Career Ladder For Medical Assistant


Ready To Become A Medical Assistant

Give Your Medical Assistants (MAs) a Reason to Stay

The more you can set yourself apart from other potential candidates, the better. Taking the time to gain experience, training and skills will only benefit you in the end.

Channel that desire to help others and get started on working toward your career in healthcare! Theres no doubt that there will be work involved, but with the right amount of passion and perseverance, youll be working with patients before you know it.

1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, , Information represents national, averaged data for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. Employment conditions in your area may vary.

2Completion time is dependent on transfer credits accepted and the number of courses completed each term.

The Medical Assisting Diploma program at the Aurora/Naperville, Rockford and Romeoville/Joliet campuses in Illinois the Fort Myers, Ocala, Central Pasco and Tampa/Brandon campuses in Florida the Green Bay and Wausau campuses in Wisconsin and the Blaine, Bloomington, Eagan, Mankato and St. Cloud campuses in Minnesota are accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools .

Certified Medical Assistant is a registered trademark of American Association of Medical Assistants, Inc.EDITORS NOTE: This article was originally published in 2016. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2022.

Advance Your Career In The Medical Assistant Field

A rewarding career as a Medical Assistant can open the door to a variety of exciting career opportunities in the medical field. Medical Assisting is a great way to get your foot in the door. If you are looking to start a career in healthcare, Medical Assisting provides a great foundation to do so.

Medical Assistants are needed in almost every type of medical facility. Anywhere you find a doctor, there will be Medical Assistants. The demand for Medical Assistants is on the rise. The work they provide is essential to the success of a medical practice. Medical Assisting offers career flexibility and growth. If you are looking for a medical career that allows you to work in various specialties, you have a passion for service, and would like to grow your career in healthcare, then Medical Assisting may be the perfect fit for you.

Here are some ways a Medical Assistant can advance their career.

Medical Assisting is an amazing career choice, because virtually anyone can become a Medical Assistant. Healthcare Career College offers a 11-month Medical Assistant Program that includes a 1-month externship. Many externs successfully find employment at their extern site, and grow from there. This gives a person the skills they need to work as Medical Assistant.

Here are possible career pathways a Medical Assistant can pursue:

Home Health Aide â Start Your Own Healthcare Business

Specialized Medical Assistant

Medical Office Manager


Morgue Attendant


Choose A Career Pathway

During their careers, medical assistants can develop their administrative and medical skills, which may help them qualify for different healthcare roles. If you’re interested in advancing your career, you can choose from a variety of pathways. When exploring your options, consider your personal interests and skills. Try to find a role that matches your preferences. For example, if you have strong interpersonal skills and enjoy working with others, you may pursue a role that involves collaboration, such as a team manager position. If you enjoy performing medical duties, you may choose to become a nurse or other healthcare professional.

Medical assistants may advance into one of the following career paths:

  • Healthcare management

  • Medical records and health information management

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Top Skills For A Medical Assistant

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we’ve found all of the skills you’ll need so even if you don’t have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 20.2% of medical assistants listed patients on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and detail oriented are important as well.

What Can A Medical Assistant Do

Medical Career Hierarchy

With a medical assistant diploma, you gain the knowledge and skills to assist physicians, conduct lab work, suture wounds, take vital signs, and interpret results. As a medical assistant, you are responsible for completing administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. This includes taking and recording patients personal information and keeping that information confidential. Your duties as an MA will vary depending on location, specialty, and the size of the practice.

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Why Is A Nursing Assistant A Great Alternative Career Path For Medical Assistants

Becoming a nursing assistant provides a wide variety of benefits, including the most popular among healthcare professionals the opportunity to make a difference. For those interested in taking their careers even further, there are great networking connections, and the experience makes it easier to gain acceptance into advanced nursing programs.

Vanderbilt Medical Assistant Clinical Ladder

The Vanderbilt Medical Assistant Clinical Ladder is a performance-based advancement program. This program is designed to retain high-quality MAs by recognizing excellence in engagement, clinical skills, and research. All full-time and part-time employees are eligible if they meet the requirements. The Clinical Ladder contains two levels: – MA II**A minimum of ONE year of employment per progression for each level of the ladder.The Goals of the MA Professional Ladder: Retain Medical Assistants in direct patient care Recognize and reward excellent performance in accordance with Professionalism Continuous Learning, and Organizational Development. Promotes a safe and high-quality environment for positive patient outcomes Offers professional growth and development as a Medical AssistantEligibility Requirements:– Must be employed at Vanderbilt for ONE year as an MA- Must have performed at the Meets Expectation on the performance evaluation in all areas- Must have completed ALL mandatory competencies and in-services required by VUMC and Department on or before the deadline- Must NOT have any documented progressive discipline on file within the rolling year of applicationHow to Apply:

Please email us at:

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What Is The First Step To Becoming A Medical Assistant

The first step to becoming a medical assistant is to find the right program that works for your budget and time frame. You’ll need a high school diploma or GED to get started.

