If you’re considering a career as a medical assistant, you’ve made a wise choice. Medical assistants help physicians with administrative and clinical tasks, and can work in wide range of settings, including acute care, long-term care and outpatient clinics—so you have ample opportunity to learn and grow within your field. Plus, the healthcare market in Texas (and across the country) is bursting with job opportunities for medical assistants, which will make it much easier to find a job. Medical assistants are in high demand thanks to the expansion of the Affordable Care Act, and the need for all types of healthcare professionals to aid our aging population.
Since the Affordable Care Act has expanded the need for all types of healthcare professionals, and our aging population of baby boomers is in need of elder care, medical assistants are in high demand. Physicians need help managing the influx of patients to maintain adequate staffing and a high level of patient care.
The value of certification
You may be wondering if it’s worth it to become certified—the answer is yes. Though not every medical assistant job requires certification, many do. Becoming certified opens your job search up and gives you a competitive edge against other job candidates. Plus, certification can help you command a higher rate of pay; your employer wants to know they can rely on your professional knowledge—having a medical assistant certification proves this.
Four options for medical assistant certification
To become certified, you must complete an accredited training program; then pass a certification exam. You have four choices for the type of certification you can earn, and this will drive the accredited program you enroll in. Certification options include:
- Certified Medical Assistant (CMA). This certification is offered through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and requires completion of a program or training accredited by either the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). For more information, you can visit the AAMA website or download their Testing Handbook.
- National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA). Offered through the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), this exam requires graduation from a program authorized by NCCT. To learn more about earning this certification, visit the NCCT website and information page about test sites in your area.
- Registered Medical Assistant (RMA). From the American Medical Technologists (AMT), RMA applicants are required to meet one of the AMT’s eligibility standards, including:
- Completing a program accredited by the U.S. Department of Education, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the AMT Board of Directors.
- Graduation from a medical training program within the United States Army.
- Employment as a full-time medical assistant for at least five years.
- Employment as an instructor in an accredited medical assistant training program for at least five years. To learn more about how to become RMA certified and apply to sit for an exam, visit the AMT website.
- Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA). Currently in review by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), this certification is currently undergoing enhancements. A new CCMA exam is slated for release in 2017. To learn more, visit the NHA online.
Are you ready?
If you’re still on the fence about earning your medical assistant certification, consider these advantages of becoming certified:
- Learn from an industry-accepted body of knowledge. To sit for an exam, you must complete training through an accredited program. This way, you know you’ve learned from the masters: professionals with years of expertise.
- Keep up with technology and industry developments. You must maintain your certification, and it will evolve with changes in the medical industry. Your knowledge will always be cutting edge.
- Invest in your future. Becoming certified makes you more marketable and increases your job opportunities, plus the chance to be promoted and earn more.
Looking for your next medical assistant job?
Then contact the recruiting experts at Team1Medical! We work with healthcare professionals in the Gulf Coast Region and will help you find a job you love. Our goal is to understand your interests, skills and career goals, and match you with a medical assistant job that will help you grow in your profession. To learn more, visit our job search page or reach out to our experienced staffing professionals to learn more about our certified medical assistant jobs in Houston.