Why Pursue Medical Assistant Certification?
There is no law requiring medical assistants to be licensed or certified, but most medical assistants still choose to become certified. This may be due to the fact that many employers require their medical assistants to hold certification, and some states require certification to perform specific job duties, such as performing x-rays or drawing blood.
In order to be eligible for medical assistant certification, you must first graduate from a medical assistant training program that is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP).
Choose the Certification That's Right for You
Take stock of your field, specialty and current goals. There are several different organizations offering medical assistant certification. Here are two of the most common types of medical assistant certifications, and the organizations that grant them, explained in greater detail.
Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) awards the Certified Medical Assistant credential. You must renew the CMA credential every 5 years. The AAMA Certification/Recertification Examination is offered year-round. To schedule your test, you'll make an appointment to take the test and pay an enrollment fee.
Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
The American Medical Technologists (AMT) is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) to award the RMA credential as well as certifications for several other health care careers. In order to maintain your registered medical assistant credential, you will need to pay a nominal annual fee. You'll also need to complete a specific number of continuing education hours every 3 years.