Medical Assistant Job Description, Salary & Duties

Medical assistant job description, duties, salary

The medical assistant profession is among the 10 rapidly thriving professions in a health care system due to the flourishing number of physician group practices. They are the most qualified with competence in administrative and clinical tasks. This article will give you an overview of the Medical Assistant Job Description. Duties, Salary, Skills Required.

Being a medical assistant means you have a worthwhile profession within the medical field. You get a chance to help physicians with the administrative and clinical responsibilities and play a key function in delivering patient’s healthcare. 

A medical assistant must possess some desirable skills and abilities to carry out their daily duties in the workplace. To qualify as a medical assistant, you have to hold a minimum of a high school diploma and a post-secondary education dedicated to medical assisting. The education program is offered mostly in vocational schools or community colleges. 

In some states, medical assisting requires one to have a practicing license to get a job placement. Being in significant demand, the medical assistant has received great pay with some employee benefits. It is a stable and fulfilling career.

Dive more through this article to understand more about the medical assistant profession, their duties and the salary they earn.

Medical Assistant Job description:

A medical assistant is an associated health expert who aides physicians, physician assistants, and different health professions, normally in a health care setting. Many of them operate in doctor’s offices, outpatient clinics, hospitals, and other medical facilities. 

They take and document patient’s private hospital records. They need to have the capability to maintain that data exclusively and share it only with the clinical workers who take part in nursing the patient. However, electronic health records (EHRs) are converting a few clinical assistants’ jobs. More physicians are adopting EHRs, shifting all their patient’s data from paper to digital records. The medical assistant hence needs to study the EHR software program that their offices use.

The medical assistant should not be mistaken with the doctor’s assistant who tests, diagnose and treat patients beneath doctor’s supervision. In big hospitals and practices, medical assistants may also concentrate on clinical and managerial work. They work full time, others work during the nightfalls, festivals, or weekends to take shifts in medical facilities that are always accessible. They may be certified or registered. 

Types Of Medical Assistants:

Before you commence on your path following a medical assistant school, you will need to decide on what way you want to take. There are different types of medical assistant, including:

  • Registered medical assistants: They carry out managerial, clinical, and other duties such as scheduling patient’s appointments, documenting records, taking vital signs, or prepping lab samples. What makes them different is their certification, where it originates from, and how they attain it. 

  • Certified Medical assistant: This is a medical assistant who has done certification via the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants. They have been educated and examined in a huge and extensive scope of general, managerial, and clinical duties. 

  • Administrative Medical assistant: They are a qualified medical assistant who plays crucial obligation required for the effective operation of the health care organization or clinical practices. They arrange the patient’s examination and clinical care. They additionally work with insurance agencies getting acclaim for treatment and processing insurance claims for payment.

  • Clinical Medical assistant: Their primary attention is to assist the patient care, from gathering specimens from the lab to helping physicians performing clinical examinations. Although their task responsibilities are broad, the scope of a clinical medical assistant’s work is usually at the clinical factors of the practice instead of administrative tasks. Their work may vary somewhat depending on the type of physician they work for and the legal barriers of the career within the state. Nevertheless, what stays consistent is that those medical assistant professionals, who are not certified in most states, consistently work under direct supervision or sometimes a registered nurse. 

The Clinical Medical Assistant Specialize In:

  1. Ophthalmology medical assistant who have the ability to carry out diagnostic examination of the eyes or help the doctor I eye treatments.
  2. Podiatry medical assistants have to own particular understanding of a way to take care of the feet, which can be wound care or post-surgical care. 
  3. Chiropractic medical assistant ought to have a strong expertise of the treatments used to deal with patients in chiropractic care, including body manipulation, hot and cold therapy and massage. 
  4. Cardiology medical assistant must have knowledge of the cardiovascular system and have a capacity to carry out EKG and stress tests. 
  5. Obstetrics or gynecology medical assistant are accountable for helping the doctor with entirety from pap examination to breast tests and minor gynecological surgeries. They need to prepare the females for their assessments and teach them on areas including postpartum care and birth control.   

Skills Necessitated By A Medical Assistant:

Medical assistant have a few traits they incorporate in their jobs. They include:

  • Teamwork: They, in most ways, fix that clutch doctor’s offices and health care clinics together. It is significant that the medical assistant is a team player and inclined to do the work required to offer patients the right care effectively.  Being a team member can thrive coaction amongst them and their co-workers further to the apparent benefits of finishing the work needed to run the workplace or clinics. 

  • Excellent communication skills: Communication is a reasonably substantial portion of the medical assistant work. They talk with physicians, patients, and every other to preserve the hospital or workplace functioning efficaciously. Phone competencies are also beneficial within the medical assistant occupation.  It is vital that the medical assistant can speak genuinely and correctly with every person in the office or health care. Those who mostly work at the administration can also function as intermediaries among the physician and health insurance companies. 

  • Detail-oriented: Observation and precision to detail are vital for the well-being of the patients and healthcare experts alike. The medical assistant is authorized to administer pills to patients and is required to measure the dosage perfectly. It is essential in the preservation of the patient records, scheduling, and taking vitals. Doctors and insurance agencies depend on accurate records. 

