Which Certifications are required to become a Medical Assistant?

Which Certifications are required to become a Medical Assistant?

Mackenzie Thompson

by Mackenzie Thompson

Life Saver, AMC

posted on Oct 21, 2014, at 9:49 pm


SO, YOU’RE INTERESTED in working in a health facilities with doctors, nurses, patients and other health care professionals, but don’t want to attend medical school because it’s time consuming and expensive. Whatever the reason, consider becoming a medical assistant. Medical assistants have
no certification requirements, but there are different types of certifications, licensure and training that that is often recommended or offered by specific health care facilities. So, what exactly is a registered medical assistant?


A medical assistant must have specific personality and characteristic traits as well as the skills needed for the job. One must have a desire and passion to help, listen and guide any patient needing help. A typical day involves staying and moving quickly on your feet, solving various problems, practicing good communication among faculty and keeping on his or her toes. It is expected that a medical assistant is able to perform administrative, clinical, and clerical tasks that are projected by their employer. Listing every possible job duty of a medical assistant would be lengthy considering their valued and crucial position in the office. Their responsibilities range day to day, but are centered on the needs of the patient and requests of the physician.

How does one become a medical assistant?

The answer to this question varies, but there are numerous steps one can take for improved employment opportunities. While medical assistants have no certification requirements, they are often trained on the job, or may complete a 1 to 2 year program. There are essentially two types of voluntary medical assistant certifications: a registered medical assistant (RMA) and a certified medical assistant (CMA). These are two different credentials offered by different companies, but mostly consist of similar
curriculum like anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, and other topics including first aid.

The American Associates of Medical Assistants offer nationally recognized Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools accredited programs to better prepare prospective medical assistants for their career. Any graduate of the CAAHEP and ABHES programs are eligible to take the certification exam, which covers the program’s material. Some of this content includes:

• Human anatomy, physiology and pathology

• Medical terminology

• Keyboarding and computer applications

• Record keeping

• Coding

Aside from the program, one must also complete a practicum, which is a part of the program itself.

While there are no certifications required to become a medical assistant, the material obtained through accredited programs will be extremely beneficial to you and your potential employers. There are so many reasons to become certified in your practice to the highest degree, whether your training to become a medical assistant or a surgeon!

About Mackenzie

Mackenzie is a lover of world travel, photography, design, style and Chinese cooking. She is passionate about working towards a purpose, recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Media and Marketing, and is currently residing in Manhattan.

Contact Mackenzie at mackenzie.thompson@advmedcert.com

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