Medical assistants are respected and valued by the physicians who hire them, because of their ability to streamline and improve the healthcare setting. Both women and men from a variety of backgrounds work in this quickly-expanding field. The primary purpose of medical assistants is to support the operations of doctors’ offices, outpatient clinics and other healthcare settings. Depending on the employer’s needs, a medical assistant performs a variety of administrative and healthcare tasks in order to make things run smoothly. For example, medical assistants make take patients’ vital signs, clean examination rooms or bill insurance companies.[Leer en español]
Becoming a Medical Assistant in Wisconsin
Requirements for Becoming a Medical Assistant in Wisconsin
The state of Wisconsin requires medical assistants to complete a high school degree or GED at the bare minimum. Though there is no additional educational requirement to become a medical assistant, employers are much more likely to hire registered certified medical assistants (CMAs) than untrained applicants. The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) oversees CMA certification, which ensures the competence of medical assistants in administrative and clinical skills.
Medical Assistant Training and Educational Programs in Wisconsin
Wisconsin takes the training and certification of its medical assistants seriously. A range of accredited programs across the state are available for students who wish to pursue their CMA.
- Concordia University. The Medical Assistant program offered by this school is unique because most of the training is done online. Students spend just one day per week in the classroom to practice new skills. The 42-credit program can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis and is available to students in the Milwaukee and Beloit areas.
- Blackhawk Technical College. Located in Janesville, this school is a component of the larger Wisconsin Technical College system. Students at this school can earn a Medical Assistant Technical Diploma in just two semesters. There are also three other satellite locations for this school across Rock and Green counties.
Certification for Becoming a Medical Assistant in Wisconsin
According to the Wisconsin Society of Medical Assistants (WSMA), the CMA credential should be preferred over other medical assistant degrees by Wisconsin physicians during the hiring process. The CMA must be renewed every five years in order to be considered current. One reason doctors prefer certified medical assistants is because well-trained individuals reduce the potential of healthcare lawsuits. Furthermore, employing CMAs helps employers ensure they meet Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and Clinical Laboratory Improvements Act (CLIA) requirements.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations for Medical Assistants in Wisconsin
While the number of medical assisting jobs is growing rapidly across the country, those in Wisconsin have an especially promising future in the field. In 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics measured a mean hourly rate of $17.40 and a mean annual salary of $36,180 for Wisconsin medical assistant pay rates. These income levels fall on the higher end of medical assistant income across the country.
There were 11,530 medical assistants employed in Wisconsin in 2016, and that number is projected to increase by 19.6 percent by 2026.
Working as a Medical Assistant in Wisconsin
By far, Wisconsin’s highest earning medical assistants in 2017 were those working in Eau Claire, who made an annual mean income of $58,650. This number is much higher than the national average of $32,850. The BLS found that the highest numbers of jobs were available in the Milwaukee area and Madison in 2016.
Well-trained medical assistants are highly valued by healthcare providers in Wisconsin. It’s important to note that these health professionals are different than physician’s assistants, who diagnose and treat patients under the direct instruction of a doctor. For people who are detail-oriented, friendly and interested in health, medical assisting may be a great way to step into a healthcare career.
How much do medical assistants earn in the state of Wisconsin?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in the state of Wisconsin made an average of $37,250 per year in 2019. Entry-level medical assistants earned around $29,550 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $47,680.