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)
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- 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.
- Perform general office duties, such as answering telephones, taking dictation, or completing insurance forms.
- Greet and log in patients arriving at office or clinic.
- Schedule appointments for patients.
- Help physicians examine and treat patients, handing them instruments or materials or performing such tasks as giving injections or removing sutures.
- Contact medical facilities or departments to schedule patients for tests or admission.
- Inventory and order medical, lab, or office supplies or equipment.
- Operate x-ray, electrocardiogram (EKG), or other equipment to administer routine diagnostic tests.
- Change dressings on wounds.
- Set up medical laboratory equipment.
- Keep financial records or perform other bookkeeping duties, such as handling credit or collections or mailing monthly statements to patients.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Alcohol analysers — Breathalyzers
- Audiometers or accessories — Audiometers
- Bedside pulmonary function screeners — Pulmonary function measurement equipment
- Benchtop centrifuges — Centrifuges
- Binocular light compound microscopes
- Blood collection needle — Single draw needles
- Body plethysmographs — Plethysmographs
- Butterfly needles
- Canes or cane accessories — Canes
- Capillary or hematocrit tubes — Microcapillary hematocrit tubes
- Cast cutters or saws — Cast cutters
- Chemistry analyzers — Blood chemistry analyzers
- Combination refractor keratometers — Keratometers
- Crutches or crutch accessories — Crutches
- Dictation machines — Dictation equipment
- Dropping pipettes — Pipettes
- Electrocardiography EKG units
- Electronic blood pressure units — Electronic blood pressure measuring devices
- Electrosurgical or electrocautery equipment — Electrocautery equipment
- Endotracheal tubes — Endotracheal ET tubes
- Enema kits or accessories — Enema equipment
- Eye charts or vision cards — Snellen eye charts
- Eye occluders — Handheld occluders
- Flexible endoscopes or accessories or related products — Flexible sigmoidoscopy equipment
- Gait belts for rehabilitation or therapy — Gait belts
- Hearing aids for the physically challenged — Hearing aids
- Hypodermic needle — Intradermal needles; Intramuscular needles; Subcutaneous hypodermic needles
- Lap mayo trays or mayo stands for surgical use or accessories — Mayo stands
- Laser printers
- Medical acoustic stethoscope or accessory — Mechanical stethoscopes
- Medical gas cylinders or related devices — Oxygen tanks
- Medical imaging wet darkroom or daylight processors — X ray development equipment
- Medical oxygen masks or parts — Oxygen masks
- Medical radiation films or badges — Dosimetry badges
- Medical staple or clip removers — Staple removers
- Medical suction cannulas or tubes or accessories — Suction tubing
- Medical suction or vacuum appliances — Suction machines
- Medical syringe with needle — Syringe needles
- Medical syringe without needle — Syringes
- Medical x ray units for general diagnostic use — X ray machines
- Mercury blood pressure units — Baumanometers; Manual blood pressuring measurement equipment
- Microscope slides
- Nebulizer or accessories — Nebulizers; Pulmonary nebulizers
- Non vacuum blood collection tubes or containers — Blood collection vials
- Notebook computers
- Ophthalmic lensometers — Lensometers
- Ophthalmic retinoscopes — Retinoscopes
- Ophthalmic tonometers or accessories — Tonometers
- Ophthalmoscopes or otoscopes or scope sets — Opthalmoscopes; Otoscopes
- Opticians tools or accessories — Metric rules
- Orthopedic splint systems — Splints
- Oxygen therapy delivery system products accessories or its supplies — Oxygen equipment
- Personal computers
- Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers — Personal digital assistants PDA
- Phlebotomy trays or accessories — Evacuated collection tube holders/adapters
- Specimen collection container — Culturettes
- Spirometers or its accessories or its supplies — Spirometers; Vitalors
- Steam autoclaves or sterilizers — Autoclaves
- Suture removers
- Tablet computers
- Tuberculin syringes — Tuberculin TB skin test equipment
- Vacuum blood collection tubes or containers — Evacuated blood collection tubes
- Walkers or rollators — Walkers
Technology used in this occupation:
- Accounting software — Billing software; Bookkeeping software
- Calendar and scheduling software — Appointment scheduling software
- Categorization or classification software — Diagnostic and procedural coding software
- Data base user interface and query software — Database software
- Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Exchange
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Medical software — Medical procedure coding software ; MEDITECH software ; Patient management software; Visual electro diagnostic software (see all 7 examples)
- Network conferencing software — Microsoft Office SharePoint Server MOSS
- Office suite software — Business software applications; Microsoft Office software
- Operating system software — Microsoft Windows Vista Business; Microsoft Windows XP Professional
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- 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.
- 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.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- 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).
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
- 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.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Detailed Work Activities
- Perform clerical work in medical settings.
- Assist practitioners to perform medical procedures.
- Clean medical equipment.
- Collect biological specimens from patients.
- Dispose of biomedical waste in accordance with standards.
- Prepare medical instruments or equipment for use.
- Operate medical equipment.
- Record vital statistics or other health information.
- Assess physical conditions of patients to aid in diagnosis or treatment.
- Clean patient rooms or patient treatment rooms.
- Interview patients to gather medical information.
- Prepare patient treatment areas for use.
- Control prescription refills or authorizations.
- Give medications or immunizations.
- Administer basic health care or medical treatments.
- Apply bandages, dressings, or splints.
- Explain technical medical information to patients.
- Process medical billing information.
- Inventory medical supplies or equipment.
- Conduct diagnostic tests to determine patient health.
- Schedule patient procedures or appointments.
- Contact With Others — 84% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 74% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 75% responded “Extremely important.”
- Telephone — 83% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 66% responded “Very close (near touching).”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 87% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 76% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 57% responded “Extremely important.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 67% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 73% responded “Extremely important.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 45% responded “Very important.”
- Letters and Memos — 42% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 57% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Consequence of Error — 46% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 56% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Time Pressure — 53% responded “Every day.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 58% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 55% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 41% responded “Some freedom.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 56% responded “Important results.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 49% responded “Some freedom.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 33% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 35% responded “More than half the time.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 38% responded “Every day.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 26% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 41% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 38% responded “About half the time.”
|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, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|10||High school diploma or equivalent|
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.
- 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.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- 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.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2015)||$14.71 hourly, $30,590 annual|
|Employment (2014)||591,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Much faster than average (14% or higher)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||262,100|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
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.
- Medical assistants . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.
- Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) , 7777 Leesburg Pike, Suite 314 N., Falls Church, VA 22043. Phone: (703) 917-9503. Fax: (703) 917-4109.
- American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) , 20 N. Wacker Dr., Suite 1575, Chicago, IL 60606. Phone: (312) 899-1500.
- American Medical Technologists (AMT) , 10700 W. Higgins Rd., Suite 150, Rosemont, IL 60018. Phone: (847) 823-5169. Fax: (847) 823-0458.
- American Society of Podiatric Medical Assistants (ASPMA) , 2l24 S. Austin Blvd., Cicero, IL 60804. Phone: (708) 863-6303.
- Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO) , 2025 Woodlane Dr., St. Paul, MN 55125-2998. Phone: (800) 284-3937. Fax: (651) 731-0410.
- National Center for Competency Testing , 7007 College Blvd., Suite 385, Overland Park, KS 66211. Phone: (800) 875-4404. Fax: (913) 498-1243.
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA) , 11161 Overbrook Rd., Leawood, KS 66211. Phone: (800) 499-9092. Fax: (913) 661-6291.