How to Become a Medical Assistant in Arkansas

Medical assistants may be responsible for greeting patients when they enter a hospital or clinic, as well as keeping track of appointments, medical histories and other important records. They perform functions related to administration along with clinical duties to assist doctors and other healthcare professionals. Medical assistants must be good communicators and pay close attention to detail in order to excel at their jobs.[Leer en español]
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Requirements for Becoming a Medical Assistant in Arkansas

Aspiring medical assistants in Arkansas should be aware that there are currently no state laws in place requiring them to complete post-secondary education programs before finding employment. When seeking employment, however, it is important to keep in mind that certain employers will require applicants to have credentials in this field, in addition to a high school diploma or GED. Doing your research beforehand will allow you to make the decision to complete a medical assistant training program and earn certification in order to land the position you desire.

Medical Assistant Training and Educational Programs in Arkansas

Earning certification may require you to complete a medical assistant training program accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Consider the options listed below:
  • Arkansas Tech University is located in the city of Russellville. The school offers an associate’s degree in medical assisting, which can be completed in two years. This program is accredited by the CAAHEP.
  • Eastern College of Health Vocations is located in the city of Little Rock. The school offers a Certificate of Completion in medical assisting, which can be completed in one year or less. Graduates of this program will sit for a national exam upon completion.

Certification for Becoming a Medical Assistant in Arkansas

There are four different types of certifications you can earn as a medical assistant. The two certifications that are most popular among employers of medical assistants are Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) and Registered Medical Assistant (RMA). Other options include National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) and Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA). Each of these certifications are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). Each exam has its own set of requirements. Typically, these requirements include successful completion of a CAAHEP- or ABHES-accredited medical assistant training program, professional experience within the medical field or a combination of education and experience.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations for Medical Assistants in Arkansas

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, medical assistants in Arkansas earned an average hourly wage of $14.43, which is equivalent to $30,010 per year. The top 10 percent of medical assistants working in this state earned $38,720 per year according to the same data. BLS data also indicate that, during 2016, there were 3,160 medical assistants employed in Arkansas. By 2026, there are expected to be 4,130 medical assistants working in the field in Arkansas, signifying a 30.7 percent expansion in the job market during this 10-year period.

Working as a Medical Assistant in Arkansas

In Arkansas, some of the highest paid medical assistants can be found working in cities like Bexar, Camp and Gamaliel. You can expect to find employment in healthcare clinics, hospitals and physicians’ offices. Depending on where you choose to work, your responsibilities may consist of more administrative tasks or working directly with patients. If you’re passionate about healthcare and enjoy working with people, this may be an ideal career for you.

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How much do medical assistants earn in the state of Arkansas?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in the state of Arkansas made an average of $30,950 per year in 2019. Entry-level medical assistants earned around $22,350 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $40,510.

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