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 Medical assistant training in Des Moines, Medical assistant certification in Des Moines

Medical Assistant Career Profile - Des Moines

For those that desire a career path with above-average growth potential, the medical assistant field may be an excellent choice. The growing health industry is hiring medical assistants in substantial numbers and this pattern is not expected to change anytime soon. This is excellent news for those who want a career that allows them to help others.

Job Outlook and Salary for Medical Assistants

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has a positive outlook for medical assistants. Analyzing data from across the country, the BLS indicates:

  • Projected growth in employment of medical assistants of 29% over the period from 2012 through 2022.
  • This growth is above average compared to other careers.
  • In 2013 the median pay for medical assistants in the United States was $29,600 per year and the median hourly pay for medical assistants was $14.24.
  • In 2013 the median pay for medical assistants in Des Moines was $31,800 and the median hourly pay was $15.29.

This information is especially encouraging for individuals considering a medical assistant career in Des Moines.

Reasons for Impressive Growth

The BLS lists several factors for this impressive growth in the industry, including:

  • A rise in baby-boomers needing medical care. They are aging and need increased amounts of care, services provided by doctors that hire medical assistants.
  • Federal legislation requiring health insurance coverage. More people are going to be insured and will therefore likely seek more medical care from the healthcare industry.

Electronic health records are becoming standard. Doctors need capable medical assistants to help with this transition.


Outline of Career Path

There are so many options for medical assistants that it is difficult to map a standard career path for those entering the industry. The progression of one's career will depend on the person's interests, talents and the company that one works for. However, there are some common progressions:

  • Medical assistants typically leave school to take entry-level positions. This means working under supervision and learning the basics of the company one works for.
  • Certification is preferred in the industry. Although not required, employers prefer to hire assistants that have been certified through one of five accredited organizations. Certification typically requires taking an exam after graduating from an accredited medical assistant program.

With further education medical assistants may choose to become nurses, medical records technicians, medical billing specialists, nursing assistants, pharmacy aids and many other options.

Education and Training for Medical Assistants

All medical assistants must have high school diplomas, and it is preferred that medical assistants have some form of education in the industry. This can include a degree or certification from:

  • Technical schools
  • Community colleges
  • Universities
  • Vocational schools

One can usually obtain a diploma in about a year, while an associate's degree will typically take two years. There are advantages to each path and which a person chooses will depend on the time he or she has available for schooling and the amount of money he or she wants to spend on education.

There are a number of different options for seeking medical assistant education, but it is important to note that not all schools are equal. The better the education the better prepared the student will be to work in the industry and the more competitive he or she will be in the job market. Quality programs are known to provide the necessary education one needs to pursue a career in the medical assistant field.

Whatever particular route a person takes, individuals will most likely find it helpful to obtain a respected education and gain a medical assistant certification before seeking employment. While it is possible to still get a job without these things, it will be much more difficult and one may not be as capable of doing a quality job once hired.

Resources for Medical Assistants

  • United States Bureau of Labor
  • Career One Stop (sponsored by the United State Bureau of Labor)
  • American Association of Medical Assistants