As a patient enters a medical facility, they may be greeted first by a medical assistant. Such direct interaction will require medical assistants to be great listeners and thorough communicators and possess a calm demeanor. You may also need to keep track of important medical records or answer phones. Assisting physicians as they diagnose and treat patients could also be included in your list of responsibilities as a medical assistant.[Leer en español]
How to Become a Medical Assistant in Rhode Island
Requirements for Becoming a Medical Assistant in Rhode Island
In Rhode Island, you will need at least a high school diploma or GED in order to practice as a medical assistant. Some employers will prefer to hire candidates who also have a degree, certification or both, so choosing to enroll in a post-secondary education program for medical assistants is never a bad idea. Such a program would help prepare you to sit for a certification exam, and having both of these credentials on your resumé would undoubtedly enable you to stand out to employers.
Medical Assistant Training and Educational Programs in Rhode Island
You do not need to complete a medical assistant training program in order to practice; however, choosing to do so will help accelerate your career and could also help you land higher-paying positions within this field.
- Lincoln Technical Institute is located in the city of Providence and allows students to complete a diploma program with about one year of study. Students must also complete an internship as part of this program.
- New England Institute of Technology is located in the city of East Greenwich. The school offers an Associate in Science degree in medical assisting, which can be completed in about two years. Students will complete an externship and be eligible to sit for a national exam after finishing this program.
Certification for Becoming a Medical Assistant in Rhode Island
There are multiple certifications available to medical assistants. Two of the most common certifications include the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) and the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA). You may also choose to earn the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) and Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) certifications. All exams are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
Typically, to sit for any of these exams, you will need to first complete a medical assistant training program that is nationally accredited. If you have professional experience within the medical field, you may be able to bypass the educational requirements. Some exams may even require you to have a combination of education and experience before being eligible to earn certification.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations for Medical Assistants in Rhode Island
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data presented in 2017 stated that medical assistants in Rhode Island earned $16.88 per hour on average, which is equivalent to $35,110 per year. The highest paid medical assistants in this state earned more than $41,900 annually according to the same data.
During 2016, BLS data also indicated that there were 2,530 medical assistants working in Rhode Island at the time. By 2026, it is projected that there will be 2,760 medical assistants working in this state. This indicates a 9.1 percent expansion in the job market during this 10-year period.
Working as a Medical Assistant in Rhode Island
In Rhode Island, some of the highest-paid medical assistants can be found working in Hopkinton, Rockville and Hope Valley.
You may expect to find employment at local clinics, physicians’ offices, hospitals and other medical facilities. If you find enjoyment in working in the medical environment, and performing both clinical and administrative duties, you may excel at a career as a medical assistant.
How much do medical assistants earn in the state of Rhode Island?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in the state of Rhode Island made an average of $37,270 per year in 2019. Entry-level medical assistants earned around $27,970 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $49,490.