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How to Become a Medical Assistant

how to become a medical assistant

If you are interested in studying to become a medical assistant, your employment outlook is great. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates for medical assistants “much faster than average” job growth through 2026–29 percent, to be exact. That means lasting job security for anyone who works as a medical assistant.

Prerequisites to Be a Medical Assistant

Fortunately, the prerequisites to work as a medical assistant are pretty straightforward. You need either a high school diploma or a general education diploma, also called a GED. Although aptitude in math and science can help a medical assisting student, particular coursework in high school isn’t required.

Education to Be a Medical Assistant

You must complete an education to work as a medical assistant. At Harris School of Business, you can choose among:

Medical Assistant Diploma, available at:

  • Cherry Hill, NJ
  • Linwood, NJ
  • Philadelphia, PA

Professional Medical Assistant Diploma, available at:

  • Sanford, ME
  • Wilmington, DE

 Professional Medical Assistant Plus Diploma, available at:

  • Dover, DE

Multi-Skill Health Technician Diploma, available at:

  • Voorhees, NJ

Surgical Technology Diploma, available at:

  • Dover, DE
  • Voorhees, NJ

What Happens After Graduation?

Once students pass the required coursework in medical assisting, they must pass the Certified Medical Assistant exam. The certifying board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) credential certified medical assistants.

The AAMA is accredited by the International Accreditation Service (IAS) for Bodies Operating Certification of Persons (AC474). This means that those who pass the exam receive internationally recognized certification–a prestigious status.

How Valid is the Medical Assisting Certification?

An objective, third-party organization, Prometric, administers the certification (and, later, recertification) process. Prometric is a well-known and respected provider of assessment and testing. Graduates and their potential employers can know that their knowledge, experience and skills meet or surpass what’s required to provide superlative care.

The AAMA exam asks 200 multiple-choice questions. Candidates take the test in four, 40-minute sessions.

A consultant from The National Board of Medical Examiners administers the exam. This organization administers many national examinations for physicians, a testament to the rigor and dependability of the CMA credential. Medical assistants can take pride in the quality of their training as they provide care.

How Should Medical Assisting Students Get Ready?

To prepare for the AAMA exam, graduates should take the CMA (AAMA) Examination Practice Tutorial, which can help them see what they will face when they take the exam. The tutorial is online.

How Do Medical Assistants Stay Credentialed?

Every five years (60 months), medical assistants must recertify with the AAMA to maintain their credential as a certified medical assistant. This ensures that they remember the training they initially received and that they remain current with their education.

What’s Next?

Harris School of Business has been providing quality, career-minded education since 1965. We focus on one-on-one instruction to ensure all students receive the level of attention they need to succeed. We aid students in obtaining employment after they graduate. As needed, we also provide refresher courses as students prepare for recertification. Our objective is to help you meet your goals in medical assisting education, employment and life. Contact Harris to see how we can assist you.