Becoming a Medical Assistant in Oregon

Working in doctors’ offices or other medical facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes or pharmacies, medical assistants provide patient-centered, quality healthcare. Whether helping with check-in, insurance forms and scheduling, collecting blood, tissue or other lab specimens, preparing and administering medications, taking patients’ medical histories or measuring height, weight and vital signs, medical assistants perform a vital role in the healthcare system.[Leer en español]
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Requirements for Working as a Medical Assistant in Oregon

To become a certified medical assistant in Oregon you’ll need a high-school diploma or GED, an associate’s degree in medical assisting or two to five years equivalent on-the-job training and experience. CPR certification and knowledge of and experience with HIPAA and patient privacy laws are also required. Right now, Oregon doesn’t regulate medical assistants, so CMA certification isn’t a legal requirement. But those with formal training will have an employment edge.

Becoming a Medical Assistant

Both one-and two-year training programs at technical schools and community colleges throughout Oregon will lead to qualification as a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) and/or an associate’s degree. Many medical assistant programs in Oregon are already accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Oregon Schools for Medical Assistants

Medical assistants will study anatomy, pharmacology, medical law and ethics, healthcare-focused digital literacy and medical terminology. Many Oregon schools have received accreditation from the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
  • Concorde Career Colleges, Portland. You can complete your formal education in as little as eight months at Concorde, gaining hands-on clinical experience and training in empathetic patient interaction. Real-world coursework is emphasized, and you’ll be immersed in the practical aspects of working in a medical environment. Externships are offered at the end of the program.
  • Central Oregon Community College, Bend. CCOC offers a five- to six-term program starting every fall to train medical assistants. The college boasts the most up-to-date lab equipment, and its students will be qualified to help healthcare providers in offices or clinical settings, with both administrative and clinical skills. The CCOC program is accredited by CAAHEP.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

You can expect to earn close to the national high salary as a medical assistant in Oregon. There are 11,430 medical assistants working in the state, earning an average of $17.78 per hour or $36,990 annually. Demand for Oregon medical assistants is expected to grow 28.4 percent by 2026, with approximately 1,610 openings every year for new hires.

Working as a Medical Assistant in Oregon

The Oregon Society for Medical Assistants has chapters in Lane, Linn-Benton, Marion-Polk and the River Cities area, providing continuing education and an annual conference. It’s also hosting the national American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) conference in September 2019. The majority of Oregon medical assistants lives and works in the Portland area, but there are jobs state-wide, including in Eugene, Salem, Medford, Bend and Oregon-Linn. With a rapidly growing population and improved access to healthcare via Medicaid, medical assisting is a growth industry in Oregon.

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FAQs

How much do medical assistants earn in the state of Oregon?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in the state of Oregon made an average of $39,790 per year in 2019. Entry-level medical assistants earned around $28,800 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $51,010.

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