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can you support a family with a CMA certification?

I am currently having a baby, do you think going to trade school to get my CMA will be enough to support me and my daughter ?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Dave’s Answer

Hello. One of the best ways to figure this out is to research the starting salary of CMAs in your area, then calculate the cost of living plus the cost of raising a child. For example: here in Ohio, the department of labor puts the starting salary of a CMA at $35,937. The estimated monthly cost of a parent and child would be around $4,000. So, you would need to be making at least $48,000 to cover general monthly living expenses.

This doesn't mean that you couldn't survive on a CMA's salary: you can find jobs with a higher starting salary. You can earn promotions and pay raises, and you could find ways to live below the typical cost of living. This calculation also doesn't include other revenue streams and any additional support that you might receive from significant others, family, or friends.
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Susan’s Answer

Hello Makyyah,

With my experience in the healthcare sector, I've had the opportunity to interact with many Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs). I'd love to suggest that you consider exploring other career paths in healthcare. As Dave pointed out, the average income for CMAs might not be sufficient for a comfortable living. Although annual raises are possible, they are not guaranteed and often amount to less than a dollar per hour increase. There's also a salary "cap," meaning that even after 20 years of service as a CMA, there's a limit to your potential earnings.

The 9-month certification course might seem appealing, but I'd recommend considering other alternatives like radiology. For instance, X-ray technicians in the Philadelphia area earn around $65,000 annually. The training typically involves a year of classes at a community college followed by a year of hands-on experience. You could apply for financial aid or grants to cover the costs. Working as an X-ray technician usually means employment at a hospital or urgent care center, places known for offering good benefits like time off and health insurance.

If you're interested in furthering your career down the line, you could take extra classes to operate MRI and CT machines, which fall under the radiology umbrella. These roles tend to offer higher salaries, around $79,000 per year. Regardless of the career path you're contemplating, I strongly advise researching the future prospects of those professions in your locality. This should give you a sense of the job availability in your chosen field.
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