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 Medical assistant training in Oklahoma City, Medical assistant certification in Oklahoma City

Medical Assistant Career Profile - Oklahoma City

Seeking a medical assistant education may be an excellent way to tap into a growing industry. With substantial growth projected over the coming decade, those with the right education and experience can expect to have good job opportunities and room for advancement for years to come.

Job Outlook and Salary for Medical Assistants

The news is good for those interested in becoming medical assistants. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the industry is growing and expected to continue to do so for some time. Specifically, the BLS states that:

  • Employment of medical assistants is expected to grow by 29% over the decade from 2012 through 2022.
  • The BLS considers this growth to be much faster than average compared to other careers in the country.
  • In 2013 the median annual pay for medical assistants in the United States was $29,600 and the median hourly pay was $14.24.
  • In 2013 the median annual pay for medical assistants in Oklahoma City was $25,100 and the median hourly pay was $12.08.

The BLS points out that the median annual pay is an indication of the middle ground in pay for the profession. Approximately half of all U.S. medical assistants make more than this and half make less. While Oklahoma City medical assistants make less than the national average, it should be noted that they still make slightly more than the latest estimated per capita income for workers in Oklahoma City, according to City Data.

Reasons for Substantial Growth

It is no mystery that the healthcare industry is growing. However, the BLS does have some things to say regarding why the medical assistant career field is growing along with it. These factors include:

  • Recent federal legislation is predicted to increase the amount of people covered by health insurance. These people are likely going to seek more medical care now that it has become more affordable for them.
  • An aging baby-boomer population is needing an increasing amount of medical care. Doctors need medical assistants to help them provide this care.

Doctors are changing over their record keeping systems from paper to electronic. This transition to electronic health records takes great deal of work, work that medical assistants are perfectly equipped to do. 

Outline of Career Path

Qualified medical assistants have a number of different options for specialization and advancement depending on the interest, skills and educational background. Options will also vary based on the needs of the doctor's office or healthcare organization the medical assistant works for.

A few of the different career paths that medical assistants might pursue, some after pursuing further education, include:

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

The great thing about working as a medical assistant is that it builds a solid foundation for any number of pursuits in the healthcare industry. Although each organization does things a little differently, the standards of healthcare remain largely the same across organizations.

Understanding these standards and making them second-nature can assist individuals in pursuing a variety of different career paths.

Education and Training for Medical Assistants

Although there are quite a few paths to becoming a medical assistant, the necessity for education remains a constant. A high school diploma is required to pursue further education and employment. For students interested in this career early on, taking biology, anatomy and chemistry classes is advisable. However, with or without these classes, a high school diploma is still required.

Beyond high school, individuals have the option of going to a trade school, vocational school, college or university to further their education. These schools will offer a medical assistant diploma or degree program , or both. A diploma typically takes a year to obtain, while an associate's degree will take two years.

Which a person chooses to pursue will depend on financial resources and time available for schooling. However, students should pay attention to the quality of the school they plan to attend and seek out schools the offer education respected by the industry.

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