at times. In spite of the rewards that come from having chosen such a position, medical assistants may find themselves with an endless load of duties to perform as well as dealing with people on a regular basis.
3. You will find that being a medical assistant is not a lucrative career
As a medical assistant, you will not precisely find yourself in the highest paying job. According to the bureau of labor and statistics, the average annual income for a medical assistant is $36,930. Depending on where you live, this salary may only make ends meet. In some areas, the cost of living is quite high.
4. You can easily be sued
As a medical assistant, you can be sued for more than you may think. It is essential to know that you can also be sued if someone files a lawsuit against your medical practice. Anyone involved with the patient at the time of injury, including the medical assistant, could be included in this lawsuit.
5. You could get a needle stick
One of the most commonly feared parts of a medical assistant's job is the risk of getting a needle stick. Incurring a needle stick injury can be a terrifying and frustrating experience. You may contract an illness through the needle stick. That is pretty scary.
6. You will have restricted job responsibilities
A medical assistant will have restricted job responsibilities. These limited job responsibilities may be related to a medical assistant's experience, education level attained, and/or state license. Having restricted job responsibilities may make your job difficult at times.
7. You will have a ton of job responsibilities
A medical assistant will have numerous job responsibilities that will need to be completed throughout the workday. Some of the critical tasks that will need to be completed include greeting patients, taking vital signs, completing medical history forms, and setting appointments for new patients.
A medical assistant may also need to help doctors with clinical procedures such as injections, placing orders for lab tests, and scheduling x–rays. You will also be responsible for completing many clerical tasks such as typing medical reports and patient files.
BONUS! 6 Ways To Know If Becoming a Medical Assistant Is The Right Career Choice For You
1. You can work with a medical assistant for a day.
One of the best ways to know if this career is right for you is to work with a medical assistant for the day. When you shadow a medical assistant, it will really give you a good idea about what the position will entail.
2. You can research the job through blogs.
Taking to the internet and searching blogs of those who are already in the medical assistant position will let you read about the good, the bad, and the ugly. You will see firsthand the experiences those in the profession are going through.
3. You could visit a medical assistant program for a day
Observing the ins and outs of a medical assistant program will allow you to envision if this is the place you should be. You will get to experience the courses you will have to take to pursue this career. What better than to see if this is the right career for you than to spend a day walking in the shoes of a medical assistant student.
4. You could pick the brain of a medical assistant.
They always say that knowledge is power. What better way than using that power of knowledge than picking the brain of somebody who is already a medical assistant. When you choose to pick the brain of a medical assistant, you will be able to have your most pertinent questions answered. This will really help you decide if you should venture down this path.
5. You could explore the pros and cons of the job.
If you really want to determine if this is the best career path for you, you should compile all of the pros and cons of this job. By weighing these pros and cons, you will be able to gain an obvious picture.
6. You could work as a volunteer and observe a medical assistant.
Being a volunteer in the healthcare environment will enable you to observe the career path firsthand. A volunteer will be able to see the nitty-gritty of the job requirement of this career. This may be a game-changer for you.
My Final Thoughts
So, there you have it, 25 top reasons why becoming a medical assistant is a great career choice. If you are still on the fence and you are still asking yourself, is becoming a medical assistant a good career choice, hopefully, this article has helped sway your decision. Being a medical assistant is a challenging and rewarding field with plenty of job security and growth potential. So, did any of these 25 reasons appeal to you? If so, medical assistant may just be the perfect career for you!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT
1. Where Do The Majority Of Medical Assistants Work?
Being a medical assistant is an extremely versatile career. You are able to work in many settings. You will find the majority of medical assistants, approximately 404,670 of them working in physician offices. In the hospital setting, you will find 106,290 medical assistants. 59,610 medical assistants are working in the outpatient care setting while 56,810 can be found in the offices of health care practitioners. The remainder of the majority of medical assistants, 13,930 are working in continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities for the elderly.
Offices of Physicians
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
Outpatient Care Centers
Offices of Other Health Practitioners
Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
2. How Much Do Medical Assistants Make?
As a medical assistant, you can expect to earn an average hourly wage of $17.75 or $3,080 monthly. That is roughly $36,930 a year. As with many careers in the healthcare setting, your salary will increase as your experience level does. The entry-level salary for a medical assistant is $26,930 a year. This figure will break down to be $2,240 a month or $12.95 an hour. If you have 1-4 years of experience, you will be earning $14.60 an hour or $2,530 a month, which would give you an annual salary of $30,360.
Medical assistants who have 5-9 years of experience will earn $17.24 an hour or $2,990 a month. You can expect to be earning $35,850 a year with this type of experience. Once you have earned 10-19 years of experience, you will be earning an annual salary of $41,280. This figure will be $19.85 an hour or $3,440 a month. Once you have reached 20 years or more, you will be making $50,580 a year, which will work out to be an hourly wage of $24.32 or $4,220.
Level of Experience
1-4 Years of Experience
5-9 Years of Experience
10-19 Years of Experience
20 Years or More Experience
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
3. What Is The Job Outlook For Medical Assistants?
In 2020 there were 720,900 medical assistants employed. This number is projected to increase to 853,500 by 2030. That is an increase of 132,600 or 18.39%. The annual job openings for medical assistants are around 104,000 and this includes both the new and replacements jobs.
