Medical assistants, like many careers in the medical field, are in increasing demand, largely due to the increasing aging population. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 31% growth in jobs for medical assistants between 2010 and 2020, and in May 2011 37,280 medical assistants were employed in Florida.
Many different types of healthcare facilities employ medical assistants, including physicians’ offices, hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, and surgical centers. Some medical assistants learn their professions through on-the-job training, while others complete 1-year certificate programs or 2-year associate’s degree programs through community colleges or technical schools. Shorter programs make medical assisting an excellent choice to enter the healthcare field.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean hourly medical assistant salary in Florida as of May 2011 was $13.80. This is on par with the 2010 median hourly pay of $13.87. The mean annual salary in Florida as of May 2011 was $28,710, with the 10th percentile earning an average of $20,680, and the 90th percentile earning $37,690.
Medical assistants perform many different tasks in various facilities. Some medical assistants primarily handle administrative duties, such as filling out patient charts, maintaining office records, and coding medical procedures for billing insurance companies. Other medical assistants engage in clinical duties, including preparing medical instruments, preparing patients for procedures, taking patients’ vital signs, and performing laboratory tests. In many facilities, particularly smaller facilities, medical assistants are responsible for both administrative and clinical tasks.
Florida, like most states, does not require medical assistants to be certified or licensed, though there are several credentials medical assistants can choose to pursue to advance their careers. An average medical assistant salary in Florida may be higher for medical assistants who hold one or more credentials. Certifications require successful completion from an accredited medical assistant program, an examination to test for competency in key areas, or both.
*All salary information is from indeed.com