The Career of a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)

When changing or starting a career path many things need to be considered: employment rate, required training, earning potential, soft skills, experience, advancement opportunities, etc. If you are considering becoming a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) here are some facts you should know before you decide, whether to pursue this career or not.

First of all, what does it mean to be a Clinical Medical Assistant?

Clinical Medical Assistants play a major role in the day to day operations of a medical facility. They perform certain tasks that otherwise would have to be done by doctors, nurses, and other medical Health Professionals. Through their work, the productivity of a medical facility is improved and doctors can see more patients. Clinical Medical Assistant responsibilities may include but are not limited to:



Benefits Of Becoming A Clinical Medical Assistant

Medical assistants are a central source to clinics and hospitals. Doctors and nurses rely on the medical assistants to effectively communicate a patient's information to other health professions and conduct procedures efficiently to assure a patients visits runs smoothly.


While on the clock as a medical Assistant, you will be very busy and take on a variety of roles and operations in a medical office or clinical setting. You’ll interact with different types individuals of all ages and medical staff of mostly all the health professions because you'll be the first to meet with and convey the patients health information. You can expect to continually improve your communication skills along with refining your soft skills as you become an expert at a sought-after clinical specialty.


Medical assisting is an outstanding health career course with plenty of room for advancement and typically a launching point for many hospital occupations and health care careers such as nursing, radiology, Health Information Technologist, Medical Billing and Coding, Medical Office Management or specializations that require more training or education.


Medical assistants typically graduate from postsecondary education courses. Although there are no formal educational requirements for becoming a medical assistant in most states, employers may prefer to hire assistants who have completed these courses.

courses for medical assisting are available from community colleges, vocational schools, technical schools, and universities and take about 1 year to complete. These courses usually lead to a certificate or diploma. Some community colleges offer 2-year courses that lead to an associate’s degree. All courses have classroom and laboratory portions that include lessons in anatomy and medical terminology.

Some medical assistants have a high school diploma or equivalent and learn their duties on the job. High school students interested in a career as a medical assistant should take courses in biology, chemistry, and anatomy, and possibly business and computers.

The Basics

As a Medical Administrative Assistant, you must enjoy working with people! Medical Administrative Assistants work closely with doctors, nurses and other medical Health Professionals, but their main focus is patients. As a CMA you will interact with patients on a daily basis. You have to be emphatic, highly patient, diplomatic, outgoing, active listener, and a great communicator, for people you get to see, might be frustrated, sick and in pain, scared. Health Professionalism and discretion is a must, since handling sensitive and confidential information is part of the job. Other skills should include: multitasking, prioritizing, dependability, calm and composed behavior in an emergency situation and when working under pressure, team player, strong work ethic, etc.

Tasks required to perform.

  • Answering phones and taking messages.
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments.
  • Checking-in and checking-out patients.
  • Managing medical records.
  • Verifying insurance coverage.
  • Completing and submitting insurance claims.
  • Performing medical coding and billing.
  • Processing patients payments for medical services.
  • Arranging for patients hospitalization.
  • Providing customer service to patients.

Important Qualities To Have

  •  Analytical skills. Medical assistants must be able to understand and follow medical charts and diagnoses. They may be required to code a patient’s medical records for billing purposes.
  •  Detail oriented. Medical assistants need to be precise when taking vital signs or recording patient information. physicians and insurance companies rely on accurate records.
  •  Interpersonal skills. Medical assistants need to be able to discuss patient information with other medical personnel, such as physicians. They often interact with patients who may be in pain or in distress, so they need to be able to act in a calm and Health Professional manner.
  •  Technical skills. Medical assistants should be able to use basic clinical instruments so they can take a patient’s vital signs, such as heart rate and blood pressure.

The scope of responsibilities depends on the services a medical facility provides. Some tasks can be learned on the job, but these days employers prefer employees with experience, degree, certification, or a combination of all of them. In a busy medical facility there is usually little time and only a few resources available to train a new employee. Therefore more knowledgeable you are in this profession and more tasks you can perform without supervision from day one, the more valuable you are.

Salary And Job Outlook

According to The median annual Clinical Medical Assistant salary is $33,733, as of June 28, 2019, with a range usually between $31,771–$37,214, however this can vary from state to state and on a variety of factors.

 Clinical Medical Assistant Salaries by Percentile

A team of Certified Compensation Health Professionals has analyzed survey data collected from thousands of HR departments at companies of all sizes and industries to present this range of annual salaries for people with the job title Clinical Medical Assistant in the United States.





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To read more about the changing landscape of medical assisting and get an employer's perspective, download your copy of NHA's 2017 allied health publication, access™, and read The Role of Medical Assistants: Growth, Opportunity and Change.

