Are Students Earning More from Online Medical Assistant Degrees?

Did you know that 200,000 more medical assistants will be needed by 2016? Getting started with a career is all about the education. If you already have work and obligations, online school is the popular choice, particularly if you want to get into a technical career. Medical assistants make over $40,000 a year, with experienced assistants making over $50,000 a year on average. If you know that you want to work in the medical field and have what it takes to perform administrative tasks and handle patients, then becoming a medical assistant can change your life and give you a long-lasting career that pays the bills. This profession isn't for those who don't like to multitask and can't work around medical professionals. To understand more, this guide will give you some insight into online programs for medical assistants and how to transition into the medical field quickly.

1. What are Medical Assistants?

Medical assistants are more business oriented than anything. They have to handle administrative day-to-day routine work but also manage clinics, special practices, and other medical offices. Medical assistants have to understand lab services but also be able to handle checking in patients, taking care of records and understanding medical systems. Understanding both clinical and medical tasks is key to getting ahead as a medical assistant. In many cases, students switch into this field realizing that it's a fast-paced work environment and gives a lot of benefits while not requiring extended years of schooling.

2. Getting into a Degree Program

Colleges and universities have stepped it up for medical assistant education. More online programs are becoming available due to the increased need for these professionals. Most medical assistants attend school for two years, but many online programs have accelerated options that break it down into one year. Courses online cover physiology, anatomy, medical terminology, lab techniques, recordkeeping, transcription and diagnostic procedures. In addition, medical assistants show other professionals in the field and gain a greater understanding of their roles.

3. Earning Certification

The key to working as a medical assistant is being prepared for your certification exams. You have to be a certified medical assistant (CMA) to work. You can study part time with online degrees and continue to gain more experience while working towards a certification exam. The certification exam covers the basics of medical assisting as well as complex parts of the job and medical terminology that often gets students in trouble. Online degrees already offer students the best environment to learn everything and keeps all of your assignments and work online to study later. Certification basically informs employers that you understand the standards and are ready to handle the job's tasks.

4. Working as a Medical Assistant

Medical assistants usually find work in hospitals, clinics and private practices. You can find many of the positions advertised online but you can also go through your online school's career services program. Many colleges offer direct placement after graduation with a partner practice. There's also some places around the U.S. which are in great need of medical assistants and pay $18 on average per hour for someone with these skills. The top 10 cities for medical assistants were named as Vallejo-Fairfield, California; Danbury, Connecticut; San Francisco, California; Salinas, California; Oakland, California; Seattle, Washington; Boston, Massachusetts; New York City, New York; Washington D.C.; and Denver Colorado.