Medical assistants can anticipate a rewarding and in-demand career path. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that by 2030, demand for medical assistants is expected to increase 18 percent, which is significantly faster than the national average.
While certification is not required to be a medical assistant, it can be a great investment in the future of your career. Becoming a certified medical assistant, or CMA, does not add much time to your education, and may increase your earning and hiring potential. More medical facilities have started preferring candidates who are certified over those who are not.
Find a medical assistant school today, or, read further to discover how becoming a CMA may benefit your career.
Choosing the Best Education Option for You
Before you can become a medical assistant, you must complete either an accredited certificate program, or earn your associate degree from a community college or a vocational school.
Getting an associate degree for medical assisting can take about two years to complete. Whereas enrolling in a certificate program can have you career-ready in as few as 10 months. Both schooling options will prepare you to take the AAMA certification exam if they are accredited institutions.
If certification is your goal, it is even more crucial that you check to ensure your program is accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), or the Accredited Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). It is essential that your programs are accredited by either organization for your education to qualify you to take the exam.
The AAMA Exam
To become certified, you must take the AAMA exam (or its equivalent) within a year of graduation. You may even elect to take it as soon as a month prior to your graduation if you wish to get ahead. To take the exam, one must submit an application, and pay a fee that can range between $50 to $150.
It is recommended that one takes the exam as soon as he or she feels well prepared to do so; candidates are given three attempts to pass. In addition, you will need to take the test again every 60 months to renew your certification. You become a certified medical assistant upon passing your exam. For some fun, try our AAMA practice exam.
Medical Assistant Salary Information
Medical assistants in 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, made an average of $38,190. The top 10 percent of medical assistants made an average of $48,170. Getting your certification can increase your earning potential in the long run.
Find a CMA Program Now!
With the increasing demand for medical assistants, now is a great time to reach toward your certification goals. Working as a medical assistant can lead to an extremely rewarding career path. Receiving your education from an accredited institution, along with preparing for and passing the AAMA exam, are the foundational steps to becoming a CMA.
Find medical assisting programs near you today to get started!