LAUNCH YOUR CAREER AS A MEDICAL ASSISTANT
Joining Colorado’s booming healthcare workforce as a medical assistant is a great way to secure a steady, meaningful job with strong starting pay.
We’ve got good news for aspiring healthcare professionals in Denver: Demand for medical assistants is projected to grow by 18% in the next decade! If you want to learn more about life as a medical assistant — and take the first steps towards becoming one — CrossPurpose is here to help.
Our team has put together everything you need to know about becoming a medical assistant, from choosing the right training program to passing your certification exam. Plus, if you’re ready to launch your career as a medical assistant right away, CrossPurpose has a team of coaches that will guide you through our application process.
Without further ado, here’s everything you should know about becoming a medical assistant in Colorado.
What Is a Medical Assistant?
Medical assistants play a key role in our nation’s healthcare system. As a certified medical assistant, you’ll work with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to deliver the best possible care to your patients.
Most of your duties will fall into one of two buckets: administrative tasks or clinical tasks. Here are some examples of each:
- Welcoming patients and their families
- Taking phone calls and scheduling appointments
- Keeping track of medical records
- Completing and coding insurance forms
- Arranging hospital visits or lab tests for patients
- Managing billing and bookkeeping
- Taking medical histories
- Guiding patients to exam rooms
- Making notes before the doctor arrives
- Instructing patients about special diets they need to follow
- Performing basic laboratory tests (for example, drawing blood)
- Assisting doctors with physical exams
- Managing medications (dispensing, refilling, etc.)
- Conducting basic medical tests (for example, an electrocardiogram)
Simply put, medical assistants need to be able to do a little bit of everything. But remember — you won’t be expected to know how to do all of these tasks right away! When you work through our training program at CrossPurpose, we’ll set you up with the skills, knowledge, and resources you need to succeed as a medical assistant.
Benefits of Being a Medical Assistant
Sure, working as a medical assistant is an awesome way to support your community. Thankfully, though, this career path also comes with some fantastic individual benefits. Let’s take a look at the perks of becoming a medical assistant.
- Enter a profession that’s growing rapidly.
As a large portion of our population nears retirement, healthcare providers are becoming increasingly important to society. What does that mean for you? Well, if you begin your medical assistant education with CrossPurpose, you’ll be moving into a profession with a promising job outlook for decades to come.
- Choose the specialty that you’re most passionate about.
As a certified clinical medical assistant, you’ll have the opportunity to work in a variety of specialties. If you love working with children, pediatrics could be the perfect fit for you. If you’d like to look after people as they age, geriatrics is an excellent option. Here are some additional areas for you to think about: primary care, cardiology, oncology, dermatology, urology, and more!
- Build a schedule that works for you.
Many medical assistants work in offices or clinics that are only open during normal daytime hours, so you’ll be likely to get weekends, evenings, and holidays off. Plus, lots of positions are part-time, allowing you to customize your schedule however you’d prefer.
- Explore different work environments.
There’s a healthcare setting for every type of worker. From small, low-stress clinics to fast-paced hospitals in major cities, you’re sure to find a work environment where you flourish.
- Earn a good starting salary and enjoy lots of room for advancement.
As a medical assistant, you’ll begin your career with a solid wage. Better yet, as you gain experience and new skills, your salary will continue to climb! Here’s what you should expect to earn as a medical assistant in Colorado.
Medical Assistant Salary Guide
|Less than 1 year||$19.49/hr ($40,540 annually)|
|1 to 2 years||$20.32/hr ($42,260 annually)|
|3 to 5 years||$21.79/hr ($45,320 annually)|
|6 to 9 years||$22.21/hr ($46,200 annually)|
|10+ years||$24.57/hr ($51,100 annually)|
Choosing the Right Medical Assistant Program
Before you become a medical assistant in Colorado, you’ll have to decide between two main paths: earning a certificate or getting an associate degree. If you’re on the fence about which path to choose, we’ll break down some of the strengths and weaknesses of each.
Medical Assistant Certificate Program vs. Associate Program
No doubt, gaining certification is much quicker than earning a degree. Most certification programs take between 6 and 12 months (and usually don’t require a high school diploma), but associate degrees require two years of full-time study.
Not only is it faster to get certified — it’s a whole lot cheaper, too! Training through CrossPurpose is 100% free, and most certification programs cost between $1,000 and $3,000. Associate degrees, on the other hand, can easily set you back $20,000 or more.
