If you’ve look into what it takes to become a medical assistant you have undoubtedly seen references to certification of some form. You may be asking yourself do I really need to spend the time and effort to become certified. There are two answers to that. From a legal perspective you can work as a medical assistant without certification. There are no states which require a you to be licensed or certified. The duties of medical assistants may vary from state to state but generally as long as you have a high school diploma or GED equivalent you can work under the supervision of a physician.
But in today’s job market that really is not the complete answer to whether you need to become certified in the field. It is true that the career opportunities are expected to grow far faster that than employment as a whole. In fact medical assisting jobs are expected to grow by over 30% by 2020 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. With this kind of opportunity there will be many attracted to the field. This means the competition for even a growing number of jobs will increase.
We’re starting to see this even today. If you look at the available job openings across the country it is not unusual for them to require some form of certification or certainly prior work experience in the field. So the writing is on the wall. If you want to compete for these jobs you should prepare yourself in the best way possible. Get the formal education and training that can lead to certification as a medical assistant. It will pay off in terms of a better salary and more job security.
Becoming certified is not that difficult. There are numerous programs offered in every state that can lead to certification. There are one year programs that are offered at technical or vocational schools. These take less time and will be less expensive than the two-year programs that offer an Associate Degree.
The two-year programs have several advantages. First they prepare you to take the CMA certification exam upon completing the program. Many offer an externship as part of the program to give you some hands on practical working experience. Just remember that when you go to select a program make sure it is an accredited program. It can be accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
Upon completion of an accredited training program and passing the certification exam you will be recognized as a true professional in the healthcare field. You will be respected by your peers and employers alike. It can be the beginning of a very successful and rewarding career to secure your future.