Medical Assistant Requirements

The requirements to become a medical assistant are three-fold – education, training and licensure. Medical assistants are trained professionals who perform various kinds of administrative and clinical tasks in hospitals, offices of physicians and other healthcare facilities. They are responsible for recording patient histories and measuring their vital signs such as blood pressure. They also prepare blood samples for lab testing and schedule patient appointments.
The following article provides information regarding what classes are required for medical assistants, how much it costs to become a medical assistant and the answer to those asking whether there is any medical assistant training near me or not.

Educational Requirements for Medical Assistants

The minimum level of education required to become a medical assistant is a high school diploma. You are advised to take courses in anatomy, biology and chemistry while in school, to help create a strong foundation for the future. According to O*Net Online, 65% of medical assistants completed a post-secondary certificate, while 18% held an associate’s degree and 10% entered the field with a high school diploma or equivalent.

Training Requirements to Become a Medical Assistant

Medical assistants may go for a post-secondary certificate, which is awarded for completing training after high school. Those who do not have this certificate can learn skills through on-the-job trainings. Senior medical assistants and physicians working in the same healthcare facility can help train newer members of the staff about relevant medical terminologies, names of instruments, interaction with patients, performance of daily tasks and other concerns to keep everything running smoothly.

Licensing and Certification Requirements for Medical Assistants

Medical assistants do not need to be certified according to the laws of most states in the US. However, it must be kept in mind that with the competitive job market, employers are increasingly giving preference to certified assistants.
Certificate programs for medical assistants are offered via several organizations. To be eligible for certification, candidates are required to pass an exam after meeting the minimum requirements. The minimum requirements include graduating from an accredited program and having the required amount of work experience. Applicants will also be required to meet the minimum age requirement for medical assistants, which is 18 years.
The following certification options are available for medical assistants as per the National Commission for Certifying Agencies:

  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
  • National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA)
  • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
  • Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)
  • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)

You may contact your local state board for further information on medical assistant licensure and certificates.

How Much Does it Cost to Become a Medical Assistant?

Medical assistant courses or training programs can cost around $1,200-$4,200, depending on the length of the program and how many classes it covers. The cost can vary according to individual college’s policies. For instance, some colleges may charge a higher fee due to their faculty, or the inclusion of additional items such as books and supplies.

Note:Becoming a medical assistant is relatively easier in terms of work load and cost, as compared to other medical degrees. However, if you are wondering about how to become a medical assistant fast, you need to know that this is not exactly a walk in the park. You will be required to study and train hard to be successful in this profession.