What is the difference between a Registered Medical Assistant and a Certified Medical Assistant?

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GidgetBoo in Vineland, New Jersey

34 months ago

wantsmore in Republic, Missouri said: That is not true. I was registered in MO, moved to OR and was concidered the same there. I was informed my registration is good in any state except CA.

its all national.

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dmccleary in Cape Coral, Florida

34 months ago

Hey, thanks for the input. I feel exactly the same way. Don't want to clean or change people. I was wondering, did you find a difference on which school's accreditation was better. I just want to make the right choice in case I chose I want to go further in my education.

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GidgetBoo in Vineland, New Jersey

34 months ago

dmccleary in Cape Coral, Florida said: Hey, thanks for the input. I feel exactly the same way. Don't want to clean or change people. I was wondering, did you find a difference on which school's accreditation was better. I just want to make the right choice in case I chose I want to go further in my education.

unfortunately i can't help you there as i live in jersey and you live in florida we have competely different schools haha

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GidgetBoo in Vineland, New Jersey

34 months ago

but i have people going to schools who will come in and ask what school i went to and what i thought about it. why don't you try asking the girls at the dr you go to i'm sure they'd be more than glad to answer some of the questions you have.

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dmccleary in Cape Coral, Florida

34 months ago

Thanks, anyway. Are you happy with your career choice? Are you a CNA, a CMA or a RMA?

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GidgetBoo in Vineland, New Jersey

34 months ago

dmccleary in Cape Coral, Florida said: Thanks, anyway. Are you happy with your career choice? Are you a CNA, a CMA or a RMA?

I'm an RMA. I currently work in a pediatrician's office, he's a wonderful doctor and I even bring my daughter to him. I like working in a doctor's office more than the hospital type setting because there's not as many people and you know who's in charge and don't have to double check with everyone all the time before you do something. The nurse has been sick lately and for two weeks i've been running the office by myself and she has to go back out for surgery next month. it's been pretty crazy and insane but i love every minute of it and being able to say at the end of the day, wow. i did it! unfortunately he plans to retire either at the end of the summer but definitely by the end of the year so hopefully me doing everything on my own and a reference letter from him will help me get another good job.

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ARMA in Fort Worth, Texas

34 months ago

HuzHe?! in Portland, Oregon said: Oh man! Some of this is discouraging. I'm doing my intern at a podiatrist clinic. I'm getting an MA degree. Just trying to get my foot in the door. Hopefully my conections from inside the local hospitals will bless me. If I didn't know anyone in the game I'd be sick from what I read!

Registration vs Certification

The American Registry of Medical Assistants is one of many national certifying organizations, which certify/register medical assistants. Over the years we have received many requests for a clarification of these two terms or designations.

The Medical Assistant may choose to be registered (R.M.A) or certified (CMA). These designations merely depend on the organization to which she or he belongs. There is no qualitative difference between the two credentials simply because one uses the "Registered" and the other uses the "Certified" title. Other national medical assisting certifying organizations use their own designation acronym for certification or registration. All are a national credential that acknowledges the member as qualified to perform the clinical and clerical duties of a traditional medical assistant.

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ANDY in El Paso, Texas

34 months ago

You dont want to be an MA for ever, the point is to get in and get medical experience and go up as a RN. Hospitals have good benefits and would pay for your school if you decide to be a RN. Plus financial aid helps you too. but if you want to settle for less that is your decision but their is a lot of help out there just got to investigate more deeper.

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dmccleary in Cape Coral, Florida

34 months ago

I have been a medical assistant, but was taught on the job and have no certification. Do you know the difference between becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant, Certified Medical Assistant and a Registered Medical Assistant. I also may want to advance to an EMT or a paramedic, so I want to make the right choice, especially when it comes to schools. I know they have to be certified, but which certifications would allow me to advance. Any advice?

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dmccleary in Cape Coral, Florida

34 months ago

When you say it only comes down to the organization you belong to. What exactly does that mean? Also I know you said you can chose to be certified or registered, but do you know is it better to get an associates degree, or just concentrate on schools that specialize on certifications, of course, I need to make sure the school is accredited, but I just want to make sure I make the right choice when it comes to a school. Any advice?

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Michelle in Hicksville, New York

34 months ago

Hi everyone,

I am going to be starting school for medical assistant next month - I am in much need of a career change...been at my current job for 18 years & am completely burned out! Once I complete the course I plan on taking the national exam
I know MA's do not make a lot of money but I was wondering if there is anyone from my area (Long Island, NY) that would be kind enough to share what I can expect to start at, salary wise? That is, if I'm lucky enough to find a job once I'm done with school!
Thanks so much in advance!

