Medical Assistant Job Outlook: Roles And Salary Expectations

If you are considering medical assistance as a career, it is important to find out not just how to qualify, but also where the career will lead in 5 or 10 years. The good news is that the certified medical assistant or CMA job outlook is very encouraging in comparison to most other careers today. Here is all you need to know about becoming a CMA.

A CMA is the person who is in charge of overseeing the smooth running of a doctor's office, medical center or clinic. The job description depends largely on the size of the practice, such that, in a small practice, the assistant may combine not only clinical duties but also clerical and administrative activities while in a large scale medical practice, there may be several assistants each of whom specializes in a given area of work.

Types of Medical Assistants

There are four main types of CMA's: clerical medical assistants, clinical assistants, administrative, and specialists. A clerical assistant essentially handles appointments, welcomes patients, organizes the doctor's schedule, letters and memos, answer phones, and generally ensure that the practice runs smoothly. Clinical assistants handle more medical related tasks such as preparing a patient for an examination, taking medical histories, explaining procedures to patients, drawing blood for tests and collect lab specimens.

Administrative assistants also handle medical related tasks, but more in terms of scheduling medical tests, managing claim forms, arranging the in-patient admissions and updating medical files for patients. Many times they also do some bookkeeping activities for the practice. A specialized assistant often works in specialized practices, such as a dentist's office, pediatric, optometric and podiatric practices. Duties will depend on the kind of practice that the specialized medical assistant works in.

Salary Expectations

What you would potentially earn would depend on several factors including experience, location and the size of practice you work in. As of 5th September 2011, put the average starting salary for a CMA with less than a year's experience at $17,704, while 20 years plus veteran would be looking to make $51,245.

In terms of location, Payscale also indicates that Florida has the highest paid CMA's, followed by California and New York. Do learn about the average salaries for CMA's in your area compared with other regions in the US. Medical assistants working in clinics, group practices and hospitals do receive benefits such as health insurance, pension, paid holidays and vacations.

Overall Job Outlook

According to the latest 4th edition of Health Care Jobs Explosion, employment is expected to grow faster than average across all occupations through to 2014. This is mainly due to technological advancements in the medical field and the increase of the aging population in the country.

The overall job outlook is therefore expected to grow significantly in the coming years, particularly for those with formal training, experience and certification. Start your training today and enjoy a stable, rewarding career as a medical assistant.

Thinking about becoming a medical assistant? This is a very in-demand job right now. Find out what the average medical assistant salaries are from