Posts Tagged ‘Medical Assistant’

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 Jobs for Medical Assistants

How is the job market for medical assistants in New York today and where are the best jobs? We know that this is a popular and growing profession, but not all jobs are the same and not all markets are good. Let’s look at where the jobs are and who the employers are looking for.

A medical assistant can work in a wide variety of environments and do a lot of different things depending upon that environment. With the health care act and changes in workloads, medical assistants are finding themselves to be in demand but also being asked to do more than they had before.

The (BLS) United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the job growth for this profession to be at least 29% in the next eight to ten years. This is a growth rate that far surpasses what is projected for all jobs overall. Medical assistants currently earn from $30,000 – $40,000 regardless of the environment they work in.

By environment I mean the medical assistant can work in a physician’s office – either front office or back office. They might work in a hospital, a nursing home, rehab facility or assisted living facility. Duties will vary greatly from taking vitals to keeping documents and appointments. They also work in podiatrist and chiropractor offices. As more and more offices and physicians move to electronic records, more medical assistants will be asked to know how to work with the software for the records.

There is also a growing area of specialty that medical assistants can move into. There are specialties in administration and clinical. Within each of these, one can specialize in dental, ortho, optomology and more.

Last year the best states for medical assistants in respect to the amount and kind of jobs open, as well as the salary paid were Alaska at the top and Connecticut at #5 with the District of Columbia, Massachusetts and Washington in between and in that order. The salaries in Alaska were in the low $40,000s and in Connecticut they ran around $34,000 plus.

How much you can earn depends in part on the education of the medical assistant because it can be widely varied. You can be a medical assistant with only a high school diploma and on the job training or you can get a two year associate degree with classes in anatomy, biology, medical records, software and chemistry. Some 2 year programs or even one year programs offer certification upon completion. Some states require certification in order to work in that state.
Medical assistants who are certified and work full time tend to earn about $33,000 while those without certification earn about $28,000. Regardless of where you train or if it is one or two years, a test is required for certification. There are five different agencies through which you can acquire certification as a medical assistant. These agencies include the National Health Career Association, the American Association of Medical Assistants, the National Center for Competency Testing and the American Medical Technologists.

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Where Medical Assistants Get the Best Pay  

The need for medical assistants is growing across the United States, particularly in New York. This growth is expected to continue for at least the next decade. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that growth is anticipated to be at about 34% and everywhere across the country.

So where are the best places to work and where is the best possible pay for Medical Assistants? As the need continues to grow, medical assistants have more opportunities and more choices. They can follow the money if they choose to. So where is the money for the most popular of healthcare careers?

Medical assistants can do such a wide variety of jobs that they are going to be in high demand all over the country. What they do usually dictates what they get paid. They might be in a doctor’s office doing back of the house and interacting with patients. They may draw blood, take histories, schedule appointments and record vitals. Though the demand is high for medical assistants, there are some places that pay much higher than others.

Here are the top ten states that pay the highest:

First on the list is California at $22 per hour and a very high cost of living to go with it. California also offers tremendous amenities in terms of quality of lifestyle with the beaches and the weather, but of course you pay for these amenities. So if you consider California and its rate of pay, remember to balance it against the high cost of living.

The next highest pay rate came from Idaho at $21.66. Aside from Idaho, Washington State is the only other western state in the top ten. All of the remaining top paying states are on the east coast. Here are numbers three through ten.

3. District of Columbia $21.36

4. Connecticut $20.36

5. Massachusetts $20.08

6. New Jersey $20.06

7. Alaska $19.67

8. Rhode Island $19.53

9. Delaware $19.18

10. Washington $19.04

If none of these locations appeals to you, you should know that the average rate of pay for a medical assistant throughout the country is now just over $14.00 per hour or $29,000 a year. Most of these jobs are in smaller communities and rural areas or they are jobs with strictly front office responsibilities. For those jobs in or close to major metropolitan areas or with a lot of back office responsibilities, the starting wage is usually a little over $17,000 per hour.

The best of the medical assistant jobs is when you have a mix of front and back office duties. You have both administrative and patient responsibilities in this type of job. These are also the best paying medical assistant jobs. For 2012, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average medical assistant job paid $29,370. However the best paid medical assistants earned $41,570 and the least paid earned $21,080.

They also reported that the highest paid jobs were in physicians’ offices and hospitals while the lowest pay was in nursing homes and rehab facilities. The highest paid were also located in San Francisco, Fairbanks, Alaska and Vallejo, California.