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Certified Medical Aide Career and Certification Facts

As the field of health care continues to expand, there's an increased need for medical aides to assist physicians and nurses with administrative and clinical demands. Learn more about the job duties of these aides, and check the requirements for certification. Review the job outlook and typical salary for medical aides.

What You Need to Know

Individuals interested in becoming medical aides can gain the knowledge they need to join this rapidly growing field through certification programs or work experience. The field of medical assisting is not regulated, so the duties of CMAs vary depending on the size and specialties of each medical practice, but generally involve clerical tasks and working with patients.

Training Certificate programs and on-the-job training
Responsibilities Administrative duties and basic patient care
Job Outlook (2019-2029)* 19% growth for medical assistants
Job Outlook (2019)* $34,800 for medical assistants

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Do I Become Certified?

Certification is not required in order to work as a medical aide, but it can prove your competency in the position. Numerous associations grant professional credentials in medical assisting, and each association maintains different standards for certification. In general, you need to successfully complete a postsecondary medical assisting program and pass an exam before becoming certified. Some organizations, like the American Association of Medical Assistants, only recognize accredited educational training programs (www.aama-ntl.org). Others, like the American Medical Technologists, accept work experience in lieu of formal academic training (www.americanmedtech.org).

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some of the certifications currently available to medical aides include:

  • Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)
  • National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA)
  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
  • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
  • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)

What Would My Career as a Certified Medical Aide Entail?

Medical aides are more commonly referred to as medical assistants, and individuals that are certified in the field are referred to as Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs). As a CMA, you may work directly under physicians and other healthcare professionals, or you may work under an office manager or administrative team. Typically, your duties would include both administrative and clinical tasks, such as:

  • Recordkeeping and accounting
  • Administering medication
  • Completing insurance paperwork
  • Ordering office supplies
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Taking and recording vital signs

What's My Job Outlook?

According to the BLS, job opportunities for medical assistants that have obtained certification are excellent (www.bls.gov). The BLS expects the employment of medical assistants to grow much faster than the average for all occupations, with a 19% increase in employment from 2019-2029. The BLS also predicts that medical assistant positions will account for a large number of new jobs in the health care field as more employers look to meet the demands of an expanding market. The median annual salary for medical aides was $34,800, according to the BLS in 2019.