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Michelle in Hicksville, New York

34 months ago

sorry, it's me again - the national test I was referring to is for the AAAHP - has anyone else taken the test for this? I was told by the instructor at my school to take this test. Should I be looking into another form of certification/exam?
Sorry, I'm new at this!!!

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Laurie Roberge in Wallingford, Connecticut

34 months ago

ME in Kansas City, Missouri said: At the school I teach at, when you graduate, you sit for the boards to become a NRCMA-Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant

I went to MA school back in 1995 and graduated with a diploma. I was certified at the time an a NRCMA. this certification has since lapsed and I'm trying to locate the organization to rencert. Do you have any contact information for this registry? Please email me at ctbigdog72@yahoo.com Thank you!

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MA Teacher in Austin, Texas

33 months ago

CONFUSED? I am and I have taught some medical classes @ an Allied Health School, Institution, and College. Recently my employer went through an audit & my transcripts were not in file. I am STILL on the search for them from 25 years ago. Yes, 25 years ago. I am learning so much it is ironic. Since this search I found out that my employer in 2008 did not forward info regarding my "NRCMA". I was under the impression this was to be renewed every 5 years. NOPE. Annual dues every year. I am researching what exactly IS the difference between Certified and Registered? So far... There is the National Test Registry for Allied Health & the AMT. These begin to mix together when you visit the website or attempt to get info so be careful. I am (after 1-2 months of searching- REALLY searching for my transcripts getting somewhere. My school has since closed. Taken over by another school who says they maintained records but cannot find mine or me anywhere. Due to time & lack of technology back then I began to think I was SOL. Yesterday I came to a site that tells you what, when, and who gave the accreditation. I found my school 25 years ago & my employer (recently accreditated) have same contact info. When all else fails check this! Had I done this first I could have back tracked to find all I needed. I'll keep ya posted.

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Daniel in Mesa, Arizona

33 months ago

Ok I will make this real simple to everyone. I recently passed my RMA exam and found out this. Once you have passed the test, you are registered with who ever was giving the test like AMT (American Medical Technologist). So that just makes you certified with AMT that you are now an RMA. I hope this helps you.

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MAYDAYZ in Warsaw, Indiana

33 months ago

tracylford in corpus christi, Texas said: You need to go to www.ncctinc.com its the only test that is excepted any where in the USA

THANK YOU. THAT IS VERY HELPFUL !

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Jeffrey Antonelli in Chicago, Illinois

33 months ago

I am an attorney representing a lot of students who went to for-profit vocational schools for Medical Assisting, Ultrasound (sonography), and similar fields.

From my experience the CMA credential is the preferred way to go at least in Illinois, for example University of Chicago Medical Center will not consider you if you have the RMA but not the CMA.

Look carefully at the outcomes of the programs before you enroll! They should disclose to you for the past academic year: a) the percentage of people who enrolled and graduated b) the percentage of people who enrolled and got actually permanent full-time jobs in the intended field for which the students enrolled c) the average salary of those graduates placed in those "real jobs."

If the program is, say $15,000 and it will only give you a $1.50/hour raise over what you are doing now, I would be extremely cautious about enrolling in that program. Ask the employers you would love to work for about the program - do they hire their graduates, and do those graduates do well at the employer?

Jeffrey Antonelli
30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 3400
Chicago IL 60602

www.antonelli-law.com/Sue_Your_School.php
wp.tradeschoolscams.com/

Feel free to facebook "share" the blog on trade schools

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former CMA in Irvine, California

32 months ago

confused in Oxnard, California said: Thank you!
I also found out that a lot of private schools are accredited by the ACCICS(accrediting council for independent colleges & schools)? Which means you still can't sit fot the AAMA exam to get your CMA! It is crazy how so many schools are not accredited through CAAHEP or ABHES. No wonder why people that are graduating cannot find jobs. I have noticed a lot of employers in my area are wanting an MA to be a CMA.

There are different kinds of accreditations: Institutional and Programmatic. ACICS is Institutional accreditation meaning the school has been approved to offer their programs and students can receive financial aid through government funding. CAAHEP offers programmatic accreditation for the MA program which means the program meets the standards set forth by CAAHEP. If a program has CAAHEP accreditation you can sit for the CMA exam. If it doesn't you can sit for the RMA exam which covers the same content. Essentially, the exams and titles mean the same thing. The problem is the employers hiring MA's right out of career schools are usually doctors offices and small clinics. Most of them have no idea or do not care what a CMA or RMA is, all they want to know is that you've been trained as an MA. Hiring a CMA or RMA cost them more money in payroll. If you want to work in a hospital, become a CNA or LVN or RN. MA's are not trained for hospital employment.

