Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting and Medical Office Administration programs focus on providing students with healthcare-related skills and education in both classroom and laboratory environments. These programs are generally offered by community colleges and technical schools and can be completed in 15-24 months. Students should seek programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs for the best possible career opportunities (www.caahep.com). Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED.
Associate of Applied Science in Medicine
Students in these AAS programs can expect to take courses designed to develop office and computer skills, as well as classes intended to enhance their knowledge of medical terms and procedures. Common courses include:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Database administration
- Health office management
- Laboratory procedures
- Medical transcription
- Healthcare ethics
Popular Career Options
Students who enter the workplace with an AAS degree in medical assisting, medical office administration, or a related specialty should enjoy excellent job opportunities. Popular career options include these:
- Medical assistant
- Medical information specialist
- Medical office administrator or manager
- Billing and coding representative
- Medical transcriptionist
- Accounts and records clerk
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a significant increase in the number of jobs available in the healthcare industry in the coming years (www.bls.gov). Opportunities for medical assistants, in particular, are expected to grow by 23% from 2014 to 2024. These professionals earned a median annual salary of $30,590 in 2015, the BLS reported. The growth of the healthcare industry will be driven by a broadening of services within the medical field and an increasing number of elderly citizens.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates of AAS medical degree programs can enter a variety of careers, but many also require professional certification. Depending on the career path chosen, students can become certified through organizations such as the American Medical Technologists, the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity, or the American Association of Medical Assistants. Some common certification options include:
- Certified Medical Transcriptionist
- Certified Medical Assistant
- Certified Medical Administrative Specialist
Associate of Applied Science medical degree programs also prepare students for further study at the baccalaureate level. Students can choose to enter a variety of healthcare-related degree programs, such as registered nursing or healthcare management. Any combination of professional certification and advanced education can lead to enhanced career possibilities and financial gain in the continually expanding healthcare industry.
When students enroll in an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting or Medical Office Administration program, they can expect to gain a broad overview of the administrative aspects of the healthcare field. This can provide a sufficient basis for entry-level jobs or for further studies in the medical field.