Medical Assistants

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$38,270 Median Wage (2022)
114,600 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
13.90% Projected growth (2022-2032)

Perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of a physician. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding information for insurance purposes. Clinical duties may include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, and administering medications as directed by physician.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
  • Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
  • Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)

Related Work Experience: Over 6 months, up to and including 1 year

On-Site or In-Plant Training: Over 1 month, up to and including 3 months

On-the-Job Training: Over 1 month, up to and including 3 months

Detailed Work Activities

  • Interview patients to gather medical information.
  • Assess physical conditions of patients to aid in diagnosis or treatment.
  • Record vital statistics or other health information.
  • Give medications or immunizations.
  • Collect biological specimens from patients.
  • Explain technical medical information to patients.
  • Administer basic health care or medical treatments.
  • Assist practitioners to perform medical procedures.
  • Control prescription refills or authorizations.
  • Clean patient rooms or patient treatment rooms.
  • Prepare patient treatment areas for use.
  • Dispose of biomedical waste in accordance with standards.
  • Clean medical equipment.
  • Schedule patient procedures or appointments.
  • Apply bandages, dressings, or splints.
  • Perform clerical work in medical settings.
  • Process medical billing information.
  • Inventory medical supplies or equipment.
  • Conduct diagnostic tests to determine patient health.
  • Prepare medical instruments or equipment for use.
  • Operate medical equipment.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Tasks

  • Interview patients to obtain medical information and measure their vital signs, weight, and height.
  • Clean and sterilize instruments and dispose of contaminated supplies.
  • Record patients' medical history, vital statistics, or information such as test results in medical records.
  • Explain treatment procedures, medications, diets, or physicians' instructions to patients.
  • Prepare treatment rooms for patient examinations, keeping the rooms neat and clean.
  • Collect blood, tissue, or other laboratory specimens, log the specimens, and prepare them for testing.
  • Show patients to examination rooms and prepare them for the physician.
  • Help physicians examine and treat patients, handing them instruments or materials or performing such tasks as giving injections or removing sutures.
  • Perform routine laboratory tests and sample analyses.
  • Greet and log in patients arriving at office or clinic.
  • Perform general office duties, such as answering telephones, taking dictation, or completing insurance forms.
  • Prepare and administer medications as directed by a physician.
  • Authorize drug refills and provide prescription information to pharmacies.
  • Change dressings on wounds.
  • Schedule appointments for patients.
  • Inventory and order medical, lab, or office supplies or equipment.
  • Contact medical facilities or departments to schedule patients for tests or admission.
  • Operate x-ray, electrocardiogram (EKG), or other equipment to administer routine diagnostic tests.
  • Set up medical laboratory equipment.
  • Keep financial records or perform other bookkeeping duties, such as handling credit or collections or mailing monthly statements to patients.

Work Styles

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Independence

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.