Is it Worth it to Become Certified as a Medical Assistant?

Posted On July 8,2022

Many careers in the healthcare field require employees to have specific industry, state, and national licenses to be eligible to work. Medical assisting is one of the few roles where certification isn’t required in all states. Although certification isn’t required to obtain employment everywhere, taking the extra step to become a certified medical assistant (CMA) can make you a more competitive candidate when applying for a new job or position, and you’ll be qualified for career advancements, too.

Medical assistant smiling against a window.

Having an industry recognized certificate on your resume will not only help you stand out from other candidates, but it can also lead to a higher starting salary and earning potential than non-certified medical assistants. There are many compelling reasons to become a medical assistant and get certified. 

Increased Employment Opportunities

If you want to become a medical assistant, becoming certified could take your resume to the next level. Obtaining certification upon completion of your training program could be the reason your application stands out during the interview and hiring process. Employers will appreciate that you put in the extra time and effort to excel at your new chosen profession. Certification increases marketability, pay, job stability, shift choices, and greater opportunities for advancement among other things. In the current state of healthcare, the demand for competent healthcare workers is high, and employers need MAs who are ready to hit the ground running the first day. Plus, there is always the possibility that certification may be required someday. 

Better Choice in Shifts 

Medical assisting is often shift work, as patients need care 24/7. Many healthcare facilities prefer to hire certified medical assistants to work the day shift when most patients undergo testing, have appointments with the physician, attend therapy, receive medications, and perform daily activities like eating and bathing. Certified medical assistants receive versatile training to perform both administrative and clinical duties, so they’re qualified to perform many of the advanced procedures that occur during the day. 

Certification Demonstrates Knowledge and Skills 

Taking the extra step to become certified demonstrates to a potential employer that you received a quality education and training that meets the standards of the field. The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential is widely regarded as the gold standard when it comes to credentials. To qualify for the CMA exam, applicants must complete a training program from a school accredited by one of the following organizations: Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). To ensure applicants have the knowledge and skills needed to work as medical assistants, ABHES and CAAHEP have strict standards for training programs. Certification reflects the quality of your training, greatly increasing your marketability to a potential employer. 

Greater Opportunities for Advancement 

Certification leads to greater opportunities for advancement. Many certified medical assistants decide to specialize in a particular area of medicine, like pediatrics or cardiology. CMAs have numerous medical specialties to consider, allowing them to choose an area of medicine that interests them most. 

Start your Journey

Since medical assistants are cross-trained to perform administrative and clinical duties, many decide to work as medical billing and coding specialists, or even a medical administrative assistant. They work closely with the management team or administrator of a hospital or medical facility. The more experience and continuing education you have, the more doors will open for you. 

Ready to Begin Your Career Path? 

If you’ve been searching for information on how to become a medical assistant, you’ve come to the right place. The CMA program at Athena Career Academy is designed to prepare you to become a vital member of the healthcare team. Through our comprehensive program, you’ll learn valuable skills and qualities to help you succeed in your new career. Contact us today to schedule a campus tour.