The healthcare industry has been shielded to a large extent by the turbulence of the economy. This coupled with the aging population has caused a definite increase in the number of people who want to work in this industry. The job profile of a medical assistant is a good mix of administrative tasks and patient care. They are required to keep and maintain records (which requires them to have knowledge on medical terminology) as well as have certain basic training such as CPR, checking blood pressure etc. Doing laboratory and patient lab prep work and providing basic first aid is also a part of the job profile. Mainly, you have to be a support system to nurses as well as doctors. To become a medical assistant, you need to pursue a college program in the field. This could be a diploma or a full-fledged degree course. To keep your skill set up to date you can also opt for certificate courses while you are working.
Medical assistant salary depends on a large number of factors. The first of course is the qualification of the candidate. It is important to note that although you can get a job as a medical assistant without a degree, the highest pay is always earned by those with an accredited degree. However, this is not the only important factor. Years of experience are crucial in this profession. Medical assistants salary depends most on how many years you have worked in the field. This is because although your qualifications give you theoretical knowledge of your job, a medical assistant in particular requires sound practical experience. A third factor affecting your pay is your knowledge of secondary skills like hospital internal systems etc.
Taking these factors into account the annual medical assistant pay ranges around $19,000 for a candidate with less than one year of experience to a whopping $50,000 for someone who has a substantial 20-25 years of experience. These individuals have invaluable experience which has made them more adept at their job than any course can. The average annual take home however has been pegged in the range of $22,000- $31,000. This works out to anywhere between $10.5 and $15.75 per hour on an average.
Thus qualification combined with work experience is the top salary determining factor. However, another aspect which has a bearing on medical assistants salary is the state which you are residing in. This is because, State laws across the United States differ for the qualifications required to become a medical assistant. Secondly, it is observed that the average medical assistant salary is higher in states like California as compared to say Wyoming.
This job profile is a respected one. In addition the pay is also sufficient to meet your basic expenses. However, you should note that the job requires skill, patience and tremendous amount of hard work. It can provide you with a good income if you are willing to keep learning more and working diligently.
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