How to Become a Certified Medical Assistant
When it comes to the medical assistant profession, professional licensing is not generally required in U.S. states. That means, you do not need a license to get a job and work in the field.
But many states regulate the voluntary certification of medical assistants. That means, if you wish to pursue a voluntary certification, there are certain tests that might be accepted by the state, and an application process you must complete with the state in order to receive official recognition that you are, indeed, a “certified” medical assistant.
Some states have professional titles that go along with certification, such as “Medical Assistant – Certified” (MA-C) in the state of Washington.
Click here to view state-by-state certification rules and guidelines.
Graduates of medical assistant programs who take the time and effort to gain voluntary professional certification put themselves in a position to be more attractive candidates for open positions in the field.
We encourage our graduates to take one of the available medical assistant certification exams for the profession because it proves your skills and demonstrates a level of commitment.
Here’s how to get a medical assistant certification: simply go to the “state-by-state certification rules and guidelines” site linked above, or the department of health website or regulating board of the state in which you seek certification, and see if there are state guidelines for certification and if so, what the certification requirements are. The state may have a preference about which certification exam you should pursue and have its own application process to become officially certified in the state.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists five accredited certification exams for medical assistants that are generally accepted across the country.
- Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
- Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
- National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA)
- Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
- Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)
Visit here to see the State of Tennessee certification guidelines. There you will learn that the state accepts all the tests listed above, but prefers the CMA, which has a $125 fee.
Alternatively, if you have an employer you wish to work for, consider speaking with them to determine if the organization has a preference for a specific medical assistant credentialing test.
The State of Tennessee does not have a certification process for medical assistants. Those who get certification by passing one of the tests listed above are then allowed to include that certification on their professional resumes.
You can do it! Good luck!
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