Medical Assistant

Occupation Information table
Overview: Medical assistants perform healthcare clerical and clinical duties under the supervision of a physician or a licensed health practitioner. They manage patient records, prepare patients for examinations, help physicians with routine tests and instruct patients about medication and diets.
Duties: Clerical duties performed can include answering telephone calls, updating and filing patient records, completing insurance forms, scheduling appointments, and arranging for patient lab tests.

Duties can vary and include taking patients' medical histories, measuring and recording vital signs, explaining treatment procedures and instructing patients about medications and diets.

They may prepare patients for examination, draw blood and assist a physician in a patient examination or treatment. They also perform routine laboratory tests and apply dressings.

They work in all medical specialties such as pediatrics, family practice, orthopedics, etc. Their role is to act as the liaison between the patient and the physician.

Degree(s): A.A.S. Medical Office Assistant 
Job Outlook: Employment in this field is projected to grow 14% or higher from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than the average projected growth for all occupations.
Starting Salary: Group physicians' offices pay slightly higher salaries.
Salary Range (National Average): $22,000 to $25,000
Growth: Growth
Education Level: Training for this occupation generally requires a High School Degree, plus additional coursework in a vocational or technical school. In some cases, employers may require an Associate Degree.
Additional Training/Education: Training programs in medical assisting are offered in technical institutes and community colleges. Most programs require 12 to 16 months to receive a certificate and consist of courses in anatomy, physiology, medical laboratory techniques, pharmaceutical principles, medical records, insurance and medical diagnostic procedures. Two-year associate degree programs are also available.
Recommended Skills:
  • Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Paying attention to what other people are saying, and taking time to understand the points being made.
  • Allocating and budgeting your time for different tasks so that things get done when needed.
  • Being aware of the reactions of others, and understanding why they react the way they do.
  • The ability to understand complex written paragraphs, instructions, or reports.
  • Talking, giving speeches, or speaking in a group to convey information, explain ideas, or give instructions.
  • Teaching others how to do something.
  • Composing and communicating your ideas in written form.
Recommended Values:
  • Being involved in helping other people in a direct way either individually or in a small group.

* National data collected by the Department of Labor in 2014 with projections through 2024. For New York green job information .

* For New York salary data information .

* For New York green job information .

Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.