Professionals who want to work in a doctor's office or healthcare facility but do not want to earn a medical degree may want to pursue an associate degree in medical assisting. This degree prepares graduates for a career in the medical field, placing them in proximity to patients. These professionals assist with insurance paperwork and direct patient care.
Career opportunities include both clinical and administrative work. On the clinical side, medical assistants help with lab testing, drawing blood, and preparing patients. On the administrative side, medical assistants code and schedule appointments.
Earning an in-person or online associate degree in medical assisting demonstrates well-rounded experience and expertise to potential employers and can lead to higher salaries and increased responsibilities. Students can also typically transfer their earned credits toward a bachelor's degree.
Should I Get an Associate in Medical Assisting?
This projected growth, which is much higher than the average rate for all occupations, amounts to about 139,000 new jobs in the industry.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for medical assistants to grow 19% between 2019 and 2029. This projected growth, which is much higher than the average rate for all occupations, amounts to about 139,000 new jobs in the industry.
Earning an associate degree in medical assisting requires about 64 credits and takes full-time learners two years to complete. Part-time students may take longer to graduate. Most medical assisting programs do not offer specific concentrations or focus areas. However, some programs lean more clinical or administrative. Enrollees can also explore a program's available electives and internships.
Earning an associate degree in medical assisting can position students for further study. Learners can often transfer to four-year institutions to pursue a bachelor's degree or additional specialized certification.
In some states, graduates may need to take an exam and earn certified medical assistant certification. Certification lasts for 60 months. Medical assistants may either retake this exam every 60 months or complete continuing education courses.Check out the Best Online Associate in Medical Assisting Programs
What Will I Learn in a Medical Assisting Associate Program?
Medical assisting courses typically cover medical office coding, medical office ethics, medical terminology, and anatomy and physiology. Learners develop skills in quality patient care, measuring vital signs, scheduling, telephone etiquette, and injections. Most associate programs include instruction in mathematics, English, psychology, and communication.
Schools usually offer a medical assisting degree as an associate of applied science (AAS) or associate of science (AS). Students who want to immediately enter the workforce usually pursue an AAS degree, while learners who wish to continue their education often pursue an AS degree.
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What Can I Do With an Associate in Medical Assisting?
Performing both administrative and clinical duties, medical assistants work in various roles in healthcare offices. They often compile patient history and records, assist with patient exams, and schedule appointments.
While the need for medical assistants continues to grow, employers often prefer certified professionals with a strong understanding of electronic health records.
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How Much Money Can I Make With an Associate in Medical Assisting?
Salary potential depends on several factors, including title, employer, location, and experience. In 2020, medical assistants earned a median annual salary of $35,850. The top 10% of earners make more than $50,580 annually.
Frequently Asked Questions About Associate in Medical Assisting Programs
- Are medical assistants in demand?
Yes. Between 2019 and 2029, the BLS projects 19% job growth for medical assistants, which translates to more than 139,000 new jobs.
- What kind of jobs can I get with an associate in medical assisting?
Professionals with an associate degree in medical assisting can work in a variety of jobs, offering support in different healthcare environments. These positions include EKG technician, medical office assistant, and phlebotomy technician.
- How much does it cost to get an associate in medical assisting?
While the cost of an associate degree in medical assisting varies by school, most degree-seekers pay $300-$700 per credit.
- Is an associate in medical assisting worth it?
Yes. Because medical assistants receive both clinical and administrative training, they can perform diverse tasks, opening the door to a variety of job opportunities. With additional training, medical assistants can advance their career.
- How long does it take to get an associate in medical assisting?
An associate degree in medical assisting requires about 64 credits, which full-time students usually complete in two years. Part-time students generally need more time to graduate.