In fact, medical assistants are currently one of the twenty fastest growing jobs in the United States of America and the largest in the health care field. Given this rapid expansion, being trained as a medical assistant is one of the easiest ways to ensure that you can find a position anywhere in the country (great for couples) and even in a tough economy (great for 2011).
Nonetheless, medical assistant jobs are an area in which experience is usually required to get a position. Medical positions where you only have a single technical skill, like a phlebotomist or a ultrasound technician, can usually be hired right out of school because their skills are so specific. Medical assistants, however, have much more general knowledge, and physicians are usually hesitant to hire people unless they have shown that they know how to use this general knowledge in action.
This, of course leads to the dilemma of needing experience to get a job and needing a job to get experience. For medical assistants, the best way to get around this dilemma is often to get an internship. This can be very short, as short as a couple of months. In this time, you will work for lower pay and at the end, you will be able to say that you have experience on your resumé and get better paying medical assistant jobs.
How do you get an internship, then? Often the best way is to ask at the college when you are in the process of training to become a medical assistant. Most medical assistant programs have built-in internship and externship programs that enable you to gain actual job experience while you are studying. In this way, by the time you finish your certificate or associates, you will have experience to show potential employers.
If your school does not offer internships or externships, then you can try to arrange one yourself. One trick is to simply approach either your professor or someone in the career office in your school. They will often know of internships or externships that are available. There may also be a separate job board at the school where physicians are looking for interns for a variety of tasks.
If that doesn’t work, you can use networking. If you are at a community college, there will be a number of people there in the medical field. Plus, you may know physicians through friends or community groups. Remember, a physician doesn’t actually need to be actively looking for an intern. A physician can allow you to intern at the office if he or she wishes, and then provide a reference when you are finished.
Finally, it is important to put together an attractive resumé that includes all of your experiences that are relevant to finding a position as a certified medical assistant. This resumé should include all of your educational experience, including your medical assistant training and certification. It should also include any administrative assistant training that you have, as well as any medical training. Don’t forget to also include the names of references from any internships that you might have done.
Medical assistant jobs are a bit of a paradox: there are many of them, but they can be hard to land. The trick is to get some experience and show people what you can do.