Medical Assistant Programs in Montana


Unlike other occupations, the medical industry is one of the most stable job environments one can get into. With people paying more attention to their health and a growing aging population, jobs that are meant to unburden doctors and nurses of administrative tasks will continue to increase. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the medical assisting industry is expected to grow in the coming years, projecting additional 163,000 available jobs from now to 2020, or 31% of the total number of practicing medical assistants today.

Medical Assisting Education in Montana

Medical assistants are not required to take formal education or any certification tests. With a high school diploma, you can already begin your job search. This scenario is slowly changing as employers consider hiring formally trained and certified applicants more practical than hiring someone who still needs to be trained.

Therefore, your best option now is to attend an accredited medical assisting school. Programs are usually available in community colleges, junior colleges, technical schools, vocational schools, and universities. Online medical assisting programs are also offered to cater to part-time students or career shifters.

After completing a 1-year medical assistance course, you obtain a certificate that you can use during job hunting. On the other hand, there is also the associate's degree course that you can complete within a two-year period. Clinical and administrative training for associate degree students are more extensive than the certificate program.

MOntana Medical Assisting Schools

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Charter College

Charter College is a private, independent institution of higher education that follows a new direction. Charter College is neither a liberal arts college, a university, nor a vocational school. Instead, Charter College borrows certain elements from each of those respected educational institutions to create a unique and innovative experience for our students.

We offer career training programs in the growing fields of health care, business, law, criminal justice, information technology, and select trade careers. We strive to provide our students with a career-focused education that is both relevant in today’s workspace and cutting-edge in technology and focus.

Campus
  • Billings
  • Missoula
Programs
  • Certificate - Medical Assistant
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Certification Requirements

After finishing your program, you may already start looking for a medical assisting job. What will make you more marketable is if you take and pass a certification exam for medical assistants. This is not essential if you are looking for a job, but becoming a certified medical assistant gives you more bargaining control because it means you have passed certain standards set by the certifying committee for medical assistants.

Salary Information
The mean average wage for Montana practitioners is about $27,500, about 2% lower than the mean average nationwide. Although there are practitioners in Montana who earn more than $40,000 per annum, there are only a handful of them.

However, this does not mean that the future of Montana medical assistants is bleak. As the US Bureau of Labor Statistic says, the field is expected to grow by 31%, which is higher and faster than any other occupations right now. In addition, there are various ways to increase your salary such as attending a formal school if you have not done so yet, becoming certified in related fields that you have experience of (experience in handling x-ray machines, phlebotomy, medical technology, and medical laboratory technicians), and arranging your work schedule properly to accommodate opportunities for overtime.

The possibilities as a medical assistant are endless. And if you are not certain whether this is the right career for you, you can use this is stepping stone to other job opportunities.

References

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2011: Medical Assistants
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: How to Become a Medical Assistant

Resources

National Healthcareer Association: Medical Administrative Assistant Certification (CMAA)
American Medical Technologists
National Healthcareer Association: The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs: Accredited Program Search
Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools: Directory of Institutions and Programs

Medical Assistant Programs by State

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