Certified Clinical Medical Assistant Certification, Salary and Career Facts

When you walk into the doctor's office for an appointment, the first person you're likely to see is a medical assistant. Becoming certified as a clinical medical assistant can help prove your knowledge in this profession and may lead to better job opportunities. Read below to learn more about the requirements and benefits of certification. You'll also find the salary potential for medical assistants. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Medical assistants help health care practitioners achieve operational efficiency by completing both clinical and administrative tasks. They work in different environments, such as physicians offices, outpatient care centers and hospitals. Certification is not required; however, employers generally prefer certified medical assistants.

Certification Must pass a written exam and re-certify every two years by the National Healthcareer Association; certification may lead to greater opportunities for career advancement
Median Salary (2017)* $32,480 (all medical assistants)
Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)* 29% (all medical assistants)
Training On-the-job training on instruments, medical terminology, regular operational tasks, electronic health records and patient interactions is common

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is a Certified Medical Assistant?

Medical assistants perform administrative and clinical tasks within different types of healthcare facilities. Their job duties vary according to the laws of the state in which you work, but may entail:

  • Checking a patient's vital signs
  • Taking medical histories
  • Explaining treatment procedures to patients
  • Assisting practitioners during examinations

The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) certification is offered to medical assistants by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) (www.nhanow.com). Earning this certification can help you to prove that you possess a satisfactory level of knowledge in medical assisting, although it is not required to find a job.

How Do I Earn a Certification?

In order to become a CCMA, you must pass a 180-item, three-hour examination. Most of the subject matter contained in the examination covers medical procedures, although questions about office administration and medical law are included as well. In order to become eligible to take the examination, you must be a high school graduate who has completed either a training program or one year of professional experience in the field. Training programs in medical assisting include 2-year associate degree programs and 1-year professional certificate programs. You must also re-certify every two years, which can be done by taking continuing education classes.

Why Become Certified?

Clinics, group practices, and other types of healthcare organizations require the help of medical assistants to serve a growing number of patients. Employers generally prefer to hire certified medical assistants, so becoming a CCMA can give you an edge among other job seekers in this field.

What Is the Job Outlook?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that in 2017 there were 646,320 individuals employed as medical assistants, and the number of jobs is expected to grow 29% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than most occupations. In 2017, medical assistants earned a median annual wage of $32,480, although your skill level as a medical assistant is a big factor in determining your earning potential. There are basic skills that will make you more marketable as a medical assistant, such as your ability to:

  • Communicate in a professional manner
  • Use basic clinical instruments
  • Take accurate vital signs
  • Understand medical charts

You can also go on to teach medical assisting or go into a health care profession such as nursing with enough training.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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  • Kaplan University

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    • Master
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    • Anywhere: Burnaby, Edmonton, Richmond, Surrey, Winnipeg
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