What does a Medical Assistant do?

Medical assistants provide physician support services that ensure that healthcare facilities run smoothly. They are responsible for administrative as well as clinical tasks, such as maintaining patient records, preparing patients and rooms for examination, assisting physicians with exams, and performing front-desk tasks. Medical assistants typically work in physician's offices, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities.

Most medical assistants have a high school degree or GED, and some positions require medical assistants to be certified through an accredited medical assistance program. Medical assistants need excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

What responsibilities are common for Medical Assistant jobs?
  • Receive and direct phone calls, schedule appointments, check-in patients, obtain necessary patient information to file and update patient records, and ensure all forms and consents are completed by patients
  • Check-out patients, assist with referral processing, and arrange laboratory services
  • Handle billing process
  • Prepare patients for examination, take vitals, and record patients' health history
  • Set-up EKG machines, administer injections and medications, and perform routine specimen collection and tests
  • Prepare equipment and examination rooms, and clean instruments
  • Assist physician with medical treatments, procedures, and exams
  • Manage inventory of medical supplies and equip exam rooms with appropriate supplies
What are the typical qualifications for Medical Assistant jobs?
  • High school diploma or GED required; completion of an accredited medical assistance certification program preferred
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively with patients and other external parties in a courteous and friendly manner at all times
  • Must be detail-oriented and highly organized
  • Firm grasp on medical practices, administrative processes, and organizational policies
  • Knowledge of patient care and examination procedures
  • Must be able to maintain confidentiality at all times
Education--
Work/Life Balance
3.3 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.2 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

Medical Assistant Salaries

Average Base Pay

$50,191 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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$38K
Median: $50K
$66K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Medical Assistant Insights

Read what Medical Assistant professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Carson Tahoe Regional HealthcareCarson Tahoe Regional Healthcare
Certified Medical Assistant
Feb 12, 2021

“Difficult to get an interview (took me 1 year and I have excellent experience)”

Cosmetic Laser DermatologyCosmetic Laser Dermatology
Medical Assistant
Aug 5, 2021

“Some of the best coworkers you'll ever meet and the chance to work alongside renowned doctors and professionals!”

Elevation Medical Weight LossElevation Medical Weight Loss
Medical Assistant
Jul 15, 2021

“Everything was great working there I don’t have any complaints whatsoever they have always been great to me and my family!”

CVS HealthCVS Health
Pharmacy Assistant
Jun 21, 2021

“They were very flexible with my schedule which was really nice since I am a full time college student.”

La Clinica de La RazaLa Clinica de La Raza
Medical Assistant
Feb 23, 2022

“although it is a great place to work at the pay isn't great for cost living.”

OnSpot DermatologyOnSpot Dermatology
Medical Assistant
Mar 1, 2021

“Onspot’s number 1 priority is patient care and by reading our reviews it clearly shows.”

Pariser Dermatology SpecialistsPariser Dermatology Specialists
Medical Assistant
Oct 21, 2022

“They’ll change your schedule last minute and be mad if you can’t accommodate their changes.”

Spine West
Medical Assistant
Apr 19, 2022

“The MA job is truly perfect for anyone who wants to pursue a career in healthcare and needs experience.”

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Medical Assistant Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of medical assistants

The typical day of a medical assistant primarily includes assisting other medical professionals. They may complete administrative tasks or assist with patient care, including updating patient records or preparing patients for their visits. Important tasks may also include completing basic medical tasks, like administering medications or taking blood.

The best part about being a medical assistant is that they're in demand, as physicians rely on their assistance. With an increasingly aging population, medical assistants are likely to have a stable career and good job prospects. Medical assistants also have a versatile work schedule, either working in family practice or in an urgent care setting.

The average salary for medical assistants is $50,191 per year in the United States. Medical assistants with more specialized training or certifications in specific health care industries may earn more, up to $65,598 per year. Salary ranges may vary based on the medical assistant's qualifications.

Working as a medical assistant can be a demanding job, as assistants often work with multiple health care providers. One challenge of the profession is that they have a lot of responsibility acting as a liaison for their patients, ensuring their medical needs are understood and met. Therefore, written and verbal communication skills are very important.

Medical Assistant jobs