How To Become A Clinical Medical Assistant


Post-secondary Educational Courses

Although in some states there are no formal educational requirements most employers generally require administrative Medical Assistants to be graduated from a post-secondary educational courses. Many have a high association diploma, or equivalent and gain knowledge of their responsibilities at the workplace. High association students considering this profession should take courses in biology, chemistry, and anatomy. To be eligible to become a CMAA you have to be knowledgeable in : office administration, medical terminology, legal and ethical issues in medical practice (including HIPPA), communication with patients, medical coding, billing procedures, Electronic Health Records (EHR) management.

"You can start Today your dream career, get promoted, and boost your earning potential in a handful of months. Don't settle. Stand out and advance your career by getting certified".


On-the-job Training

Training Medical assistants who do not have postsecondary education certificates learn their skills through on-the-job training. physicians or other medical assistants may teach a new assistant medical terminology, the names of the instruments, how to do daily tasks, how to interact with patients and other tasks that help keep an office running smoothly. Medical assistants also learn how to code both paper and electronic health records (EHRs) and how to record patient information. It can take several months for an assistant to complete training, depending on the facility.


Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Medical assistants are not required to be certified in most states. However, employers may prefer to hire certified assistants. In today’s world, Certification is the fastest way to earn credentials necessary to start a new career, or to advance in a current one as a medical assistant. Certifications are more specialized, than traditional education, and are focused on acquiring a particular set of skills. For employers it simply means that there is less on-the-job training required, which saves them time, resources, and money. The Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) is a Nationally acknowledged certification administered by the National Healthcareers Association. The Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) is a Nationally recognized certification.employers may prefer to hire certified assistants.

Several organizations offer certification. An applicant must pass an exam and have taken one of several routes to be eligible for each certification. These routes include graduation from an accredited course and work experience, among others. In most cases, an applicant must be at least 18 years old before Joining for certification.

The National Commission for Certifying Agencies, part of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence, accredits five certifications for medical assistants:

Some states may require assistants to graduate from an accredited course, pass an exam, or both, in order to practice. Contact the state board of medicine for more information.

Advantages Of Training and Certification

In this occupation those who are certified have a big advantage when searching for a job. A certification is a way to stand out from any prospect and it is the simplest way to prove qualifications and a certain level of competence. There is less on-the-job training, which will save you and employers valuable time and resources. A certification proves to employers that the candidate is serious about their profession.


With experience, medical assistants can specialize and move into leadership roles. With more education they may advance into other healthcare occupations such as registered nurse, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner


The NAHCE Clinical Medical Assistant Continuing Health Education certificate and badge of completion (BOC) tells your employer that you have received the highest standards in Clinical Medical Assistant education, information, and knowledge meeting the educational requirements of the certifying bodies in this field. After receiving the NAHCE Clinical Medical Assistant (BOC) you will be trained to PASS all State and National certification exams certification exams.



The NHA Clinical Medical Assistant Certification (CCMA) is a nationally accredited certification program, that meets or exceeds the accreditation criteria of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), ensuring an examination that meets the highest quality standards. The NHA exam tests the most current and relevant competencies necessary to ensure proficiency in the medical assisting profession. Whether you want to work in a doctor's office or a medical clinic, becoming a CCMA with NHA shows that you are knowledgeable and ready to be a valued member of a healthcare team.

The NHA Clinical Medical Assistant Certification (CCMA) is a nationally accredited certification program, that meets or exceeds the accreditation criteria of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), ensuring an examination that meets the highest quality standards. The NHA exam tests the most current and relevant competencies necessary to ensure proficiency in the medical assisting profession. Whether you want to work in a doctor's office or a medical clinic, becoming a CCMA with NHA shows that you are knowledgeable and ready to be a valued member of a healthcare team. The purchase of NHA exam preparation materials or other educational products is not required to sit for any NCCA-accredited certification exam offered by NHA, and does not guarantee a passing score on an examiNation. Exams accredited by the National Commission For Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The NCCA accredits certification courses by providing an unbiased third-party review of our courses. Successful completion of this review results in accreditation. Those courses successfully going through this rigorous process have met certain standards and best practices to ensure that a legally defensible and psychometrically sound exam/assessment is delivered.

Medical Team


This is one of the fastest-growing careers in the healthcare industry. CCMA’s can work at clinics, urgent care facilities, dental offices, nursing homes, chiropractic offices, hospitals, insurance companies.


Percent Change In Employment, Projected 2016-24

Medical Assistants
Other Healthcare Occupations
All Occupations

Note: All occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic, Employment Projections Program

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