Medical assistants are needed in a variety of facilities, so becoming certified as a medical assistant can create access to a vast number of career paths. Due to the serious nature of the position, anyone interested in performing its duties must be fully certified. Specifically, those with focused career aspirations must pass the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) examination devised by the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). The AAMA certification fully credentials a professional as being knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced to the level required to perform the job.
There are certain very narrow eligibility requirements associated with the ability to take the examination. A person wishing to sign up for the exam must meet one of the three main eligibility requirements. The three umbrella requirements are as follows:
1) The applicant must be either a recent graduate or completing student of a medical assisting program accredited by the CAAHEP or ABHES.
A recent graduate is defined as someone who takes the test within 12 months of graduation of an accredited program. A completing student is someone who takes the test no more than 30 days prior to completion of the program.
2) The applicant is a non-recent graduate of a medical assisting program accredited by the CAAHEP or ABHES.
A non-recent graduate is someone who completed the accredited program after 12 months, but less than 60 months. Anyone who does not pass the exam prior to the 60 months elapsing is no longer eligible for the exam.
3) The applicant is re-certifying for the CMA (AAMA) credentials
Recertification is only offered to those who have previously passed the examination.
The Career Opportunities Available to Certified Medical Assistants
A medical assistant must perform a great many specialized tasks such as cleaning equipment, interviewing patients, performing certain tests, recording vital signs, and more. Very few people possess such professional skills. As a result, those with the necessary knowledge of the task become part of a small talent pool held in consideration for job openings. Furthermore, being a certified assistant can increase both earning potential and job security.