Medical Assistant Jobs

Training and Education Jobs and Salaries

Medical assistants hold over 417,000 jobs. About 62 percent of medical assistants work in offices of physicians, 12 percent work in public and private hospitals, including inpatient and outpatient facilities, and 11 percent work in offices of other health practitioners, such as chiropractors, optometrists, and podiatrists. Most other medical assistants work in other health care industries such as outpatient care centers and nursing and residential care facilities.

Employment is projected to grow much faster than average, ranking medical assistants among the fastest growing occupations over the 2006 - 2016 decade. Job opportunities should be excellent, particularly for medical assistants with formal training or experience, and certification. Employment of medical assistants is expected to grow 35 percent from 2006 to 2016, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the health care industry expands because of technological advances in medicine and the growth and aging of the population, there will be an increased need for all health care workers.

Increasing use of medical assistants in the rapidly growing health care industry will further stimulate job growth. Helping to drive job growth is the increasing number of group practices, clinics, and other health care facilities that need a high proportion of support personnel, particularly medical assistants who can handle both administrative and clinical duties. In addition, medical assistants work primarily in outpatient settings, a rapidly growing sector of the health care industry.

Job seekers who want to work as a medical assistant should find excellent job prospects. Medical assistants are projected to account for a very large number of new jobs, and many other opportunities will come from the need to replace workers leaving the occupation. Those with formal training or experience - particularly those with certification - should have the best job opportunities.

Medical assistants work in well-lighted, clean environments. They constantly interact with other people and may have to handle several responsibilities at once. Most full-time medical assistants work a regular 40-hour week. However, many medical assistants work part time, evenings, or weekends. The earnings of medical assistants vary, depending on their experience, skill level, and location. Median annual earnings of wage and salary medical assistants are around $26,000. The middle 50 percent earn between $22,000 and $31,000. The lowest 10 percent earn less than $19,000, and the highest 10 percent earn more than $37,000.