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The Value of a Medical Assistant Certification

By Colin McLean

No matter what shape the economy is in, the need for medical assistants seems to hold steady. When the economy is down, employers have the ability to pick and choose those applicants they feel are most qualified for the position being offered. During an interview, it can become a challenge proving you are the right candidate for the job.

An interviewer may ask about your education and a bit about your personality. He or she may also inquire if you have any certifications. Taking an exam to become certified in an area in the field of health can not only help prove you know enough to do well in a position, but show you have the initiative to be promoted at a later time.

In addition, choosing to become certified and pursing a career in the medicine and health field has been touted as a good move. The field has been growing during the last few years and is forecasted to continue to grow for many years to come, according to projections by the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook, Handbook, 2010-11 Edition.

A Medical Assistant Certification Can Open Doors

Passing the certification examination can serve as the perfect means of adding credentials and titles to a person's resume. Medical assistant certification implies an applicant is at the top of his or her game, and can potentially lead to better pay and promotions at a later stage.

While a certification is not a requirement to work for an employer, it can set applicants apart by validating their skills. Besides, many employers look to initially staff operations with the most qualified people.

Become a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)

To become a certified medical assistant, the CMA exam must be taken and passed. The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) administers the test throughout the year.

To quality, an applicant has to apply several months in advance and have completed a program at a programmatically accredited school. Checking if your school is accredited is a valuable step in pursuing a certification.

Become a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)

Like a CMA, an RMA is a valuable member of a health care team. After gaining an education in an accredited school program, prepare to take the exam offered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT).

Employment Outlook

According to projections by the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for CMAs and RMAs are expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations over the 2010-2020 decade.

Training, education and experience will vary from person to person. In addition, employment possibilities are often the result of local market factors and a person's own work ethic.

*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Medical Assistants, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm (visited May 21, 2013).


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