Career Guide

Resources on this page

Explore Careers for Medical Assistants and Related Professionals

Check out career opportunities in fields that are closely related to medical assisting.

Dental Assistants

Consider working as a dental assistant, the dentist's equivalent to a medical assistant.

Licensed Practical Nurses

See if working as an LPN is the right career for you, which involves more patient interaction than medical assisting.

Surgical Technician

Step behind the desk and into the action by learning how to assist surgeons in the operating room.

Medical assistants, sometimes known as medical technicians, hold a variety of positions spanning many specialties. Most work in physician’s offices, but they can also be found in hospitals, clinics, dentist’s offices, and even chiropractor’s offices. Educational requirements, duties, certification, licensing, and training all vary, depending on the position and the state where you live.

Assisants perform routine work that doctors do not have time to do. By undertaking clerical and administrative tasks, they allow physician’s to spend more time providing direct patient care. Certification is generally not required for all, but some states require medical techs in related positions to get licensed, especially if the position entails advanced clinical duties like taking x rays. A few states require all, no matter what their duties, to become licensed.

The following is a generic list of some of the different positions across multiple medical specialties:

Cardiovascular Technologists

Job Prospects: The employment of cardiovascular technologists is expected to rise by about 29%, which is 10% higher than the average for all of other jobs. As of 2010, there were about 49,400 cardiovascular technologist jobs, and that figure is expected to rise by about 14,500 between 2010 and 2020.

Average Salary: $49,410/year

Entry-Level Education: Associate’s degree

Job Description: Cardiovascular technologists help cardiologists diagnose and treat heart and vascular issues. Cardiovascular technologists perform clinical duties, such as preparing and maintaining imaging equipment, performing simple tasks such as ultrasounds, conducting electrocardiograms (EKGs), examining images for quality, and helping physicians during procedures such as inserting catheters. They also undertake administrative duties, such as taking patient information and history, filing insurance claims, and maintaining patient records.

Why Would I Want to Do This? Choose to become a cardiovascular technologist if you enjoy biology and human anatomy and physiology, especially of the cardiovascular system. Cardiovascular technologists also work directly with patients, so this is a good job for you if you have strong people skills. You should also be able to easily learn medical terminology, programs that document and organize patient records, and simple procedures such as ultrasounds.