Medical assistants complete administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. Their duties vary with the location, specialty, and size of the practice.
Medical assistants held about 591,300 jobs in 2014. Most of these assistants work in physicians’ offices, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and other healthcare facilities.
How to Become a Medical Assistant
Most medical assistants have postsecondary education such as a certificate. Others enter the occupation with a high school diploma and learn through on-the-job training.
Employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 23 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. The growth of the aging baby-boom population will continue to increase demand for preventive medical services, which are often provided by physicians. As their practices expand, physicians will hire more assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties, allowing the physicians to see more patients.
This occupation supported 560,800 jobs in 2012 and 591,300 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 5.4%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 29.0% in 2022 to 723,700 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 593,300, compared with an observed value of 591,300, 0.3% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 24.8% in 2024 to 730,200 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 756,200 jobs for 2024, 3.6% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.