CMA - Certified Medical Assistant
- Renews every 5 years
- Preferred by healthcare employers
The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) grants certification for medical assistants examination. Although some states do not require MAs to be certified, many employers prefer CMAs. Medical Assistants (MAs) perform duties including:
taking medical histories
preparing patients for examinations
changing wound dressings
collecting specimens for lab tests
performing administrative tasks, like scheduling and coding
maintaining medical records
CMAs can work in various settings, from hospitals to doctor’s offices. MAs have limitless opportunities to specialize. CMAs are needed in pediatrics, oncology, emergency medicine, chiropractic care, obstetrics, and more.
The CMA exam is a computerized test with 200 multiple-choice questions, divided into four sections. Each segment is timed at 40 minutes, and test takers can take 20-minute breaks in-between segments.
Scores range from 200 to 800. Pass/Fall results are provided after the exam at the testing center. Official scores are posted online within eight weeks and mailed within ten weeks off the exam date.
Those who pass the exam will also receive an official score report, certificate, and wallet certification card within ten weeks after receiving the official scores.
Candidates who fail may reapply and retake the exam with no waiting period.
Obtaining This Certification
Here are the steps to achieving the CMA certification.
Obtain a high school diploma or equivalent (GED)
Complete a one or two-year accredited medical assistant program
Verify exam eligibility
Apply for the exam and submit the required documentation
Pass the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam
Successful completion of the CMA exam qualifies an individual to practice as a Certified Medical Assistant.
The CMA exam fee is $250. Members of the AAMA qualify for a discounted exam fee of $125.
Renewing this Certification
Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs) must recertify every five years through continuing education credits or reexamination.
How long will it take to become a CMA?
It can take eight months to 2 years to become a medical assistant after high school. Medical assistant programs vary in length. Certificate or diploma programs may be completed in less than a year, but associate degree programs require two years.