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Medical Administrative Assistant Certification Programs

Find out the education and training requirements for becoming a certified medical administrative assistant. Learn how professional certification can help your career, and explore job opportunities.

Why Should I Pursue Certification?

While certification is not required to work as an administrative assistant in the medical field, it does have some benefits. Having certification will show prospective employers that you are an expert in your field and have the necessary training and knowledge to competently perform your job duties. According to the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), certification may also increase the employment opportunities available to you and help you to move into a higher pay bracket (www.nhanow.com). To take the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) exam, which is offered by the NHA, you need to complete an approved training program or have one year of experience working in the medical administrative field.

Certification OptionsNot required; voluntary Certified Medical Administrative Assistant credential
Common CoursesInsurance practices, medical terminology, medical software usage, coding and billing, medical records
Mean Salary (2018) $37,090 (for medical secretaries)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are Approved Training Programs Like?

Your instructors will teach you the basic skills of managing an office as well as the technical knowledge specific to medical offices, such as how to use medical software programs. The curriculum will cover a variety of topics related to healthcare, including medical records, insurance practices, coding and billing, finance management and medical terminology. Medical administrative assistant programs could lead to a diploma, a certificate or an associate's degree. Some schools offer programs specifically designed to prepare students to take the CMAA exam. Online programs are widely available and may also include exam preparation.

How Easily Will I Find a Job?

In general, the medical field is growing, creating a variety of job opportunities, so your job prospects should be positive. Some of these opportunities are in dental and physician's offices, clinics, medical laboratories, hospitals and nursing homes. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that there was expected to be a 22% increase in job opportunities for medical secretaries from 2016-2026 (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported that the mean annual wage for medical secretaries was $37,090 in 2018.