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hosamah

32 months ago

they are 2 different tests given by 2 different organizations but both are voluntary. i took both and employers ate that up. now i live in texas and i am on the higher end of the pay scale bc i also have my CPhT (Certified Pharmacy Technician) and CB (Certified Bookeeper) on top of my CMA. And here in Texas they are used more than nurses simply bc it is cost effective. there are 3 CMAs to 1 Nurse in the office i work at and there are 2 CPhT/Phlebotimists per nurse.

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WB in Shellman, Georgia

32 months ago

martyaforu in San Antonio, Texas said: well, I can tell ya this...according to admissions at this one school I checked out, they totally make it sound like a medical assistant is in high demand, and they will assist you in getting a job ASAP {yeah whatever} they have a quota to meet, they just seem to wanna say whatever they can to get you signed up for classes.
There are very few MA jobs listed in my local newspaper at this time..the job market does suck,but you would think the medical field would be a stable career choice...
The ones that are listed ALL WANT AT LEAST 2 YEARS EXPERIENCE!
what's a girl to do??? sorry for sounding so negative, but after doing research in this field , after speaking to this admissions person...I felt really bummed, I felt lied to..

I am in GA, and I feel the same way. $16,500.00 for schooling that really got me no were, $.50 more then I was makeing before school (if I work midnight shift) and to top it all off, I am not even working as a MA. The list of RN jobs out there is a mile long, not much at all for MA.

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LJoyMT in Honolulu, Hawaii

32 months ago

Is College CAAHEP accredited?

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dtrimyer in Quinton, Virginia

31 months ago

kathy in Clyde, Ohio said: Medical assisting school is a waste of time and money GO TO NURSING SCHOOL!! I live in ohio and i only make 10.00 /hr as a medical assistant/phlebotomist.

I live in virginia and they start out at 14.00 an hour

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dtrimyer in Quinton, Virginia

31 months ago

Sheena in Augusta, Georgia said: I graduated in 2008 as a Medical Assistant; and got certified in 2009 from AMT, as a Registered Medical Assistant. RMA & CMA are the same, the only difference is the testing site that you go to. Though, I have yet to find a job (I've tried in NC, VA & GA), so my degree & certifications are going to waste.

They are hiring in v.a. I live here and all the riverside hospitals need help in all areas. Now the medical college of VA is not at this time.

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Mitchell Williams in Charlottesville, Virginia

31 months ago

kathy in Santa Clarita, California said: Does anyone have a NCCT Certificate? What do they look like?
Thank you (medical assistant or phlebotomy one)

NCCT will issue a wallet sized card that states that the title of Medical Assistant bestowed with your name along with an Id number.

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RMYERS in Jacksonville, Florida

31 months ago

Sweetcheeks in New York, New York said: LOL. You must have put in the WRONG job description. Certified/Registered Medical Assistants do NOT make anywhere near that much...not even in Long Island.

I'm living right here in the city (NYC) and a medical assistant , if they can find a job in the first place, can expect to start at about $12-18/ hr AT MOST. That means anywhere from around 23-36k. If you add in overtime..it could possibly be more like 28-40k.

I have done alot of research for CMAs, and I always get info for a "Certifited management Accountant", so watch out for that!!

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shenell41@netzero.net

31 months ago

sweetchi71 in Chicago, Illinois said: Where we can take the test for Certified as a CMA?

what is good study book to studY for a rma test

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shenell41@netzero.net

31 months ago

Sheena in Augusta, Georgia said: I graduated in 2008 as a Medical Assistant ; and got certified in 2009 from AMT, as a Registered Medical Assistant. RMA & CMA are the same, the only difference is the testing site that you go to. Though, I have yet to find a job (I've tried in NC, VA & GA), so my degree & certifications are going to waste.

IS THE TEST HARD WHAT MATERIAL DID YOU HAVE TO HELP YOU STUDY?

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Christine in Silver Spring, Maryland

31 months ago

Can someone tell me how exactly do I become a Certified M.A.. I just finished my Externship, and My School insisted I take a AMT exam to become a RMA which they have, Undecided I took the options of researching the differences between RMA's & CMA's. I later found out that RMA's are only required to work within the state you took the exam. I plan to move to NY and prefer to become Certified because it's a National Certificate and can be use within the country. but how exactly do i become certified ? PLEASE HELP :/

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dtrimyer in Quinton, Virginia

31 months ago

Can you go back to the school that you got your degree from? They should have information that would help.

