Five Times as Fast

If you’re thinking about becoming a Medical Assistant, you couldn’t have picked a better time. Not because of the pandemic, but because experts say job opportunities for Medical Assistants will dramatically outpace job growth in most other sectors for the rest of the decade.

Between now and the end of the decade, government analysts predict an overall 4 percent growth rate for all job categories. But for Medical Assistants, it’s a whopping 19 percent. That’s right: job opportunities for trained Medical Assistants will outpace the general economy nearly five times over. To put it another way, job growth for Medical Assistants will be nearly five times as fast as most other jobs.

That’s what the Bureau of Labor and Statistics labels “much faster than average.” Here’s an excerpt from the Bureau’s Occupational Outlook Handbook:

“The growth of the aging baby-boom population will continue to increase demand for preventive medical services, which are often provided by physicians. As a result, physicians will hire more assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties, allowing the physicians to see more patients.

An increasing number of group practices, clinics, and other healthcare facilities will also need support workers, particularly medical assistants, to complete both administrative and clinical duties. Medical assistants work mostly in primary care, a steadily growing sector of the healthcare industry.”

It is possible, though infrequent, for doctors to hire a Medical Assistant straight out of high school and train them on the job. A much more promising route is to complete the proper training and enter the market as a more valuable job candidate.

Here’s how the Bureau’s analysts put it: “Medical assistants are expected to have good job prospects; however, those who earn certification and have familiarity with electronic health records (EHRs) may have better job prospects.”

The Northwestern program prepares students to work with patients in both a clinical and an administrative capacity. Although some of the work Medical Assistants do will take place behind a desk and behind the scenes, they are often the primary point of contact between a patient and his or her healthcare provider. From hands-on patient care and laboratory work to follow-up communication, medical assistants are a huge part of the modern medical office.

There were more than 700,000 Medical Assistant jobs in the U.S. in 2019, and well over half of them were in doctors offices. Hospitals, outpatient care facilities and chiropractors also hire Medical Assistants. That means most Medical Assistants work full-time shifts during a normal work week. But those at 24-hour facilities may work some evening or weekend shifts.

The nationwide median pay for a Medical Assistant is about $36,000, but will vary by regional cost-of-living considerations. About 10 percent of Medical Assistants earn more than $48,000.

At Northwestern College, you can earn that valuable certificate in as little as 15 months. Find out more about their Medical Assisting program by requesting more information here or by giving them a call at 1-800-205-2283.

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