Looking for a career opportunity that comes with competitive pay, huge demand, and a high level of job security? If you like the idea of working in the medical field, then getting your medical assistant certification could be an excellent career move.
You actually don't need to be certified to work as a medical assistant, but obtaining your certification will greatly increase your chances of finding a job and boost your salary potential. Read on to explore the steps of obtaining certification as a medical assistant.
Choosing The Right Education Option For You
When it comes to your education to become a certified medical assistant (CMA), you essentially have two options. You can either enroll in and complete an accredited degree program, or you can find a doctor who is willing to train and mentor you through the process.
In general, completing a formal education program is the best way to go, as an increasing number of employers are looking for people who have at least an associate degree these days.
Deciding On The Right Program
If you decide to enroll in a formal education program, you'll need to at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. Most community colleges and technical schools will offer the program of study you need to obtain your CMA, and these programs typically take between one and two years to complete. The length of time depends on how many courses you're able to take at once based on your schedule.
Obtaining Your Official Certification
Once you've completed your degree program, you should have all the skills and formal knowledge you need to pass your state's CMA certification exam. You'll need to sign up for a date to take this exam and pay the fees associated with it, which can range from about $50 to $150. Some schools will offer payment assistance if you are financially unable to afford the exam on your own.
Once you've passed your exam, you'll be a certified medical assistant and can begin working in the field as soon as you find a job. Depending on your state's requirements, you may have to re-test to maintain your certification every few years as well.
Landing A Job In The Field
Finding a job when you have your certification usually doesn't take long, especially when you consider the high demand for medical assistants these days. Still, you'll want to make sure that you take the time to prepare a polished resume and cover letter for each position you apply to. Prepare yourself for common interview questions, such as "how would you handle a difficult patient?" With the right preparation, you'll land a job in no time.
Now, It’s Up To You
Working in this field can be a very rewarding career: You'll touch the lives of many people. If you’re ready to go after your certification as a medical assistant, then your first step is to get into a CMA program near you.