The Pennsylvania Society of Medical Assistants, which is an affiliate of the American Association of Medical Assistants, provides a detailed look into this profession for the state of Pennsylvania. It defines medical assistants as ‘multi-skilled practitioners who perform a wide range of roles in the physicians’ offices and other healthcare settings.’

If you want to become a part of this medical field, the following guide will shed some light on the requirements and steps. A discussion on the salary trends for medical assistants in Pennsylvania also follows.

How to Become a Medical Assistant in Pennsylvania

In order to join this profession in Pennsylvania, aspiring medical assistants will need to meet certain requirements. The following list of steps will help you understand the process:

  1. Step 1: Obtain a High School Diploma

To get into a training program for medical assistants, the minimum amount of education required is a high school diploma.

  1. Step 2: Get into a Medical Assisting Program

Certifying programs for medical assistants are available at technical schools, community colleges, vocational schools and universities. These programs typically leads to a diploma or a certificate and take a year to complete in most cases. Some colleges offer two-year associate’s degree in medical assisting as well. All programs have theoretical and practical portions that cover subjects like anatomy and medical terminology.

  1. Step 3: Complete On-the-Job Training

This step is particularly applicable to medical assistants who do not have postsecondary education certificates. Such candidates can get the required training by working under trained physicians or medical assistants. They are likely to get to learn about the latest medical terminology, daily task performance, patient interaction and keeping the office running smoothly. They may also learn to code records and enter patient information. This training period may take up to several months, depending on the facility that you are training in and your past understanding of medical assisting concepts.

  1. Step 4: Get Certified

Even though most states, including Pennsylvania, do not require that medical assistants should be certified, it is still better to get the credentials. Candidates can complete Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) certificate requirements set by the American Association of Medical Assistants or the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) from the American Medical Technologists.

How Much Does a Medical Assistant make in Pennsylvania?

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics offers salary figures for medical assistants in Pennsylvania. The following table offers a comparative analysis of the changing mean annual wages from 2016 to 2018 for this occupation.

  2016 2017 2018
Annual Mean Salary (PA) $31,430 $31,980 $32,770
Annual Mean Salary (US) $32,850 $33,580 $34,540

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The salary data for medical assistants shows that both nationally and state-wide, earnings for this occupation have increased. Though the increase is not substantial, it still shows a positive and upward trend in salaries for medical assistants.