Greeting patients, scheduling appointments and completing administrative duties are all included in the responsibilities of a medical assistant. Medical assistants also support physicians as they examine and diagnose patients, helping them keep track of important medical information and ensuring patients understand their prescriptions. If you want to enter this career field, you can expect to work in a hands-on environment, from interacting with people to handling medical records.[Leer en español]
How to Become a Medical Assistant in North Carolina
Requirements for Becoming a Medical Assistant in North Carolina
In North Carolina, a high school diploma or GED is a minimum requirement to find employment as a medical assistant. While earning certification and completing a post-secondary training program are not required by law, it is a good idea to take advantage of these options. This will amp up your resumé and show employers that you are serious about your craft.
Medical Assistant Training and Educational Programs in North Carolina
Enrolling in a training program for medical assistants is not required to practice in North Carolina. Even so, completing one of these programs will help establish your expertise and lay the foundation for a rewarding career as a medical assistant. Each program below is accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
- Alamance Community College is located in the city of Graham and offers a two-year degree program in medical assisting. Upon completion, students will be awarded an Associate in Applied Science degree.
- Brunswick Community College is located in the city of Bolivia. The school allows students to earn an Associate in Applied Science degree in medical assisting, which will take two years of study to complete.
- Carteret Community College is located in Morehead City and offers a diploma program in medical assisting. The program can be completed in about one year.
Certification for Becoming a Medical Assistant in North Carolina
Four different certifications exist for medical assistants. Of these, the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) and the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) are the two most common. Other options include the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) and the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) certifications. Each certification exam is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
While each exam has its own set of prerequisites, completing a medical assistant training program accredited by either the ABHES or the CAAHEP will typically allow you to sit for any of these exams. In some cases, you may be able to substitute experience for education, or you may need a combination of both to sit for certain exams.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations for Medical Assistants in North Carolina
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data presented in 2017 indicated that medical assistants in North Carolina earned $15.44 per hour on average, which is equivalent to $32,110 per year. The highest paid medical assistants in this state earned more than $40,000 annually according to the same data.
During 2016, BLS data also indicated that there were 16,310 medical assistants working in North Carolina. By 2026, it is projected that there will be 21,030 medical assistants working in this state. This indicates a 28.9 percent expansion in the job market during this 10-year period.
Working as a Medical Assistant in North Carolina
In North Carolina, cities like Pleasant Hill, Garysburg and Henrico are common places where medical assistants receive the highest compensation.
You can choose to work in a variety of medical facilities, including hospitals, private practices or urgent care offices. With great communication skills and an eye for detail, you can excel at this career and set yourself up for rapid advancement within the industry.
How much do medical assistants earn in the state of North Carolina?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in the state of North Carolina made an average of $33,380 per year in 2019. Entry-level medical assistants earned around $25,520 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $41,830.