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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Assistants in Seattle, Washington

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for medical assistants in the Seattle, Washington area. About 10,330 people are currently employed as medical assistants in Washington. By 2016, this is expected to grow 24% to 12,780 people employed. 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. Medical assistants generally perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician.

Medical assistants earn approximately $15 per hour or $32,290 annually on average in Washington. Nationally they average about $13 hourly or $28,300 per year. Incomes for medical assistants are not quite as good as in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance in Washington, and not quite as good as the overall Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. Medical assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: chiropractic assistant, doctor assistant, and medical billing specialist.

There are sixty-five schools of higher education in the Seattle area, including twenty-three within twenty-five miles of Seattle 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 Seattle 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

Everett Community College - Everett, WA

Everett Community College, 2000 Tower Street, Everett, WA 98201. Everett Community College is a medium sized college located in Everett, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,765 students. Everett Community College has 4 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Management/Administration, one to two year which graduated 7 students in 2008.
  • Medical Reception/Receptionist, one to two year which graduated 12 students in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, less than one year and one to two year which graduated twenty-three and nine students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated twenty-four and seventeen students respectively in 2008.

Bates Technical College - Tacoma, WA

Bates Technical College, 1101 S Yakima Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405. Bates Technical College is a medium sized college located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,807 students. Bates Technical College has a one to two year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated eight students in 2008.

Olympic College - Bremerton, WA

Olympic College, 1600 Chester Ave, Bremerton, WA 98337-1699. Olympic College is a medium sized college located in Bremerton, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 6,596 students. Olympic College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Reception/Receptionist, less than one year which graduated 13 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated fourteen and seven students respectively in 2008.

Everest College-Renton - Renton, WA

Everest College-Renton, 981 Powell Avenue, Sw, Suite 200, Renton, WA 98057. Everest College-Renton is a small college located in Renton, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 141 students and an admission rate of 50%. Everest College-Renton has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Management/Administration, less than one year which graduated 57 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year which graduated 148 students in 2008.

Highline Community College - Des Moines, WA

Highline Community College, 2400 S 240th St, Des Moines, WA 98198-9800. Highline Community College is a medium sized college located in Des Moines, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,267 students. Highline Community College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, one to two year which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, associate's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.

Seattle Community College-North Campus - Seattle, WA

Seattle Community College-North Campus, 9600 College Way North, Seattle, WA 98103-3599. Seattle Community College-North Campus is a medium sized college located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,159 students. Seattle Community College-North Campus has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated seven, twelve, and two students respectively in 2008.

Bellevue College - Bellevue, WA

Bellevue College, 3000 Landerholm Cir SE, Bellevue, WA 98007-6484. Bellevue College is a large college located in Bellevue, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 11,748 students. Bellevue College has a less than one year program in Medical Reception/Receptionist which graduated nine students in 2008.

Pima Medical Institute - Renton, WA

Pima Medical Institute, 555 South Renton Village Pl-Ste 110, Renton, WA 98055. Pima Medical Institute is a small school located in Renton, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 272 students. Pima Medical Institute has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, less than one year which graduated 16 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year which graduated 71 students in 2008.

Lake Washington Technical College - Kirkland, WA

Lake Washington Technical College, 11605 132nd Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98034-8506. Lake Washington Technical College is a small college located in Kirkland, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,010 students. Lake Washington Technical College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated eleven and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Kaplan College-Renton - Renton, WA

Kaplan College-Renton, 500 SW 39th St.-Suite 155, Renton, WA 98057. Kaplan College-Renton is a small college located in Renton, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 163 students. Kaplan College-Renton has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, one to two year which graduated 22 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year which graduated 33 students in 2008.

Everest College-Everett - Everett, WA

Everest College-Everett, 906 SE Everett Mall Parkway, 6th Floor, Everett, WA 98208. Everest College-Everett is a small college located in Everett, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 117 students and an admission rate of 99%. Everest College-Everett has a less than one year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated 138 students in 2008.

Clover Park Technical College - Lakewood, WA

Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, WA 98499-4004. Clover Park Technical College is a medium sized college located in Lakewood, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,781 students. Clover Park Technical College has 3 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, less than one year which graduated 17 students in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, less than one year which graduated 23 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year which graduated 27 students in 2008.

Green River Community College - Auburn, WA

Green River Community College, 12401 SE 320th St, Auburn, WA 98092-3622. Green River Community College is a medium sized college located in Auburn, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,544 students. Green River Community College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, less than one year which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, associate's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.

Tacoma Community College - Tacoma, WA

Tacoma Community College, 6501 S 19th St, Tacoma, WA 98466-6100. Tacoma Community College is a medium sized college located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,942 students. Tacoma Community College has 3 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Reception/Receptionist, less than one year which graduated 14 students in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, less than one year which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated six, one, and three students respectively in 2008.

Seattle Community College-South Campus - Seattle, WA

Seattle Community College-South Campus, 6000 16th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98106-1499. Seattle Community College-South Campus is a medium sized college located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,319 students. Seattle Community College-South Campus has a one to two year program in Medical Office Assistant/Specialist which graduated two students in 2008.

Seattle Vocational Institute - Seattle, WA

Seattle Vocational Institute, 2120 S Jackson, Seattle, WA 98144-2219. Seattle Vocational Institute is a small school located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 270 students. Seattle Vocational Institute has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated one and thirty-one students respectively in 2008.

Renton Technical College - Renton, WA

Renton Technical College, 3000 NE Fourth St, Renton, WA 98056-4195. Renton Technical College is a small college located in Renton, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,708 students. Renton Technical College has 5 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Reception/Receptionist, less than one year which graduated 13 students in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, two to four year which graduated 9 students in 2008.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, one to two year which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year which graduated 32 students in 2008.
  • Optomeric Technician/Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated six and three students respectively in 2008.

Edmonds Community College - Lynnwood, WA

Edmonds Community College, 20000 68th Ave W, Lynnwood, WA 98036-5912. Edmonds Community College is a medium sized college located in Lynnwood, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,823 students. Edmonds Community College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Reception/Receptionist, less than one year which graduated 22 students in 2008.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, less than one year which graduated 3 students in 2008.

Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom - Lakewood, WA

Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom, 9401 Farwest Dr SW, Lakewood, WA 98498-1999. Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom is a medium sized college located in Lakewood, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,632 students. Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Reception/Receptionist, one to two year which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated thirteen and five students respectively in 2008.

Pierce College at Puyallup - Puyallup, WA

Pierce College at Puyallup, 1601 39th Ave SE, Puyallup, WA 98374-2222. Pierce College at Puyallup is a small college located in Puyallup, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,101 students. Pierce College at Puyallup has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Reception/Receptionist, one to two year which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated fourteen and eight students respectively in 2008.

Everest College-Bremerton - Bremerton, WA

Everest College-Bremerton, 155 Washington Ave. Ste. 200, Bremerton, WA 98337. Everest College-Bremerton is a small college located in Bremerton, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 91 students and an admission rate of 100%. Everest College-Bremerton has a less than one year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated fifty-nine students in 2008.

Pima Medical Institute - Seattle, WA

Pima Medical Institute, 9709 Third Ave NE Suite 400, Seattle, WA 98115. Pima Medical Institute is a small school located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 432 students. Pima Medical Institute has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, less than one year which graduated 6 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year which graduated 46 students in 2008.

Everest College-Tacoma - Tacoma, WA

Everest College-Tacoma, 2156 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98402-3004. Everest College-Tacoma is a small college located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 127 students and an admission rate of 96%. Everest College-Tacoma has a less than one year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated 178 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: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.