Becoming a Medical Assistant in Montana

In Montana, medical assistants work in chiropractors’, optometrists’ and mental health practitioners’ offices, as well as with specialty therapists, in biological research facilities, hospitals, healthcare clinics and physicians’ offices. Whether assisting with check-in or scheduling follow-up visits, taking vital signs, administering medications or reviewing patient care plans, medical assistants combine computer savvy and above-average people skills as they deal with both front- and back-office aspects of patient care.[Leer en español]

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Requirements for Working as a Medical Assistant in Montana

While the state of Montana does not require formal credentials for those employed as medical assistants, a high school diploma or equivalent is a minimum prerequisite for working in this field, and physicians are responsible for determining competence before assigning either administrative or clinical tasks. If medical assistants are not graduates of accredited medical assisting programs, they must have the experience, training and education to safely and responsibly perform their duties. While on-the-job-training is always a possibility, completing either a diploma or associate’s degree is the tried-and-true path to becoming a medical assistant.

Becoming a Medical Assistant

After completing an accredited medical assistant program, candidates can also seek national certification if they choose. National certifications include:

  • American Association of Medical Assistants: Certified Medical Assistant
  • American Medical Technologists: Registered Medical Assistant
  • National enter for Competency Testing: National Certified Medical Assistant
  • National Healthcare Association: Certified Clinical Medical Assistant

There are also specialty qualifications, including the American Society of Podiatric Medical Assistants: Podiatric Medical Assistant, Certified and the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology: Certified Ophthalmic Assistant.

Even without certification, a diploma or associate’s degree in medical assisting should ensure continued employment throughout the state.

Montana Schools for Medical Assistants

There are both online and in-person options for training to become a medical assistant in Montana. While Montana’s population is less than one million and most of it is centered near the city of Billings, there will continue to be jobs for medical assistants, and the state has seen massive growth in the healthcare industry over the last few years.

  • Great Falls College, Great Falls. This college, part of Montana State University, offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree program for medical assistants. All graduates are eligible to take the AAMA certification examination. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).● Flathead Valley Community College, Kalispell. Only 30 minutes from Glacier National Park, FVCC medical assistant graduates earn an associate’s degree in medical assisting in two years. Student housing is available on campus, and the college boasts a very low student to faculty ratio of 18:1. Students are eligible to sit for the CMA exam upon completion of their degrees.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

The medical assistant profession in Montana is experiencing significant growth, with a projected increase in demand as the state’s population requires more healthcare services. As of 2022, medical assistants in Montana earn an average annual salary of $40,130, which is notably higher than the national average. This competitive wage reflects the vital services medical assistants provide in the healthcare industry in Montana.

National vs. Montana Salaries for Medical Assistants

Location Average Salary Low (10%) High (90%)
United States $38,270 $30,390 $51,710
Montana $40,130 $32,220 $49,420

Salaries and Percentiles by Region in Montana

Region Low (10%) Median High (90%)
Billings, MT $32,220 $40,130 $49,090
Great Falls, MT $36,970 $43,000 $49,030
Missoula, MT $35,770 $42,960 $53,140

Medical Assistant Trends in Montana

In 2020, Montana employed 1,840 medical assistants. This number is projected to grow to 2,100 by 2030, marking a 14% increase in employment within this period. This growth rate aligns with the national average growth rate for medical assistants, which is also projected at 14% from 2022 to 2032. Annually, Montana is expected to have 300 job openings for medical assistants from 2020 to 2030, which includes openings due to growth and replacements for vacated positions. This data underscores the consistent demand for medical assistants in Montana, reflecting broader trends in healthcare employment across the state and the nation.

Employment Trends

Employment Trends for Medical Assistants in Montana
Indicator 2020 2030 Projected Growth Annual Openings
Employment 1,840 2,100 14% 300

Sources of data:

  1. Montana Data: The employment figures and projections for Montana are sourced from Projections Central, specifically their 2020-2030 long-term projections. Projections Central specializes in state-level employment projections, providing detailed insights into various occupations.
  2. United States Data: The national employment statistics and projections are obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), particularly their 2022-2032 employment projections.

Working as a Medical Assistant in Montana

Medical assistants will find work throughout the state, with the largest concentration of jobs being in major population centers, including Billings, Helena, Butte, Missoula, Kalispell, Havre, Miles City, Bozeman and Great Falls.

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

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in the state of Montana made an average of $37,660 per year in 2021. Entry-level medical assistants earned around $29,960 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $48,150.

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