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5 Steps to Becoming a Medical Assistant


Step 4. Get Certified

While medical assistants do not have to be certified in order to work, most employers prefer to hire those who are certified. Certification tells potential employers that you meet certain standards of competence, and are well-qualified to perform the duties of a medical assistant. There are also certification in various specialties such as optometry and podiatry.

Certified Medical Assistant Exam

The CMA (AAMA) is the top medical assisting certification exam. Passing the CMA (AAMA) exam means you have been credentialed through the American Association of Medical Assistants, and offers a certain amount of prestige.

You must first apply to take the exam. In order to take the exam, you must be a graduating student or recent graduate of a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assisting program, or a non-recent graduate of a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited program. You must also provide certain documentation depending on your enrollment category. Finally, there is a $95 fee for members of the AAMA, CAAHEP, and ABHES, and a $170 fee for everyone else.

The exam is offered three times a year – January, June, and October. 2008 is the last year of the traditional pencil and paper test. Beginning in 2009, the exam will be done on the computer.

You can find more information on this exam on the AAMA website, here.

American Medical Technologists Certification

The American Medical Technologists offer a certification for those who wish to become Registered Medical Assistants. This certification is offers to MAs who graduated from an accredited program and have completed five years of work experience. Their certification is offered online through the AMT website.

Step 5. Find Your First Job >>

AllHealthcare School Finder

Save time in your search for a degree program. Use AllHealthcare's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

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