University of Wisconsin–Madison

Medical Assistant (MA)/Certified (CMA)/Registered(RMA)

Work Activities/Work Locations

  • Medical Assistants assist physicians in their offices and other medical settings.
  • The main focus for MAs lies in two areas: welcoming and assisting patients and supporting doctor to keep workflow going. Can perform a wide variety of duties including completing patient’s medical records before seen by doctor, taking their vital signs, educating them on methods to improve their health, and show them how to take their medications.
  • In the business side, they can answer telephones, arrange for patient’s hospital stay, schedule appointments and perform other clerical tasks.
  • They can prepare patient exam rooms, maintain patient records and charts, and give the physician instruments as needed during examinations and procedures.
  • Some are trained to perform injections and to operate diagnostic testing equipment such as X-ray machines and electrocardiographs (EKGs).
  • Can work in clinics, physicians’ private offices, and hospitals that are hiring them for their outpatient clinics as part of a health care team. Also work in local, and regional medical centers, walk-in clinics, and ambulatory wellness clinics.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Enjoy working with and helping people. They must be able to accept responsibility and be accurate when working with details and records.
  • Desirable characteristics include empathy, tact, and effective communication skills.
  • Enjoy doing a variety of tasks.
  • Some think their pay should be higher for all the responsibilities they have.

Getting Started

Career Outlook

Number Employed in 2012 (Wisconsin): 10,810
Number Employed in 2014 (U.S.): 591,300
Expected Employment in 2024 (U.S.): 730,200
Percent Employment Growth (2014-2024): 24%
Expected Annual Openings: 26,210
Median Salary in 2014 (Wisconsin): $31,946

Salary information is located at Career One Stop

Wisconsin AHEC Health Careers Information Center provides the most current salary information available from CareerOneStop. CareerOneStop will have a lapse between when the information is gathered and when it is released.

  • Medical assistants usually work 40 hours a week.
  • They can work rotating weekends and holidays.
  • Medical assistants receive pay increases as they gain experience.
  • They may be promoted to positions as office managers.
  • With additional training, they can become registered nurses, medical laboratory technologists, etc.
  • Potential careers include secretaries, receptionists, medical insurance clerks.