How to Become a Medical Assistant: Training and Certification

Are you interested in pursuing a career in the healthcare industry? Becoming a medical assistant can be a fulfilling and rewarding career choice. Medical assistants play a crucial role in healthcare settings by providing support to physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals.

What Does a Medical Assistant Do?

Medical assistants perform a variety of administrative and clinical tasks to ensure that healthcare facilities run smoothly. Some of their responsibilities include:

Recording patient information

Taking vital signs

Assisting physicians with examinations

Scheduling appointments

Preparing treatment rooms

Training and Education

In order to become a medical assistant, you will need to complete a training program. These programs are typically offered at vocational schools, community colleges, and online institutions. The length of the program can vary, but most programs can be completed in one to two years.

During your training, you will learn about medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, medical office procedures, and clinical skills. You will also have the opportunity to participate in hands-on training through externships or clinical rotations.


While certification is not always required to become a medical assistant, many employers prefer to hire candidates who are certified. The most common certification for medical assistants is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential, which is offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants.

In order to earn the CMA credential, you will need to pass an exam that covers a range of topics, including medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, medical office procedures, and clinical skills. In addition to the CMA credential, there are other certifications available, such as the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential and the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) credential.

Job Outlook and Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for medical assistants is projected to grow by 19% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is expected to be driven by the aging population and the increasing need for healthcare services.

The median annual wage for medical assistants was $34,800 in May 2019. However, salaries can vary depending on factors such as experience, education, and location.


Becoming a medical assistant can be a challenging but rewarding career choice. By completing a training program and obtaining certification, you can position yourself for success in the healthcare industry. With a growing job outlook and competitive salaries, now is a great time to pursue a career as a medical assistant.

If you are passionate about helping others and interested in the healthcare field, consider becoming a medical assistant. Your hard work and dedication will not only benefit your patients but also bring you personal fulfillment and career growth.