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Summary Report for:
31-9092.00 - Medical Assistants

Perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of a physician. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding information for insurance purposes. Clinical duties may include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, and administering medications as directed by physician.

Sample of reported job titles: Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), Chiropractor Assistant, Clinical Assistant, Doctor's Assistant, Medical Assistant (MA), Medical Office Assistant, Ophthalmic Technician, Optometric Assistant, Optometric Technician, Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Record patients' medical history, vital statistics, or information such as test results in medical records.
  • Prepare treatment rooms for patient examinations, keeping the rooms neat and clean.
  • Interview patients to obtain medical information and measure their vital signs, weight, and height.
  • Show patients to examination rooms and prepare them for the physician.
  • Prepare and administer medications as directed by a physician.
  • Collect blood, tissue, or other laboratory specimens, log the specimens, and prepare them for testing.
  • Authorize drug refills and provide prescription information to pharmacies.
  • Explain treatment procedures, medications, diets, or physicians' instructions to patients.
  • Clean and sterilize instruments and dispose of contaminated supplies.
  • Perform routine laboratory tests and sample analyses.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Hypodermic needle — Intradermal needles; Intramuscular needles; Subcutaneous hypodermic needles
Mercury blood pressure units — Baumanometers; Manual blood pressuring measurement equipment
Nebulizer or accessories — Nebulizers; Pulmonary nebulizers
Ophthalmoscopes or otoscopes or scope sets — Opthalmoscopes; Otoscopes
Spirometers or its accessories or its supplies — Spirometers; Vitalors

Technology used in this occupation:

Accounting software — Billing software; Bookkeeping software
Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Exchange
Medical software — Electronic medical record EMR software; Patient management software; Visual electro diagnostic software
Office suite software — Business software applications; Microsoft Office software
Operating system software — Microsoft Windows Vista Business; Microsoft Windows XP Professional

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Knowledge

Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

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Skills

Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Abilities

Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

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Work Activities

Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Work Context

Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Physical Proximity — To what extent does this job require the worker to perform job tasks in close physical proximity to other people?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — How important is repeating the same physical activities (e.g., key entry) or mental activities (e.g., checking entries in a ledger) over and over, without stopping, to performing this job?
Exposed to Disease or Infections — How often does this job require exposure to disease/infections?
Deal With External Customers — How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

There are 2 recognized apprenticeable specialties associated with this occupation:
Podiatric Assistant; Medical Assistant

To learn about specific apprenticeship opportunities, please consult the U.S. Department of Labor State Apprenticeship Information external site website.

For general information about apprenticeships, training, and partnerships with business, visit the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship external site website.

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
72   Some college, no degree
18   Associate's degree
10   High school diploma or equivalent

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Interests

Interest code: SCR

Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

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Work Styles

Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

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Work Values

Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

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Related Occupations

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29-2053.00 Psychiatric Technicians
29-2061.00 Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Bright Outlook
29-2099.01 Neurodiagnostic Technologists Bright Outlook
31-2011.00 Occupational Therapy Assistants Bright Outlook
31-2021.00 Physical Therapist Assistants Bright Outlook
31-9091.00 Dental Assistants Bright Outlook
31-9099.01 Speech-Language Pathology Assistants Bright Outlook

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Wages & Employment Trends

National

Median wages (2012) $14.12 hourly, $29,370 annual
Employment (2012) 561,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Much faster than average (22% or higher) Much faster than average (22% or higher)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 269,900
Top industries (2012)

State & National

          CareerOneStop

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs
for Medical Assistants

          mySkills myFuture

State & National Job Banks

          CareerOneStop

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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