Not all medical assistants are certified, and are able to learn through on-the-job training over the course of several months. However, physicians do prefer to have certified assistants.

In order to become a certified medical assistant, one can take either a one year certificate, or a two year associate’s medical assisting degree. Expect to study medical terminology, medical billing, science, math and first aid. Either program will include lab and classroom time.

What are Medical Assistants like?


Based on our pool of users, medical assistants tend to be predominately investigative people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

Medical Assistants by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 2363 Sokanu users

Are Medical Assistants happy?


Medical assistants rank as moderately happy among careers. Overall they rank in the 52nd percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

Medical Assistant Career Satisfaction by Dimension

Percentile among all careers

Education History of Medical Assistants

The most common degree held by medical assistants is Biology. 3% of medical assistants had a degree in biology before becoming medical assistants. That is over 1 times the average across all careers. Psychology graduates are the second most common among medical assistants, representing 2% of medical assistants in the Sokanu user base, which is 0.3 times the average.

Medical Assistant Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Medical Assistant, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of medical assistants % of population Multiple
Biology 3.3% 3.5% 0.9×
Psychology 2.0% 6.8% 0.3×
Medical Assisting 1.8% 0.2% 8.5×

Medical Assistant Education Levels

90% of medical assistants have an associate's degree. 10% of medical assistants have a high school diploma.

No education 0%
High school diploma 10%
Associate's degree 90%
Bachelor's degree 0%
Master's degree 0%
Doctorate degree 0%

How to Become a Medical Assistant

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

    Would you make a good medical assistant? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

    Take the free career test
  2. Jobs in your area
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Further Reading

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Recommended Books

  • Administrative Medical Assisting www.amazon.com

    ADMINISTRATIVE MEDICAL ASSISTING, 7E, is the most comprehensive learning package available for front-office medical assisting, featuring step-by-step procedures for job skills and the development of critical thinking through real-life scenarios.

  • Clinical Procedures for Medical Assistants www.amazon.com

    Clinical Procedures for Medical Assistants, 9th Edition provides clear, step-by-step instructions for common office procedures such as taking vital signs, collecting and processing lab specimens, preparing patients for examinations, and assisting with office surgeries.

  • Plunkett's Procedures for the Medical Administrative Assistant www.amazon.com

    Plunkett's Procedures for the Medical Administrative Assistant, 4th edition, provides instruction for all the essential office procedures required by today's medical administrative assistants in Canada, whether they work in a medical office, a complementary care office, or in a hospital setting.

  • Medical Terminology for Health Professions www.amazon.com

    Now in its 7th Edition, MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONS simplifies the process of memorizing complex medical terminology by focusing on the important word parts -- the common prefixes, suffixes and root words -- to provide a foundation for learning hundreds of medical terms.

  • Medical Assistant www.amazon.com

    Outlines the educational requirements, duties, salary, employment outlook, and possible future positions of medical assistants.

  • Kinn's The Medical Assistant: An Applied Learning Approach www.amazon.com

    Administrative coverage ranges from professionalism and interpersonal skills to billing and coding and electronic health records; clinical content teaches how to assist with medications, diagnostic procedures, and surgeries. And no other comprehensive medical assisting text can match its coverage of assisting with medical specialties.