Certified Medical Aide Job Description, Job Duties and Salary Info

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a certified medical aide. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about educational programs, job duties and certification to find out if this is the career for you.

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Essential Information

Medical aides are more typically referred to as medical assistants, and there are certification options for medical assistants who have completed accredited education and passed a national certification exam. A certified medical assistant is educated to perform both administrative and clinical tasks. While it is possible to enter this career with just a high school diploma, most medical assistants complete a postsecondary education training program. Certification is not required, but is often preferred by employers.

Required Education Certificate or diploma in medical assisting most common; some associate's degree programs also available
Other Requirements Passing certification exam
Projected Job Growth 29% for all medical assistants from 2012-2022*
Median Annual Salary (May 2013) $29,610 for all medical assistants*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Certified Medical Assistant Job Description

A certified medical assistant (CMA) must undergo accredited formal training or obtain an applied science associate's degree. In order to become certified, he or she must also pass a national certification exam. CMAs act as assistants to physicians in nursing homes and hospitals, and they are supervised by registered nurses. CMAs work with patients who have stable health and need only routine check-ups and dosages of medication.

Job Duties

Certified medical assistants are taught to fill both administrative and clinical roles in a health care environment. Some of the administrative tasks they perform may be patient billing, scheduling, insurance claim submissions, database entry, outside referrals, prescription orders, desk reception, medical and financial records management, mail processing, and purchasing of supplies or equipment.

With experience, certified medical assistants may be relied upon to perform more duties, such as checking patient vitals, recording patient interviews and histories, offering patients advice on special diets and disease management, performing routine tests, assisting physicians with minor surgeries, performing basic lab tests, preparing and administering medicine. He or she may gain job duties such as applying or removing bandages, stitches, splints and casts, and first aid procedures.

Employment Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that medical assistance is the most rapidly growing segment in the health field (www.bls.gov). Those with certifications will have the best job opportunities. Institutions hiring certified medical assistants include clinics, group practices and healthcare facilities seeking personnel who are qualified in both administrative and clinical areas. Job prospects for medical assistants are extremely positive; this area of health has been reported as the most efficient and cost-effective for employers.

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
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    • New York (3)
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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must have completed 12 college credits
    School locations:
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    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate - Health Administration

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
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    Distance Learning Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Undergraduate Certificate in General Studies (Medical Assistants)

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Illinois (2 campuses)
    Areas of study you may find at Northwestern College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Massage and Related Therapeutic Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
        • Medical or Clinical Assistant
  • School locations:
    • Kentucky (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Eastern Kentucky University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
        • Medical or Clinical Assistant
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Kentucky (1 campus)
    • Ohio (3 campuses)
    Areas of study you may find at Southwestern College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
        • Medical or Clinical Assistant
  • School locations:
    • Montana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at The University of Montana include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
        • Medical or Clinical Assistant
        • Pharmacy Technician
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Nursing Professions
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  • School locations:
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    Areas of study you may find at Sullivan University include:
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      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
        • Medical or Clinical Assistant
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    • New Hampshire (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Hesser College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Health and Fitness
      • Massage and Related Therapeutic Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
        • Medical or Clinical Assistant
        • Physical Therapist Assistant

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics