A Guide to Medical Assisting Education in New York

With 10,000 baby boomers entering the Medicare age of 65 every day, the U.S. 65+ population, now comprising 15% of all Americans, is projected to double over the next decade. This rapidly aging group holds great promise for those entering the medical field at practically any level (specialist doctors, general physicians, nurses, medical assistants, and other). [Leer en español] Earning your diploma is a great first career step that embarks you into this vastly promising medical field. Medical assistants are critical to the effective functioning of most medical centers, whether in doctors’ offices, hospitals, and wherever else people go for their health needs.
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New York State Requirements

There is a distinction in New York between “medical assistant” and “certified medical assistant”. Medical assistants: For medical assistants, the State of New York does not have any specific licensing or certification requirements, other than being aware of the regulations of the New York Medical Board. The Board empowers licensed health care providers, at their discretion, to train employees, either through a formal study program, or by way of hands-on training, or both. The licensed health practitioner can however require that the medical assistant they hire be certified. Certified medical assistants: While the State of New York does not have any certification requirements, you can obtain a certificate through one of these two certifying institutions, both accredited by the New York Medical Board:
  • You can get a national certification as a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) by American Medical technologists (AMT). AMT provides a list of study requirements that lead to the exam you must pass to obtain your certification.
  • Or you can also get nationally certified as a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). They require that you first graduate from an accredited medical assisting program (CAAHEP1 or ABHES2), then sit for their exam.
Exams for the AMT’s RMA certification are performed at Pearson VUE test centers. The national AAMA Certified Medical Assistant exams are performed at Prometric test centers. Job outlook According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for medical assistants in the U.S. was $15.17 per hour, or $31,540 per year, with a typical entry-level education of post-secondary vocational. For the entire country, the demand for assistants is estimated to grow by 23% over the period 2014 to 20124. There were 25,490 medical assistants in New York in 2015, estimated to grow by 6,050 by 2023, for a total of 31,540. This represents a growth rate of 23.70% for those years.

Salaries for Medical Assistants in New York

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), salary ranges are as follows: New York’s overall mean hourly wage = $17.08 (this compares with $17.61 in California, $14.56 in Texas, and $14.94 in Florida). The corresponding mean annual wage for New York is $35,530. The New York annual mean entry-level wage (lowest 10%) is $12.22 ($25,420 on an annual basis). This goes up to a mean hourly wage of $13.93 for the first 25% ($28,970 on an annual basis). The Florida annual median hourly wage for the first 25% is $16.81, increasing to $19.78 for the first 75% ($34,970 annually), and to $23.24 for the first 90% ($48,380 annually). The top 10% can naturally earn more. New York entry-level (First 10%) wages break down into the following sample of regions:
  • New York-Newark-Jersey City: hourly mean wage of $17.35 ($36,090 annually)
  • Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls: hourly mean wage of $16.44 ($34,190 annually)
  • New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division: hourly mean wage of $17.13 ($35,630 annually)
  • Rochester: hourly mean wage of $15.58 ($32,410 annually)
  • Utica-Rome: hourly mean wage of $14.99 ($31,170 annually)

Well-Known Schools in New York

The first thing to do is pick from the list we provide those schools that are close to you and research them carefully. Generally, a one-year diploma at a vocational school costs $1,200-$4,000+, depending on each program. The same can cost $2,500-$10,000 for an associate’s degree at a community college. In view of these disparities, you will need to contact the school of your choice and ask about tuition costs and other expenses. Here though is a description of what a few typical schools offer: Allen School- Brooklyn: Located at 188 Montague Street, Brooklyn, New York 11202 (888-620-6745), and with other campuses in Jamaica, Queens, and Phoenix (Oswego County), Allen School, in operation for over 55 years, offers a Medical Assistant program that can be completed in less than 9 months. They are accredited by the Council on Occupational education. This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org). Branford Hall Career Institute-Albany: Located at 500 New Karner Road, Albany, New York 12205 (800-959-7599), and with other campuses in Bohemia-New York, nearby Connecticut, and New Jersey, this institute offers a one-year certificate program in day or evening classes. Their campus consists of 11 classrooms and labs that are fully equipped, including EKG instrumentation, blood chemistry machines, microscopes, and oscilloscopes. Their program is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Bryant & Stratton College-Amherst (and Online) : Helping students pursue their careers since 1854, this college is located at 3650 Millersport Highway, Getzville, New York 14068 (716-625-6300). They also have other NY campuses in Albany, Rochester, Syracuse, and Western New York. They offer a 38-credit Associate Medical Assisting degree that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org), as well as the New York State Board of Regents, and the Commissioner of Education. Hunter Business School-Levittown: Located at 3601 Hempstead Turnpike, Unit 19, Levittown, New York 11756 (516-796-1000), and with another campus in Medford, this school offers a 910-hour Medical Assistant Diploma program that can be completed in 7.5 months of daytime classes, or 15 months of evening classes. This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org),

Employment Options

Employment options are plentiful in New York. To cite just the one example of the Queens/Brooklyn area, there are numerous hospitals, specialized doctors’ offices and other medical centers to which you could apply. Here are but a few:
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • New York University hospital
  • Adventist Health
  • Mount Sinai Hospital
  • Queens Medical & Cardiology clinic
  • LabCorp – R. Hill
  • Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center
  • Maimonides Medical Center
  • The Center for Allergy, Asthma, and immunology
  • Shiel Medical Laboratory

References

1 CAAHEP refers to Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs 2 ABHES refers to Accredited Bureau of Health Education Schools

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FAQs

How much do medical assistants earn in the state of New York?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in the state of New York made an average of $38,590 per year in 2019. Entry-level medical assistants earned around $28,530 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $50,930.

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