How to Become a Medical Assistant in Alabama
Medical assistants need to enjoy working with people, as this will be a large component of their daily activity. They’ll need to do well at listening, communicating and paying attention to detail. You may also need a great deal of patience to interact with those visiting the medical facility, who may be under great distress. In addition to customer service, you can expect to work directly with physicians as they diagnose and treat patients throughout the day.[Leer en español]
Requirements for Becoming a Medical Assistant in Alabama
In Alabama, medical assistants are not required to complete any training programs before practicing. There is also no requirement to earn certification in this state. Without any state-wide legislation in place, employers decide what standards an applicant must meet in order to be considered for hire. For this reason, it is a good idea to complete a post-secondary education program and earn voluntary certification before applying for a position in this field.
Medical Assistant Training and Educational Programs in Alabama
The following medical assistant training programs are accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Enrolling in a program accredited by one of these institutions will help qualify you to sit for a national certification exam, if you choose to do so.
- Wallace State Community College is located in the city of Hanceville. The school offers an Associate in Applied Science in Medical Assisting, which can be completed with about two years of study. This program is CAAHEP-accredited.
- South University is located in the city of Montgomery. Students will earn an Associate of Science in Medical Assisting with about two years of study. This program is also accredited by the CAAHEP.
- Chattahoochee Valley Community College is located in Phenix City, Alabama. The school offers an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting, which can be completed in about two years. This program is accredited by the ABHES.
Certification for Becoming a Medical Assistant in Alabama
There are four certifications available to medical assistants, all of which are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). These exams include the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) and the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA).
Typical minimum requirements include a high school diploma or GED, along with completion of an ABHES or CAAHEP-accredited medical assistant training program. Additionally, some exams may accept professional experience in the medical field as a substitution for completion of a post-secondary training program, while other exams may require a combination of education and experience.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations for Medical Assistants in Alabama
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, medical assistants in Alabama earned $13.33 per hour on average during 2017. The top-paid medical assistants in Alabama earned more than $37,000 during the same year.
BLS data also indicate that there were 7,360 people employed as medical assistants in this state during 2016. By 2026, the same data show that there will be 9,180 people working in this field in Alabama, which represents a 24.8 percent expansion in the job market over this 10-year period.
Working as a Medical Assistant in Alabama
Cities like Spring Garden, Graham and Edwardsville are the best places for medical assistants in Alabama to work, as they will likely earn the highest compensation in these places.
You will find employment at hospitals, private practices, clinics and other facilities where medical duties are performed. If you enjoy working as a healthcare professional and want a career that will grant you stability, you should consider getting started as a medical assistant today.
How much do medical assistants earn in the state of Alabama?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in the state of Alabama made an average of $29,220 per year in 2019. Entry-level medical assistants earned around $21,120 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $39,490.