While there are several ways to become a medical assistant, generally speaking your best odds of finding a job are going through an academic program. Some medical assistants learn via on the job training, but in this competitive economic environment, and with the large numbers of new medical assistant programs, education is a good investment for your future.
First things first, you should make sure to have your high school diploma or equivalent. After that, the next step is a medical assistant training program, which usually last one to two years. You can find these at community colleges, technical schools, junior colleges, and vocational schools. One year programs will give you a certificate, while two years will net you an associate degree. In most cases, the second option is preferred by employers as it shows more of a commitment.
During medical assistant school, you can expect to find classes on a wide variety of subjects. Courses include those you might expect for medical topics, like pharmacology, patient care, anatomy, biology, and others. However, since medical assistants also need to have clerical skills, they take classes like typing, accounting, medical billing, and a whole lot else. First aid, life support, and other courses are also included. In short, school is a vital part of your training and will cover a lot of ground.
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