Medical Assistants provide clinical and administrative support in hospitals and other kinds of medical offices — they’re essential for the proper functioning of these facilities. And because the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the demand for Medical Assistants to increase by 23% between 2014 and 2024, it’s a great time to explore this rewarding career path.
Of course, you can’t just waltz into a job as a Medical Assistant. The question is, how do you become certified? Let’s take a closer look at the ins and outs of becoming a certified Medical Assistant.
Types of Medical Assistant Certifications
It’s important to be aware that there are various types of Medical Assistants. Certain certifications are better for particular types of medical work, and there are different kinds of requirements for each. For example, there is:
- Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
- National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA)
- Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
- Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
- Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)
Most likely, you’ll choose one of these five (or more than one). These are the most widely recognized and recommended, but there are other specialty certifications out there if you wish to explore them.
Benefits of Getting Certified
No matter the type of certification that is right for your career goals, there are plenty of benefits to becoming certified. First of all, most employers only hire Medical Assistants who are certified. Additionally, you’ll be able to command a higher pay rate. And it’s better for employers when they hire Certified Medical Assistants — it lowers the risk of medical malpractice lawsuits and bolsters their reputation in the field.
How to Get Certified
The first step is to attend an accredited medical assisting program. Make sure the program you graduate from is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Next, you’ll need to submit your application for the certification exam and choose a test date. While you’re waiting for your test, you’ll want to study as much as you can. Then, take the test, pass, and you’re certified! Remember that you’ll need to get recertified on a regular basis — CMAs must recertify every 60 months, while RMAs must recertify every three years, for example.
Put Your Medical Assistant Certification to Good Use
Are you a Medical Assistant looking for your next great opportunity? Allow Health Advocates Network to help. View available positions in your area by clicking here, and contact us to get started on your journey.