Some physicians will hire you and provide on-site training, but most medical assistants go through a formal training program. Shorter programs may take less than six months, whereas an Associates Degree for Medical Assistants will typically take two years.

Medical Claims Examiner Education & Certification Requirements:

Medical Assistant Salary | Medical Assistant Job Overview & Education Requirements

There arent any specific educational or certification requirements for medical claims examiners however, most employers require a high school diploma. Many employers also prefer candidates with diplomas or degrees related to the medical field. The deep understanding of the medical field you would gain through earning your medical assisting diploma would be highly regarded when applying for any medical claims examiner position.

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Complete A Training Program

Consider completing a medical assisting training program to help you develop your skills and advance your career. You may explore training options at local community colleges, online programs and vocational schools. At the end of a training program, you can earn a certificate to show you’ve trained for the medical assistant field.

Many medical practices require this certificate, although some may hire patients who train while working full time. Even if the certificate is optional for your specific role, it may help you earn a higher salary or qualify for an advanced role.

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What Is The Right Medical Assistant Career Path For You

A lot of people choose a career in medical assisting because they have a passion for health care and helping people but also because they want to get into a great career faster. Diploma and certificate programs for medical assisting typically take two years or even less and can lead to an immediate position right in the heart of the action, working with patients and alongside nurses and physicians.

Its great if you want to get into your health career right away as a medical assistant, but dont think that it has to stop there. Multiple medical assistant career paths are possible. An education in medical assisting is a great way to get a career but also a great foundation for moving up in health care and finding an even better position later. As you plan your education and your future, learn about all the possible career paths you can take just by starting out in medical assisting.

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Medical Assistant Career Ladder

Medical assisting has a relatively short training period, and it can introduce you to a range of medical duties and careers. Some individuals choose it as a lifelong career while others decide that they want to move into positions of greater responsibility. What are the options for you if youre a medical assistant who wants to move up the career ladder?

One option is specialty certifications or licenses some states, for example, allow medical assistants to pursue licensing in limited radiology after a short training. The other option is to pursue higher education in either a clinical or administrative capacity.

What Does A Nursing Assistant Do


Nursing assistants help patients of all ages perform basic daily tasks. Due to their extensive daily contact with patients, they play a vital role in the healthcare process.

Some of a nursing assistants daily tasks include helping patients with feeding, bathing, dressing, making beds, assisting in bathroom needs, taking vital signs, aiding in exercises, and numerous other daily patient needs.

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Ekg Technician Education & Certification Requirements:

EKG technicians receive most of their training from their employers. However, some employers prefer that you have experience and training in healthcare. This gives certified medical assistants a unique competitive advantage in this field. EKG training usually takes about four to six weeks to complete, and technicians are encouraged to earn professional certification through Cardiovascular Credentialing International .

Health Unit Clerk Job Outlook

Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide specific job outlook information for health unit clerks, it does provide employment projections for medical secretaries, who share many of the same responsibilities as health unit clerks. The BLS reports that employment of medical secretaries is projected to increase 11% from 2020 to 2030.

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Medical Assisting In The Market A Growing Demand

Medical assistants are in huge demand, and the great news is that many of the medical assistant career paths you can choose from make up the allied health field, one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Allied health professionals are those workers who support the work of physicians and nurses. They work with patients, handle medical records, assist doctors in procedures, and communicate between patients and doctors.

Among allied health careers, medical assisting is one of the fastest growing jobs. The federal government estimates that between 2014 and 2024 the number of jobs for medical assistants will grow at a very fast rate of 23 percent, offering more than 138,000 new positions for trained and qualified individuals. All of the careers to which medical assisting can lead you are growing just as fast, and there is no sign that this growth will slow. A career in medical assisting is a great foundation for a stable career in health care. This may be especially true in Florida where the population is older than in other areas of the country. Florida has more job growth than many other states, with health care leading the way.

Public Health Inspector Job Outlook:

GNTC | The Medical Assisting program

Although the BLS does not report any specific data regarding the job outlook of public health inspectors, they report on the job outlook of occupational health and safety specialists, a closely related field. The BLS reports that the overall employment of occupational health and safety specialists is projected to grow 7% from 2020 to 2030. Public health inspectors will be needed across industries and government agencies to ensure that institutions are adhering to both existing and new regulations.

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Medical Assistant To Respiratory Therapist

Similar to nurses, respiratory therapists usually work in hospitals, clinics, and long term care centers. However, unlike nurses, a respiratory therapist focuses mostly on a patient’s breathing and lung function.

