Do You Really Need a High School Diploma to Be a Medical Assistant?

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In general, medical assistants have high school diplomas or GEDs. Most employers will not hire employees without one or the other. Having a diploma or your GED demonstrates that you have basic skills that empower you to do your job well. Medical assistants read and write, perform mathematical calculations and use other basic skills learned in high school on a regular basis.

Medical Assistant Training Program

If you want to enroll in a medical assisting training program, you will typically have to have a high school diploma or a GED. A diploma or GED means that you have mastered the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in a college-level program.

Exceptions

If you are still in high school, your school district may offer a medical assisting course through one of its vocational programs. In this case, you do not have to have graduated from high school to enroll in a medical assisting course. Remington College offers you the chance to enroll in a medical assisting program and to take GED courses at the same time. It will even pay for your first two tries to earn a GED as well as for your GED classes.

Employers

Employers may be willing to hire you if you do not have a medical assisting diploma or if you have not passed a national certification exam. If they hire you without one or either of these credentials, the employers will train you completely on-the-job. However, they usually will not hire you to be a medical assistant if you have not graduated from high school or earned your GED.

Salary

Having your high school diploma or your GED will help you earn a higher salary in many cases as well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in May 2011 that the median weekly earnings of an employee with a high school diploma were $626 in the United States. Without a diploma, the median weekly earnings were only $444. The more education you have to be a medical assistant, the more you are worth to employers. They will usually pay you more as a result. If you have a diploma and have passed a certification exam, you can earn even more money.

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