Those people at clinics and hospitals, walking around in brightly colored scrubs are all nurses, right? Actually, no, many of them are medical assistants, and as the need for more workers in the medical field increases, the opening and demand for medical assistants does as well.
Knowing if it’s Right for You
Working as a medical assistant isn’t for everyone. It can be stressful and hectic, and you will have a lot of responsibilities. Before considering which path to take, determine if it’s a good career choice for you. You should be a person who is:
- Quick learner
- People personality
These are just a few, but arguably are some of the most important qualities you should have in order not only to perform well as a medical assistant, but to enjoy your job.
Medical Assistant Without Certification
There are a few different paths to becoming a medical assistant, each having their own pros and cons. A certification as a medical assistant is not required, which could potentially make this career choice optimal for those who aren’t interested in more medical assistant schooling. There are a few things to consider, however, when considering not obtaining a medical assistant certification.
Requirement: You need at least a high school diploma or GED.
Pro: You can potentially find a job quickly without a few years of school.
Pro: You will be trained on the job, so you are paid to learn.
Con: It’s more difficult to find a job without a certification.
Con: You are likely to be paid less.
Trying to become a medical assistant without a certification would end up being a lot about chance, your ability to learn on the job, and your personality and charisma to land you that position.
Certified Medical Assistant
If you’re interested in running the safer route, then enrolling in an AAMA (American Association for Medial Assistants) qualified program will provide you with a more surefire path to employment as a medical assistant.
Requirement: Qualified program, and passing the CMA exam.
Pro: Short, 2 year programs.
Pro: Easier to find a job with a certification.
Pro: Higher salary with certification and later, specializations
Con: Schooling will cost you $, and the exam is about $150.
The fees are actually pretty nominal if you enroll in a program at a certified community college in your area, which tend to be cheaper than universities. Also, the difference in your pay, which, according to the AAMA is about $3,000 per year (http://www.aama-ntl.org/resources/library/salary_survey.pdf ) One to two years will cancel out what you paid in schooling, as well as give you more opportunities for pay raises and advancement.