When it comes to starting pay, the balance tips in the favor of earning an associate degree. Some medical assistant jobs are only open to students with degrees, so they might begin their careers at a slightly higher pay rate.
Generally, associate degrees offer more hands-on training, allowing you to gain extra experience in a clinical setting. However, strong certification programs will also give you the experience you need to thrive as a medical assistant. Plus, studying to earn a certificate usually comes with extra flexibility, so you can adjust your schedule around your free time!
How to Decide Between a Certificate and Associate Degree
At the end of the day, your job is to choose the path that works best for you. If studying for an associate degree fits nicely within your timeline and budget, it’s a great option to consider. However, if you’d like a cost-effective springboard into the world of healthcare, you can’t go wrong with a trustworthy certification program.
Our team at CrossPurpose has partnered with CareerStep to offer just that: a two-part medical assisting program that will guide you toward certification and prepare you for your life as a medical assistant.
How to Pay for Your Training
For many people, one of the biggest barriers to earning a medical assistant certification is the cost. Fortunately, we’ve got some helpful tips to make the price tag more manageable.
First, you can look for scholarships that reduce the cost of certification. Many organizations set aside funds to help with continuing education, and applying for scholarships can put a serious dent in the amount you owe.
Second, try dividing your cost into manageable monthly payments. Nobody wants to pay thousands of dollars all at once. Breaking that amount into bite-sized payments will make it a lot easier to afford certification — especially when you’re earning a salary as a medical assistant!
Fortunately, we’ve saved the best option for last: earning your certificate without paying a single dime. At CrossPurpose, we believe that everybody should have access to meaningful and rewarding employment, so we make our medical assistant programs completely free. In fact, when you get an education through CrossPurpose, we may even pay you a small stipend while you study!
If you’d like to learn more about our free, flexible training programs, get in touch with us today.
Get Medical Assisting Experience With an Externship or Clinical Program
Before you dive full-time into the realm of healthcare, you’ll need a place to acquire some real-world experience. One of the best ways to prepare yourself for life as a medical professional is to complete an externship.
During an externship, you’ll get to work alongside experienced medical professionals. If that sounds intimidating, don’t sweat it! Often, you’ll be practicing your medical assisting skills on other students, so you can gain skills in a low-pressure environment. During an externship, you might:
- Provide patient care.
- Gather patient information.
- Practice using medical equipment.
- Perform treatments on other students or on patients.
- Take vital signs, administer immunizations, draw blood, or do other clinical activities.
- Educate patients on things like diet, medication, and habits for healthy living.
- Assist the doctor with procedures.
Here at CrossPurpose, our medical assistant training program consists of two parts: a free, 14-week self-paced training, then a 160-hour externship in Denver. By the end of your externship, you’ll be ready to handle medical assisting duties with confidence and care.
When you work with CrossPurpose, you’ll have support and guidance from start to finish. We’ll help you with interviewing skills, resume building, and public speaking — and, of course, give you the expertise and confidence you need to ignite your career as a medical assistant!
If you’re ready to change your life with free training through CrossPurpose, reach out to our team today.
Medical Assistant Career Paths
Another awesome thing about earning certification as a medical assistant? It’s a launch pad into a handful of related careers. Let’s check out some promising career tracks that you can pursue after starting off as a medical assistant.
Phlebotomists collect blood from patients and prepare samples for testing. If you’re a focused worker who likes a predictable routine (and you don’t mind the sight of blood!), phlebotomy could be the right next step for you.
Average pay: $20/hr
Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN)
Certification as a medical assistant also paves the way for a career as an LPN or LVN. Though you’ll need to gain additional education and experience, becoming an LPN or LVN isn’t as demanding as becoming a physician’s assistant, and it comes with a strong increase in pay.
Average pay: $27/hr
Becoming a physician’s assistant (PA) is a challenging road because it usually requires a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. Though it can take up to five years to complete the required education, learn the relevant medical terminology, and prepare for your duties as a PA, the investment will be worth it — many PAs make more than $100,000 each year!
Average pay: $55/hr
Get Started Today
Now that you know what it takes to become a medical assistant, we’re here to help you with the next step. From our first meeting to your final certification, our career coaches will support you as you pursue a meaningful and rewarding career in the healthcare field.
Let’s work together to launch your career as a medical assistant! Fill out the form below for more information, or give us a call at (720) 724-9544 to schedule an appointment.