Angie Best-Boss is an award-winning freelance medical writer, editor and author of seven books on women’s health.
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most medical assistants complete one or two-year training programs at an accredited vocational school or college. Although most medical assistants do complete a training program, there are no formal educational requirements. Some assistants only have high school diplomas and get on-the-job training under a physician’s guidance. Even so, it’s important to take the Certified Medical Assistant Exam conducted by the American Association of Medical Assistants. Below are 10 excellent reasons why.
1. Employability. When you list your certification on a job application or resume, your chances of being called to interview increase considerably. Since so many applicants compete for jobs, one of the hardest parts of landing a great position is getting that initial call back.
2. Pay. Many certified medical assistants enjoy the luxuries that come with a better paying job. In addition to starting out at a higher pay rate, it’s also easier to find jobs that offer consistent merit raises and cost of living increases.
3. More Stability. Medical assistants are needed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you want to increase your chances of finding a stable job with consistent hours, certification can only help.
4. Better shifts. Some health care facilities require round-the-clock admission and examination of patients. Shift work can be brutal, so if you want that 8 to 5 position make sure you are a well-qualified applicant.
5. Shows dedication. When you care enough to complete coursework and take the CMA exam, you show employers that you are dedicated to your job.
6. A Job Well Done. Being certified is a big deal. You can feel good about yourself knowing that you are a qualified professional possessing the knowledge to do your job and do it well.
7. Continuing Education. The AAMA requires that you recertify every five years, either through continuing education credits or by retaking the exam. This process helps you stay up-to-date with the latest technology and trends in medical assisting.
8. Potential Requirement. Though not all medical assistant positions require certification, some do. Passing the test will help you round out your application and keep your options open.
9. More job choices. Whether you want to work in podiatry or pediatrics, being certified opens the doors for you to work in a medical setting that’s right for you.
10. Reassurance. As a medical assistant, your patients will be your top priority. Both you and they can feel assured that you have what it takes to see patients through their medical visit from reception to examination and check out.