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Penn Foster Medical Assistant Program

Choose a Career In a Growing Industry

Medical Assistant In today’s fast-paced world many people are finding that jobs and industries are changing so fast that it’s difficult to keep up. One way to get ahead is to choose a career in an industry that is growing. Training to become a medical assistant is one good option. What is the job outlook for medical assistants? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of medical assistants is expected to grow by 29% over a ten-year period (2012-2022). That is much higher than the total job growth forecast of only 11% over the same ten-year period. The reasons for this are not surprising.

First, as the baby-boomer generation ages, their medical needs will continue to grow. Also, recent federal healthcare legislation is expected to increase the demand for healthcare since more people are gaining access to health insurance.

Besides these factors, rapidly changing technologies in the healthcare industry are expected to create a greater demand for properly trained and qualified workers that can create, use, and analyze electronic health records.

Clearly, the job outlook for medical assistants is excellent. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes “employers prefer to hire certified assistants.” How can you get the proper training and certification? Transitioning careers can be difficult if you already have job and family responsibilities. For that very reason many people are turning to online programs such as the Penn Foster Medical Assistant program.

This program is an Associates Degree program that is ABHES-accredited and will prepare you to sit for both the RMA (Registered Medical Assistant) and CMA (Certified Medical Assistant) examinations. The curriculum includes 15 credits of general studies where you will study subjects such as English Composition, Arts, Humanities, and Psychology. Then there are 50 credits (3 semesters) specific to the Medical Assistant program. You will study Medical Terminology, Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Coding, Medical Transcription, and Clinical Procedures among other things.

What is the online learning experience like?

First, you need to make sure you have the proper equipment. You will need a high speed internet connection and a computer. It is best to check with the specific program provider to make sure which operating systems and software are compatible with their program. Of course for most degree or certification programs, such as the Penn Foster Medical Assistant program, reading is the most necessary skill.

Occasionally videos are used as teaching tools. And in some cases where students prefer listening instead of reading, faculty members record their lectures. Interactions with instructors are provided either by phone during daytime hours or you can communicate via email at any time. Tests are taken either online, through the mail, or, in some cases, in a public building with a proctor.

There are many benefits to taking courses online.

The flexibility of online courses is a favorite feature for most students. Besides being able to be at home or on vacation or travel the world and still prepare for a new career, you can also learn at your own pace. This is an excellent feature for people who already have a full time job or children or who are helping aging parents. Some people have all of these responsibilities and while they don’t have the time or energy take take a full load of onsite college courses, they can take online courses at a pace that fits their circumstances. Computer programs used for online courses can also measure your progress to make sure you are meeting your goals, thus you get a customized learning experience.

Taking a course, such as the Penn Foster Medical Assistant course, can be a good move in the right direction economically. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for medical assistants in 2012 was $29,370. A poll of thousands of HR departments nationwide taken in 2015 found that the median annual wage has risen to $32,754. Considering the rising demand for such skills, it’s not surprising that this is an industry where wages are not stagnant but are rising at a reasonable pace. This bodes well for future earnings and job security.

The medical industry itself is a growth industry and many have found that becoming a medical assistant is just the beginning of their career in the medical field. Work experience in the medical field can open up other career possibilities in hospital and clinical settings, but also in pharmaceutical, insurance and other related fields. Changing or choosing a career can be scary. To do it successfully requires research, careful planning, time, energy, and money.

The research and careful planning can help to alleviate the energy and money requirements. Thus, time well spent is a good investment. If you take the time to find out if the Penn Foster Medical Assistant program is right for you, then you might find an investment that pays dividends for years to come.