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What are good reasons to become a CMA?

What type of pay do CMAs get?
What type of promotions are there for CMAs?
Will I be working with doctors as well as nurses?

+25 Karma if successful
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To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Adi,

Exploring the Advantages of Being a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)

Choosing to become a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) can open a world of opportunities and benefits. Here are some compelling reasons why you might want to consider this rewarding career path:

Job Security: The healthcare sector is a constantly expanding field with a high demand for proficient medical assistants. As a CMA, you can look forward to a stable and secure career.

Career Advancement: CMAs have a wealth of opportunities for career progression. With time and additional qualifications, you can aspire to supervisory roles, specialize in certain medical fields, or even move into healthcare management roles.

Meaningful Work: As a CMA, you have the chance to make a tangible difference in patients' lives by offering essential care and support, all under the guidance of healthcare professionals.

Varied Work Environments: CMAs have the flexibility to work in diverse healthcare settings such as hospitals, clinics, doctors' offices, nursing homes, and outpatient facilities.

Professional Growth: Acquiring CMA certification is a testament to your dedication to professionalism and excellence in medical assisting. It also paves the way for ongoing learning and skill enhancement.

Income Potential for CMAs

The income of Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs) can fluctuate based on factors like location, experience, employer, and specialization. On average, CMAs in the United States earn an annual median salary of approximately $34,800, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, seasoned CMAs with extra certifications or those working in specialized fields may earn higher salaries.

Career Progression for CMAs

For CMAs aiming to climb the career ladder, there are several avenues to explore:

Specialization: Gaining extra certifications in areas like phlebotomy, EKG technology, or medical coding can help CMAs specialize in specific healthcare areas and enhance their prospects for promotions.

Experience: Accumulating valuable work experience as a CMA can lead to supervisory or leadership roles within healthcare organizations.

Higher Education: Pursuing higher education such as an associate's or bachelor's degree in healthcare management or related fields can qualify CMAs for higher-level roles with more responsibilities and better compensation.

Collaboration with Doctors and Nurses

Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs) often collaborate closely with doctors and nurses in various healthcare settings. They are instrumental in facilitating patient-provider communication, assisting doctors during examinations and procedures, administering medications under supervision, taking vital signs, preparing patients for appointments or surgeries, maintaining medical records, and educating patients.

In summary, becoming a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) brings a host of benefits including job security, career advancement, meaningful work, varied work environments, professional growth, and competitive salaries based on experience and specialization. Moreover, CMAs have multiple paths for career progression through specialization, experience, or further education, all while working closely with doctors and nurses in their daily healthcare duties.

Top 3 Reliable Sources Used:

American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA): The AAMA provides invaluable information on certification requirements for medical assistants, along with industry insights.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): The BLS provides extensive data on occupational outlooks, including salary ranges for medical assistants.

American Medical Technologists (AMT): AMT is another trusted source offering certification options for medical assistants, along with industry trends and resources.

These sources were crucial in providing precise information about the advantages of becoming a CMA, salary ranges, career progression opportunities, and insights into collaboration with doctors and nurses in the healthcare setting.

Stay Blessed!
J
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Brian’s Answer

Great questions Adi. Being a CMA is the best career I have ever had. I am not sure about pay in other states but in my state CMAs are generally starting in the $18 to $19 per hour range as new grads. Of course this depends a lot on the employer. This has come up a lot from when I earned my CMA (AAMA) in 2013 when many of the newer MAs that I knew were making $10-12 per hour. A lot of experienced MAs that I know are now making mid $40k to low $50k per year.
Regarding promotions, you can become a MA2, 3 or4 in some areas, lead MA, Practice Manager or Educator and beyond. I know a lot of MAs who went on to Nurse, Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, and even several who are now doctors. Medical Assistant is a great career or stepping stone on on your career path to wherever you want to be.
Medical Assistants work under the doctor alongside nurses, in some offices, a nurse may be the direct supervisor or manager for MAs.
For more information on CMA credential you can search out American Association of Medical Assistants (this page will not allow me to put in a web address)
Looks like you are in Alaska. You could also reach out to Alaska Medical Assistant Society, the state affiliate of AAMA, they can be very helpful. I have met some of them a few times at conferences. You may want to reach out to them as well.
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Martin’s Answer

Great question! Let's get real for a moment, why specifically a CMA program? This role is considered one of the more basic levels of patient care. While I rely heavily on CMAs, the career growth in this field can be quite limited and the pay is decent, but not spectacular, with limited room for significant increases. In this role, you'll often find yourself in a supportive position to other healthcare professionals, like nurses, doctors, and ancillary services.

My advice? Consider using the CMA program as a launchpad into other areas of healthcare, like nursing or another ancillary field. These areas typically offer better opportunities for advancement and higher pay scales. I don't mean to sound pessimistic, but if you're just starting your career and have the chance, I would encourage you to aim for a field with more growth potential.
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Debra’s Answer

The amount of versatility working as a medical assistant brings is just amazing and the amount of experience that you build as well as the connections you maintain builds a great resume for your career I have been a CMA for over 16 years and I have been teaching other MAs for eight years. It’s worth it give it a try
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