Becoming a Medical Assistant in North Dakota

In North Dakota, medical assistants work in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and medical practices. As the first point of contact for patients with their healthcare providers, medical assistants often check patients in, schedule follow-up appointments and tests and help with insurance billing, as well as administer injections and other medications, draw blood and measure vital signs. In this fulfilling, people-person role, medical assistants can make a huge difference in the overall quality of experience a patient has when dealing with their doctors and nurse practitioners.[Leer en español]
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Requirements for Working as a Medical Assistant in North Dakota

North Dakota medical assistants must have a high school diploma or GED, but the state does not require formal training. However, taking post-secondary medical assistant training will inevitably increase your chances of finding work and improve your salary expectations. While the state doesn’t define specific medical assistant responsibilities, helping doctors and nurses with both clinical and administrative tasks is the essence of the job description. There are three chapters of the American Association of Medical Assistants in the state, and the North Dakota Department of Health oversees and regulates care within the state.

Becoming a Medical Assistant

While there are no state-wide requirements other than completion of high school or the equivalent, most employers in North Dakota are looking for certified medical assistants, to ensure treatment and patient plans can be followed for improved patient outcomes. Medical assistants are involved in both preventative and maintenance health care. To become a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) in North Dakota, you must graduate from a school accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and pass the CMA exam. You can take the exam online through Prometric testing centers in Bismarck or Grand Forks, North Dakota. You will have 160 minutes to complete 200 multiple-choice questions.

North Dakota Schools for Medical Assistants

With a population of less than a million people, there are few North Dakota post-secondary programs available for those who want to become medical assistants. While there are also online options, there are at least two schools in the state where you can study to become a CMA or RMA.
  • Rasmussen College, Fargo. You can obtain a medical assistant diploma in as little as 12 months at Rasmussen College, and if you choose to later transfer your credits, they will count toward a Healthcare Associate’s Degree. Learning options include in-person, online and field experience.
  • Dakota College, Bottineau. Students can earn either a diploma or an associates’ degree at this college. Training includes both clinical and administrative work, and in-college work is followed by a 180-hour co-op placement in a medical facility. Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree graduates will be eligible to sit for the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) exam. Diploma graduates can sit for the Nationally Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) exam.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

While there are currently fewer than 1,000 medical assistants working in North Dakota, they earn, on average, $17.07 per hour or $35,500 annually. Demand for medical assistants is expected to grow by 27.8 percent by 2026, and there are approximately 100 openings for medical assistants per year in this state.

Working as a Medical Assistant in Washington

While medical assistants can work anywhere in the state, the vast majority of jobs are available in North Dakota’s major urban centers: Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks and Minot. Recent graduates may choose to work in ambulatory care settings rather than traditional hospitals or clinics, or may even choose to specialize in neurological or dental medical assisting. Those who choose this profession can be qualified and employed within a year of making the decision to go back to school.

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How much do medical assistants earn in the state of North Dakota?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in the state of North Dakota made an average of $37,170 per year in 2019. Entry-level medical assistants earned around $28,400 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $48,440.

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