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Medical assistants are responsible for many of the routine tasks that are performed in a doctor's office or other clinical setting. These healthcare professionals take vitals, assist with examinations, and occasionally administer injections, prepare blood for testing, and perform basic medical tests. Medical assistants may also be responsible for scheduling appointments and maintaining patient records. Illinois does not have formal training requirements for medical assistants. However, there are several steps you can take to increase your employability in this field. If you're interested in learning about how to become a medical assistant in Illinois and medical assistant programs in Illinois, read on.
A high school diploma or the equivalent is required for a job as a medical assistant. Pursuing continuing education in this field is greatly preferred by employers. There are many schools with medical assistant programs in Illinois that offer certificate or AAS degrees in this field. These include:* Illinois Eastern Community College* Rasmussen College Rockford* MacCormac College* Morton College* Shawnee Community College* Lewis and Clark Community CollegeCertificate programs can typically be completed in about a year. Associate of Applied Science programs in Medical Assisting take about two years to complete. These programs familiarize students with medical terminology, anatomy, and basic medical procedures.
Certification is not required to be a medical assistant, but this too will increase opportunities for employment in this field. Graduates of accredited programs can sit for exams for many types of certification. Options include Certified Medical Assistant, Registered Medical Assistant, National Certified Medical Assistant, and Certified Clinical Medical Assistant certification. Another way to increase your value as a medical assistant is to pursue continuing education in your field. The Illinois Society of Medical Assistants is dedicated to giving members plenty of opportunities to further their careers. Several weeks or months of on the job training may also be required for tasks specific to that employer.
In the state of Illinois, the annual mean wage for medical assistants is $31,440, or about $15.11 an hour. Those with earnings in the top ten percent of this occupation make more than $42,030 while those with earnings in the bottom ten percent make less than $21,110, according to May 2011 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL area has the fourth-highest metropolitan employment level for medical assistants. Job outlook in this area is expected to be very good with a projected job growth of 31 percent over the 2010 to 2020 decade. Students interested in this profession have a very promising future.