How to Advance in Medical Assistant Career Field

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People who have just finished their medical assisting schools would not have that much experience and will be able to start working as an entry-level CMA.

The more you invest in gaining experience and advancing your medical knowledge and skills, the more benefits you can expect to get.

You may get a management job, become employed in a competitive area of medicine, or become a teacher.

Whichever goal you want to reach, we are here to provide you with tips for career advancement.

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What Advancement Opportunities Might Be Available?

Medical assistants can advance in one of the following areas:

  • Clinical team leader
  • Lead medical assistant
  • Medical office manager
  • Clinical office manager
  • Medical assistant instructor
  • Medical records manager
  • Healthcare administration
  • Executive medical office secretary
  • Transcription supervisor

It is worth noting that employees must talk to their employers regarding their desire to advance in careers and look for opportunities in the organization that is offering them.

Different Career Specialties in Medical Assisting

Upon finishing your medical school, you can begin working either in medical administration or clinical practice.

However, if this is not what you wish to devote your life to, you can easily choose a specialty.

This is considered a wise decision for future career advancement opportunities, but have in mind that you will need to reach more knowledge and skills than others.

As a result, you will be given better payment and job positions, thus extended responsibilities.

Clinical Specialties

The great thing to know is that medical assistants can choose from a huge number of medical specialties, both clinical and administrative.

You can earn an additional certification after you have finished your studies, but if you are still a student, you can consider working in a medical specialty during your externship, which is an easier way to reach your goal.


A medical specialty which deals with foot injuries and wounds is called Podiatry.

You can choose to become a podiatric medical assistant whose main duty will be to assist a doctor who takes care of patients’ feet.

Those injuries and illnesses can be related to nails, wound care, and post-surgical care.

Podiatry credentialing can be gained after you finish your medical assisting education through the American Society of Podiatric Medical Assistants.

EKG/Cardiology Technician

EKG/Cardiology Technicians are medical assistants who are a very important part of a medical facility, as those are people interested in helping people with diseases and conditions of the heart and cardiovascular system.

Specializing as an EKG/cardiology technician will make you able to perform electrocardiography (EKGs) and you will be also well trained in Holter monitor and stress testing procedures.

In the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for cardiology technicians is expected to increase in the years to come, resulting in the opening of new job opportunities.

So as to become an EKG/Cardiology Technician, you will have to go through additional coursework after graduating from medical assisting school.


Ophthalmology medical assistants perform duties regarding eye care.

Some of their daily activities are diagnostic testing, assisting the doctor while he/she performs eye treatments and emergencies, as well as patient education and advising.

Their duties are also administering eye medications and assisting in minor eye surgery.

If you wish to become a certified ophthalmologist, you can do it through the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology.

Chiropractic Medical Assistant

A very interesting specialty can be a Chiropractic Medical Assistant career.

Chiropractors are professionals who use a holistic approach to caring for the human body, which actually consists of hands-on treatments, hot and cold therapy, massage, and body manipulation.

Becoming a medical assistant in the chiropractic office will require that you perform both administrative duties, such as making appointments as well as clinical duties, which may include assisting the chiropractor with treatments.

Those of you who have a desire to become chiropractic medical assistants can get the training in the chiropractic setting.


OB/GYN belongs to those specialties who require that an assistant possess a range of skills and knowledge to successfully perform this function.

Some people find it great that there is no separate certification for this specialty, but we have to say that without excellent hands-on training and skill-building you cannot become a good medical assistant in Obstetrics/Gynecology.

This medical assistant’s duty is to work with women of all ages, from adulthood through their senior years.

He/she can be found assisting the gynecologist with women’s health procedures, including Pap testing and breast exams.

The duty of a medical assistant is to help the doctor during minor gynecological surgery as well.

Possessing a certification can give you various benefits and you can get a medical assistant in Obstetrics/Gynecology certification via the American Association of Medical Assistants, as it is often required by employers looking to hire for this specialty.

Pediatric Medical Assistant

Working with children can be a very interesting and exciting profession, but at the same time, it is very challenging and stressful.

In case you are ready to stand all the stress that goes with this specialty, you can think about becoming a Pediatric medical assistant.

These professionals provide care to infants, children, and teenagers.

Pediatric medical assistants can be found working in both front and back office.

So as to be able to perform this job, you will need to possess knowledge of childhood diseases, immunizations, and routine well-child care.

Administrative Specialties

There are people who are more interested in administrative medical assisting, and they can also look for specialties in those non-clinical areas.

Even though they will need to take additional classes, the administrative procedures that they have acquired during medical assisting schools are considered a good foundation to build on their knowledge.

Medical Billing and Coding

Medical billers and coders are an integral part of every medical facility as they are in charge of charge sheets, which have to be submitted to insurance companies for reimbursement.

When a physician sees a patient, he/she charges for that visit, so he/she uses a charge sheet where he/she writes what was done during the patient’s visit.

Later on, these sheets are sent to insurance companies that pay a physician.

Once you become a medical coder, you will work directly with Medicare, so you would need to possess the knowledge of Medicare billing as well.

Coders can specialize in either hospital or ambulatory care coding and credentialing in professional coding can be achieved through the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and the Board of Medical Specialty Coding (BMSC).

Medical Administrative Assistant

A medical administrative assistant’s professional duties include taking notes during meetings, creating documents and spreadsheets, working on office policies, and many other administrative duties.

Medical assistants working in medical administration do not need to possess a certificate, but the advantage is given to those with several years of office and administrative experience.

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