According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 68.1 percent of 2010 high school graduates are enrolled in colleges or universities, which means that close to 32% of high school graduates will be entering the job market immediately, or seeking post high school education programs from vocational schools.
Considering the Current Job Market
The unemployment rate for recent high school graduates not enrolled in school was 33.4 percent, compared with 22.8 percent for recent graduates enrolled in college. In layman terms, approximately 1 million people ages 16 through 24 are all in a sudden, and all at once looking for careers, or direction that would lead them towards a happy and prosperous life style through a meaningful career. Now when you add in the number of people who are currently out of work and/or looking to make career changes, then the competition for a good job looks bleak, however, on the flip side, for those who are actively engaged and carefully plotting their career path the future is actually looking very bright, if they choose wisely.
Medical Assistant Career Path Opportunities
The one career path that still holds a lot of promise in the United States and around the world is in the field of healthcare, in particular, the career or job as a medical assistant. For most people, medical assistant is the one career, or job a person can start right out of high school in most states. Some doctors and medical centers offer on the job training. But the best way to obtain the knowledge you need to be proficient in this craft is to attend some formal training; online or in a classroom.
Advantages of Becoming a Medical Assistant
The first advantage a career in medical assisting has is take home medical assistant pay. When you consider someone basically coming right out of high school the medical assistant’s wages are quite attractive for someone who is just starting out. The lowest 10 percent of people in this field, usually entry level, earn around $20,600 per year. The highest 10 percent can earn as much as $40,000 per year. Those working in large regional medical centers and hospitals tend to earn even more than those working in physicians offices, outpatient care centers, or health practitioners.
The second advantage the medical assisting career offers is opportunity for mobility. Medical assistant is the one career that gives you an overall view of the healthcare industry as a whole. A medical assistant working in an hospital gets to observe and pickup additional skills outside his or her normal job duties. For instance, the medical assistant takes a patient in, takes the vital signs, brings the patient to the doctor, assists and observes the doctor, refers them to a specialist, or medical technician, such as a phlebotomist, or x-ray technician, again observes and learns, reads the lab reports and other findings to the doctor, and handles many other clinical and administrative duties, such as medical billing, so essential to the health care deliver and medical system.
Medical Assisting As a Springboard for Higher Goals
This experience provides the person with a foundation to use as a spring board to move on to the next level such as Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Registered Nurse (RN) or a specialty medical technician, or technologist, e.g. in the laboratory, for which many hospitals and medical centers now offer free training or pays for the training on behalf of the employee. A person can literally move all the way from medical assistant to hospital administrator, nurse, or even doctor, if they take advantage of the educational offers so readily available in every state. In the end, the best advantage are the rewards you get from helping others in your community: Priceless.
Photo Credits: Class photo from Ana Rose, Deviant Art.