How Long Does it Take to Become a Medical Assistant?

how long does it take to become a medical assistantSo you’re looking to pursue a career as a medical assistant? Well being a medical assistant can be a rewarding job both financially and knowing that you are helping another human live a better life and possibly saving a life.

The great thing about medical assistance training is that to get started you don’t need much formal training or education making the opportunity to in as a medical assistant fast. 

The only real qualification for the job is that you have a high school diploma or its equivalent. If you haven’t completed your high school education, enlist in a GED training course and eventually take the GED exam, a competency test that measures the skills you were supposed to learn in high school.

Find a doctor to train you as a Medical Assistant. Given that there are no legal requirements to becoming a Medical Assistant, this is the easiest, cheapest and fastest way. If you are hired as a medical assistant without prior experience, you will receive substantial on-site training.

Once you have enough work experience you may be eligible for taking a nationally accredited certification exam without having to go back to school. Organizations like National Healthcareer Association, NCCT, and AMT offer some kind of work experience eligibility for their NCCA accredited MA exams.

Attend a school to receive a degree as a medical assistant. Getting a degree from a school will confer prestige and help your chances of getting hired. If you do decide to go to school for a medical assisting program, you can take either of the following tracks: Medical Assistant Certificate/Diploma. This takes about 9 months to a year for most applicants to complete. Medical Assistant Associate Degree. This takes about 2 years for most applicants to complete.

Make sure to ensure that the school you attend is preparing you to sit for a nationally accredited certification exam (ex. AAMA, AMT, NHA, NCCT). Depending on how much time you have available – and financial availability, the best option may be an Associate Degree.

You don’t need to be certified as a medical assistant in order to find a job as one, but it really helps. Some jobs may require certification. You will need to choose a certification provider that is nationally accredited by the NCCA. Different certification providers have different eligibility requirements, costs, re-certification requirements, and testing methods. Nationally accredited exams include those awarded by American Medical Technologists (AMT), National Health career Association (NHA), and the American Association of Medical Assistants.