Podiatrist Assistant: Employment Info & Requirements

Mar 26, 2019

Read on to learn what a podiatrist assistant does. See what kind of education and training are required for employment. Get the details about career prospects and earning potential to decide if this job is right for you.

Career Definition for a Podiatrist Assistant

Podiatrist assistants help care for patients' feet and ankles. They typically perform technical tasks in the offices of podiatrists, such as taking x-rays, making casts, and assisting podiatrists as they examine patients and perform procedures. Most podiatrist assistants work in physician's offices and other health care facilities, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Education Certificate or associate degree required
Certification and Licensing Certification available, license requirements vary by state
Job Skills Taking directions, customer service, record keeping, detail-oriented
Median Salary (2017)* $32,480 for medical assistants
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 29% for medical assistants

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Podiatrist assistants have earned either 1-year vocational certificates or 2-year associate's degrees in medical assisting. Coursework includes anatomy and physiology in addition to practical lessons in office tasks, use of instruments, and patient service skills.

Certification and Licensing Requirements

Certification is available for podiatrist assistants. Some states also require podiatrist assistants to be licensed; the qualifications for licensure can vary.

Skills Required

Podiatrist assistants are excellent at taking directions and completing tasks independently. Patient care requires good interpersonal and customer service skills. Podiatrist assistants should be capable of detailed work and record-keeping.

Career and Economic Outlook

Medical assistants, including podiatrist assistants, can expect strong job growth from 2016-2026, per the BLS, with a projected increase of 29%. According to the BLS, medical assistants, including podiatrist assistants, earned median pay of $32,480 in 2017. The greatest number of medical assistants were employed in California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New York.

Alternate Career Options

Check out these other options for careers in health care support:

Dental Assistant

Dental assistants prepare dental examining rooms and patients for dental treatments. They also provide chairside assistance to dentists as they perform dental work on patients. Dental assistants' duties can include booking appointments and patient education with regard to good dental hygiene. Depending on the state he or she works in, a dental assistant may be authorized to perform a variety of specialized patient care tasks, like the application of sealants, fluoride, and topical anesthetics.

Education and training requirements for employment vary widely; some states require completion of an approved education program and testing, while others require only on-the-job training. CPR certification and/or Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) credentials may also be required in some states. The BLS predicts that jobs in this field will increase 19% from 2016-2026, and that dental assistants earned median pay of $37,630 in 2017.

Licensed Practical Nurse

LPNs provide basic nursing care to patients in nursing facilities, hospitals, doctors' offices, and related settings. They work under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician, monitoring patients' vital signs, assisting with personal care tasks, and talking to patients about their conditions, reporting concerns to senior staff. LPNs can also perform some medical tasks, like inserting catheters.

A licensed practical nurse (LPN) has received training through an approved diploma or certificate program and passed a national licensure exam before earning a state license. According to the BLS, jobs for LPNs are expected to increase by 12% from 2016-2026; the median pay for this occupation was $45,030 in 2017. LPNs may also be called licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) in some places.

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