Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Assistants in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for medical assistants in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. There are currently 21,050 working medical assistants in Pennsylvania; this should grow 34% to about 28,250 working medical assistants in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for medical assistants are expected to grow by about 33.9%. In general, medical assistants perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician.

Medical assistants earn about $12 hourly or $26,820 annually on average in Pennsylvania and about $13 hourly or $28,300 per year on average nationally. Medical assistants earn less than people working in the category of Medical and Dental Assistance generally in Pennsylvania and less than people in the Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. Jobs in this field include: clinical medical assistant, morgue technician, and optometric aide.

The Pittsburgh area is home to eighty-three schools of higher education, including twenty-one within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree as a medical assistant. Given that the most common education level for medical assistants is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be 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 Pittsburgh 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.
  • Psychiatric Aide. Assist mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed patients, working under direction of nursing and medical staff.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Assistant Training

Bradford School - Pittsburgh, PA

Bradford School, 125 West Station Square Drive, Suite 129, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Bradford School is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 583 students and an admission rate of 95%. Bradford School has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated eight and twenty-nine students respectively in 2008.

Community College of Allegheny County - Pittsburgh, PA

Community College of Allegheny County, 800 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233-1895. Community College of Allegheny County is a large college located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,366 students. Community College of Allegheny County has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, one to two year which graduated 16 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated fifteen and four students respectively in 2008.

Seton Hill University - Greensburg, PA

Seton Hill University, Seton Hill Dr, Greensburg, PA 15601. Seton Hill University is a small university located in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,010 students and an admission rate of 63%. Seton Hill University has a bachelor's degree program in Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Other Specialties.

West Virginia Northern Community College - Wheeling, WV

West Virginia Northern Community College, 1704 Market St., Wheeling, WV 26003-3699. West Virginia Northern Community College is a small college located in Wheeling, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,924 students. West Virginia Northern Community College has a one to two year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated twenty students in 2008.

Career Training Academy - New Kensington, PA

Career Training Academy, 950 5th Ave, New Kensington, PA 15068-6308. Career Training Academy is a small school located in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 60 students. Career Training Academy has 3 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, one to two year.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated twenty-six and eleven students respectively in 2008.
  • Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Other Specialties, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated zero, one, and ten students respectively in 2008.

Sanford-Brown Institute Monroeville Campus - Pittsburgh, PA

Sanford-Brown Institute Monroeville Campus, 777 Penn Center Boulevard, Building 7, Pittsburgh, PA 15235. Sanford-Brown Institute Monroeville Campus is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 534 students and an admission rate of 75%. Sanford-Brown Institute Monroeville Campus has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated twenty-one and fifty-three students respectively in 2008.

Kaplan Career Institute-ICM Campus - Pittsburgh, PA

Kaplan Career Institute-ICM Campus, 10-14 Wood St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Kaplan Career Institute-ICM Campus is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 893 students. Kaplan Career Institute-ICM Campus has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, associate's degree which graduated 11 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year which graduated 68 students in 2008.

Newport Business Institute - Lower Burrell, PA

Newport Business Institute, 945 Greensburg Rd, Lower Burrell, PA 15068. Newport Business Institute is a small school located in Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 66 students. Newport Business Institute has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, less than one year which graduated 12 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year and one to two year.

Penn Commercial Inc - Washington, PA

Penn Commercial Inc, 242 Oak Spring Road, Washington, PA 15301. Penn Commercial Inc is a small school located in Washington, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 382 students and an admission rate of 62%. Penn Commercial Inc has 3 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, associate's degree which graduated 18 students in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, one to two year which graduated 19 students in 2008.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, associate's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.

Bidwell Training Center Inc - Pittsburgh, PA

Bidwell Training Center Inc, 1815 Metropolitan St, Pittsburgh, PA 15233. Bidwell Training Center Inc is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 150 students and an admission rate of 79%. Bidwell Training Center Inc has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Management/Administration, one to two year which graduated 7 students in 2008.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, less than one year.

Career Training Academy - Pittsburgh, PA

Career Training Academy, 1500 Shoppes at Northway, Pittsburgh, PA 15237. Career Training Academy is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 56 students. Career Training Academy has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated eight and four students respectively in 2008.

Douglas Education Center - Monessen, PA

Douglas Education Center, 130 7th St, Monessen, PA 15062. Douglas Education Center is a small school located in Monessen, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 222 students. Douglas Education Center has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Management/Administration, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, associate's degree.

Ohio Valley College of Technology - East Liverpool, OH

Ohio Valley College of Technology, 16808 Saint Clair Ave, East Liverpool, OH 43920-9453. Ohio Valley College of Technology is a small college located in East Liverpool, Ohio. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 155 students and an admission rate of 80%. Ohio Valley College of Technology has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, associate's degree which graduated 15 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, associate's degree which graduated 27 students in 2008.

DCI Career Institute - Monaca, PA

DCI Career Institute, 366 Beaver Valley Mall, Monaca, PA 15061. DCI Career Institute is a small school located in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 65 students and an admission rate of 74%. DCI Career Institute has a less than one year program in Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Other Specialties which graduated seventy-three students in 2008.

Pittsburgh Technical Institute - Oakdale, PA

Pittsburgh Technical Institute, 1111 McKee Road, Oakdale, PA 15071. Pittsburgh Technical Institute is a small school located in Oakdale, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 2,086 students and an admission rate of 88%. Pittsburgh Technical Institute has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, associate's degree which graduated 17 students in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, one to two year which graduated 19 students in 2008.

Career Training Academy - Monroeville, PA

Career Training Academy, 4314 Old William Penn Highway, Monroeville, PA 15146. Career Training Academy is a small school located in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 61 students. Career Training Academy has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, associate's degree which graduated 12 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated four and four students respectively in 2008.

Sanford-Brown Institute - Pittsburgh, PA

Sanford-Brown Institute, 421 Seventh Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1907. Sanford-Brown Institute is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 838 students. Sanford-Brown Institute has 3 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, one to two year which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year which graduated 53 students in 2008.
  • Anesthesiologist Assistant, associate's degree which graduated 57 students in 2008.

West Virginia Business College-Wheeling - Wheeling, WV

West Virginia Business College-Wheeling, 1052 Main St, Wheeling, WV 26003. West Virginia Business College-Wheeling is a small college located in Wheeling, West Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 60 students. West Virginia Business College-Wheeling has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated sixteen and thirty-three students respectively in 2008.

Community College of Beaver County - Monaca, PA

Community College of Beaver County, One Campus Drive, Monaca, PA 15061-2588. Community College of Beaver County is a small college located in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,695 students. Community College of Beaver County has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary.

Everest Institute-Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, PA

Everest Institute-Pittsburgh, 100 Forbes Ave, Suite 1200, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1320. Everest Institute-Pittsburgh is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 368 students and an admission rate of 70%. Everest Institute-Pittsburgh has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, associate's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year which graduated 44 students in 2008.

Westmoreland County Community College - Youngwood, PA

Westmoreland County Community College, 145 Pavilion Lane, Youngwood, PA 15697-1895. Westmoreland County Community College is a medium sized college located in Youngwood, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,512 students. Westmoreland County Community College has 3 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, less than one year which graduated 14 students in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, less than one year which graduated 38 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year which graduated 13 students 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.