Administrative V. Clinical V. Medical Assistant Specialists Career Options You Need to Know

Medical Assistants in Arlington and across the country provide a valuable service and help healthcare professionals, including physicians, promote positive treatment outcomes for patients and more. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, demand for Medical Assistants is expected to be among the fastest-growing positions in the health industry through 2028. Specifically, job outlook for Medical Assistants will increase 23%, representing an addition of 154,900 more positions across the industry.
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Administrative V. Clinical V. Medical Assistant Specialists Career Options You Need to Know

Unlike nurses and other advanced health professionals, Medical Assistants have a diverse skill sets that applies to the offices of physicians, health hospital facilities, and business administrative functions within the health industry.

Moreover, the modern Medical Assistant has been a cornerstone in IT needs as more organizations look to implement electronic health records (E HR) platforms to improve patient care. At the same time, the job opportunities for Medical Assistants may vary widely, but they will down to three primary roles, including Administrative Medical Assistants, Clinical Medical Assistants, and Medical Assistant Specialists.

Those interested Medical Assistant Programs in Arlington or any other area need to understand the differences in these positions and how such positions can influence their health careers.

Administrative Medical Assistants Primarily Serve in Business Capabilities

medical assistant working in a doctor's office

Working as an Administrative Medical Assistant is a unique aspect of medical assisting. Depending on the facility, it is possible to begin basic employment in this field, but Administrative Medical Assistants with a formal education are more likely to understand the responsibilities and complete vital tasks, reports (

In addition, certificate and Associates degree programs in medical and administrative assisting are available to help students land better-paying jobs. Administrative Medical Assistants are more involved in the business functions of healthcare than direct patient care.

For instance, those that do a simple search for “Medical Assistant Programs near me” online might come across a few Administrative Medical Assistant positions. However, those with experience and formal education are more likely to find a position more easily.

Now, it is possible for employers to give Administrative Medical Assistants an opportunity to transcend positions, providing patient care and performing business functions.

However, the value of Medical Assistants lies in their ability to effectively replace a more advanced staff member at a lower cost. For instance, a Medical Assistant working in an administrative capacity may be less expensive than hiring someone with a master’s or bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Unfortunately, the U.S. BLS does not track salary for Administrative Medical Assistants separate from the whole of Medical Assistants. As a result, the median salary for any Medical Assistant in the US is $33,610. However, Medical Assistants are more likely to work in administrative capacities in the offices of physicians and private practices.

In this position, Medical Assistants make an annual average of $32,650. With that in mind, the highest 10% of Medical Assistants make more than $47,000 annually.

In Texas, Medical Assistants throughout Arlington and the Dallas region have a significant advantage compared to other parts of the U.S. Specifically, the annual average is $31,580,

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Clinical Medical Assistant Work Across a Variety of Health Settings

Clinical medical assistant taking vital signs

Clinical Medical Assistants work in clinical settings and provide patient care. Clinical Medical Assistants are allied health professionals, working alongside and in supports to physicians, nurses, chiropractors, office managers, and more.

As a hands-on role, Clinical Medical Assistants may work across any healthcare setting that involves patient care. This may include imaging centers, physicians’ offices, private practices, outpatient care services, home health, hospice, nursing homes, hospitals, and more.

The specific duty roster for Clinical Medical Assistants depends largely on the type of facility. However, Medical Assistants in the clinical setting may be responsible for recording patient health history and taking personal information down into the chart, measuring vital signs, helping physicians and health professionals with patient examinations, providing patient injections or administering medications, scheduling patient appointments for follow-up visits within the examination room, preparing blood samples for laboratory testing, and even assisting with radiology needs.

As a result, Clinical Medical Assistants must complete a formal training program to verify skills and perform duties, such as medication administrative, that are governed by unique federal, state, and local regulations.

Regarding pay, Clinical Medical Assistants fall under the umbrella of Medical Assistants by the US BLS. It is best to break down the pay rates for Medical Assistants in the clinical setting as follows:

  • Outpatient care center Medical Assistants make an annual wage of approximately $35,600.
  • Those working in clinical settings within the hospital make approximately $34,980.
  • In addition, those working in certain clinical settings may make a higher wage even as a Clinical Medical Assistant, up to the highest percentile of 47,250.

Medical Assistant Specialist Fulfill a Role That is More Hands-On in Health Specialties

medical assistant specialist working in doctor's office

Another fundamental position for Medical Assistants involves Medical Assistant Specialists. Medical Assistant Specialists fulfill roles that go further than Clinical Medical Assistants and blend with administrative functions.

However, a key distinction exists. Medical Assistant Specialists are highly trained in one specific aspect of healthcare, such as cardiology care or bariatric care. As a result, Medical Assistant Specialists are typically required to complete at least a one-year formal program in medical assisting, explains

Medical Assistants in this capacity may also work in plastic surgery centers, working together with physicians to provide superior patient care.

Medical Assistant Specialists may also gain additional skills and experience to allow them to perform additional procedures, fulfill other clinical needs, and serve patients in a greater capacity than the typical Clinical Medical Assistant.

Moreover, Medical Assistant Specialists could theoretically specialize in telemedicine or information technology, transcending the boundaries between traditional industries and allowing smaller practices to stay competitive in the virtual world of medicine.

Medical Assistant Specialists can also take an active role in health load boards worries, preparing specimens for testing, conducting medical research, managing blood donations, and more.

Clinical Medical Assistants and Medical Assistant Specialists also have the option to pursue further roles in pharmaceutical companies, occupational therapy, and dental practices as well. In fact, the US BLS lists these other positions as “highly similar to” those of Medical Assistants. As a result, it is conceivable for Medical Assistants with experience to transition into another position without necessarily completing additional education for that position.

Medical Assistants in this capacity may make a higher wage than their clinical counterparts. Wages also increase with experience. Thus, those that work in this capacity will likely start out at a lower wage than the industry average and work their way up to the highest 10% or more.

Explore Your Career Options and Request More Information on Medical Assistant Programs

Medical Assistants represent one of the most diverse career paths in the health industry.

The opportunities for employment are rising, and those interested in the health field should start thinking about where they want to work.

Administrative Medical Assistants, Clinical Medical Assistants, and Medical Assistant Specialists might sound like similar titles, but they perform different functions and can have significant differences in annual income.

Find out more about becoming a Medical Assistant by requesting information or applying to the Medical Assistant Program in Arlington or Dallas at CCI Training Center via the online contact form today.


Written By

Joseph Weber

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