A Medical Assistant Schools Guide for North Dakotans
The US economy seems to have found stability in every state, including North Dakota. While the search for work may still be tough for some, a few occupations are growing in numbers.
Medical assisting is one of these growing careers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 420 careers in North Dakota with this title. If that seems like many, you might be equally surprised to learn that that number is expected to rise by 23.2% through the year 2022. [Leer en español]
Medical assisting combines many different elements; it is rewarding, challenging, enjoyable, and can even be emotional at times. For those that like to keep things interesting, this is one job where no two days are alike.
What they do
Medical Assistants can perform a variety of different tasks and duties, depending on where they work. They can work in some interesting places, such as schools, healthcare retail stores, retirement homes, and even morgues. The Medical Assistants that come to mind for most are those commonly seen in hospitals and doctor’s offices.
Typical clinical workers take care of preparation tasks such as completing lab paperwork, preparing rooms for new patients, preparing tools and equipment for use, preparing specimens, and gathering and setting up supplies. They also perform many administrative aspects of medical work, such as medical billing, coding, and transcription, and they communicate between office staff, doctors, nurses, and patients. What really sets Medical Assistants apart from other types of healthcare workers is that they perform tasks that are both medical and administrative in nature. They are uniquely positioned, as they do not belong to one department. Rather, they are natural team players that can help everyone out.
Medical assistant salaries are as flexible as the work they do. It can be difficult to quantify statewide wages in a meaningful way, because there is so much variation that gets lost within the data. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the lowest wage as $11.86 per hour, while the top 10% highest earns an average of $20.24. Salaries earned by these healthcare workers tend to be based on different factors such as their experience, level of responsibility, region, credentials, and so on.
Salaries by Metropolitan Area in North Dakota
|Area||Total Employed||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary|
|Grand Forks, ND-MN||40||$15.99||$33,250|
It is not necessary for Medical Assistants to be certified in the state of North Dakota. Certification is recognized by the state, however, and certification offers many benefits. Any medical assistant, whether or not currently practicing, may find it necessary to obtain certification. These days, clinics that do not expect it are the exception rather than the rule.
The way to certification usually involves graduation from accredited program, as well as passing an exam. For more information, visit the AAMA (American Association of Medical Assistants) website. Follow the links as you browse the site, you will learn more about each type of certification and its associated requirements. Below you will also find a comprehensive list of colleges and technical schools in or serving North Dakota.
College and University Listings
Rasmussen College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are based at their North Dakota campus in the city of Fargo, North Dakota. The majority of of the school’s 964 students are on 4-year programs. The school is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.* Fees for tuition are about $9,360 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,350, although this will vary with the program.*
Dakota College at Bottineau offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are taught at their campus in Bottineau in rural North Dakota, ND. The college has about 793 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. Dakota College at Bottineau has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* Tuition fees for in-state students are about $4,181 and for students from other states approximately $5,872 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,225, although this will depend on the program.*
* Tuition fees, program details, and accreditation status are correct at the time of writing, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/) Confirm with college before applying.