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Elaina in Fort Defiance, Arizona

30 months ago

You would need to search outside the paper, look online, and keep looking. Start with your local peditrician's offce (if any) or your own family medical practice where you are normally seen. Ask if there is a need for a CMA in their practice or if someone in the office is able to recommend you another facility. You may also want to search at the hospitals, there is however a job listing usually posted. Before you leave the school, ask an instructor for a letter of recommendation to get in a position a little easier.

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Eye in Brooklyn, New York

30 months ago

I have recently took the national exam and passed. Awaiting my paperwork. I have worked in the field for a short time and was laid off because i wanted more hours. I am looking to start interning to give myself the experience the field is asking for. There are chances you can find paid internships. Its bleek out there trying to find a career position, just stay positive and keep the faith. GL to all!

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Allureme in Queens Village, New York

30 months ago

Sweetcheeks in New York, New York said: LOL. You must have put in the WRONG job description. Certified/Registered Medical Assistants do NOT make anywhere near that much...not even in Long Island.

I'm living right here in the city (NYC) and a medical assistant , if they can find a job in the first place, can expect to start at about $12-18/ hr AT MOST. That means anywhere from around 23-36k. If you add in overtime..it could possibly be more like 28-40k.

Actually Im not sure where you recived your infomation from, but Im a Medical Asst and I made 65,000 this year. Yes this did include 15,000 in overtime.But my base pay is 50,000 yr..I work at a Nasssau County Hospital.

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michelle in Hicksville, New York

30 months ago

Wow, 50,000/year? That's really great :)
I'm almost done with school (taking CMA exam in July) and am very nervous about starting pay. I know I can't expect much to start with (that is, even if I find a job!) but it's nice to know that the salary can go up to that much. I live in Nassau County & I'm going to be leaving my job of 19 years to start something new (CMA) and I'm so nervous but need a change.

Do you mind me asking what your salary started as entry level & how long you've been a medical assistant?
Thank you so much in advance!

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ME in Rapid City, South Dakota

29 months ago

I woudn't ever recommend going to school for medical assisting. There are no jobs, the pay is a joke because most people think you are a nurse's b****, and it'd be most beneficial to become a nurse.

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Debbie Trimyer in Providence Forge, Virginia

29 months ago

Maybe in North Dakota you will be a nurde's B**** but not in Virginia!

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i-love-asa in Bronx, New York

29 months ago

lareina_riley@hotmail.com in Lithonia, Georgia said: I am a recent graduate of a school that taught medical assisting, i had a hard time finding jobs because i wasn't a certified medical assistant . Even though I had experience with gaining skills and going on internship , doctors won't hiring anyone without them being certified. Believe me, I have been trying forever for the last two years and I'm still getting rejected. I am now trying to get certify, I am planning to take the exam next month. In addition, I also have a associate degree in business management and that won't even get me hire as a medical assistant along with my medical assistant diploma. Doing a job search as a medical assistant graduate can be overwhelming and depressing!!!! I been told by every place that i've applied to that I need at least 2 years experience. How is someone suppose to get the two experience if they won't give graduates a chance to gain the years of experience ?

this is so true i have the same problem...I thought I was the only one out there having problems finding a job as a MA but I guess not. I'M also planning on getting certified asap but I heard the exam is very had id that true?

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Bluetea in Texas

29 months ago

i-love-asa in Bronx, New York said: this is so true i have the same problem...I thought I was the only one out there having problems finding a job as a MA but I guess not. I'M also planning on getting certified asap but I heard the exam is very had id that true?

My niece is an MA and they are starting to lay-off. She says that if she does get laid off and if she does have to go back to school, it will be for something like welding or heating and air conditioning - something in demand. lol!

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i-love-asa in Bronx, New York

29 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: My niece is an MA and they are starting to lay-off. She says that if she does get laid off and if she does have to go back to school, it will be for something like welding or heating and air conditioning - something in demand. lol!

It would be good if she just continue in nursing or somthing she dont have to change her whole perspective on switching her career

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Bluetea in Texas

29 months ago

i-love-asa in Bronx, New York said: It would be good if she just continue in nursing or somthing she dont have to change her whole perspective on switching her career

I dunno much about it. She thinks that the "business" end of it, will either be automated or go off-shore.

What's your opinion on this?

