Medical Assistant Programs in California

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There are different paths toward becoming a medical assistant in the state of California. Because the state does not legally require a license, registration, or special training to become one, you can legally obtain a job and earn your training on the job. However, to be truly competitive in the job market and earn the most respect on the job, it is ideal to gain some professional training and even earn a certificate or degree. Becoming a certified medical assistant (CMA) is an even more desirable trait to possess. Most healthcare employers prefer this, and many are beginning to require it from job candidates.

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California has many medical assistant training programs offered at vocational schools, community colleges, junior colleges, technical colleges and online. Most diplomas require one year of training, or you can pursue a two-year associate degree in medical assisting for more advanced training. If you are intending to earn your certification from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), you will need to do your training at an accredited school. Accreditation is determined by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). There are currently over thirty such accredited programs offered throughout the state. You will find the majority of these listed below. Alternatively, you may pursue your studies through an accredited online medical assistant program in California, which would be accompanied by an externship.

Online Medical Assistant Programs in California

The online medical assistant programs are also listed below. Once your training is completed or nearly completed, you are eligible to register for the AAMA’s certification exam. If you pass this exam, you will be considered a certified medical assistant (CMA). Alternatively, you could pursue the registered medical assistant (RMA) title, which is offered through American Medical Technologists (AMT).

Medical Assistant programs in California will cover both the clinical and the clerical side of medical assisting, because medical assistants’ job duties can vary depending on their job and place of employment. You will be trained in medical billing, record keeping, patient and insurance communication, medical terminology and basic pharmacology. You’ll also learn how to assess patients, take blood pressure, prepare patients for procedures, and assist physicians, or sterilize equipment, among other duties. It’s an occupation that involves many skills and multi-tasking in both the administrative and clinical sides. Medical assistants can work in outpatient clinics, hospitals, doctors’ offices, or specialists’ offices, such as podiatrists, chiropractors, or optometrists.

The mean annual salary for a medical assistant in California in 2008 was $31,240, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the mean hourly rate was $15.02. There were over 73,000 of them working, and the projections for growth of this occupation are excellent. There are also three local chapters to the California Society of Medical Assistants, as well as the esteemed California Medical Assistant Association, both of which can be of great benefit to you for the purposes of continuing education, networking, or job search assistance. Medical assistant jobs are a huge and important part of the fast growing healthcare industry, with very good job prospects. An expanding aging population as well as developments in technology will only open up opportunities for those with this career in California.

Another rapidly growing allied health field in the state of California is medical billing and coding. Many people are choosing to enroll in medical billing and coding programs in California based on the great earnings potential and job growth projections for the state.

Below you will find a number of medical assisting programs offered throughout the state of California. Getting formal training and education can surely help set you apart from the competition when it comes to applying for a job as an MA in California. Whether you are in pursuit of a diploma or a 2 year associate’s degree, there is a program listed here for you. Request information from the schools directly to learn more.

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