How to Become a Medical Assistant in Washington, D.C.

Medical assistants are important members of any health care team. They work in hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices, with responsibilities that vary according to the setting. Those in general positions will do tasks on both the clinical and administrative sides of medical assisting, including assisting doctors in examinations, keeping medical records, preparing blood samples and scheduling appointments. Medical assistants who are interested in one certain area of medicine, such as pediatrics, obstetrics or geriatrics, might choose that area as a specialty. Specialized or not, medical assisting offers fascinating and reliable work.[Leer en español]
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Requirements for Becoming a Medical Assistant in Washington, D.C.

There is no minimum level of education set for medical assistants in the district, but many employers require post-secondary training. Professional certification is also an asset. This can be obtained after graduating from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Medical Assistant and Educational Programs in Washington, D.C.

The options for on-campus programs in the District of Columbia are limited, so it’s worthwhile to look for online courses or courses at schools in nearby states.
  • Delaware Technical Community College. This Associate of Science degree program is offered at the Wilmington, Delaware, campus, one and a half hours from Washington, D.C. by train. As part of DTCC’s Connected Degree program, graduates have the opportunity to move into a four-year bachelor’s program. Tuition is currently set at $373.75 per credit for out-of-state students, or $5,606.25 per semester for students taking 15 or more credits. This does not include books and fees.
  • Herzing University Online. Herzing offers both a 10-month diploma program and a 16-month associate’s degree in medical assisting. The tuition for the associate’s degree is currently $28,120.00, while the less expensive diploma program is estimated at $21,090.00. Students in these programs are able to sit for the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) and Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exams after graduation.

Certification and Licensing for Medical Assistants in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. does not require certification for medical assistants; it is up to the employer to determine whether a potential employee has suitable training and credentials. Membership in the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) is, however, an option for graduates of accredited programs and may be required for work in other areas. The Bureau of Labor Statistics website has more information on professional exams and their requirements, and education requirements for those working in nearby states.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

The projected growth rate for the industry is 27.3 percent between 2016 and 2026, resulting in a potential 240 job openings each year. However, because the District of Columbia is central to a number of different states, the actual number of openings available to candidates is much higher. Keeping in mind that pay in neighboring states will be different, half of salaried medical assistants in Washington, D.C. made $39,720.00 or more in 2017. Fifty percent of those paid hourly earned $19.10 or more in the same year.

Working as a Medical Assistant in Washington, D.C.

The number of positions available in Washington, D.C. are limited by the district’s size, but there are many opportunities in neighbouring states. For example, Alexandria and Arlington, in Virginia, and Bethesda, Maryland, are easily accessible from the district. Any of these and other locations offer a chance to improve your skills and find your passion. Whether you choose to continue as a medical assistant or move into another area of healthcare, the possibilities are endless.

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How much do medical assistants earn in the state of D.C.?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in the state of D.C. made an average of $44,530 per year in 2019. Entry-level medical assistants earned around $31,480 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $58,120.

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