Demand for Medical Assistants: Why Medical Assisting is a Good Career2 December 2019
Is medical assisting a good career? Do you wonder about the demand for medical assistants? What about medical assistant pay? What are your reasons to be a medical assistant?
There are good answers to all of these questions, although you’ll need to identify your own reasons to be a medical assistant after you learn the facts.
What is the demand for medical assistants?
The aging population is creating a big need for medical assistants. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that nationwide, over 150,000 new medical assistant jobs will be added between 2018 and 2028. Medical assistants are in the “much faster than average” job growth category with 23% growth projected by 2028, according to the BLS.
In 2016, there were 10,820 medical assistants in Oregon. According to the Career One Stop employment website, by 2026 there will be 13,900 medical assistants statewide. Each year, Career One Stop projects there will be at least 1,610 job openings for medical assistants in Oregon.
You don’t have to work with older adults as a medical assistant, but they are one of the biggest reasons for the rising demand for medical assistants. Oregon has more people 65 and older than the U.S. on average. The state’s median age is 39.3 years, higher than the U.S. median age of 38. The Portland metro area is expected to have more than half a million residents age 65 or older by 2030, according to Alan DeLaTorre and Margaret B. Neal, researchers at the Institute on Aging at Portland State University.
The growing number of older adults will be living throughout Oregon over the next ten years, including rural areas. At the same time, younger Oregonians also need healthcare— so there will be an opportunity for medical assistants in many medical practices and healthcare facilities serving all ages and needs.
Is a medical assistant worth it as a career?
As a medical assistant, you’ll get rewards from helping patients and working as part of a strong healthcare team. Although medical assistants start in entry-level positions, they have the potential for advancement in their careers. In 2018, the mean annual wage for a medical assistant in Oregon was $38,260 and the mean hourly wage was $18.39. The highest-paid, most experienced medical assistants in Oregon earned $49,540 a year on average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Your medical assistant career path can also grow as you develop skills and experience. You can move into diverse roles in healthcare, focusing on the administrative or the clinical parts of your training and experience. Some administrative roles you could advance into include:
- Medical office manager
- Clinical office manager
- Healthcare administration and management
- Medical records and health information technology
- Lead medical assistant
- Clinical team leader
- Billing and coding
You may be wondering how to get a job as a medical assistant. You’ll quickly see opportunities through your training and externship. Your entry position will give you valuable experience that can help you to advance. You’ll also learn more and be able to consider specialties that can offer more challenges and higher pay.
Clinical areas you may be able to specialize in as you gain experience include:
- Rehabilitative Medicine
- Long-term care
With so many jobs needed, medical assisting is clearly a good career for someone who enjoys working with other people, feels rewarded when patients do well and wants to work as part of a strong and supportive healthcare team.
Being a medical assistant requires flexibility. You should be able to wear several hats during the day, moving from your clinical to your administrative duties with ease. As you look for a job as a medical assistant, you’ll find that many healthcare teams are supportive and friendly. You can find a good match by looking for jobs in clinics, offices, or other medical facilities that interest you. Your school will help to prepare you with interviewing skills, job leads, and one-on-one job search assistance. You’ll receive tips on how to dress for success and networking.
Why is medical assisting a good career?
Part of the answer to this question should be your own answer. You’ll have interests and abilities in medical assisting that are unique to you as an individual.
In general, medical assisting is part of the rapidly growing medical field. Thousands of new medical assistants will be needed across Oregon over the next ten years. Although many of these jobs will be needed to care for older adults, medical assistants are also needed to work with children, families, and practice specialties, like ophthalmology or podiatry.
Oregon’s medical assistants at the top of their profession earned over $49,500 a year in 2018 and the median hourly wage was over $18 an hour, which includes entry-level salaries along with medical assistants with years of experience. Medical assistants have the opportunity to grow into other careers in the healthcare industry. They can focus on office, clinic, or hospital administration or management, or clinical roles, including technicians, nursing, and more.
Start Your Journey to Becoming a Medical Assistant
Why wait to start your meaningful, promising career as a Medical Assistant?
At Pioneer Pacific College, you can complete your Medical Assisting Associate Degree Program in 70 academic weeks, or earn your Medical Assisting Diploma in as few as 50 academic weeks. Learn which options are right for you by talking to an Admissions Officer today.