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Carrington College Blog

Career Spotlight – Medical Assisting

April 16, 2013

Medical AssistingMedical assistants work mostly in primary care, a steadily growing sector of the health care industry. To keep up with the constantly evolving field, more health care employers are turning to the support of medical assistants to deliver patient care as efficiently as possible. Compared to the average for all occupations, prospects are pretty ‘healthy’; employment of medical assistants is expected to grow by 31% from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.*

What does a medical assistant do?

Medical assistants perform a variety of administrative, laboratory and clinical duties. These may vary depending on the location, specialty, and size of the practice. But typical tasks include clerical and bookkeeping functions, recording vital signs, and conducting diagnostic tests, such as EKGs. Medical assistants may also help with routine patient procedures and provide education about care and medications. Medical assistants who meet the state requirements (where needed) for injection and venipuncture may also be asked to draw blood samples, give injections and remove sutures.

Where could I work as a medical assistant?

The majority of medical assistants work in doctors’ offices. In fact, in 2010, more than half of all medical assistants worked in physicians’ offices.*  Medical Assisting program graduates can also look for work in places like urgent care clinics, assisted living facilities, chiropractors’ offices, podiatrists, massage therapy clinics, and even medical spas.

Why is medical assisting a growing career?

As our population continues to get older, especially as baby-boomers head towards retirement age, the demand for preventive medical services, which are often provided by physicians’ offices, will increase. As practices expand, and as the number of group practices, clinics, and other healthcare facilities increases, more medical assistants are forecast to be hired to carry out routine administrative and clinical duties, allowing the physicians to see more patients.

What kind of education should I have?

Most states do not have formal educational requirements for becoming a medical assistant. However, some employers prefer candidates who have training and an education from a formal medical assisting program, such as the one available at Carrington College California. Some states may require medical assistants to graduate from an accredited program, pass an exam, or both, to perform advanced tasks, such as checking vital signs, drawing blood, and giving injections. The Carrington College California Medical Assisting program is available at our Antioch, Citrus Heights, Emeryville, Pomona, Pleasant Hill, Sacramento, San Jose, San Leandro, and Stockton campuses.

Does a medical assistant need to be certified?

Medical assistants are not required to be certified, however, you may find that employers prefer to hire certified medical assistants. There are multiple certification opportunities available in the Medical Assisting field, the most recognized of which are the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential and the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential. Our program can prepare you to take one or more national certification exam that you need to pass to attain such credentials.^

Where can I find out more about this career and the program?

If you, or someone you know, would like to learn more about joining this growing health care field, talk to a Carrington College California Enrollment Services Representative at 1.877.206.2106. You can also find out more at or by using the Live Chat feature on our website.

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*Bureau of Labor Statistics 1, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Ed.).

^Carrington College California prepares students to take appropriate certification and licensure exams related to their individual majors. The College does not guarantee graduates will successfully pass these exams or be certified or licensed as a result of completing the program. There are multiple certification opportunities available in the Medical Assisting field, the most recognized of which are the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential and the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential. Credential preparation varies by location.

Program availability varies by location.

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