Medical assistants are healthcare professionals who are trained to work in settings such as doctors’ offices, clinics and hospitals. Their responsibilities are varied but include both administrative and clinical tasks such as taking patient histories, assisting in examinations, taking vital signs and keeping medical records. Some medical assistants may choose to specialize in either administrative or clinical work, while others may take specialties in specific areas of medicine. Specialties are a great asset for those working in hospitals or other larger settings. Regardless of which route is taken, medical assisting can be an enjoyable and rewarding career.[Leer en español]
How to Become a Medical Assistant in New Hampshire
Requirements for Becoming a Medical Assistant in New Hampshire
The only specific requirement for medical assistants in New Hampshire is that they have a high school diploma or equivalent, but many employers do require post-secondary training. Becoming a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) or Registered Medical Technologist (RMT) is also an asset. These designations can only be obtained after graduation from an accredited medical assistant program.
Medical Assistant and Educational Programs in New Hampshire
There are accredited programs available at various colleges as well as online. Graduates from these programs will be eligible to sit the CMA and RMT exams. Tuition for all college courses is currently set at $215.00 per credit for in-state students, with separate rates for New England residents and out-of-state students.
- Manchester Community College. This college offers medical assisting students two options: a 26-credit Administrative Medical Assistant Certificate and a 65-credit associate’s degree. Graduates from the degree program are eligible to sit the CMA exam offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).
- River Valley Community College. RVCC has two programs for medical assistants. The Medical Administrative Assistant Certificate is intended to be completed over two semesters, while the Medical Assistant certificate takes three semesters for full-time students. The Medical Assistant Certificate is an accredited program, which allows graduates to sit the CMA exam. Academic fees and books are not included in tuition.
- White Mountains Community College. Programs for medical assistants are offered on two White Mountains campuses, one in Berlin and another in Littleton. Both their Medical Assistant Certificate and Medical Assistant degree programs take two years to complete. As they are also both accredited programs, graduates are eligible to sit the national CMA exam. Estimated tuition and fees for in-state students currently total $14,825.00 for the certificate and $18,585.00 for the degree, plus books.
Certification and Licensing for Medical Assistants in New Hampshire
No specific certification or licensing is required for medical assistants in New Hampshire, but membership in the AAMA is an option for graduates of accredited programs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics website has more information on the requirements for the professional exams.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
With an estimated industry growth of 24.2 percent between 2016 and 2026, medical assisting can offer good opportunities for new graduates. As many as 390 positions could open each year in the state of New Hampshire. These positions, both general and specialized, pay well over the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour—50 percent of medical assistants earned $17.04 per hour or more in 2017, while half of those on salary made over $35,000.00 annually.
Working as a Medical Assistant in New Hampshire
The best places to find work are urban areas including Manchester, Nashua and Concord, but there are both general and specialized positions available throughout the state. Although certification is not required, medical assistants who have a diploma or degree and are members of the AAMA generally find jobs more quickly.
Quality healthcare is an ongoing need across the country, so there are many opportunities for CMAs to improve their skills, take specialties or move into other healthcare fields. Those with a strong work ethic and a genuine desire to care for others can find medical assisting to be a fascinating career.
How much do medical assistants earn in the state of New Hampshire?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in the state of New Hampshire made an average of $37,370 per year in 2019. Entry-level medical assistants earned around $30,150 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $47,690.