Medical Assistant Schools: FAQs and Answers
Find the answers to your questions about medical assistant schools and programs. You can learn important information about becoming a medical assistant—from where to find training to what kind of salary you can expect when you graduate. If you're interested in a medical assisting career, this is a great place to find out if it's the right choice for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a medical assistant?
A medical assistant is part of a healthcare team, generally responsible for assisting physicians and other healthcare professionals by completing a variety of administrative, laboratory, and clinical tasks.
Do medical assistant schools require a high school diploma?
Most schools will require that you have a high school diploma or have received a GED. It is a good idea to check with individual schools to find out what the specific entry requirements are.
What skills can I gain through medical assistant training?
Most medical assistant schools will start off by providing you with a solid foundation of general medical knowledge, including medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology. You can also learn to handle a variety of administrative tasks, like accounting and insurance processes, medical transcription, appointment scheduling, patient records management, and more. In addition, you can gain hands-on training related to clinical and diagnostic techniques and processes.
How long does it take to complete training at a medical assistant school?
The length of your training will depend on the type of program you choose. Certificate and diploma programs are generally one to two years in length, while degree programs can be up to four years.
How can I find medical assistant schools in my area?
This guide to medical assistant schools is a great place to start researching the schools and programs that are available.
Can medical assistant training be completed online?
Online medical assistant programs do exist. If you want to find out more about online training, use our easy search tool to find an online medical assistant school.
What does a medical assistant do?
A career in this field can tend to be dynamic and can encompass a wide range of tasks. Because medical assistants are usually trained in both administrative and clinical areas, they can take on everything from booking appointments and processing insurance information to drawing blood samples and performing basic laboratory tests.
How do I become a certified medical assistant?
In order to become a certified medical assistant, you must successfully take a certification exam from one of several professional organizations. The certification process and examination can vary by organization and by state, so it is a good idea to find out what the requirements are in your area.
If you want to learn more about certification, this article is a great place to start: "Medical Assistant Certification: A Smart Career Move."
What career options will I have after graduating from a medical assistant school?
Upon graduation, you will be ready to pursue entry-level positions within a wide range of healthcare environments. This can include hospitals, physicians' offices, health clinics, long-term care facilities, nursing homes, and more.
What is the average salary for a medical assistant?
The annual salary of a medical assistant can vary by state. Salary is also affected by the area of the industry, or the type of medical facility you might choose to work in. However, national statistics from May 2009 report that the national mean annual wage for a medical assistant was $29,450.*
Where to go from here?
Now that you have a good idea of what's involved pursuing this career path, getting one step closer to becoming a medical assistant should involve researching programs in your area. Check out this guide to medical assisting programs to help you get started!
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, web site accessed Feb. 4, 2011.
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