Career Detail


Medical Assistant
“Stick out your tongue and say, "Ahh"”
Medical assistants perform administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and other health practitioners running smoothly.
The Job
The duties of medical assistants vary from office to office, depending on the location and size of the practice and the practitioner's specialty. In small practices, medical assistants usually do many different kinds of tasks, handling both administrative and clinical duties and reporting directly to an office manager, physician, or other health practitioner.
Work Environment
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
College Majors
junior colleges
Minimum Qualifications
Some medical assistants are trained on the job, but many complete 1-year or 2-year programs.
Personality traits helpful for this career
they must be neat and well groomed and have a courteous, pleasant manner and they must be able to put patients at ease and explain physicians' instructions.
Quick Facts
  • About 62 percent of medical assistants work in offices of physiciansAbout 62 percent of medical assistants work in offices of physicians.
  • Some medical assistants are trained on the job, but many complete 1-year or 2-year programs.
  • Employment is projected to grow much faster than average, ranking medical assistants among the fastest growing occupations over the 2006-16 decade.
  • Job prospects should be excellent.
Compensation and Outlook
The earnings of medical assistants vary, depending on their experience, skill level, and location. Median annual wages of wage-and-salary medical assistants were $28,300 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $23,700 and $33,050. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,600, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $39,570.
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Job Growth Outlook
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H.S. diploma H.S. diploma
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