How to Become a Medical Assistant in Texas?
Texas is a hotspot for medical assistants. The state has the second highest level of employment for this occupation, with 59,930 people currently working as per the May 2018 data available with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you are looking to enter this profession, Texas might just be the state to do so. The following guide lists the requirements, steps and salary data for medical assistants in Texas.
Medical assistants work as support staff for doctors, nurses, surgeons, physician assistants and chiropractors. They complete clinical and administrative tasks in various kinds of healthcare facilities. Typical tasks for medical assistants include recording patient histories, measuring vital signs, helping physicians with examining patients, preparing blood samples and scheduling patient appointments.
Requirements to Become a Medical Assistant in Texas
To become a medical assistant in Texas, you will need to have the following qualities:
- Analytical skills
These are required to understand medical charts and diagnosis
- Detail oriented
Medical assistants need to be very precise in their tasks
- Interpersonal skills
It is important for medical assistants to be able to communicate patient information with the relevant medical personnel. They also often interact with patients
- Technical skills
Medical assistants should have the ability to use basic clinical equipment
Steps to Become a Medical Assistant in Texas
- Get a high school diploma or an equivalent degree
In Texas, most medical assistant positions require a minimum of a high school degree. Higher degrees may be preferred by some employers, though they are not mandatory.
- (Optional) Find an accredited education program
You can look for programs accredited by The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
- Get experience
It is advised that you look for externship programs while in school. This would help you get an insight into the workings of a healthcare facility and what a medical assistant does as part of it.
- Get certified
The state of Texas does not require medical assistants to be certified. You can, however, opt for a national certification program. Options for certifications include getting credentials such as the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) from the American Association of Medical Assistants, National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) from the National Center for Competency Testing or the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) from the National Healthcareer Association.
- Find a Job
Once you have completed the mandatory state requirements, you may be able to find a job in a healthcare facility, hospital or offices of physicians in Texas.
How Much Does a Medical Assistant make in Texas?
According to May 2018 data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in Texas made an annual mean wage of $31,580. Texas has the second highest level of employment in this occupation, coming in second only to California, which has 92,960 people employed in the field currently. Job prospects for this employment category in Texas are highly positive, so if you plan on becoming a medical assistant in Texas, now would be the right time.