Is a Medical Assistant Career Right for You?
The medical assistant field is booming right now, so it’s a great time to join. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of medical assistants is expected to grow by 29% through 2022, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Or perhaps you really want to help people, and you like the idea of working with doctors and nurses. As a medical assistant, you can help people while being a part of a dynamic and successful industry. Find out what it takes to become a medical assistant today.
1) Earn Your High School Diploma, GED, or Equivalent
First, you have to finish your initial education. Graduate from high school, or get your GED. To become a medical assistant, you don’t need any formal education beyond high school. However, with the growing popularity of the field, many employers prefer people with additional training. If you don’t want to complete additional training, the only way to become a medical assistant is to find a doctor that is willing to train you at his or her office.
2) Attend the Right Program
If you choose to get additional training, look for a program that’s right for you. There are online schools, schools with actual campuses, and schools that offer a combination of both. If you get your associate’s degree in medical assisting, that will take 2 years. But you can usually earn a medical assistant diploma in under a year. Woodruff offers a 9-month medical assistant school in Tucker, GA.
After completing your program, or your training with a doctor, it’s a good idea to get professionally certified. It’s not required in order to get a job, but it will demonstrate your hard work and your commitment, and it will help you stand out when you apply for a position. The test will be a combination of clinical and administrative knowledge. For more information about what you’ll need in order to take it, visit the AAMA’s official examination requirements page.
3) Consider Volunteering
During your schooling, it’s important to set yourself up for future success. To improve your resume and show employers you’re experienced in the field, think about volunteering in some sort of medical capacity. Many hospitals and free community clinics love it when volunteers help with certain tasks such as greeting patients. You could also help out at a blood drive or other special event. Volunteering can be a great way to stand out from other job applicants.
4) Prepare For Your Career
If you’ve finished your training, and it’s time to take the certification exam, make sure you take full advantage of available resources, such as test prep and mock exams, writing cover letters or resumes, practicing for job interviews, and also externships. Most medical assistant schools will offer some sort of career center with comprehensive assistance for their students. These resources can help students not only with their certification exams but with their job search and future employment as well.