Employment in 2020
Projected Employment in 2030
New Employment Growth (2020-2030)
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
4. How Many Annual Job Openings Are There For Medical Assistants?
The annual job openings for medical assistants are around 104,000 and this includes both the new and replacements jobs.
Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
5. Do Medical Assistants Make Good Money?
The answer to this question has some moving parts. The first part is that your earning potential as a medical assistant will rely on your years of experience in the field. For example, the entry-level salary is $26,930 a year and somebody with 20 or more years’ experience will have a salary of $50,580 a year.
The second aspect to consider when deciding if a medical assistant makes good money is where they live. The cost of living in certain areas of the country is pretty high. So, if you are making the salary of somebody who has been working for 20 years and lives in a state that has a low cost of living, well, then yes, a medical assistant makes good money. If you live in a state with a high cost of living, then, no a medical assistant does not make a robust living.
6. Is Medical Assisting A Dying Career?
No, medical assisting is not a dying career. Medical assisting is an in-demand career that is expected to be adding 132,600 new jobs by the year 2030. Think of it this way, there are always going to be people who will be seeking medical care which will provide you the job security that so many people are searching for.
7. Are Medical Assistants Looked Down Upon?
Medical Assistants are not looked down upon. As a medical assistant, you possess skills that other members of the healthcare team cannot perform. You will add value to the healthcare team and be an important part of ensuring the patient receives exceptional care.
8. What Careers Can Medical Assistant Lead To?
As a medical assistant, your knowledge base and training can lead to other types of employment such as a unit clerk, phlebotomist, EKG tech, surgical tech or you could work as a claims examiner or processor. If you are looking to advance your career you could be a Registered Nurse, clinical office manager, transcription supervisor, lead medical assistant or clinical team lead, executive medical office secretary, medical records or office manager, medical assistant instructor, or a healthcare administrator.
9. Why Is Medical Assistant Pay So Low?
Typically, the low salaries that medical assistants are given is due to the low level of qualifications needed for the work they perform. The level of experience that the medical assistant has will also affect their salary. For example, an entry-level salary for a medical assistant is $26,930.
10. Who Pays Most For Medical Assistants?
A medical assistant’s salary will be impacted by the state that they are working in. The states with the highest salary for medical assistance are California ($53,960), Alaska ($46,610), Washington ($45,700), District of Columbia ($45,340), Massachusetts ($43,090), Minnesota ($43,090), and Alaska ($46,610).
11. Which Is Better CMA Or CNA?
One job is not better than the other. This is completely up to personal preference. So, one person may find that a CMA is better, whereas another may feel that a career as a CNA is better.
12. What Pays More, CNA Or Medical Assistant?
A certified medical assistant will earn a higher salary than a certified nursing assistant. The average annual salary for a CMA is $36,930, whereas the average annual salary for a CNA is $32,050. That is a difference of $4,800. That is around a 400-dollar difference a month.
13. What Type Of Medical Assistant Makes The Most Money?
A certified medical assistant will earn the most amount of money. Earning your certification will increase your wage. As a CMA you can expect an hourly rate of $18.04 or $3,130 a month. That would mean that you would be earning an annual salary of $37,525.
Certified Medical Assistant
14. What Does A Medical Assistant Do In A Hospital?
In the hospital setting the common duties of the medical assistant are, getting the patient in and out of bed, transporting the patient around the hospital, assisting the patient with toileting, bathing and grooming. You will also find them serving meals and helping feed patients who are unable to feed themselves. In the clerical setting of the hospital, the duties of the medical assistant will include, management of the electronic health records, scheduling appointments, getting and giving information needed for providers, processing insurance claims, billing, and managing inventory and supplies.
15. Is A Career As A Medical Assistant Recession-Proof?
Yes, a career as a medical assistant is recession-proof. There are always going to be sick people who will need care. As a medical assistant, you will help care for the patient in the clinical setting or you will be managing the clerical aspect of the care that the patient received. In a nutshell, you will never have to worry that your job will be in jeopardy should a recession arise.
16. Is Medical Assisting A Good Career For Someone Who Hates Blood?
Yes, because the beauty of being a medical assistant is if you are somebody who does not like blood, well, then you can work in the clerical component of the career. Working as a medical assistant in the clerical sense means that you will be dealing with office matters and not blood.
17. Is Medical Assisting Boring?
No, medical assisting is not boring. As a medical assistant, no two days will ever be the same. Healthcare is a dynamic and ever-changing field. This means you will not be able to get bored because there will always be something new to see and something new to do.
18. Are Medical Assistants Happy?
As with any career out there, you will find some people who are extremely happy with their choice of choosing a career as a medical assistant and who are loving every minute of their workday. On the other hand, you will also find medical assistants who are not happy in their careers who are considering a career move. Remember your happiness depends on nobody but yourself.
(PLEASE NOTE THE DUTIES OF A MEDICAL ASSISTANT MAY VARY BY STATE)
Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN Jennifer Schlette is a registered nurse in pediatric critical care in New York City. She is the former Director of Undergraduate Nursing at a college located in New York. After obtaining her BSN from the College of Mount Saint Vincent, she went on to complete her MSN.