While everyone is familiar with doctors who make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, many people do not realize that the nurses and medical assistants make decent money as well. It is perfectly possible for an individual to live comfortably, if not grandly, on a medical assistant salary. Here are a few types of jobs in the lower echelon of the medical field, what they do and the amount they earn.
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) need only to complete the National Council Licensure Examination. Certified Nursing Assistants, known as CNAs, must be certified after completing a 6-12 week course, and training for 75 hours in a work setting. After completion, they are ready to go to work. Certified nursing assistants do all the basics of medical care: taking vital statistics from patients, addressing concerns, change diapers, and bathe and feed patients. Certified nursing assistants work in nursing homes primarily, but also in hospitals and a few other locations. A certified nursing assistant salary begins at between $12 and $16 per hour. That is $24,960 to $33,280, although some Certified Nursing Assistants make as much as $92,000 per year, not bad for someone who does not hold a college degree.
A medical assistant, on the other hand, does not always need to have any training other than what they are taught by co-workers. States vary on their requirements. Some states require a certificate, and it certainly helps to be certified, since this usually leads to a higher salary. Medical assistants’ salary is usually about $46,000 per year. These professionals take blood pressure, operate ultrasounds, interview patients about their medical history, and often perform office work as well. Currently, there is a shortage of nurses and so many medical offices are relying more and more on medical assistants.
A third type is a Nurse Assistant. Nurse Assistants do just that: assist nurses. They care for and clean up after patients, monitor vital statistics, and generally do whatever is needed. To become a nurse assistant individuals must take a course. These courses are offered by the Red Cross, as well as by many technical schools, trade schools, and community colleges. A Nurse Assistant class can last anywhere from a few weeks up to a few months. A Nurse Assistant salary usually runs about $52,000. This is on par with most police officers or teachers, who generally make between $29,000 and $54,000 per year.
While it may not be enough to raise a family of 12 on, salaries like those listed above are plenty to support a young student working their way through school or an individual supporting themselves. There are plenty of openings for nursing assistants and other medical vocations. As the baby boomer generation requires more and more care, a need for those with medical skills is increasing. As discussed, schooling is not very long, or expensive, for these positions, and anyone who has a desire to find their niche in the medical field is welcome to do so through these gateway jobs.