a team of medical assistants

Medical Assistant: The Career for You?

Have you been thinking about becoming a medical assistant but aren't sure if it's the right career for you? Choosing a career is a huge decision, and for many people, this decision is nothing short of life-changing. Therefore, you want to ensure you're equipped with as much information and knowledge as possible before you pursue a career as a medical assistant.

Ideal Personality Traits

As a medical assistant, you must be very dependable. So many people, including doctors, patients, and any additional treatment specialists, rely on you to always be on time, know how to do your job, and respect all accepted protocols. A medical assistant who is severely lacking when it comes to dependability can result in potentially deadly consequences.

As it is in almost every career in the medical field, high stress tolerance is an important characteristic for medical assistants. There will always be patients flowing into the clinic or health care facility, and there will always be paperwork for you to do.

Salary Figures

On average, medical assistants make about $30,000 per year, or $14.50 per hour. The highest paid medical assistants make $42,000 per year, or $20 per hour. At the low end, medical assistants make $10 per hour, which equals about $21,000 per year. Of course, the average salary of medical assistants varies by state. For example, you can expect to make more in Alaska than in a state like Oklahoma.

Working Conditions

The work of a medical assistant varies based on which type of medical assistance the person chooses to work in. There are clinical medical assistants, administrative medical assistants, and specialized medical assistants.

Most clinical medical assistants work in clinics, doctors' offices, and other health care facilities. The role of a clinical medical assistant centers on assessments, patients, and other duties that enable the practice to continue running smoothly.

On the other hand, the role of an administrative medical assistant focuses on administration. This assistant will work at the front desk or reception office of a hospital, medical clinic, or other health care facility.

Specialized medical assistants get to choose a certain field of medicine to focus on. However, just like clinical medical assistants, the duties of a specialized medical assistant mostly focus on assisting physicians when it comes to providing patient care.


The average medical assistant works about 40 hours a week. Medical assistants work in sanitary, well-lit, and interactive environments, no matter what duties they are asked to fulfill. You'll find some medical assistants who work part-time and others who work in the evenings or on weekends. It truly depends on the office hours and and the nature of the medical services offered at the health care facility.

While medical assistants don't make nearly as much as other professionals in the health care field, it is easy to see that being a medical assistant would make a very fulfilling career. As long as you possess the ideal characteristics of a medical assistant and are pleased with the salary, hours, and working conditions, you can look forward to a very rewarding career as a medical assistant.