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 of 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).

Certified Medical Assistant Certification in Oregon

Although CMA certification isn’t legally required in Oregon, it will give you an edge when it comes to getting hired as a medical assistant. The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) offers the CMA credential. To become certified, candidates must pass an exam offered by the certifying body. The exam includes questions on anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, law and ethics, patient relations, clinical procedures, administrative skills, and related topics. Passing the exam will require a minimum of eight hours of study for each area tested on the exam.

Once you receive your CMA certification in Oregon you may be eligible to apply to become a registered medical assistant (RMA). The RMA is a voluntary credential offered by American Medical Technologists (AMT). To become an RMA you must have at least five years of experience in a medical assistant role, and pass an exam. Those with associate degrees may receive credit for two years of experience.

Medical assistants who are certified and registered will be able to command higher pay and more career opportunities. Employers in Oregon, such as hospitals and private practices, will prefer to hire candidates who possess CMA and/or RMA certification and registration.

Registered Medical Assistant Certification in Oregon

The RMA credential is issued by American Medical Technologists (AMT). To become an RMA you must have at least five years of experience in a medical assistant role, and pass an exam. Those with associate degrees may receive credit for two years of experience.

Once you have earned your RMA certification in Oregon, you will be eligible to apply for state licensure as a medical assistant. To obtain licensure, applicants must submit an application, provide proof of graduation from a medical assistant program, and pass the state’s examination. Licensure will allow you to practice in Oregon under the supervision of a physician or other healthcare professional.

Certified Clinical Medical Assistant Certification in Oregon

The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) also offers certification for clinical medical assistants. To become certified, applicants must pass an exam on topics including medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, laboratory procedures, and other relevant topics.

Once you have earned your CCMA certification in Oregon, you may be eligible to work in clinical settings such as hospitals and laboratories. Certified medical assistants are highly sought after by employers in the state and can command higher salaries than those without certification.

Medical assistants in Oregon are a valuable asset to the healthcare industry, and those with formal training and certification have an advantage when it comes to employment. Whether you’re looking for a one- or two-year program, CMA or RMA certification, or the CCMA credential, there are many ways to be successful in the medical assistant field. With patience and dedication, you can build a thriving career in this rewarding field.

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 the 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

Medical assistants in Oregon enjoy a competitive salary that is close to the national high, with an average annual wage of $46,050, significantly higher than the national average. The state employs a considerable number of medical assistants, with a projected growth rate of 26% by 2030, indicating a robust demand for this profession in Oregon. This growth is expected to result in approximately 1,770 job openings each year, offering ample opportunities for new and existing professionals in the field.

National vs. Oregon Salaries for Medical Assistants

Location Average Salary Low (10%) High (90%)
United States $38,270 $30,390 $51,710
Oregon $46,050 $37,370 $57,060

Salaries and Percentiles by Region in Oregon

Region Low (10%) Median High (90%)
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA $39,520 $47,910 $58,990
Salem, OR $38,330 $45,430 $56,680
Eugene, OR $37,020 $44,620 $52,610

Medical Assistant Trends in Oregon

The employment trends for medical assistants in Oregon indicate a strong growth outlook. In 2020, there were 12,860 medical assistants employed in the state. This number is projected to increase to 16,170 by 2030, marking a 26% growth over the decade. Annually, Oregon is expected to have 1,770 job openings for medical assistants from 2020 to 2030, which includes openings due to growth and replacements for vacated positions.

Employment Trends

Employment Trends for Medical Assistants in Oregon
Year 2020 Employment 2030 Projected Employment Projected Growth Annual Openings
2020-2030 12,860 16,170 26% 1,770

Sources of data:

  1. Oregon Data: The employment figures and projections for Oregon are sourced from Projections Central, specifically their 2020-2030 long-term projections. Projections Central specializes in state-level employment projections, providing detailed insights into various occupations.
  2. United States Data: The national employment statistics and projections are obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), particularly their 2022-2032 employment projections.

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 live and work 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.

Popular Medical Assistant Schools in Oregon

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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 $45,710 per year in 2021. Entry-level medical assistants earned around $36,360 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $57,600.

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