Administrative Medical Assistant Programs in California
With the right education, you can find possible openings for medical administrative assistants in medical clinics, hospitals, private practices and nursing homes across the state of California. Such assistants play an important role in the day-to-day operations of these facilities, like greeting patients, noting medical insurance information, and documenting certain details of patient care.
A medical administrative assistant is often the very first person that a patient sees upon his or her arrival for a medical appointment. Therefore, excellent communication skills and a compassionate demeanor are real pluses. Anyone who enjoys interacting with people on a daily basis can likely find a degree of fulfillment in this position. If you are ready to begin your search for administrative medical assisting programs in California, contact the schools below to get started.
Prospective employers will often require that an applicant for a medical administrative assistant position have a certificate from an accredited program. Some will also require that the applicant have professional certification. Other positions may require an Associate’s degree in Medical Assisting. When O*Net surveyed medical administrative assistants, it found that eighteen percent of the survey respondents had received associates degrees.
A high school diploma is required to be accepted into certificate programs. Some schools will also require you to pass an English language proficiency test and a keyboard exam to be considered for acceptance into the program. Requirements for admission into Associate’s Degree programs are generally more stringent and minimum high school GPA requirements may apply.
As a prospective administrative med assistant student, you will often find that a certificate program can be completed in 12-18 months. These programs will mix in a few general classes with those specifically designed to train a future medical administrative assistant.
Therefore, you may find that there are classes on computer systems and software, along with classes on communication skills, customer service and medical office procedures. Frequently, classes in patient coding, medical transcription, medical terminology, document production and public health will be included in the program.
An associate’s degree is usually a two-year program that often includes specific training for the profession along with general classes in math, English and the sciences. Classes in anatomy and/or psychology may also be offered.
Upon receiving a medical assisting certificate or Associate’s Degree, you may take a certification exam administered by the National Health Careers Association. Passing the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) exam will result in a certification that is good for two years. At the end of the two-year period, you can be re-certified if 10 hours of continuing education classes have been completed.
Career Outlook for Administrative Medical Assistants in California
The median wage for medical administrative assistants in California is significantly higher than the nationwide median wage of $29,600. In California, the 2013 figure stood at $32,700. The employment outlook for individuals entering this profession is also quite good. O*Net projects that such jobs in the United States will grow in number by 22 percent during the decade spanning the years 2012 and 2022.
In California, large urban areas like Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco will support the greatest number of medical administrative assistants, but this type of position is a necessity at most healthcare facilities across California.
A career as a medical administrative assistant can include fulfilling interactions with patients and healthcare professionals alike. Working alongside doctors, nurses and physicians’ assistants in a fast-paced environment can be exhilarating. At the same time, the administrative aspects of the job require an attention to detail and a devotion to accuracy. Doctors rely on assistants to properly note facts pertaining to the care received by a patient.
As a result, patients and co-workers may appreciate the care you take in assisting them and in helping to make the medical environment run smoothly. Job security is often quite high, and, with experience, advancement into a supervisory or management position may be possible. To get started in this rewarding career, simply contact the administrative medical assisting schools in California listed for more information.