Career Advancement Opportunities for Medical Assistants

When considering nursing as a career, you might want to look at a few other healthcare career options and advancement opportunities for comparison. Here’s a great post from Sandra Mills.
~ Kathy

You already know that you want to be a medical assistant, or maybe you’ve already been in the industry for a few years. Medical assistant schools can offer a rewarding career for life, but some professionals want to go above and beyond the call of duty. Maybe you’re considering specializing in a specific field or taking your education to the next level. Medical assisting is a fantastic career in and of itself, but what happens when you want to go to the next level?
The good news is that completing medical assistant programs lays the foundation for a myriad of options. Maybe you want to pursue an RN program, or maybe your experience working in an assisted living home has motivated you to specialize in geriatrics. No matter what path you’re considering, having your medical assistant certificate in hand gives you a leg up. Here’s a look at a few of the career advancement opportunities at your fingertips.
Medical Perfusionist
If you haven’t heard of this career before, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Medical perfusionists operate bypass machines and are critical in cardiology clinics or in the OR when someone is getting a bypass for heart failure. Depending on your location and your employer, a bachelor’s degree or a specific certification may be required. You might have to be licensed depending on the state, but all perfusionists must pass a test administered by the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), perfusionists can make up to $100,000 per year. These professionals should be:
·       Very detail-oriented
·       Able to handle a high-stress environment
·       Have a knack for technology
Clinical Trial Manager
Well before a drug makes it to the market, numerous clinical trials are necessary—and these trials need managers. You’ll be responsible for ensuring everything adheres to Federal Drug Administration (FDA) standards and be at the helm of some exciting and potentially life-saving research. Forbes recommends being a Clinical Trial Manager as a great career path, and the average salary is $92,300. You might need a degree, or a certification may suffice. Clinical Trial Managers should exhibit:
·       Attention to detail, especially with FDA requirements
·       Empathy
·       The ability to see the big picture
Doctors need professionals to actually translate all of those x-rays and MRIs into something meaningful. Usually, it’s not doctors who look at imaging results, but radiologic technicians. Sometimes an associate’s degree is required, and the BLS reports that these careers are growing at 28 percent per year, which is much higher than other careers. The average radiologist makes $54,530 per year, but requirements vary by state. To be a radiologist, you should have these skills:
·       Incredible attention to detail, since you’ll be the one decoding the results of a patient’s scan
·       Compassion, since radiologists often administer scans as well as read them
·       A passion for technology
Physician’s Assistant
A natural advancement opportunity for a medical assistant is becoming a physician’s assistant. PAs practice medicine under the supervision of an MD. You can diagnose injuries, examine patients and even give treatment (under the physician’s supervision). Depending on where you live and the employer, a bachelor’s or master’s degree is required. The BLS reports that PA positions are growing at an impressive 30 percent rate and the average salary is $86,410. A good PA is:
·       Caring and compassionate
·       Has an interest in practicing medicine
·       Might be on the path to becoming an MD
Medical assistant schools are a great place to begin your medical career. Whether you want to be a medical assistant or advancement to another career, it’s crucial to start with a great education. Medical assisting can be your springboard to just about anything in the field of medicine.
Sandra Mills is a freelance writer who has a passion for healthcare and education. Sandra has written numerous articles on healthcare training courses like medical assisting as well as posts on new medical technology and health improvement tips.