Medical Assistant Career Profile - Quincy, IL
For individuals considering a career as a medical assistant
, this is a great time to enter the industry. With substantial growth projected over the next decade, those that are willing to go through training and the education necessary to enter the field can expect a strong job market over the coming years.
Job Outlook and Salary for Medical Assistants
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”) gathers data about a wide range of occupations from across the country. The organization uses this data to get an accurate measurement of what workers are paid as well as to make predictions about the future growth of various fields. The BLS information on medical assistants indicates that:
- The field is growing much faster than the average growth for all other jobs in the country.
- Employment of medical assistants is expected to grow 29% over the decade from 2012 to 2022.
- The median pay for medical assistants across the U.S. was $29,600 per year in 2013 and the median hourly pay was $14.24.
- The pay for Quincy, IL medical assistants is not listed specifically by the BLS. In nearby Springfield, the median annual pay for medical assistants in 2013 was $26,000 and the median hourly pay for Springfield medical assistants is $12.80.
It is worth remembering that these figures are calculated using the pay for a range of medical assistants – both those new to the industry and seasoned veterans. In reality those first entering the field can probably expect to make less than this and those with a great deal of experience can expect to make more.
Reasons for Growth
It is no secret that healthcare is a growing industry. The BLS points to several factors that are contributing to the growth of the medical assistant field in particular:
- Baby-boomers are growing older and needing more care.
- Doctors are adopting electronic medical records, a process that requires the assistance of knowledgeable medical assistants.
Federal legislation is expanding the amount of Americans covered by health insurance – meaning that there is greater demand for all types of medical care. Medical assistants are necessary to assist physicians in this care.
Outline of Career Path
Each medical assistant will take a unique path through his or her career. This is inevitable, as there are so many possible options for those with this kind of training. All will begin as entry-level assistants under the supervision of more knowledgeable coworkers. Eventually these novices will gain experience and branch out into areas that fit with their interests, skills, education and the companies they work for.
Most employers prefer to hire medical assistants with some form of certification in the industry. This certification can be obtained through:
Medical assistants may choose to specialize. Some specialized paths include:
- Medical administrative assistant
- Medical records technicians
- Medical billing specialists
- Nursing assistants
- Pharmacy aids
Education and Training for Medical Assistants
It is possible to learn how to be a medical assistant from a variety of education providers. These include trade schools, vocational schools, colleges and universities. A diploma can usually be obtained within a year, while an associate's degree can take about two years.
Different individuals have different priorities and limitations. This is why there are so many different options. For those with time constraints or limited funds, a diploma from a trade school might be perfect. On the other hand, someone with a little more time may desire an associate's degree in the field.
Whichever route one takes, it is important to remember that the quality of the education is just as important as the cost and time commitment. An education from a quality provider is important if one wants to be as competitive as possible in the job market.
Resources for Medical Assistants
- BLS page for Medical Assistants
- BLS page for Springfield Occupations – including medicals assistants
- American Association of Medical Assistants