While it is important to find a career that you enjoy, taking a look at the overall cost effectiveness of the training can be extremely helpful, too.
When it comes to earning a living wage and being able to pay back any loans or debt you may have accrued while obtaining your degree, medical assisting may foot the bill.
Like most medical careers, the demand for medical assistants is high and is projected to grow at a rate much faster than average growth for other careers during the next ten years. This means that even if you decided to start a medical assisting program today, you can reasonably expect that there will be job opportunities available when you graduate.
Due to the high demand, these jobs are more than likely to be high paying for an entry level position, especially for the level of education achieved. Medical assisting programs can usually be completed in less than four years, and sometimes in just months, depending upon your focus. Of course, you probably just want to cut to the chase, right?
How Much Do Medical Assistants Make?
Medical assistants earn an average of $29,960 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). If you've explored salaries for healthcare jobs, you'll realize that medical assistants (MAs) can earn more or just as much as many entry-level positions that require a Bachelor's degree!
Not only can medical assistants earn a real life living wage, the cost of MA training programs are often lower than a bachelor degree program, making it a cost effective option for many. As mentioned before, most medical assistants earn as much as new graduates in several fields entering the workforce with a bachelor's degree. In comparison, a medical assistant program can be completed within two years when it takes four years to complete a bachelor's program.
Not only is the program shorter, but hourly tuition rates are usually less expensive in vocational and community colleges where medical assisting programs are found than at a university, giving you more bang for your buck.
Also, while obtaining a bachelor's degree prepares a person for the subject matter of a career field, it does not provide hands on training like a certificate program. After completing your medical assistant certificate program, you will be ready to work in your field. A vocational school or MA certificate training program teaches you with hands-on experience. A recent bachelor's graduate will more than likely need work experience in their field upon graduation to even become proficient in their position!
Even if you are looking at a working as a medical assistant while you pursue a more lengthy healthcare degree program, MA experience gives you a leg up on finding a healthcare career. Your interactions with patients and medical staff may even ignite a passion to further your education, which could lead you to apply for higher paying positions in a specialty field that you enjoy, like nursing.
Another awesome aspect of earning your medical assisting certificate is that medical assistants are employable across the United States and in many different medical settings. If you are looking to relocate after graduation, you will be able to apply for positions across the country. If you choose one of the top accredited Med Assisting schools, you should be able to get certified as a result. Medical Assistant certification is through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), which is a nationally accredited association recognized by multiple medical institutions across the US.
While you may need to look into separate state requirements for obtaining a license as a CMA medical assistant, your AAMA certification should be valid in all states.
What is the First Step to Becoming a Medical Assistant?
If you are ready to look further into how you can get through med assistant school and into the workforce, the next step is to contact CMA training programs near you.
Use the search box at the top of the page, or select your state to find certification programs for med assistants in your area.
Once you know how much a program costs, how quickly you can enroll and what you need to do to graduate, you'll be ready to start working your way toward the medical career you want.