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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Assistants in San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for medical assistants. Currently, 59,500 people work as medical assistants in California. This is expected to grow 31% to about 77,800 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for medical assistants, which sees this job pool growing by about 33.9% over the next eight years. In general, medical assistants perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician.

The income of a medical assistant is about $14 per hour or $29,650 yearly on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $13 hourly or $28,300 per year on average. Medical assistants earn less than people working in the category of Medical and Dental Assistance generally in California and less than people in the Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. People working as medical assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: clinical medical assistant, registered medical assistant, and medical insurance coding specialist.

There are eighty-six schools of higher education in the San Francisco area, including twenty within twenty-five miles of San Francisco where you can get a degree to start your career as a medical assistant. Medical assistants usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a medical assistant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Medical Assistant

Medical Assistant video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, medical assistants perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician. They also administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding for insurance purposes.

Medical assistants ready treatment rooms for patient examinations, keeping the rooms neat and clean. They also interview clients to obtain medical data and measure their vital signs and height. Equally important, medical assistants have to show clients to examination rooms and ready them for the physician. They are often called upon to help physicians examine and treat patients, handing them instruments and materials or performing such tasks as giving injections or removing sutures. They are expected to record patients' medical history, vital statistics and data such as test results in medical archives. Finally, medical assistants greet and log in patients arriving at office or clinic.

Every day, medical assistants are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for medical assistants to inventory and order medical, lab, or office supplies and apparatus. They are often called upon to change dressings on wounds. They also contact medical facilities or departments to schedule patients for tests or admission. They are sometimes expected to run routine laboratory tests and sample analyses. Somewhat less frequently, medical assistants are also expected to greet and log in patients arriving at office or clinic.

Medical assistants sometimes are asked to keep financial reports and execute other bookkeeping duties. They also have to be able to execute general office duties such as answering telephones, taking dictation or completing insurance forms and clean and sterilize instruments and dispose of contaminated supplies. And finally, they sometimes have to authorize drug refills and furnish prescription data to pharmacies.

Like many other jobs, medical assistants must be thorough and dependable and be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in San Francisco include:

  • Certified Nursing Aide. Provide basic patient care under direction of nursing staff. Perform duties, such as feed, bathe, or move patients, or change linens.
  • Dental Assistant. Assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.
  • Medical Equipment Technician. Prepare, sterilize, or clean laboratory or healthcare equipment. May perform routine laboratory tasks and operate or inspect equipment.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Assistant Training

Western Career College-Pleasant Hill - Pleasant Hill, CA

Western Career College-Pleasant Hill, 380 Civic Dr Ste 300, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523. Western Career College-Pleasant Hill is a small college located in Pleasant Hill, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 530 students and an admission rate of 100%. Western Career College-Pleasant Hill has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated seventy-two and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Other Specialties, one to two year.

College of Marin - Kentfield, CA

College of Marin, 835 College Ave, Kentfield, CA 94904-2590. College of Marin is a medium sized college located in Kentfield, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,577 students. College of Marin has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, associate's degree.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated five, five, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Heald College-Hayward - Hayward, CA

Heald College-Hayward, 25500 Industrial Blvd., Hayward, CA 94545. Heald College-Hayward is a small college located in Hayward, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,274 students. Heald College-Hayward has 3 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated six and eighteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, one to two year which graduated 21 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, associate's degree which graduated 45 students in 2008.

Martinez Adult Education - Martinez, CA

Martinez Adult Education, 600 F St, Martinez, CA 94553-3298. Martinez Adult Education is a small school located in Martinez, California. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 565 students. Martinez Adult Education has a one to two year program in Medical Office Management/Administration which graduated fifty-one students in 2008.

Los Medanos College - Pittsburg, CA

Los Medanos College, 2700 East Leland Road, Pittsburg, CA 94565. Los Medanos College is a medium sized college located in Pittsburg, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,360 students. Los Medanos College has a two to four year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary.

Western Career College-Antioch/Walnut Creek - Antioch, CA

Western Career College-Antioch/Walnut Creek, 2157 Country Hills Drive, Antioch, CA 94598. Western Career College-Antioch/Walnut Creek is a small college located in Antioch, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 689 students and an admission rate of 100%. Western Career College-Antioch/Walnut Creek has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Management/Administration, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated forty-one and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Other Specialties, one to two year which graduated 181 students in 2008.

Canada College - Redwood City, CA

Canada College, 4200 Farm Hill Blvd., Redwood City, CA 94061-1099. Canada College is a medium sized college located in Redwood City, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,775 students. Canada College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, two to four year.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated seven, four, nine, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Western Career College-Emeryville - Emeryville, CA

Western Career College-Emeryville, 6001 Shellmound, Emeryville, CA 94608. Western Career College-Emeryville is a small college located in Emeryville, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 431 students and an admission rate of 100%. Western Career College-Emeryville has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical Office Assistant/Specialist which graduated forty-three and four students respectively in 2008.

Everest College-San Francisco - San Francisco, CA

Everest College-San Francisco, 814 Mission St Suite 500, San Francisco, CA 94103-9946. Everest College-San Francisco is a small college located in San Francisco, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 207 students and an admission rate of 37%. Everest College-San Francisco has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, less than one year which graduated 43 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year which graduated 197 students in 2008.

Mt Diablo Adult Education - Concord, CA

Mt Diablo Adult Education, 1266 San Carlos, Concord, CA 94518. Mt Diablo Adult Education is a small school located in Concord, California. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 513 students. Mt Diablo Adult Education has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year which graduated 60 students in 2008.
  • Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Other Specialties, less than one year which graduated 21 students in 2008.

