Job Forecast for Medical Assistants
What is the Job Forecast for Medical Assistants?
Projected 10-year growth: 25% from 2019 to 2029
Number of jobs: 591,300 (2014)
The BLS projects a 19 percent employment growth rate for medical assistants from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This translates to an additional 139,200 new jobs for medical assistants during this time period. This job growth is driven by several factors, which we discuss below.
The Aging Population
The aging population is one of the key factors driving the strong job forecast for medical assistants. As the baby boomer generation continues to age, they are requiring more medical services, which is increasing the demand for healthcare workers, including medical assistants.
This demographic shift is significant, as the baby boomer generation is one of the largest in American history. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population aged 65 and older is projected to grow from 56 million in 2020 to 94 million in 2060, representing nearly 24% of the total population. This demographic trend is driving an increasing need for healthcare services across the board, and medical assistants are an important part of the workforce that is responding to this demand.
The aging population is also contributing to an increase in chronic diseases, which further drives the need for medical assistants. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic diseases are the leading cause of death and disability in the United States, and affect more than half of all adults. As the population ages, the incidence of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis is expected to increase, which will require more healthcare workers, including medical assistants, to manage the growing demand.
Medical assistants play an important role in the care of elderly patients. They may assist with routine exams, help patients manage chronic conditions, and provide emotional support to patients and their families. They may also assist in the coordination of care between multiple healthcare providers, such as doctors and nurses.
Overall, the aging population is contributing to a strong job forecast for medical assistants, as the demand for healthcare services continues to grow. Medical assistants are well positioned to play a critical role in the delivery of care to the elderly, and their expertise will be in high demand in the years ahead.
Advances in Technology
This is a significant factor that is affecting the job forecast for medical assistants. Technology is rapidly transforming the healthcare industry, and medical assistants must be prepared to adapt to these changes in order to remain competitive and relevant in the field.
One of the key technological advancements that is affecting the job forecast for medical assistants is the widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHRs). EHRs are digital versions of patients’ medical records that are stored and accessed electronically. They provide a more efficient and streamlined way for healthcare providers to manage patient data, as they can be accessed and updated in real-time by multiple healthcare professionals.
Medical assistants play an important role in managing EHRs. They may be responsible for entering patient data into the system, updating medical records, and helping healthcare providers to access and interpret patient data. They may also help patients to understand and navigate their own medical records, which can be an important aspect of patient education and engagement.
Another technological advancement that is affecting the job forecast for medical assistants is the use of telemedicine. Telemedicine is the practice of delivering healthcare services remotely, using technology like video conferencing and mobile devices. This allows patients to receive medical care from the comfort of their own homes, without having to travel to a medical facility.
Medical assistants can play a critical role in supporting telemedicine services. They may assist with setting up video conferencing equipment, collecting patient information, and coordinating between patients and healthcare providers. They may also help patients to navigate the technology and ensure that they understand how to use it effectively.
Other technological advancements that are affecting the job forecast for medical assistants include wearable health devices, mobile health apps, and digital health coaching services. Medical assistants who are trained to use and interpret these technologies will be in high demand, as they will be able to help patients to manage their own health and stay engaged in their care.
The Expansion of the Healthcare Industry
The expansion of the healthcare industry is another key factor that is affecting the job forecast for medical assistants. The healthcare industry is a major driver of the U.S. economy, and it is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, creating more opportunities for healthcare workers, including medical assistants.
One of the main drivers of the expansion of the healthcare industry is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which has expanded access to healthcare services for millions of Americans. This has led to an increase in demand for healthcare services, which in turn is driving the need for more healthcare workers, including medical assistants.
The ACA has also led to the creation of new healthcare models, such as accountable care organizations (ACOs) and patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs). These models focus on providing coordinated and high-quality care to patients, which requires a team-based approach that includes medical assistants. Medical assistants may be responsible for performing a range of clinical and administrative tasks, such as taking vital signs, preparing patients for exams, and coordinating patient care.
Another factor that is contributing to the expansion of the healthcare industry is the growth of non-traditional healthcare settings, such as urgent care centers, outpatient clinics, and telemedicine services. These settings are providing more accessible and affordable healthcare services to patients, which is driving the need for more healthcare workers, including medical assistants.
Medical assistants may have the opportunity to work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, private practices, and non-traditional settings. This allows for more flexibility in terms of work hours and job duties, as medical assistants can choose to work in settings that offer daytime or nighttime shifts, and may have the opportunity to work part-time or full-time.
Overall, the expansion of the healthcare industry is driving the strong job forecast for medical assistants. As the healthcare industry continues to grow and evolve, medical assistants will play an increasingly important role in the delivery of care to patients. Those who are able to adapt to new healthcare models and settings will be well positioned to succeed and advance in their careers.
How Will This Positive Job Outlook Affect Medical Assistants?
In this article, we will discuss how the positive job forecast for medical assistants will affect their job opportunities, salaries, and work environment.
One of the most obvious ways in which the positive job forecast for medical assistants will affect them is through an increase in job opportunities. With the aging baby boomer population and an increased focus on preventive care, the demand for healthcare services is expected to increase, and this will lead to an increased demand for medical assistants. This is good news for individuals who are looking to enter the field, as it means that there will be more job opportunities available.
Another way in which the positive job forecast for medical assistants will affect them is through an increase in salaries. As demand for medical assistants increases, employers will need to compete for the best talent, and one way to do that is to offer higher salaries. In fact, the BLS reports that the median annual wage for medical assistants was $35,850 in May 2020, and this is expected to increase as demand for their services grows.
The increased demand for medical assistants may also lead to more opportunities for career advancement. Medical assistants who demonstrate a strong work ethic, attention to detail, and excellent communication skills may be considered for supervisory or managerial roles. Additionally, some medical assistants may choose to specialize in a particular area of healthcare, such as podiatry, optometry, or cardiology, which can lead to higher salaries and increased job satisfaction.
Overall, the positive job forecast for medical assistants is expected to have a significant impact on the field. It will create more job opportunities, higher salaries, and a more challenging work environment. However, it is important to note that the healthcare industry is constantly evolving, and medical assistants will need to continue to develop their skills and knowledge to remain competitive and relevant. This may mean pursuing additional education and training, or staying up-to-date on the latest advances in healthcare technology and best practices. With the right skills and dedication, medical assistants will be well-positioned to succeed in this growing and dynamic field.