It seems like a simple question, but the answer’s more complicated than you would expect. So, does a medical assistant have to be certified? Let’s talk about the training requirements to become a medical assistant.
The Technical Answer
Legally, all that is required to work as a medical assistant is your GED and a willingness to learn. Technically, a doctor can train you on the job. Unfortunately, these train-as-you-work positions are becoming harder and harder to find because physicians have less time and more concerns about mitigating legal risk. Plus, there is a lot of competition for the few positions available, and sometimes they still end up hiring someone with a certificate. If you decide to go this route, your best bet is to find a doctor you know personally and ask for their training. Don’t know any doctors? Network with friends and family members to see if they have connections.
The Actual Answer
If you want to have access to the bulk of medical assisting jobs, you need to get certified. Having your certification is a requirement for most medical assistant positions and for good reason. Your medical assistant training prepares you for the varied tasks of medical assisting which may include: taking and recording vital signs, performing administrative tasks, coordinating with coworkers and supervisors, performing diagnostic tests, drawing blood, and medical billing and coding.
How Long Does It Take To Become a Medical Assistant?
How long it takes to complete medical assistant training and certification depends primarily on where you live. The majority of programs require less than a year to complete and will prepare you to pass your certification exam and succeed in your chosen career. The program at The Manhattan Institute takes 30 weeks to complete, but the last 10 weeks are a paid externship to put your skills to practical use.
Need another reason to take the plunge? Learn how much medical assistants make and what they do. Learn more about our enrollment process or get started today!