Are you considering a career as a medical assistant? If so, you will need to learn about the certification process in your state and whether or not you will need to take a medical assistant certification exam. Although no state requires that you obtain certification, by doing so, you can demonstrate that you have met certain standards.
This will not only help to increase the employment opportunities you have, it may also increase the amount of pay you are given. Various associations offer this type of certification with the two most common being the Association of Medical Technologists and the American Association of Medical Assistants.
American Medical Technologists offers a medical assistant certification exam that you may wish to take. A formal training program must be completed or you must have the necessary experience to apply for membership with this organization. Your application will be reviewed and an exam scheduled. The exam may be taken at a school, if this option is offered, or you will need to have it set up at a Pearson VUE testing center. Upon successfully completing the exam, you will receive your membership card and certificate in the mail.
In order to become certified under the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) program, you will need to complete an accredited program. Once you have done so, you fill out paperwork and pay an enrollment fee. Within 30 days you will hear the status of your application. Once this has been done, an exam may be scheduled at a Prometric test center.
Successfully passing the exam will allow you to carry credentials and place your certification on your resume. One important thing to remember is that most certification programs will require you to pass certain eligibility requirements in order to become certified so you should always make sure you fulfill these before proceeding. For example, the eligibility requirements for the AAMA can be found here.
Also keep in mind that you will often need to re-certify in order to demonstrate current knowledge in most programs. The AAMA requires that you re -certify every 60 months.
Certification is also offered through many medical assistant training programs and can be completed online with no need to attend traditional schooling or schedule a certification exam at a test center. Three you may wish to consider are the Keiser University Online, Everest College and Heald College. Both Keiser University Online and Everest College offer an AS in Medical Assisting.
Heald College offers either a certificate or an AS in Clinical Medical Assisting. These certification programs may not be nationally recognized as the above certification programs are so consider this before determining which medical assistant certification exam is right for you. You want one that will give you more job options as well as a higher salary.
Here’s a video from AMT about their certification process. Try to ignore the acting and you’ll find some valuable info on how to get certified and what are the benefits.