Medical assistants are in high demand across the country, with a projected job growth rate that outpaces the national average for all occupations. For anyone seeking a career in healthcare, medical assistant roles can offer an exciting blend of clinical and administrative work, including hands-on care and support to keep healthcare facilities running efficiently and smoothly, while also providing exceptional patient care.
If you're interested in a healthcare career that offers diverse job responsibilities, financial security, and the ability to work in a variety of healthcare settings, a medical assistant role may be perfect for you. As you research this career path, you'll want to have a clear understanding of the educational and certification requirements, the timeline to becoming a medical assistant, and tips for finding the right (certified medical assistant schools) for you.
To help you out, we've rounded up some basic information on (how to become a medical assistant).
What Do You Need to Be a Medical Assistant?
In addition to earning a high school diploma or GED, you will also need to complete a (medical assistant training program) offered through an accredited school or organization. This program will give you the education and hands-on training you need to be competitive for open medical assistant roles, and to succeed no matter where you're hired.
In many cases, healthcare organizations will also require you to get CMA (AAMA) certified. This certified medical assistant exam tests your knowledge and offers a standardized benchmark to make sure you're qualified to perform this role in a healthcare setting. For this reason, you will want to make sure whatever training program you enter has a strong track record of producing graduates that pass this CMA (AAMA) certification.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Medical Assistant?
The time required to complete a full (medical assistant course) through an accredited training program can vary depending on whether you attend this program part-time or full-time. Students who want to take the most aggressive path through a medical assistant training program may complete that program in as little as eight months, leaving only their CMA certification between them and the full job market.
If you choose to complete your training requirements only on evenings and weekends, you could finish your course in as little as 10 months. Check with each prospective school about their graduation timelines before you commit to that program, and make sure the speed of the program is a fit for your needs—especially since some programs require years of study to complete your training.
The Benefits of Accelerated Medical Assistant Programs
Eager to start your career? You may prefer entering an accelerated training program that allows you to enter the job market as quickly as possible. This aggressive approach to training offers several benefits, including:
Less waiting to start earning your professional salary. If you're ready to dive into your new career, why take the longer path when you can enter the workforce faster? This also lets you start earning your new medical assistant income faster, providing greater long-term value and financial benefits.
Focused study and training, which can improve learning retention. Instead of splitting your attention across school and other responsibilities, you can concentrate your focus during this short period of time where training is your top priority.
Reduced fees and other expenses that come with a longer training timeline. Training programs that take years to complete often bring additional fees and associated costs, increasing the bill for your education, while also delaying your ability to start earning that higher wage.
Easier scheduling. By concentrating your studies in a shorter period of time, you can better manage your schedule both now and in the future, since you are shortening the period of time where you have to juggle school with obligations, such as working or caring for children.
How to Find Medical Assistant Certification Programs Near Me
In-person medical assistant training is essential to get the training and hands-on experience you need to thrive in your new career. As you seek out local medical assistant training programs, one place to start is with a Google search seeking medical assistant programs in your community. Many medical assistant programs will advertise to their local community's relevant online searches, so this can help you find programs that are offered in your area, and that are currently accepting new students.
You can also consult existing healthcare professionals and organizations, as well as online reviews of these schools, to get a sense of their local reputation. Ultimately, your top goal should be to find a training program that will help you get the medical assistant job of your dreams. Connections with local healthcare organizations can be a positive sign that the school you're considering may be able to assist in job placement.
A medical assistant career can be rewarding both personally and financially—and if you're ready to start this new path, your new career may only be months away. Contact a school today to request more info about their program and how it can help you fulfill your career goals.
Disclaimer: While we cannot guarantee employment; Hollywood Institute has a career placement office that provides job development skills and employment assistance upon request. Our services continue even after your education for as long as you need them.