How to Become a Medical Assistant in Colorado
When a patient enters a clinic or hospital, a medical assistant may be the first person they encounter. Due to this face-to-face interaction, medical assistants should be attentive, calm and thorough communicators. Administrative duties like record-keeping and answering phones may also be included in your list of responsibilities. Additionally, you may be expected to assist doctors or physicians as they diagnose and treat patients.[Leer en español]
Requirements for Becoming a Medical Assistant in Colorado
Colorado, like most other states in the U.S., does not require medical assistants to complete any specialized training or earn national certifications before practicing. When you begin your job search, however, you may find that most employers prefer to hire applicants with some level of experience or credentials within the trade. For this reason, it may be your best option to complete a training program or earn voluntary national certification.
Medical Assistant Training and Educational Programs in Colorado
Completing a training program accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) is a wise choice, especially for those interested in earning certification. The following programs are available in Colorado:
- Colorado Mountain College is located in the city of Edwards. Students can enroll in an undergraduate certificate in medical assisting, which takes 18 months to complete. This program is accredited by the CAAHEP. Students will sit for a certification exam upon program completion.
- Red Rocks Community College is located in the city of Arvada, Colorado. The school allows students to earn either a Certificate of Completion in Medical Assisting, which can be completed in less than three semesters, or an Associate of Applied Sciences degree, which can be completed in about two years. This program is also accredited by the CAAHEP.
- Pima Medical Institute is located in the city of Aurora. The school allows students to earn a Certificate of Completion in Medical Assisting, which can be earned in as little as nine months. Clinical externships are a requirement for graduation, and this program is accredited by the ABHES.
Certification for Becoming a Medical Assistant in Colorado
As a medical assistant, you have the option of earning four types of certification. The two most common certifications include the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) and the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA). Additionally, you may choose to earn the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) and Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) credentials. All of these exams are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
While each of these certifications allows those who have recently graduated from an ABHES- or CAAHEP-accredited training program to sit for exams, you may also be eligible to earn this certification if you already have professional experience as a medical assistant.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations for Medical Assistants in Colorado
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data presented in 2017 indicate that medical assistants in Colorado earned $16.95 per hour on average, which is equivalent to $35,260 per year. The highest paid medical assistants in this state earned more than $46,000 annually according to the same data.
During 2016, BLS data also indicate that there were 10,070 medical assistants working in Colorado. By 2026, it is projected that there will be 12,930 medical assistants working in this state. This indicates a 28.4 percent expansion in the job market during this 10-year period.
Working as a Medical Assistant in Colorado
Medical assistants working in Colorado can expect to earn the highest compensation in cities like Niwot, Boulder and Eldorado Springs.
Employment will be available at hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices and other places where medical duties are performed. Your main responsibilities may include keeping track of patients’ medical histories, checking their vitals or scheduling their visits to the medical facility. If this sounds exciting to you, consider getting started today.
How much do medical assistants earn in the state of Colorado?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in the state of Colorado made an average of $37,410 per year in 2019. Entry-level medical assistants earned around $27,810 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $48,770.