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Western MA Fast Facts

  • Workers in Hampden County: 1,3808
  • Education Requirements: High School + Certificate
  • Entry Level Salary:$15/hour
  • Experienced Salary:$20/hour

Hampshire Franklin Counties

  • Workers in Hampshire Franklin Counties: 350
  • Education Requirements: High School + Certificate
  • Entry Level Salary:$14/hour
  • Experienced Salary:$19/hour
  • Education Needed: Certificate
  • Learn more at


Occupational Employment and Wages Statistics, May 2016, EOLWD

Medical Assistants

Medical assistants help doctors, nurses and other medical professionals with both administrative and clinical tasks, most often in a physician’s office.

Employer requirements for medical assistants in Western Massachusetts are changing as healthcare changes. The quality and standards for training programs varies widely, with no statewide certification standards. Bilingual medical assistants are particularly in demand.

Medical assistants help doctors, nurses and other medical professionals with both administrative and clinical tasks, most often in a physician’s office.

Medical assistants:

  • Care for patients directly by taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, and administering medications as directed by a physician
  • Keep medical offices running smoothly by scheduling appointments, keeping medical records, billing, and insurance coding
  • Keep patient health information accurate and secure by reviewing records for completeness, accuracy, and compliance with rules and privacy regulations

Employment opportunities can be found in:

Education and training requirements

A high school diploma or GED and a certificate training program are required to become a medical assistant. This program should include both classroom instruction and clinical experience. Some employers prefer to hire CMAs (certified medical assistants), which requires you to pass an exam.

Since there is no set training standard yet, it is even more important for students considering a medical assistant program to find a high quality program. Only community college programs are eligible for college transfer credits. This is important if you have a plan to advance your career.

Medical assistants are also expected to have:

  • Cultural competence, or the ability to work well with people from different cultural backgrounds than your own
  • A solid understanding of anatomy, physiology and biology
  • Knowledge of patient’s rights and privacy requirements
  • Strong oral and written communication and teamwork skills

1441 Main Street, First Floor
Springfield, MA 01103

The REBHC is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Program, auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities, Verizon Telephone Relay Service: TDD/TTY: 1-800-439-2370 Voice: 1-800-439-0183

An Initiative of

This website was funded in part by Workforce STAT (Skills, Talent, Awareness, Training): Transforming Regional Capacity for Healthcare Education, Grant # CB18820. Workforce STAT was a $1.66 million Community Based Job Training Initiative through the U.S. Department of Labor. The website is also funded in part by a Healthcare Skills Gap Partnership grant through the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. The grant program was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and administered by Commonwealth Corporation.