On this page we will explain how to become a Medical Assistant with or without certification. You can jump straight down to learn more about becoming a certified medical assistant and you may also want to learn about the requirements to become a RMA or CMA (Registered Medical Assistant or a Certified Medical Assistant).
How to Become a Medical Assistant Without Certification
Requirement: High school diploma or GED
Pro: Bypassing education and starting work right away
Pro: Receive on the job training and get paid to learn
Con: Finding a job is much more difficult without certification
Con: You will be paid less in most cases
If you’d like to become a medical assistant, then there are two routes you can take to get started with your career: on the job training or a medical assistant certification.
It is good for some to know that you don’t necessarily need to have a certification to work as a medical assistant. For some people, without time or financial resources for a college education, getting to work as a medical assistant without certification is the only option.
Before working as a medical assistant, you will need to obtain a diploma from high school. If you haven’t finished high school, you’ll need to at least obtain your GED. Then you will need to find employment where you can receive on the job training. However, it may be a bit more of a challenge for you to find the ideal job if you aren’t certified to work as a medical assistant.
Most medical assistants who don’t have their certification are paid a lower salary than those who are certified. If you’re trying to land a job without your certification, you’ll need to have a good personality as well as good listening skills so that you perform well in your job interview since you won’t have any prior experience on your resume.
How to Become a Certified Medical Assistant
Requirement: Completing a CAAHEP Accredited Program, Passing the National CMA Exam
Pro: Education is short, only a 2 year associates degree
Pro: Finding a job is much easier with certification
Pro: You will earn a higher salary and have specialization opportunities
Con: You must make an investment in your education, and the exam fee is $150
If you want a competitive advantage in the job market, more specialized job opportunities, higher pay, and higher job security then you should get certified by the American Association for Medical Assistants. The program is designed to help those who’d like to become medical assistants get their RMA or CMA certification and land better jobs that pay higher.
Getting Your Medical Assistant Certification
You’d need to get your associates degree and pass the national exam to become a certified medical assistant. The program can be completed in as little as two years. Go here to find accredited medical assistant programs in your area.
If you complete your education, pass the exam, and get your certification, you will be more competitive in the job market and likely get a better and higher paying job versus medical assistants without the certification.
In addition to higher pay, and you will have more specialized job opportunities to find the exact job you want. There are over 20 different places certified medical assistants can work.
Of course, your education is an investment, and you’ll need to pay for classes to get your associates degree and the fee for the exam. However, it’s often worth it.
To reduce your costs, you could find affordable options by enrolling with a college in your community instead of trying to enroll in a costly university. Or consider online classes to save time and money on commuting and attending classes.
Although you must initially invest in your education, the higher earnings during your career often make up for your investment.
Tools to Help You Become a Certified Medical Assistant
Find CAAHEP Accredited Medical Assisting Programs in Your Area
Find a CAAHEP Accredited Medical Assistant School and complete your associates degree in Medical Assisting.
Get Your Medical Assistant Certification in Your State
Determine if your state requires you to become a CMA, or an RMA, and then complete the certification process. You can see each state’s Medical Assistant requirements here. Included are all of the links, forms, and contact info you need to get your certification.
Questions About Becoming a Medical Assistant?
If you still have questions about how to become a medical assistant, or a specific part of the process of becoming a certified medical assistant, then ask our community in the comments below 🙂