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hosammah, CPhT, RPhT, CMA, RMA, RPT

28 months ago

bjg7216 in Sanford, North Carolina said: You got that right girl, they told me I would have a job immediatly. High demand, shortage where is my question? I am in NC got a 2 yr associate degree in MA then passed my state boards to become certified anc can not find a job anywhere all positions avalible want 2-3 years experience

when you get your CMA or RMA you have to think outside the box to land a job. I started in the hospital as a phlebotomist or lab assistant and moved to a possition as an ER tech and then the clinic once i was there for a year. I needed to gain some patient experience first. I had the office experience bc i worked in a local hospice office for 7 years before i went to school for my CMA. By the time i applied in the doctors office i am at now i gained my experience in other places. It may not have been an MA title but it qualified as MA experience. And i got my RPT (Registered Phlebotomy Technician) and my ECG & EKG certifications out of it from working in the lab and in the ER.

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hosammah, CPhT, RPhT, CMA, RMA, RPT

28 months ago

i-love-asa in Bronx, New York said: this is so true i have the same problem...I thought I was the only one out there having problems finding a job as a MA but I guess not. I'M also planning on getting certified asap but I heard the exam is very had id that true?

It is very challanging but it goes over the same matterial as what you learned in school. the best bet is to get a study guide from your local book store. They are a little pricey but they are well worth the money and a great referance later on. I keep mine in my station of the clinic if i ever need a refresher.

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iloveasa in Bronx, New York

28 months ago

hi and thank you for replying to my post about the cma exam and yes I have all of the study materials BUT IM STILL SCARED.

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rotlvr in Mukwonago, Wisconsin

28 months ago

iloveasa-It's ok to be scared about the test. But once you get going it will be better. The test has everything on it that you studied in school. As long as you study before going in you should be fine. Just keep doing your review test over and over. Good luck.

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iloveasa in Bronx, New York

28 months ago

thank you so much for the advise I need a job already doing what I love "helping people"

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MaxProfessional

28 months ago

PaulH in Kennesaw, Georgia said: That ain't no MA gig ! Sweetcheeks is more correct.

Actually here in Arizona, there MA jobs offering 12-18/hr but it depend on whether you are back office or front office or back and front. Also depends on your experience and so on. An MA here can potentially make 20 bucks an hr.

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Claudia in Greenville, South Carolina

28 months ago

celestial_kel in North Carolina said: I am in school to become a medical assistant and I was wondering if it would be better to be certified or registered?

You will have a harder test to become a CMA (AAMA) and it will show in the job opportunities you will have. You get MUCH more respect as a CMA than a RMA. Continuing education with the AAMA will keep you up-to-date on new science, laws and technology. Go for the CMA!

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Claudia in Greenville, South Carolina

28 months ago

iloveasa in Bronx, New York said: hi and thank you for replying to my post about the cma exam and yes I have all of the study materials BUT IM STILL SCARED.

It is good to be scared before a big exam like that! That means you take it seriously.

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Dana in Fresno, California

28 months ago

bjg7216 in Sanford, North Carolina said: I went to my local community college , Central Carolina Community College in Sanford, NC. Then I took my state boards in Raleigh, NC to get my certified as a CMA thru AAMA. I have a 2yr Associate Degree In Medical Assisting. Market here where I live is little to none. They want 2-3 years experience or RN's.

Try a kidney dialysis center, they often hire MAs, yes you will work your but off, but you will get your foot in the door. Try Davita.com

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riokitten in Chandler, Arizona

27 months ago

nubienquen in Norfolk, Virginia said: but there both the exacted same test!!! Registered/Certified...

They are not the same exact test. I've taken and passed both. I just recertified with AAMA in June and I can affirm that the CMA exam is much more stringent than the RMA exam through AMT. However, having said that, I can also tell you that the the job market is tighter than I've ever seen it. I'm a 1989 Apollo graduate (with a GPA of 4.0 - 97.2%) and cannot find a job as a practicing CMA. I've taught medical assisting at 4 schools and know that private post-secondary educational programs are not nearly as concerned about the "product" (which SHOULD be a high-functioning entry level MA)as they are about tuition money and retention rates.

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riokitten in Chandler, Arizona

27 months ago

MaxProfessional said: Actually here in Arizona, there MA jobs offering 12-18/ hr but it depend on whether you are back office or front office or back and front. Also depends on your experience and so on. An MA here can potentially make 20 bucks an hr.

MaxProfessional - I have seen ads stating the pay range is $12-$18 per hour, but most offer between $10 and $12. If you have experience in a particular specialty, are familiar with specific EMR software, or are bilingual, they may offer a bit more. Last year I did some temp work during flu vaccine season and the most I could make was $15/hr...and I have over 20 years of experience as a medical assistant!

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