With the large number of rapidly aging adults around the world and in the U.S., there’s never been a better time to start a career as a medical assistant. Demand for this career in the U.S.— which includes a range of services ranging from ambulatory needs to support in specialty medical clinics — is expected to increase into the near future, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projecting a national growth rate of 16 percent into the next ten years.[Leer en español]
How to Become a Medical Assistant in South Dakota
A medical assistant’s skills and duties are varied. Day-to-day duties may include performing first aid, using specialized equipment, collecting lab samples, taking vital signs, observing patients and preparing patients for exams. Typically, medical assistants oversee administrative duties associated with patient care, such as scheduling, follow-ups, processing insuring documents, tracking and monitoring.
In South Dakota, state law clarifies medical assistant duties. Those considering going into the profession or getting their certification should have a clear understanding of state law, as well as what is expected given the specific setting.
Requirements for Becoming a Medical Assistant in South Dakota
To become a registered medical assistant in South Dakota, you must meet the requirements of the
South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners (SDBMOE). Employers will typically be looking for candidates with education from an accredited school, as well as a current certification. The two main types of certification are Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) and Registered Medical Assistant (RMA).
To become a CMA, an individual must first graduate from medical assistant program recognized by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. When they have successfully completed a program, they may then sit for the CMA exam. Students wishing to take the CMA exam in South Dakota may do so at one of two testing centers located in Sioux Falls and Rapid City.
Medical Assistant Classes and Educational Programs in South Dakota
South Dakota is home to several quality educational institutions where students can get their initial training as medical assistants. Before enrolling, individuals should ensure that the program they are enrolling in is recognized by the CAAHEP or the ABHES.
Courses in medical assisting typically cover a range of topics such as physiology, medical law, ethics, medical information management, lab analysis, transcription, terminology and physiology.
Here are a couple of accredited institutions for medical assistant training in the state of South Dakota:
- National American University‘s Medical Assisting program. National American has campuses in urban centers across the state. They offer a two-year associate’s degree (Associate of Applied Science) in medical assisting, a program that is both CAAHEP certified and includes practicum experience.
- Mitchell Technical Institute has a medical assisting program that is also a two year associate’s degree program. The curriculum offers training in administrative and clinical areas as well as a practicum, and is certified by the CAAHEP.
Medical Assistant Certification in South Dakota
Once training is completed, becoming a Certified Medical Assistant in South Dakota requires registration with the Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners. Typically, individuals will need to be recommended by a certified medical professional. Exam and certification information for becoming a medical assistant is available via the American Association of Medical Assistants.
The CMA is good for 60 months, after which time re-certification is typically required. RMA certification needs to be renewed every three years. Those considering following this career path long-term should join a professional organization like the South Dakota Society of Medical Assistants(SDSMA).
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations for South Dakota
In 2021, there were 930 people employed as medical assistants in the state of South Dakota, earning an average hourly income of $14.68 and an average annual income of $30,540. The number of medical assistants in the state is expected to grow by about 18 percent, with an estimated 1,100 people working in this career as of 2030.
Compared with some other states, South Dakota has a relatively low number of job openings for medical assistants per year—an average of 140. Still, the overall percentage of demand and growth remains on par with other states, and there will likely be no shortage of jobs.
Working as a Medical Assistant in South Dakota
Medical assistants perform a variety of duties under the supervision of medical professionals such as doctors and nurses. As they advance in their careers, they will find plenty of opportunities for advancement and specialization via ongoing education.
A career as a medical assistant is varied, versatile and in demand. Individuals who choose to follow this path can expect to see job growth both in South Dakota and across the U.S. Find more information on medical assistant certification and licensing in the state of South Dakota at the SDBMOE website.
How much do medical assistants earn in the state of South Dakota?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in the state of South Dakota made an average of $30,540 per year in 2021. Entry-level medical assistants earned around $28,040 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $45,240.