How to Become a Medical Assistant?

doctor with his lady assistant looking at the paper in hospital

Medical assistants are essential members of the healthcare team, providing administrative and clinical support to physicians and other healthcare professionals. There are a variety of settings where nurses can work, such as hospitals, clinics, and private practices.

two doctors are discussing x ray image

If you are interested in becoming a medical assistant, there are a few steps you need to take:

  • Earn a high school diploma or GED.
  • Complete an accredited medical assisting program.
  • Get certified.
  • Apply for and interview for jobs.

Medical Assisting Programs

Medical assisting programs are offered at a variety of schools, including vocational schools, community colleges, and universities. These programs typically take one to two years to complete and cover a variety of topics, including:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Medical terminology
  • Clinical skills, such as taking vital signs and drawing blood
  • Administrative tasks, such as scheduling appointments and filing insurance claims


There are two main certification organizations for medical assistants: The National Academy of Medical Assistants and the Association of Medical Assistants. Certification is not required in all states, but most employers prefer to hire certified medical assistants.

  • The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential is offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).
  • Credentials for Registered Medical Assistants (RMA) are offered by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT).

To become certified, you must complete an accredited medical assisting program and pass an exam.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for medical assistants is very good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the employment of medical assistants will grow 18% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. Due to aging populations and increasing healthcare demands, this growth has been observed.

Know more about Health Care Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree

How to Get a Job as a Medical Assistant

Once you have completed your medical assisting program and gotten certified, you can start your job search. There are a few things you can do to increase your chances of getting hired:

  • Create a strong resume and cover letter.
  • Network with people in the healthcare field.
  • Practice your interview skills.

Tips for Success as a Medical Assistant

Here are a few tips for success as a medical assistant:

  • Be organized and efficient.
  • Be able to multitask.
  • Be able to work well under pressure.
  • Be patient and compassionate.
  • Be willing to learn new things.


You can start a career in healthcare by becoming a medical assistant. It is a relatively short training program with a high job outlook. If you are interested in becoming a medical assistant, I encourage you to research accredited programs and start your journey today.

Additional Tips

  • When choosing a medical assisting program,┬ábe sure to look for one that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
  • Many medical assisting programs offer internship opportunities. Internships are a great way to gain experience and make connections in the healthcare field.
  • Once you are certified, consider continuing your education. There are many opportunities to specialize in different areas of medical assisting, such as pediatrics, cardiology, or orthopedics.

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