Medical Assistant Certification

You’ve made the decision to become a Medical Assistant; it’s a wonderful choice because it is a secure career field where opportunities abound. But, you may face one specific challenge when you’re applying for Medical Assisting jobs.

medical assistant certification

Employers want to hire the candidate with not only the best skills and education, but also the candidate with the right credentials. Healthcare practitioners not only desire, but are beginning to expect, that their prospective employees have their Medical Assistant Certification.

Obtaining your Medical Assisting Certification is a smart decision if you’d like to get ahead of the competition. While there are plenty of jobs available for Medical Assistant’s without a certification, employers prefer to hire those with more expertise.

Moreover, obtaining your Medical Assistant Certification will increase your wages and allow you to earn a higher income, even as an entry level certified Medical Assistant.


While certification is not mandatory, it is preferred amongst employers. Once you have completed an accredited Medical Assistant training program, you can achieve further success by acquiring your Medical Assistant Certification. If you have not yet attended a Medical Assisting school, now is your opportunity to get started on your career path of becoming a Certified Medical Assistant.

A Medical Assistant can attain a general certification or they may obtain a certification in a specific area of expertise such as family medicine, pediatrics, cardiology and many other specialty areas.

certified medical assistant salary

To obtain your Medical Assistant Certification, you will be required to apply for and take an exam. One association, the American Association of Medical Assistants, offers an exam with a fee of $125.00 to $250.00.

In order to take the exam, you must complete an application and submit the required fee. Within thirty days, you will be notified of the status of your application and, if qualified, permitted to schedule a time in order to take the exam.

Another association, known as the Association of Medical Technologists, offers the Medical Assistant Certification exam at a fee of $95.00. The Association of Medical Technologists also offers the opportunity to take a practice test, one of which is half the length of the actual exam, for a fee of $15.00. There is also the National Health Career Association, which provides the opportunity to take the Medical Assistant Certification exam at a rate of $149.00.

There are many institutions that offer you the opportunity to prepare for and take the Medical Assistant Certification exam. Each institution offers the exam within different date and price ranges. Or, you may test for you Medical Assistant Certification online through an approved and accredited institution.

Taking the Exam

The Medical Assistant Certification exam consists of anywhere from 200 to 300 multiple choice questions and there are several aspects to the exam which are categorized into various sections. Each section contains different topics that will test your knowledge in that particular area.

One of the first sections of the exam is general medical assisting knowledge. Within this category, you will be tested on topics such as medical terminology, anatomy and physiology as well as several other topics.

Another section within the exam that you will be tested on is clinical medical assisting. This section of the exam will include questions related to physical examinations, clinical pharmacology and laboratory procedures in addition to several other topics.

For each category, an applicant is required to attain a certain score in order to pass the exam.

medical assistant certification exam

For this particular reason, it is vital to your success that you properly prepare to take the exam. Although you may have recently graduated, or will be soon to graduate, it is still important to refresh your knowledge and skills in order to successfully pass the exam. You should plan to study for the Medical Assistant Certification test and allow yourself plenty of time to do so.

The Association of Medical Technologists offers a practice exam for a $15.00 fee that can be utilized in preparing you for the actual exam. The American Association of Medical Assistants also has study materials available for your use.

They offer practice exams online in the subject categories of anatomy and physiology as well as medical terminology. These materials and many others are available for you to use to study and prepare for your Medical Assistant Certification exam.

In order to achieve a passing score, it is critical that you utilize the materials that are available to you for studying. By taking the time to study and prepare for the Medical Assistant Certification exam, you have the ability to attain a higher score. The higher the score you achieve on your exam, the better it will reflect on your capabilities and knowledge in the field of Medical Assisting.

The exam is scored on a point basis. You will be awarded points on a scale of one through ten and in order to pass the exam, you must attain an overall score of at least 70 points.

If you choose to take the computerized test, you have the ability to gain instant access to your test results. In the event you opt to take the written exam, you will be required to wait a period of six to eight weeks and your results will be sent to you in writing.

Upon passing the exam, you will be awarded with your credentials and have the certification that is so highly sought after by numerous hiring healthcare practitioners; you will officially be a Certified Medical Assistant.

In addition, the Certified Medical Assistant salary is higher than the non-Certified Medical Assistant salary by an estimated four percent according to a study completed in 2004 by the American Association of Medical Assistants.

Additionally, The American Association of Medical Assistants requires you to recertify every sixty months while the Association of Medical Technologists requires you to recertify every three years. This recertification is done in order to maintain high quality standards and ensure that your knowledge of the field is consistent and accurate.

The National Health Career Association requires you to take a specific amount of continuing education classes, totaling ten credits, as well as paying a fee for recertification. Each organization may have a slight variation in their recertification process but all are regulated in order to keep your skills marketable and current.

Taking the Next Step

The Certification for a Medical Assistant provides you with many benefits. There is quite a bit of competition in the field of Medical Assisting. However, when you take the next step and achieve your certification as a medical assistant, you are placing yourself one step ahead of the competition.

Employers will take recognition of your accomplishments and your advanced skills set. In becoming a Certified Medical Assistant, you make yourself more marketable to employers. Although competition does exist, as a Certified Medical Assistant you will be a more desirable candidate than those that have not acquired their certification.

You may proudly display your credentials on your resumes and applications. You can also inform your prospective employers of your exam score, something that proves your expertise in your chosen career path as a Certified Medical Assistant.

Certified Medical Assistants have more job opportunities available to them and also earn a higher salary. A 2011 survey completed by the American Association of Medical Assistants indicated that Certified Medical Assistants earn an average of $14.94 per hour, while non-Certified Medical Assistants earn an average hourly wage of $13.43.

A Certification in Medical Assisting provides you with marketability, more employment opportunities and a higher Medical Assistant salary. Obtaining your certification is well worth the time and effort if you’re looking to achieve the most out of your career as a Medical Assistant.

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