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Upon entering the workforce, even entry level medical assistants earn a decent hourly wage. The average hourly wage of medical assistants throughout the U.S. is $9.67 to $16.64. Since some medical assistants work overtime, the hourly rate runs between $12.78 and $25.14 per hour. Although most medical assistants work a typical 40 hour work week, some put in 60 or more hours per week. Medical assistants employed in the state of Washington generally make $34,470 per year, which means Washington is among the top 5 paying states for this occupation. Some cities pay higher than others such as Seattle, which offers up to $44,239 per year for this position.
There are a variety of medical assistant programs available throughout the state of Washington. Many medical assistants have obtained their CMA or RMA. In the state of Washington, certification is a requirement rather than a suggestion. You can take steps to become a medical assistant as early on as high school, which means excelling in studies particularly related to math and science. Medical assistants may also be required to take a computer program so they can learn how to handle database programs and input patient information for the physician to review.
If you wish to become a medical assistant in Washington, review all of your options thoroughly. You must determine what certifications you need such as becoming a certified medical assistant (CMA) or a registered medical assistant (RMA). You can usually obtain a CMA much faster than you can obtain an RMA. Most RMAs obtain an Associate's degree first. Topics of study will include biology and health sciences. Additionally, courses may also include clerical studies so you can learn how to keep patient databases and information organized and on par with the demands of the patient's physician.
Aside from what you learn while taking your courses, you must have great communication skills. You will work closely with patients so a great bedside manner is a must. You must know how to talk to them and convey your thoughts and ideas in a clear manner. More importantly, doctors rely on you as a form of communication between them and their patients. It is important for you to have a friendly and professional personality at all times. As a medical assistant, your hours may range between part time and over 60 hours a week. If you think you can handle the responsibilities and hours, look into medical assistant programs in Washington today.