Medical Assistants


Employment Prospects


About 686,600 medical assistants are employed in physicians' offices, clinics, hospitals, health maintenance organizations, and other medical facilities. Approximately 57 percent work in private doctors' offices and 15 percent work in hospitals. About 8 percent work in outpatient care centers and nursing and residential care facilities, and 4 percent work in the offices of other health care providers such as chiropractors.

Starting Out

Students enrolled in college or other postsecondary school medical assistant programs may learn of available positions through their school career services offices. High school counselors may have information about positions for students about to graduate. Professional associations and employment Web sites also offer information about job opportunities and employers of medical assistants. Newspaper want ads and state employment offices are other good places to look for leads. You may also wish to call local physicians' offices to find out about unadvertised openings.

Advancement Prospects

Experienced medical assistants may be able to move into managerial or administrative positions without further education, but moving into a more advanced clinical position, such as nursing, requires more education. As more and more clinics and group practices open, more office managers will be needed, and these are positions that well-qualified, experienced medical assistants may be able to fill. As with most occupations, today's job market gives medical assistants with computer skills more opportunities for advancement.

Tips for Entry

Read CMA Today (https://www.aama-ntl.org/cma-today) to learn more about the field.

Visit the following Web sites for job listings: https://www.healthecareers.com/search-jobs and https://www.atpo.org/resources/career-connection.

Talk to medical assistants about their careers. Ask them for advice on breaking into the field.