Is it really possible to land a job as a Medical Assistant without any prior experience?
The simple answer is Yes, but...
When we conducted our research into what MA employers are looking for, we found that up to 43% of positions were available to applicants who had no prior experience. We also found that you could apply for 33% of advertised medical assisting jobs even if you lacked both experience and certification.
However, the real situation is a little more complex than that.
The reality is that many MA jobs may be advertised as not requiring experience, however during our research we found that over 60% of them said that experience was preferred. What that means is that if you haven't got any experience working as an MA, then there are going to be a lot of other people applying for the same jobs that will be more likely to get the job than you.
A small Doctor's office isn't usually going to be in a situation where they can train you in medical assisting while trying to get their own work done, however larger healthcare providers do sometimes provide on the job training.
Related Experience Can Help
Even if you don't have direct experience as an MA, you may still be able to get a front office job, such as a receptionist, if you have prior experience working as a clerk or receptionist in a non-medical business. Most of your skills will be directly transferable to answering phones, setting appointments, and taking care of filing. If this is the case, then you will be more attractive to employers who say experience is not required, but preferred.
Another form of experience that can help enormously, is working as an Extern as part of a medical assisting training program. This can also help you move up the application list when applying for positions that say experience is preferred but no required.
For more information on how to get experience, see our articles on How to Become a Medical Assistant, Volunteering as a Medical Assistant, and you might also like to see some Medical Assistant Resume Examples.