  • Compassionate: The medical assistant has an obligation to ensure that patients are satisfied during the office or clinic visit. They function as a factor of conversation among the patients and physicians. Understanding and compassion to the patient’s issues can cross an extended manner towards the patient’s general delight with the clinical care. Medical assistants can take pleasure, comfort, and pride in understanding that they assisted change a patient’s lifestyle for the better. 

  •  Analytical skills: They should have a capacity to perceive and study clinical charts and diagnoses. They may need to encrypt a patient’s medical information for billing. They should be able to analyze information and use logic to address work-related problems and issues.

  • Willing to learn: The medical assistants are liable for acting on a large number of various responsibilities for a period of time in a doctor’s office or workplace. They are professional in both medical and managerial duties while operating in the clinic. The medical assistants must show their willingness to learn new capabilities as required through doctors under their supervision. 


It is a necessity that medical assistants graduate from high school and advance their education to post-secondary programs. However, there is no proper education for medical assistants in a few states, but the employers would employ assistants who finished these programs. The post-secondary education programs are mostly available in universities, vocational schools, or community colleges and run about a year to finalize it. Out of the program, a student earns a diploma or a certificate. Some of the universities providing these programs run for two years, resulting in an associate degree. All the programs include practical and classroom lessons. Those medical assistants who hold a high school diploma or GED acquire their skills and responsibilities during work training. High school students interested in becoming medical assistants should study courses in anatomy, business, computer, biology, and chemistry. 


Doctors or other healthcare practitioners educate the new medical assistant with no post-secondary education on how to converse with the patients, carry out their daily duties, names of equipment, and keep the office running. They also learn how to cipher electronic health records and paper and documentation of the patient’s information. It might take some time for an assistant to finalize their job training relative to the health care system.


Most states do not necessitate medical assistant certification, although most employers do. Certification offers a particular anxiousness and commitment to the world of medical assisting that enables the job seeker to be unique among the many applicants looking for job placement. Certification accounts that an assistant has been examined and acknowledged to have a particular number of skills and knowledge that can benefit many employers.  To be certified, an applicant must pass an exam and have taken many paths to be suitable for each certification. These paths include graduating from an authorized program and experience in work, among others. They must at least be 18 years old before applying for certification. 

There are many virtual medical assisting certifications. These are some of them:

  • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) from the National Healthcare Association
  • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) from American Medical Technologist
  • Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) from National Healthcare Association. These necessitate one to pass an exam and graduate from an accredited program.
  • National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) from National Center for Competency Testing. 
  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) from the American Association of Medical Assistant.

Advance In Medical Assistant

A medical assistant with experience, particularly and progress to leadership duties. With further education, they can advance to other health care professions, including physician assistant, nurse practitioner, and registered nurse. 

Duties Of Medical Assistant

The duties vary according to the place they are working such as administration and medical. They are coached to execute medical and administrative duties.

Medical Suites:

A medical assistant can be accountable for carrying out a range of medical tasks, reckoning on the requirements and size. Some of their duties are:

  • Teach patients on special diets, medications, and instructions from a physician
  • Document patient information and history
  • Help the physician during the investigation
  • Drawing blood
  • Permit prescription refills
  • Document vital signs
  • Discuss care process to the patient
  • Carry out basic laboratory tests
  • Disinfect medical equipment
  • Shift dressings, sutures
  • Organize the patient for examination

Administrative Duties:

Medical assistants have an obligation to do a number of duties to make sure the workplace is running smoothly. Here are some of the roles played;

  • Scheduling the patient’s appointments
  • Moving the lab results to the relevant clinician
  • Registering patients at the front desk
  • Handling insurance payments
  • Cross-examining patients concerning their case histories and important facts preceding appointments
  • Running the computer software and office equipment.
  • Preserving the appearance and supplies for the workplace
  • Responding to phone calls
  • Assembling medical charts and records.

Benefits Of Being A Medical Assistant:

  • Receiving diverse duties 
  • Employee benefits
  • Flexible schedules
  • Developing relationships with the patients

There are also some limitations when it comes to working as a medical assistant which include the following:

  • Some patients are anxious and afraid to work with
  • There are many regulations and rules to follow
  • Simultaneous performance of multiple tasks

Medical Assistant Salary:

The average medical assistant income in the United States is $36,408 annually in January 2021; however, the range falls between $33,566 and $39,314. Salary ranges can vary extensively, relying on many critical factors such as certifications, work experience, extra skills, and education. Medical assistants who work at the hospitals earn an average of $36,080, those in offices of chiropractors receive $30,870, outpatient care centers earn $36,810, and those in physician’s office earn $34,870. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What is the usual work week of a medical assistant?

Most medical assistants operate a regular 40 hours per week. Others work during the weekends or evenings.

  1. Where do the medical assistants operate?

Medical assistants functions along physicians, particularly in outpatients or ambulatory care facilities, which includes clinical workplaces and clinics. 

  1. What is the difference between medical assistants and other medical workers?

The medical assistants are the most flexible allied health professionals. They are coached to carry out clinical and managerial duties.

Also read: Nurse practitioner vs. nurse anesthetist

Medical Assistant Job Description, Salary & Duties

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