Medical assistants are responsible for a wide range of duties in a medical facility. These include greeting patients, recording or monitoring their vital signs, keeping track of their medical records and scheduling their hospital visits. Additionally, you may expect to work directly with physicians as they diagnose and examine patients.[Leer en español]
How to Become a Medical Assistant in Virginia
Requirements for Becoming a Medical Assistant in Virginia
Medical assistants living in Virginia are not required by law to earn certification or complete post-secondary training before practicing. You may be able to find employment with just a high school diploma or GED; however, in many cases, employers will prefer to hire candidates who have credentials within the medical field. For this reason, completing a training program or choosing to earn certification are great ways to ensure your advancement within the industry.
Medical Assistant Training and Educational Programs in Virginia
Enrolling in a post-secondary education program for medical assistants is a great idea, especially if it is accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). These are two of the most respected organizations when it comes to ensuring that students receive access to high-quality training in the medical field.
- American National University-Salem offers an associate’s degree program in medical assisting. Students will participate in hands-on clinical laboratory classes as part of this program, which takes two years to complete.
- Stratford University is located in the city of Woodbridge, Virginia, and allows students to complete an Associate of Applied Science in medical assisting. This degree can be earned in two years or less.
- Bryan & Stratton College-Richmond is located in the city of North Chesterfield. Students can complete an associate’s degree program in medical assisting, which will require about two years of study to complete.
Certification for Becoming a Medical Assistant in Virginia
In Virginia, medical assistants can choose to earn certification to help set themselves apart from the competition. These available certifications include the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) and the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA). All four exams are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
Each exam has its own set of requirements. Successful completion of an ABHES- or CAAHEP-accredited medical assistant training program is a typical requirement to sit for any of these exams. Those who have not completed these training programs may be able to substitute experience within the medical field for educational requirements.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations for Medical Assistants in Virginia
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data recorded in 2017 stated that medical assistants working in Virginia earned an average hourly wage of $16.20, or $33,690 per year. You can expect to earn more than $46,000 per year if you want to become one of the highest paid medical assistants working in this state.
In 2016, there were 12,600 medical assistants employed in Virginia, according to the BLS. By 2026, there are expected to be 16,960 people working as medical assistants in this state, signifying a 34.5 percent increase in the job market during this 10-year period.
Working as a Medical Assistant in Virginia
Virginia cities like Falls Church, Arlington and Greenway are where some of the highest-paid medical assistants in this state can be found working.
You can expect to find employment in hospitals, clinics, private practices or other medical facilities. If you enjoy working in the medical field and interacting with people, a career as a medical assistant may be the perfect choice for you.
How much do medical assistants earn in the state of Virginia?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in the state of Virginia made an average of $36,510 per year in 2019. Entry-level medical assistants earned around $25,760 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $51,430.