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Medical Assistant

Medical assistants are allied health professionals and essential members of the clinical team.

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What does a medical assistant do?

Medical assistants are an important part of the clinician team, typically working under the supervision and direction of a physician. Medical assistants are assigned tasks such as scheduling appointments, updating medical records, taking vital signs and medical histories from patients, drawing blood, and preparing patients for medical visits.

Timeline: Most employers require a high school diploma, and many require the completion of a reputable medical assisting program. Finding a program with MAERB (Medical Assisting Education Review Board) accreditation would be a good first step. Depending on the program and externship hours, this can range from a couple of months to two years.

Career advancement: Medical assistants may advance their careers by expanding into other health careers such as nursing or earning a bachelor’s degree in health career subjects like healthcare administration or management. An education can help lead the way to a position as a health care administrator, patient financial advisor, or clinic manager.

Outlook: Nationally, the employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 16% percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations[1]. In California, medical assisting jobs are expected to grow 20% between 2018-2028 (an increase of 19,000 jobs. Nationally, the median annual wage for medical assistants was $37,190 in May 20211 and in California, the median annual wage in 2021 was $41,342.[2]For more information about training programs, please visit the California Employment Development Department website our Resources page. 

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