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]
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.
Certified Medical Assistant Certification in North Dakota
The CMA credential is portable, meaning you can take it with you if you move to another state. North Dakota’s requirements are in line with most other states.
CMA credentialing is valid for 60 months, and CMAs must complete 60 continuing education credits every 5 years to maintain their certification.
There are many ways to complete continuing education credits, including taking classes, attending seminars and workshops, and even completing some self-study at home.
Once you become a CMA in North Dakota, you will need to renew your credential every 5 years. You will need to complete 60 continuing education (CE) credits during that time. There are many ways to complete CE credits, including taking classes, attending seminars and workshops, and even completing some self-study at home.
If you are already a CMA in another state, you may be able to transfer your credits to North Dakota.
National Certification Exams for Medical Assistants
There are several national certification exams for medical assistants, but the most popular is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam.
To qualify to take the CMA exam, you must have completed an accredited medical assistant program within the last 5 years, or have at least 5 years of work experience as a medical assistant.
Certified Clinical Medical Assistant Certification in North Dakota
The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) offers the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) certification.
To qualify to take the CCMA exam, you must have completed an accredited medical assistant program, or have at least 1 year of work experience as a medical assistant.
You will have 2 hours to complete 150 multiple-choice questions. The exam is offered in both English and Spanish.
You can take the CCMA exam at a Prometric testing center in Bismarck or Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Licensed Medical Assistant Certification in North Dakota
The American Medical Technologists (AMT) offers the Licensed Medical Assistant (LMA) certification.
To qualify to take the LMA exam, you must have completed an accredited medical assistant program, or have at least 1 year of work experience as a medical assistant.
You will have 2 hours to complete 200 multiple-choice questions. The exam is offered in both English and Spanish.
You can take the LMA exam at a Prometric testing center in Bismarck or Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Registered Medical Assistant Certification in North Dakota
The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) offers the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) certification.
To qualify to take the RMA exam, you must have completed an accredited medical assistant program within the last 5 years, or have at least 5 years of work experience as a medical assistant.
You will have 3 hours to complete 200 multiple-choice questions.
You can take the RMA exam at a Prometric testing center in Bismarck or Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Medical Assistant Programs in North Dakota
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 associate’s 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 500 medical assistants working in North Dakota, they earn, on average, $17.94 per hour or $37,310 annually. Demand for medical assistants is expected to grow by 21 percent by 2030, and there are approximately 50 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 deciding to go back to school.
Popular Medical Assistant Schools in North Dakota
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 $37,310 per year in 2021. Entry-level medical assistants earned around $28,990 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $48,170.