Earn an Associate’s Degree in Medical AssistingMajors Overview March 2, 2014
Receive information about an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in medical assisting and its coursework, job and wage outlook, and certification and continuing education choices.
A.S. Programs in Medical Assisting
Students enrolled in these programs are provided with the knowledge and skills necessary to becoming medical assistants in hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices. Students can expect to become adept at performing both the administrative and clinical tasks of medical assisting. They can also develop problem-solving skills and the ability to perform lab procedures and clinical duties as appropriate. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold GED certificates or high school diplomas.
Coursework in the medical assistant program is a combination of administrative and medical courses, lab studies and clinical experiences devised to impart hands-on practice. Participation in an internship may also be included in coursework. Coursework may include topic areas such as:
•Anatomy and physiology
•Study of disease
•Medical record transcription
•Medical insurance billing
•Drug dosage calculations
Job and Wage Outlook
A faster-than-average job growth rate of 29% has been projected for medical assistants during the decade from 2012 to 2022 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The optimistic projection is owed to technical advancements in the medical field in addition to an aging population. In 2012, medical assistants took home an average annual wage of $29,370.
Certification and Continuing Education Choices
Voluntary credentials can be obtained by medical assistants through many agencies that offer certifications to medical assistants. Certification exams are offered to eligible participants by both the American Medical Technologists (AMT) and the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Certification in a specialized area, such as podiatry or optometry, can also be obtained by medical assistants. Some medical assistants opt for continued education and study to become medical professionals such as nurses among others. Associate degree holders could seek to earn bachelor’s degrees in various related fields, including nursing or healthcare administration.