How to Become a Medical Assistant in Georgia
Are you ready to start your journey towards becoming a top-notch medical assistant in the Peach State? Look no further! Georgia is home to a plethora of medical assistant schools that can help you jumpstart your career in healthcare. From the bustling city of Atlanta to the charming small towns scattered throughout the state, you’ll have no shortage of options when it comes to finding the perfect school to suit your needs.
Whether you’re looking to enroll in a traditional college program or prefer the flexibility of online classes, Georgia has got you covered. And with the demand for medical assistants on the rise, now is the perfect time to get your foot in the door of the healthcare industry. So don’t wait any longer – start researching your options and get ready to begin your exciting new career as 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]
Requirements for Becoming a Medical Assistant in Georgia
Most medical assistant positions require some form of a postsecondary certificate. This could be a one-year diploma or a two-year 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 Programs in Georgia
All of the medical assisting programs listed below have been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs.
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 very 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.
This five-semester diploma program offers 270 hours of work experience, allowing students 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.
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 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.
North Georgia Technical College
North Georgia Technical College offers a diploma program as well as an Associate of Applied Science degree in medical assisting. The courses are blended and include both online classes and on-site lab work. Tuition fees depend upon residency status, but the school also provides some financial assistance to those who qualify.
Georgia Northwestern Technical College
The medical assisting program at Georgia Northwestern Technical College comprises both classroom instruction and clinical experience. Students who are accepted into the program must be 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent, take an entrance assessment test, and submit proof of immunizations. Tuition fees for the program vary, but financial aid is available to those who qualify.
Lanier Technical College
Lanier Technical College offers a diploma program as well as an Associate of Applied Science degree in medical assisting. The courses are taught both online and on-site, with clinical experience being gained through local healthcare facilities. Students must take an entrance exam to be accepted and submit proof of immunizations. Tuition fees vary according to residency status, but financial aid is available to those who qualify.
Albany Technical College
Albany Technical College offers a diploma program in medical assisting, as well as an Associate of Applied Science degree. The courses are blended and include both online classes and on-site lab work. Students must be 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and pass reading, English, and math admission exams to be accepted into the program. Tuition fees are the current state-regulated rate of $89.00 per credit, plus fees set by the school. Financial aid is available to those who qualify.
South Georgia Technical College
The medical assisting program at South Georgia Technical College has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs and offers both a diploma and an Associate of Applied Science degree in the field. Students must be 18 years old and have either a high school diploma or equivalent or a GED, to be accepted. Tuition fees vary according to residency status, although financial aid is available for those who qualify.
Certification and Licensing for Medical Assistants in Georgia
In Georgia, medical assistants are not required to have certification. However, many employers prefer employees who have passed the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). The AAMA also offers certifications in special areas such as ophthalmology and podiatry.
Current Georgia state law requires medical assistants to have a Georgia-limited x-ray machine operator’s permit if they plan on performing any radiological services. This includes the development and interpretation of x-rays, as well as the operation of all types of radiographic equipment. To obtain this permit, applicants must complete a prescribed course in radiation safety and possess a high school diploma or GED. Applicants must also pass a written radiation safety exam and demonstrate knowledge of proper handling and use of x-ray equipment. Each permit is valid for two years, after which it must be renewed.
Medical assistants in Georgia may also choose to become nationally certified by taking the National Healthcareer Association’s Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam. This certification is valid for two years and must be renewed by retaking the certification exam. The CCMA program also offers specializations in areas such as phlebotomy and electrocardiography, which can open up additional job opportunities.
In summary, medical assistant positions in Georgia do not require a certificate or license, but employers may prefer to hire those who have received some type of formal training. Prospective medical assistants in Georgia can complete a diploma or degree program at one of the state’s many accredited technical colleges, pass either the AAMA or NHA certification exams, and obtain a limited x-ray machine operator’s permit if needed. With the right training and qualifications, medical assistants in Georgia can enjoy a successful career in the healthcare field.
Certified Medical Assistant Certification (CMA) In Georgia
This credential is offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To be eligible for this exam, an applicant must have graduated from an accredited program and passed the AAMA Certification Exam within three years. The Certified Medical Assistant certification is valid for up to five years and can be renewed with continuing education credits or re-sitting the exam. The fee for the exam is currently $125.00 but is subject to change.
Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) In Georgia
The CCMA credential is offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). This certificate requires completion of a postsecondary program and passing an NHA-approved certification exam within three years. The fee for the exam is currently $125.00 but is subject to change. This certificate is valid for two years and must be renewed with continuing education credits or by re-sitting the exam.
Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) In Georgia
This credential is offered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT). To be eligible for this exam, an applicant must have graduated from an accredited program and passed the AMT Registered Medical Assistant Exam within three years. The RMA certification is valid for up to five years and can be renewed with continuing education credits or re-sitting the exam. The fee for the exam is currently $125.00 but is subject to change.
Overall, there are many educational and certification options available for medical assistants in Georgia. To make sure that you choose the right program for your needs, it is important to research each option thoroughly and understand all requirements before making a decision. It is also important to make sure that the program you choose is approved by the state and that it meets all licensing requirements, so you can begin your career with confidence.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Medical Assistant In Georgia?
The amount of time it takes to become a medical assistant in Georgia depends largely on the route taken. Training and certification through an accredited college or university program can take anywhere from six months to two years, depending on the individual’s learning pace and the courses chosen. Those who opt for a certificate program may be able to complete their training in as little as six months. Those who choose to go the certification route can expect to spend about two years studying and preparing for their certification exams. Once all requirements are met, it takes approximately three weeks for licensing to be approved by the state of Georgia.
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Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
Being a medical assistant in Georgia offers plenty of possibilities. With a projected industry growth of 34 percent between 2020 and 2030, there will be over 4,370 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 2021, 50 percent of medical assistants earned over $17.40 an hour. In the same year, half of Georgia’s medical assistants earned a salary of at least $36,190.
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.
Entry level medical assistants can expect to work in clinics and hospitals where they will be responsible for drawing blood samples, administering injections, taking vital signs, and helping with basic laboratory tests. Medical assistants with additional training may be asked to take X-rays or operate other medical imaging equipment. They may also have the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of healthcare such as geriatrics or obstetrics. Medical assistants can also be found in settings such as nursing homes, medical offices, and assisted living facilities.
No matter what type of setting you choose to work in, medical assisting offers plenty of opportunities for professional growth and advancement.
Learn your skills, choose your field of interest and step out with confidence.
Popular Medical Assistant Schools In Georgia
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 $36,190 per year in 2021. Entry-level medical assistants earned around $27,970 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $46,450.