Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting: Degree Overview

An Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Medical Assisting degree program is ideal for individuals who are interested in working in clinics, hospitals, or medical offices to aid patients before and after seeing their primary care provider.

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Essential Information

Those enrolled in a 2-year AAS program for medical assisting learn to perform a variety of duties, including receptionist responsibilities, medical coding, bookkeeping, medical record keeping, and obtaining/recording vital signs. In addition to courses and clinical rotations, students may participate in cooperative education to gain hands-on training in a medical setting. A high school diploma or GED is required for entry to this program.

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Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting

Students typically spend the first year of this program developing clerical skills. After that, coursework focuses on medical terminology and management skills while also completing clinical education. Graduates should be able to demonstrate problem-solving skills, professionalism, and proficiency in performing clinical duties and laboratory procedures. Course topics may include:

  • Health information systems
  • Pharmacology
  • Basic electrocardiography
  • Medical ethics and law
  • Human anatomy and physiology

Popular Career Options

Medical or clinical assistants are trained to perform many duties within a medical setting under the supervision of a physician. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), physicians' offices employed the highest number of medical or clinical assistants in May 2015. Some popular career titles for this occupation include:

  • Medical assistant
  • Administrative medical assistant
  • Clinical medical assistant
  • Ophthalmic medical assistant
  • Podiatric medical assistant

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

As reported by the BLS, employment growth for medical assistants is projected to increase 23% over the 2014-2024 period. Most medical assistants in May 2015 earned salaries between $22,040 and $43,880 annually, while the median wage was $30,590.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates of medical or clinical AAS programs can seek employment immediately after graduation or may pursue further studies. Some may enroll in further training or bachelor's degree programs to become nurses, teachers, or other healthcare professionals.

Medical assistants are not required to have certification, but many choose to do so to demonstrate their knowledge of the required medical standards for the profession to increase job prospects. Certification can be obtained through the American Medical Technologists (AMT) and the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

An AAS in medical assisting trains students in topics such as basic electrocardiography, medical ethics, and human anatomy. This prepares graduates for voluntary certification, careers in a variety of healthcare settings, or further education.

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