A medical assisting certificate or degree usually leads to a career in medical assisting. However, there are many other job opportunities available for people who earn their medical assisting certificate or degree.
Becoming a certified medical assistant doesn’t take long, is relatively inexpensive, and can lead to some great job opportunities.
This guide goes over just some of the jobs you can get with a medical assisting degree or certificate, including what they do, where they work, and why it might be a good fit for you.
Jobs You Can Get With a Medical Assistant Degree or Certificate
Getting your medical assistant degree or certificate requires you to learn basic healthcare concepts, including how to safely and ethically take care of patients. This knowledge can help you be successful in a variety of different jobs.
Some jobs you can get with a medical assistant degree or certificate include:
Medical assisting is the most obvious choice for someone with a medical assisting certificate or degree. Medical assistants work alongside physicians performing routine exams, bedside procedures, and diagnostic tests.
Medical assistants usually work in doctors offices or clinics and can manage both clinical and administrative responsibilities around the facility. Medical assistants are in high demand all over the country and earn decent salaries.
- Training required: Medical assistants must have at least a high school diploma. Most employers prefer to hire medical assistants who have completed a certification course. Certification courses can be completed online or in person and can take anywhere from 4 months to 2 years to complete.
- Average salary: $37,190
- # Jobs in U.S.: 743,500
- Job outlook: 16% growth through 2031
Phlebotomists can work in hospitals, laboratories, or outpatient clinics. They spend their days collecting blood samples to be sent to the lab for analysis. They play an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of patients everywhere from walk-in clinics to intensive care units.
Medical assistant training courses include classes in phlebotomy. If you enjoy drawing blood but want to avoid the administrative side of medical assisting, phlebotomy might be a perfect fit for you.
- Training required: Phlebotomists are not required to have any special certificate and many receive only on-the-job training. However, there are many training programs available that can be completed in as little as 30 hours.
- Average salary: $37,380, compared to medical assistant salary of $37,190
- # Jobs in U.S.: 21,500
- Job outlook: 10% growth
>> Read More: Medical Assistant vs. Phlebotomist
An EKG technician specializes in taking a special recording of the electrical activity in the heart. This recording can help diagnose heart attacks, heart blocks, atrial fibrillation, and other serious heart problems.
Medical assistants are usually trained in EKG recordings, meaning that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform this important task correctly.
- Training required: You can work as an EKG technician with only a high school diploma, but it can be helpful to complete a formal EKG training program or medical assisting program. EKG programs can be found online and generally require 20-100 hours of coursework.
- Average salary: $60,570, compared to medical assistant salary of $37,190
- # Jobs in U.S.: 10,100
- Job outlook: 10% growth through 2032
Medical Administrative Assistant
A medical administrative assistant is a special type of medical assistant who focuses only on administrative duties. Their responsibilities include things like keeping records up to date, scheduling appointments, managing referrals, and handling billing.
Medical administrative assistants generally work in clinics, doctors offices, chiropractic offices, and other outpatient centers.
Medical assisting programs can prepare you to take your Certified Medical Administrative Assistant exam and earn your certificate. The CMAA certificate shows employers that you have the skills and knowledge you need to be a great medical administrative assistant.
- Training required: At least a high school diploma, but certification is preferred. Medical administrative certification courses can be completed in as little as 4 months.
- Average salary: $39,740, compared to medical assistant salary of $37,190
- # Jobs in U.S.: 656,640
- Job outlook: 0.5% growth
>> Read More: Medical Assistant vs. Medical Administrative Assistant
Medical Claims Examiner
A medical claims examiner reviews insurance claims caused by injury or illness and determines whether or not expenses should be covered by the insurance company or the injured party.
Claims examiners typically work in an office, but some may be given the option to work from home. They will spend their days reviewing claims and making sure that all of the proper procedures were followed.
Medical assisting training can help claims examiners understand the medical jargon more easily and make informed decisions about what should be covered.
- Training required: Medical claims examiners must have a high school diploma, but many companies prefer to hire claims examiners who hold a bachelor’s degree in finance
- Average salary: $64,710, compared to medical assistant salary of $37,190
- # Jobs in U.S.: 327,500
- Job outlook: 6% decline through 2023
Medical Records Technician
Medical records technicians keep patient information organized and up to date. They frequently perform chart reviews for completeness and accuracy and work hard to keep all medical records safe and secure.
Medical records technicians can benefit from a medical assistant training program’s medical terminology, billing and coding, ethics, and information management courses.
- Training required: Medical records technicians typically need at least an associate degree in health information management or another relevant degree.
- Average salary: $46,660, compared to medical assistant salary of $37,190
- # Jobs in U.S.: 186,400
- Job outlook: 7% growth through 2023
Home Health Aide
A home health aide visits patients in their homes to help them with their activities of daily living. Home health aides can help with everything from preparing simple meals to assisting with bathing. Some home health aides are responsible for measuring patients’ vital signs or blood sugar levels during their visits.
Medical assisting knowledge translates nicely into a career in home health. Medical assistant training can help home health aides gain a better understanding of medicines their patients may use, what to do in case of a medical emergency, and how healthcare ethics affect policies and procedures in home healthcare.
- Training required: People with a high school diploma can sometimes work as a home health aides, but most agencies require a certified nursing assistant. CNA programs can be completed in 4 to 12 weeks.
- Average salary: $29,430, compared to medical assistant salary of $37,190
- # Jobs in U.S.: 711,700
- Job outlook: 25% increase through 2032
Dispensing opticians help people to find glasses and contacts that will be comfortable and well-fitting. While dispensing opticians are not qualified to test sight, they can measure the distance between the patient's eyes and the depth of the eye socket to help glasses fit perfectly.
Dispensing opticians have to have a lot of the same knowledge as medical assistants do including medical terminology, healthcare ethics, billing and coding, and administrative organizational skills.
- Training required: Including what type of certificate/degree/etc is required, the length of training, and where to find training
- Average salary: $37,570 compared to medical assistant salary of $37,190
- # Jobs in U.S.: 73,270
- Job outlook: 4% growth through 2032
Medical Assistant Certificate & Degree FAQs
Is a medical assistant degree or certificate better?
While most employers prefer that their medical assistants have some kind of certification, they do not differentiate between a certificate earned through a degree program or a certificate program.
How long does it take to get a medical assistant certificate?
You can earn your medical assistant certificate through an online program in as little as six weeks. Six-week medical assistant programs are considered extremely accelerated and require more than full-time study. Typical certificate programs take between four and twelve months.
Stepful’s Online Medical Assistant Program, for example, takes four months to complete, which gives more time to completely learn the material and prepare for the certification exam.
How long does it take to get a medical assistant degree?
Getting a certificate through a medical assistant degree program takes up to two years.
Who offers medical assistant certificates?
You can get an medical assistant certification through an online program like Stepful, a community college, or a trade school.
Who offers medical assistant degrees?
Community colleges and universities offer medical assistant degrees.
How much does it cost to get a medical assistant certificate?
Medical assisting certificate programs usually cost between $2,000 and $5,000. After completing your training program, you will have to pay $250 for an exam registration fee.
How much does it cost to get a medical assistant degree?
Most medical assistant degrees cost between $2,500 to $20,000, depending on the school you choose.
How should I choose a job after getting my medical assistant certificate or degree?
There are many different factors to consider when choosing a medical assisting job. First, you should consider the type of office you would enjoy working in. Medical assistants can work in specialties like pediatrics, chiropractic medicine, and cardiology.
It is also important to consider location, schedule, salary, and advancement opportunities when choosing a medical assisting job.