How to Become a Medical Assistant


Medical assistants have numerous job responsibilities, and they work in a variety of locations, from hospitals to family medical practices. The following are just some of the typical duties that a medical assistant could expect daily: taking patients’ vital signs, restocking examination rooms, updating and filing patient’s charts, checking in samples at the lab, doing insurance billing and coding and more. To capture all the necessary information about this role, we took the help of MedAssistantEdu to create this article.

The educational requirements for becoming a medical assistant vary depending on the state in which you live. Suppose you want to be a certified medical assistant or take your certification exams through AAMA (American Association of Medical Assistants). In that case, you will need to gain training at an accredited school that offers either a Medical Assistant Associate’s degree or a Medical Assistant diploma. In most states, you will be required to have the appropriate amount of hours in your training program that meets state regulations to become certified and take the certification exams. Certification is voluntary but is an excellent way for a medical assistant to gain a competitive edge in this job market by possibly receiving higher pay and finding a job more efficiently. Medical assisting is such a hot career at the moment with so many opportunities; there is no need for you not to try and get certified if you want to be one. An average medical assistant salary is usually in the range of $25,000 – $35,000 per year.

There are numerous job outlooks for medical assistants. If you meet your state’s requirements and complete the necessary training, you will likely not have any problem finding a job in this field, especially with so many Baby Boomers now seeking help at their doctors’ offices due to age. It’s projected that over half of all U.S. medical assistants are eligible to retire in the next ten years. This massive gap in the medical assistant industry will create even more opportunities for those to fill these positions that open up. It is a great time to get into this field and go into this career because of all the great job outlooks.

Learn About State Requirements

Every state has different requirements for taking the certification exams and becoming a medical assistant. You will need to check with your State Department of Health or State Board of Medical Assistants to find out what you will need to do to become certified. After checking with them, if they require you to take some training program, you will want to make sure you select a good school that prepares you well in your field. You don’t want to go through all the trouble of getting certified only to have it not help you obtain a job because they did not prepare you very well for what type of work would be expected from a medical assistant.

One way that many people get the proper training is by going to a vocational school. Vocational schools are great because they can provide you with the necessary classes and hands-on experience to get certified. They offer flexible hours that many people need in their work schedules.

If your state does allow you to become certified by just taking an exam, then be sure that the school you attend offers the exam for your condition. Taking an exam without getting properly accredited could get your certification revoked if you are caught doing so because it is cheating, and that is something that no one wants to happen to them.

Remember, there are many different options available in becoming a medical assistant. If choosing this career path interests you, check out some schools and find one that will help you reach your medical assistant goals.

Consider National Certification Through the AAMA

Another option is to become nationally certified through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). This will offer you a significantly higher level of employment if you are willing to put forth the extra time and effort required. Many people can tell when someone is not nationally certified but may not know when they are if they are. This is why it’s essential to become nationally certified if you can.

If you are interested in becoming nationally certified, the AAMA offers an online training program that you should look into before signing up for any other type of training program. The fee for this course is $375 and includes all the materials you will need to take the exam. Once you have completed the online course, you will then take the AAMA Certified Medical Assistant exam.

Here are just some of the great things that are nationally certified through the AAMA offers:

  • Helps you get a job faster after completing training
  • Provides higher pay rates for your job position
  • allows you to work in different types of healthcare facilities
  • Offers you more job advancement opportunities