In a hospital, the respiratory therapist is in charge of the ventilators and other breathing machines, and can even put breathing tubes for patients in an emergency.

Respiratory therapists are in high demand in hospitals, especially in critical care units like emergency departments and neonatal intensive care units. Respiratory therapists must earn at least an associate degree, but many employers require a bachelorâs degree.

Respiratory therapists earn about $61,830 per year. They have a good job outlook, with 14% growth rate expected over the next 10 years.

  • Additional Education Required. Becoming a respiratory therapist requires at least an associate degree and often a bachelor’s degree.
  • Salary Difference. From $37,190 to $61,830 .
  • Job Outlook for Respiratory Therapists. Job opportunities for respiratory therapists are expected to increase by 14% through 2031.

Medical Assistant To Dental Hygienist

A dental hygienist works in a dentists or orthodontist office. They spend their days cleaning their patients teeth, giving fluoride treatments, taking x-rays, and assisting with other dental procedures.

Dental hygienists get to work a hands-on, fast paced job in healthcare while enjoying a schedule that follows normal business hours.

Becoming a dental hygienist requires at least an associates degree. You can earn a dental hygiene degree through a university, state college, or technical school. Most programs last between 18 months to three years.

Dental hygienists are in high demand all over the country and earn a of about $77,800 per year.

Some dental hygienists choose to become agency workers, where they travel around to different offices each day, but earn much more than permanent office workers.

  • Additional Education Required. Associate or bachelors degree. Programs last between 18 months and 4 years.
  • Salary Difference. From $37,190 to $77,800 per year .
  • Job Outlook for Dental Hygienist. Between 2021 and 2031, job opportunities for dental hygienists are expected to increase by 9%.

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Home Health Aide Job Outlook

Due to the growth in the aging population, along with the expanding desire of patients to remain in the comfort of their own homes in their later years, the job outlook for home health aides is outstanding. The BLS reports that overall employment for home health aides is expected to grow by around 33% from 2020 to 2030, putting them well above other healthcare professionals and even further above the overall national job outlook .

Phlebotomy Technician Job Outlook

Career Ladder for Nurses

The importance of taking and testing blood samples is only increasing with the aging U.S. population, and this creates an excellent job outlook for phlebotomy technicians. The BLS reports that the overall employment of phlebotomists is expected to grow around 22% by 2030, putting them several points above other healthcare professionals and well above the overall national job outlook .

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Is Being A Medical Assistant Hard

No, being a medical assistant is not hard if you are ready to be busy and care for patients. A medical assistant is considered a low-level entry position into the medical field.

It is not as hard to become a medical assistant as it is to become a doctor or nurse. However, as in any field in healthcare, there are rules, regulations, and serious responsibilities.

Why Become A Medical Assistant

A medical assistant is a support professional who works with doctors and nurses to deliver quality healthcare to their community. It is one of many rewarding careers in the healthcare field, but the benefits are hard to ignore. You will enjoy being a medical assistant if you want:

A Quick Start

Most jobs in the healthcare field require a college degree, but you can become a medical assistant in as little as 8 months and only 20 hours per week. For students who want a career in medicine, but cannot afford to be unemployed for two or more years, its a convenient option and a foundation for bigger and better things.


Life is too short to go home unfulfilled every day. If you have outgrown your present job, medical assisting is one way to make a difference. You will help others in meaningful ways, making connections that last a lifetime.


For some careers, the future is bleak. Once vital, theyve been replaced by technology. But demand for medical assistants is expected to grow 18-percent through 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Students graduating today enjoy unprecedented job availability.


A good career is energizing. As a medical assistant, youll work in a fast-paced environment full of challenges and rewards. The pace is brisk but never boring, theres always something new to learn.


Work-Life Balance

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Medical Assistant Health Information Technologist

Medical assisting is also a great starting pace for someone who wants to advance to health information management. The skills youâll learn as a medical assistant like medical billing and terminology can be very useful for a career in health information management.

Health information technologists spend their days working with patient data. They organize the information and help create better systems to improve health outcomes. They get to analyze data from all over the world and may work with disease registry systems or be the first to learn about new healthcare discoveries.

Health information technologists usually need at least an associate degree in healthcare, computer systems, or both. They should have a good understanding of medical terminology and be able to use advanced computer organization systems.

Health information technologists typically earn about $55,500 per year. Job outlook for these jobs is better than the national average, at 17%.

  • Additional Education Required. At least an associate degree in healthcare, computer systems, or something similar.
  • Salary Difference. From $37,190 to $55,500 .
  • Job Outlook for Health Information Technologists. This is a rapidly growing career field, with job opportunities expected to increase 17% from 2021 to 2031.

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