Medical assistants can become certified through a number of organizations, but two of the most well-known are the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and the Association of Medical Technologists (AMT). Both provide voluntary certifications that help medical assistants stand out to employers, as well as ensure they are up to date on the latest skills.
The American Association of Medical Assistants offers the designation of CMA (Certified Medical Assistant) to medical assistants who pass an exam administered by their Certifying Board. To be eligible, the medical assistant must meet one of the following criteria:
- They must be in the process of completing, or be a recent graduate of a medical assistant training program accredited by either CAAHEP or ABHES (two bureaus responsible for the accreditation of healthcare training programs nationwide). The program must include a clinical internship or externship as part of the curriculum.
- They must have graduated from a CAAHEP or ABHES-accredited program, as described above, sometime in the past.
- They must be a re-certifying CMA.
Exam fees are $125 for AAMA members and $250 for non-members. After recieving certification, CMAs are required to re-certify every 5 years by either passing the exam again, or by undergoing approved continuing education.
The Association of Medical Technologists offers several certifications to medical assistants and other health profesionals. These include:
- Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
- Registered Phlebotomy Technician (RPT)
- Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)
- Medical Technologist (MT)
- Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT)
- Medical Laboratory Technician (CML)
- Clinical Lab Consultant (CLC)
Medical assistants become certified through AMT by passing a written or computer-based exam. To be eligible, the medical assistant must:
- Have graduated from a medical assisting program accredited by CAAHEP, ABHES, a regional accrediting body, or a national accrediting body approved by the US Department of Education. Military medical training programs also qualify
- Have at least 5 years of recent clinical experience
Medical assistants who are certified by other major certifying organizations are also eligible through reciprocity.
AMT-certified medical assistants are required to recertify every 3 years in order to maintain their certification.