How to Become a Medical Assistant in Georgia

Being a medical assistant requires attention to detail, excellent interpersonal skills and a genuine interest in others’ wellbeing. Medical assistants do administrative and clinical work in settings like doctors’ offices and hospitals. Clinical tasks may include taking vital signs, administering injections and medications and helping with examinations, while the administrative side may include such responsibilities as recording patient history, scheduling appointments and keeping medical records. Those assistants working in larger settings may specialize in one area.[Leer en español]
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Requirements for Becoming a Medical Assistant in Georgia

Most medical assistant positions require some form of post-secondary certificate. This could be a one-year diploma or a two-dear associate’s degree. It is also possible to enter the field with a high school diploma or equivalent and learn the skills through on-the-job training. When this is the case, it’s important to have studied subjects including biology, chemistry and anatomy. However, employers may prefer to hire applicants who have completed a training program. They may also prefer applicants who have sat and passed a state professional exam.

Medical Assistant and Educational Programs in Georgia

All of the medical assisting programs listed below have been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs.
  • Albany Technical College. Albany Tech offers both a 12- to 18-month diploma and a two-year degree program in medical assisting. The only admission requirement to these programs is a high school diploma or equivalent, making it vary accessible to prospective students. More information is available from the college, including tuition rates and financial aid. Albany Tech also offers online courses for those students who are unable to attend classes on campus.
  • Atlanta Technical College. This five-semester diploma program offers 270 hours of work experience, giving students the opportunity to practice skills as well as gain medical knowledge. To be admitted to the program, students must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent and pass reading, English and math admission exams. At this time, the estimated program cost is $7,091 plus books and academic fees.
  • Augusta Technical College. Offered at four campuses, the 54-credit diploma program offered by Augusta Tech had a job placement rate of almost 80 percent between 2012 and 2016. They offer admission to high school graduates or those with an equivalent education, transfer students and home school students. Tuition fees are the current state-regulated rate of $89.00 per credit, plus fees set by the school.

Certification and Licensing for Medical Assistants in Georgia

There are a variety of certifications for medical assistants, all of which require passing a state exam. The full list is available on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, as well as the requirements for sitting for each individual exam. Medical assistants need to comply with a three-year continuing education program called the Certification Continuation Program (CCP) and pay an annual fee in order to maintain their licence. The fee is currently set at $50.00 but is subject to change.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

Being a medical assistant in Georgia offers plenty of possibilities. With a projected industry growth of 29.3 percent between 2016 and 2026, there will be over 3,100 job openings in the state each year. These include not only clinical and administrative jobs but also opportunities in specialized fields such as ophthalmology, geriatrics and obstetrics. In 2017, 50 percent of medical assistants earned over $15.17 an hour—nearly triple the state minimum wage of $5.15 and more the double the national minimum wage of $7.25. In the same year, half of Georgia’s medical assistants earned a salary of at least $31,550.

Working as a Medical Assistant in Georgia

The best cities in Georgia to find positions as a medical assistant include Atlanta, Augusta, Macon and Columbus, but there are positions in various specialties available throughout the state. If you enjoy interacting with people and are someone who cares about others’ wellness, medical assisting may be right for you. Learn your skills, choose your field of interest and step out with confidence.

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

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in the state of Georgia made an average of $33,300 per year in 2019. Entry-level medical assistants earned around $24,000 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $43,200.

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