Health care is one of the fastest growing industries in Michigan. Health care support occupations, such as medical assistants, top the list of fastest-growing occupational groups through 2022 – over twice the rate for total jobs overall. More than 450 open medical assistant positions will need to be filled in Michigan each year.
All that to say: It’s a good time to become a medical assistant.
Pathway to a career in health care
The work of a medical assistant (MA) includes both clinical and administrative duties that vary depending on the size and specialty of the workplace. MAs can work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, nursing homes or clinics. Because of the variety of tasks and work environments, medical assisting is a good way to see if health care is right for you. It’s also a strong foundation for many other careers in health care.
Qualities of an MA
Medical assistants need good analytical, interpersonal and technical skills. They must be able to:
- read and understand medical charts and diagnoses.
- accurately record data such as vital signs and patient information.
- discuss patient information with physicians and interact with patients in a professional manner.
- use clinical instruments and equipment.
Earn while you learn
West Michigan Works! has opportunities for individuals to earn a wage while learning the skills to become a medical assistant. The Medical Assistant Registered Apprenticeship Program (MARAP) combines classroom learning, simulated learning and a paid work experience.
As a student in the one-year program:
- You’ll attend classes (tuition free!) at one of the participating training providers: Grand Rapids Community College or Muskegon Community College. You’ll apply your classroom learning in a clinical setting and learn new skills from your assigned mentors and supervisors.
- You’ll work (with pay!) with a participating employer: Cherry Health, Hackley Community Care, Mercy Health or Spectrum Health. Shifts and hours will be flexible, based on employer’s needs and your educational responsibilities.
- You’ll receive step wage increases as you are able to perform more and more of the MA job duties.
Upon completion of the program, you’ll graduate with a Medical Assistant Certificate of Completion and a certificate of completion of apprenticeship from the US Department of Labor, credentials that tell employers that you are fully qualified for the job of a medical assistant.
West Michigan Works! is accepting applications of interest now through August 30, 2019. The program begin in January 2020.