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What Does a Medical Assistant Do?

Medical assistants fill many roles in a doctor’s office. These healthcare professionals cross-train to perform administrative and clinical duties. They play a vital role in physicians’ offices, hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Medical assistant (MA) duties may differ based on the size, location and specialty of the facility. In some practices, MAs specialize in either administrative or clinical duties. State laws also dictate responsibilities, such as giving patients injections or medications as directed by a doctor.

Job growth for medical assistants is expected to grow 23% from 2018 to 2028. Overall job growth during that same time period is expected to grow 5%.

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$ 24,000 - $ 49,000
$ 35,000
90,900+
A medical assistant takes a patient’s blood pressure
Medical assistants play an important role in keeping doctors’ offices running smoothly. (Credit: VGStockStudio/Shutterstock) 
A Day In the Life
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Destiny Powell works as a medical assistant at St. Theresa’s OBGYN in Snellville, Georgia
A Day In the Life

Destiny Powell has only been a medical assistant at St. Theresa’s OBGYN in Snellville, Georgia, for a year, but it’s a job she always knew she wanted to do. 

Her mother, who has progressive multiple sclerosis and lupus, was a huge motivation.

“I told my mother that I would take care of her as she gets older,” says Destiny.

It’s a job she loves because it allows her to create a relationship with each patient she meets. 

“I build a bond with them,” says Destiny. “I help make them feel comfortable when they’re seeing the doctor.”

Find out what else Destiny likes about being a medical assistant.

Job Responsibilities
  • Record patient history and other confidential information, which may involve electronic health records (EHRs)
  • Take patient’s vital signs
  • Prepare examination room, including sterilizing equipment
  • Assist the physician or nurse during an exam
  • Prepare blood samples for lab tests
  • Answer phones or email and schedule appointments
  • Manage insurance paperwork and billing
Education + Training

A high school diploma or equivalent is required. Students typically complete training to become a certified medical assistant (CMA) because employers prefer assistants with these credentials. Medical assistants also learn skills through on-the-job training. Programs typically last a year and are available from community colleges, technical schools and universities. These programs usually lead to a certificate or, for longer programs, an associate degree. All programs include classes in anatomy and medical terminology.

Medical Assistant License and Certificate Requirements

You may need a state license before you can begin working as a Medical Assistant in your state, but most states have different requirements, license fees, and application forms. The good news - we make it super easy for you to find what you need to get your Medical Assistant License. Enter your zip code to get started.

You May Be a Good Fit for This Position If You:
  • Have good communication skills
  • Are detail-oriented
  • Have a good understanding of medical terminology 
  • Have excellent organizational skills
  • Have analytical and technical skills

Medical Assistant Training in Your Area

Coordinates

Medical Assistant Certificate

Neosho County Community College
Chanute (42.2 Miles)
Platt College logo

Medical Clinical Assistant

Platt College
Tulsa (68.6 Miles)
Oklahoma City Community College logo

Medical Assistant, A.A.S.

Oklahoma City Community College
Oklahoma City (156.7 Miles)
North Arkansas College logo

Medical Assistant- Clinical and Administrative Certificate

North Arkansas College
Harrison (157.4 Miles)
North Arkansas College logo

Administrative Medical Assistant Certificate

North Arkansas College
Harrison (157.4 Miles)
North Arkansas College logo

Clinical Medical Assistant Certificate

North Arkansas College
Harrison (157.4 Miles)
Grayson College logo

Clinical Medical Assistant Non- Credit Certificate

Grayson College
Denison (239.5 Miles)
Lewis and Clark Community College logo

Medical Assisting, A.A.S.

Lewis and Clark Community College
Godfrey (326.6 Miles)
Lewis and Clark Community College logo

Medical Assisting Certificate of Proficiency

Lewis and Clark Community College
Godfrey (326.6 Miles)
Des Moines Area Community College logo

Medical Assistant Diploma

Des Moines Area Community College
Ankey (338.2 Miles)
Northeast Community College logo

Medication Aide Training

Northeast Community College
Norfolk (354.2 Miles)
Northeast Community College logo

Medical Assisting, A.A.S.

Northeast Community College
Norfolk (354.2 Miles)

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