Jobs in Demand: Medical Assistants

woman in medical setting on laptop, woman wearing mask

There is no doubt that the medical field has taken on heightened importance in Minnesota during the COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless of the path of the coronavirus, due to the state’s population growth and aging demographic profile, the need for healthcare support staff will continue to grow. In fact, according to DEED’s Employment Outlook data, healthcare practitioners and technical occupations are projected to rise by 12.4% while healthcare support occupations are slated to increase 14% from 2018 to 2028 in Minnesota. Likewise, Medical Assistants are projected to see 21% job growth, equaling over 2,100 new jobs during this time frame, as well as see almost 4,400 openings due to labor market exits and retirements.

Medical Assistants have a wide variety of tasks, both clinical and administrative, that they perform on a daily basis, including scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records for insurance purposes, taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, and preparing patients for examination.  Many of these job duties are conducted under the direction of a physician, making teamwork an extremely important skill to have as a medical assistant.  Communication is also a critical skill given that some of these job duties are directly related to interaction with the patients themselves, such as acquiring medical histories.  Speaking and active listening are also incredibly important skills, but most important is the desire to assist and care for others. 

Half of all Medical Assistants in Minnesota earn hourly wages between $17.80 and $23.32, with a median wage of $20.35 per hour. These wages vary by region within the state, with the highest wage range seen in the Twin Cities metro, where 50% of Medical Assistants earn hourly wages between $18.22 and $23.47. The largest number of Medical Assistants in the state also work in the Metro region, but the highest concentrations are found in both Northeast and Southeast Minnesota. 

Medical Assistants are in high demand in the state, ranking near the top of DEED’s Occupations in Demand list.  While some Medical Assistant jobs can be obtained with a high school diploma, a vocational award may be necessary to stay competitive in the job market and some additional on-the-job training may also benefit an applicant.  In fact, according to DEED’s Job Vacancy Survey data, there were 336 job vacancies for Medical Assistants in the state in the 4th quarter of 2019, 79% of which require post-secondary education, 88% which require a certificate or license, and 26% which require one or more years of experience.  The median wage offer for these Medical Assistant job openings was $19.28 per hour. 

If you are interested in more information about opportunities as a Medical Assistant, check out Jobs in Demand here on the website for wage ranges, educational and training requirements, current open positions in Minnesota and more.  

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