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Career Profile: Medical Assistants

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.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 720,900 people employed as medical assistants in the United States. The median annual salary is $35,900. Entry level employees earn approximately $26,930 per year and senior employees earn approximately $50,580 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • 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.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
720,900
Annual Openings:
104,400
Increase in Openings by 2030:
18%
Annual Salary Range:
$26,930 - $50,580
Education Requirements:
Some college