Heald College-Concord - Concord, CA

Heald College-Concord, 5130 Commercial Circle, Concord, CA 94520-0522. Heald College-Concord is a small college located in Concord, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,107 students. Heald College-Concord has 4 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated six and twenty-three students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, one to two year which graduated 6 students in 2008.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, one to two year and associate's degree.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated six and seventy-eight students respectively in 2008.

Chabot College - Hayward, CA

Chabot College, 25555 Hesperian Blvd, Hayward, CA 94545. Chabot College is a large college located in Hayward, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,299 students. Chabot College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, one to two year and two to four year which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated one, fourteen, ten, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Berkeley City College - Berkeley, CA

Berkeley City College, 2050 Center St, Berkeley, CA 94704. Berkeley City College is a medium sized college located in Berkeley, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,000 students. Berkeley City College has a two to four year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary.

Everest College-Hayward - Hayward, CA

Everest College-Hayward, 22336 Main Street, Hayward, CA 94541. Everest College-Hayward is a small college located in Hayward, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 576 students and an admission rate of 48%. Everest College-Hayward has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, less than one year which graduated 150 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year which graduated 29 students in 2008.

Lincoln University - Oakland, CA

Lincoln University, 401 15th Street, Oakland, CA 94612-2801. Lincoln University is a small university located in Oakland, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 437 students. Lincoln University has a less than one year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated one student in 2008.

Vallecitos CET Inc - Hayward, CA

Vallecitos CET Inc, 597 C St, Hayward, CA 94541-5027. Vallecitos CET Inc is a small school located in Hayward, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 30 students. Vallecitos CET Inc has a less than one year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

Contra Costa College - San Pablo, CA

Contra Costa College, 2600 Mission Bell Dr, San Pablo, CA 94806-3195. Contra Costa College is a medium sized college located in San Pablo, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,147 students. Contra Costa College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated thirteen, eight, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Heald College-San Francisco - San Francisco, CA

Heald College-San Francisco, 350 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94105. Heald College-San Francisco is a small college located in San Francisco, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 779 students. Heald College-San Francisco has 3 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, associate's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, one to two year which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, associate's degree which graduated 41 students in 2008.

City College of San Francisco - San Francisco, CA

City College of San Francisco, 50 Phelan Ave, San Francisco, CA 94112-1898. City College of San Francisco is a large college located in San Francisco, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 49,897 students. City College of San Francisco has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, one to two year and two to four year which graduated sixteen and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated twenty-four, zero, and seven students respectively in 2008.

Skyline College - San Bruno, CA

Skyline College, 3300 College Dr, San Bruno, CA 94066-1698. Skyline College is a medium sized college located in San Bruno, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,515 students. Skyline College has less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated four, one, and zero students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Medical Assistant: The CMA (AAMA) is considered the gold standard of medical assisting professionalism.

For more information, see the American Association of Medical Assistants website.

Registered Health Information Technician: With experience, the RHIT credential holds solid potential for advancement to management positions, especially when combined with a bachelor's degree.

For more information, see the American Health Information Management Association website.

Certified Coding Associate: American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) recognizes that the demand for coders has never been greater, and this need is expected to continue for some years to come.

For more information, see the American Health Information Management Association website.

Medical Assistant: A Medical Assistant (MA) is an integral member of the health care delivery team, qualified by education and experience to work in the administrative office, the examining room and the physician office laboratory.

For more information, see the American Medical Technologists website.

Medical LabTechnician: All laboratory professionals, including Medical Technologists, Medical Laboratory Technicians and Medical Laboratory Assistants have long played a vital role in the diagnosis and prevention of disease.

For more information, see the American Medical Technologists website.

Donor Phlebotomy Technician: This certification is for current Phlebotomy Technicians who take blood from patients for testing or for a blood bank, prepare samples for testing, and carry out those tests.

For more information, see the American Society for Clinical Pathology website.

Corporate Certified Opthalmic Assistant: A certification for employees of companies that supply products and services to the.

For more information, see the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology website.

Certified Provider Credentialing Specialist: The Certified Provider Credentialing Specialist (CPCS) is typically employed or contracted by a health care organization including, but not limited to, health plans, group practices, credentialing verification organizations or hospitals (health systems).

For more information, see the National Association of Medical Services Staff website.

Certified Medical Coder: Experienced medical office professionals with exceptional coding skills are eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Coder (CMC) exam.

For more information, see the Practice Management Institute website.

LICENSES

Medical Assistant

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Medical Board of California, Licensing Operations Unit, 1426 Howe Avenue, Suite 54, Sacramento, CA 95825

Phone: (916) 263-2382
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Medical Board of California Licensing Operations Unit

LOCATION INFORMATION: San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California photo by Optigan13

San Francisco is located in San Francisco County, California. It has a population of over 808,976, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in San Francisco, 180, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Francisco cost $218,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, fifty-seven new homes were built in San Francisco, up from fifty-five the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in San Francisco are professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 31 minutes. More than 45.0% of San Francisco residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.4%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of San Francisco residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than both the national and state average. Gold Mountain Monastery, Golden Gate Community Church of the Nazarene and Golden Gate Lutheran Church are among the churches located in San Francisco. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the United Methodist Church.

San Francisco is home to the Pier 88 and the Prayer Book Cross as well as Helen Wills Playground and Music Concourse. Shopping malls in the area include Yerba Buena Square Shopping Center, Fox Plaza Shopping Center and Galleria At Crocker Center Shopping Center. Visitors to San Francisco can choose from Astoria Hotel, A-1 Inn Motel and Best Western Canterbury Hotel for temporary stays in the area.