In Indiana, medical assistants are not required by state law to be certified. That being said however, most employers require medical assistants to possess some professional credentials. The American Medical Association (AMA) recognizes two certificates for aspiring medical assistants – the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential and the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential. Getting either of these certifications can greatly increase your chances of employment, along with much better compensation options.
In order to become a certified medical assistant in Indiana, you ought to follow the steps discussed below.
How to Become a Medical Assistant in Indiana
The following steps are meant to serve as a general guideline for aspiring medical assistants in Indiana.
- Complete the Educational Requirements
The basic educational requirement for a medical assistant is a high school diploma. Once this is complete, students may opt for a postsecondary degree, or go directly for on-the-job training. A postsecondary degree can be attained from a community college or a vocational institute, anywhere in Indiana. This would typically be a one year-long program covering the basics of medical technology and patient communication systems. Students can also choose to get a 2 year-long associate’s degree in medical assisting.
If you decide to forego this step and learn entirely on the job, the following information would guide you well.
- Complete a Training Period
On-the-job training options are available at hospitals, clinics and offices of physicians. This training may last several weeks and will involve subjects like learning medical terminology, dealing with patients, basic computer systems, entering electronic health records, administering medication and taking patients’ vitals.
- Get Certified
Before you get certified, you will have to meet the certification requirements for medical assistants. These would vary according to the certification you choose. For instance, CMA requires graduating from a CAAHEP or an ABHES accredited program. In addition to educational requirements, candidates will have to provide all supporting documentation and submit an examination fee. After the exam, candidates should ideally wait 8-10 weeks to get the results.
How Much Does a Medical Assistant Make in Indiana?
The annual mean wage of medical assistants in Indiana was $32,580, as per 2018 data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Let’s take a look at the figures from a few years to understand this numeric better.
|Annual Mean Salary (IN)||$30,740||$31,410||$32,580|
|Annual Mean Salary (US)||$32,850||$33,580||$34,540|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
The salary figure for medical assistants in Indiana has gone up over the years from 2016 to 2018. However, it has consistently remained lower than the national averages.