The medical industry is growing at an alarming rate. In fact, medical assistants have experienced some of the fastest growth in any industry (29% through 2022) according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Why is that? Essentially, those from the “baby boomer” generation are entering their 50s, 60s and 70s so they are in more need of medical attention than ever before. In addition, more and more children are being born and our population is growing very fast. This means that the amount of individuals that are in need of health care is out pacing the amount of individuals able to provide quality health care. So, where do you fit in? If you aren’t interested in nursing, or working to become a doctor, or even dealing directly with patients frequently, administrative medical assisting may be just the right call for you.
What is an Administrative Medical Assistant?
To understand what an administrative medical assistant does on a daily basis it is important to first understand what a medical assistant does. A traditional medical assistant is in charge of duties on the office and clinical side of a medical facility. Generally they will focus on filling in the position that needs to be done for the day, regardless of what side of the clinic that may be. As an administrative medical assistant you will be specialized specifically in working on the administrative side of the office. This will include tasks such as medical billing, insurance coding and billing, appointment setting and follow ups and greeting patients as they arrive for their appointments. While you will likely earn a little education on the clinical side of things, your primary focus is best described as a “desk job”. This is perfect for those that want a well-paying and secure job in the medical industry without having to spend all day on their feet working directly with patients and doctors.
As an administrative medical assistant you can expect to earn an average income of around $38,000 a year. This income will vary based on your state, employer, education level, amount of experience, and a number of other factors. While the state regulations will determine what you are able to do on a daily basis, your income will be more heavily impacted by having more education and experience. Combining the two is no easy task, but fortunately, things are not as hard as they were just a few years ago. Balancing your schedule is easier if you attend school online and administrative medical assistants have plenty of options for online programs.
Earning an Education Online
The schedule that you have to keep up with on a daily basis is already hectic most likely. Adding a school schedule to that may seem like a difficult, if not impossible, task. Fortunately, as long as you have a computer that can access the web, and you are able to run a word processor, such as Microsoft Word, or Open Office, you have the tools that you need to attend college online. Many schools offer these programs ranging from community colleges to trade schools to full universities. What makes this such a valuable way to learn is the fact that you make your own schedule. Due dates will guide you through the semester and keep you on track, but you won’t have to attend classes at a specific time of the day. You can even attend classes in the middle of the night, or only on specific days. This makes earning experience in the medical assisting field much easier while you are in school.
Before you head off to find the school that is right for you and get started on pursuing your dreams, keep this last piece of information in mind. Most students graduate and start their career without consideration of certification. Think about this step early. Certification does require extra time and a small financial fee, but they are both minimal compared to what you will have completed already. Once you earn your certification, you should expect anywhere from $8,000 – $15,000 a year more and will have much better job prospects and a high chance of upward mobility. The reason this is worth considering now is because many schools will help you take the steps you need to sit for the exam and enter the field as a CMA (AAMA). You can find more information about certification through the American Association of Medical Assistants web site, or by searching the web for specific articles covering the steps required.