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Medical assistant training in Joplin, MO, Medical assistant certification in Joplin, MO

Medical Assistant Career Profile - Joplin, MO

For those looking for a career field where industry growth is predicted to be strong over the next decade, a medical assistant career may be an ideal choice. Increasing demand for healthcare means that many doctors need additional assistants. This is encouraging news for those who seek an education in preparation for a medical assistant career.

Job Outlook and Salary for Medical Assistants

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has a several positive things to say about the medical assistant career field. The healthcare industry is growing and shows no signs of stopping. There are many contributing factors to this situation, but the BLS lists three in particular that are contributing to medical assistant demand:

  • Baby-boomers are getting older, meaning they need more and more medical care. Doctors providing this care need medical assistants to meet this need.
  • Doctors are adopting electronic medical records, which means they need helping hands to make the transition. Properly trained medical assistants are perfect for this task.
  • Federal legislation dictates that an increasing number of people get health insurance, which will increase demand for medical care. Doctors will meet this demand, but they will need medical assistants to help them do so.

These factors help explain why the outlook for medical assistant jobs is so bright. Some of the most important facts about medical assistant job growth include:

  • A projected growth in the employment of medical assistants of 29% from 2012 through 2022.
  • This is considered much higher than average compared to other occupations.
  • The median annual pay in 2013 for medical assistants in the United State was $29,600 and the median hour pay was $14.24.
  • The mean annual pay for medical assistants in Joplin, MO in 2013 was $24,500 and the mean hourly pay was $11.76.

While the salary for medical assistants in Joplin may be less than the national median, it is important to remember that cost of living can vary significantly from city to city. According to www.city-data.com as of July 2014, the estimated per capita income in Joplin is $22,671. Medical assistants in the area make over slightly more than this.

Outline of Career Path

Medical assistants can all expect to work under supervision when they first leave school. Like any job, it is necessary to learn the ropes from a more experienced person at the beginning. It is also important to learn how a particular doctor's office or medical organization prefers to do things – each will be slightly different. Once the medical assistant becomes more comfortable in the position it is possible to explore a range of specializations, some requiring further education, including:

  • Medical administrative assistant
  • Nursing assistant
  • Medical billing specialist
  • Pharmacy aid
  • Nurse

Each medical provider strives to deliver quality care while maintaining efficiency and keeping down costs. A well-trained medical assistant helps immensely with this mission, which is why those with a strong educational background are sought after. 

Education and Training for Medical Assistants

Those that are interested in becoming medical assistants early on can begin preparing as early as high school. High school diplomas are a necessity for entering the field and students can focus on biology, chemistry and anatomy to better prepare for further education. Upon graduation, they can enter into either a diploma or degree program at a college or university.

There are several paths to becoming a medical assistant, including:

  • Trade Schools and Vocational Schools – One can seek diplomas or degrees through one of these organizations, typically over the course of one to two years.
  • Community Colleges or Universities – These offer associate's degrees in the field, which typically take about two years to complete.

Which way a person chooses to go can depend on several factors, including available time, financial resources and career goals. However, it is always advisable to seek education from a respected organization. Getting the best education possible will make the student more desirable to employers and better capable of doing good work when employed.

Certification is also recommended for all medical assistants. Employers prefer to hire certified medical assistants for obvious reasons. One can get certified by taking and passing an exam through one of five accredited organizations.

Resources for Medical Assistants

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