How to Become a Medical Assistant in West Virginia
Your responsibilities as a medical assistant will include a combination of administrative and clinical duties. You may be responsible for answering phones, greeting patients and helping them schedule their hospital visits. Additionally, you may need to monitor a patient’s vitals, help them understand their prescription or even administer their medication.[Leer en español]
Requirements for Becoming a Medical Assistant in West Virginia
In West Virginia, medical assistants do not need to earn a degree or certification before finding employment.
In many cases, however, employers in this state may prefer to hire candidates who have completed a post-secondary training program and earned certification, especially since having these credentials will allow you to take on greater levels of responsibility than candidates who have no training or experience within the field.
In other cases, you may be able to find employment with only a high school diploma or GED.
Medical Assisting Training and Educational Programs in West Virginia
While completing a medical assistant training program is not required by law, if you choose to do so, it would be wise to enroll in one that is accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
These two trusted medical assistant schools in West Virginia that help ensure that those entering the medical field receive proper training.
Huntington Junior College
Huntington Junior College allows students to earn an associate’s degree in medical assisting. The program will take about two years to complete, and students are also required to complete an unpaid externship before graduating.
Mountwest Community and Technical Medical
Mountwest Community and Technical Medical Assisting College Assisting College are located in the city of Huntington. Students will earn an Associate of Applied Science degree after completing two years of study.
West Virginia Northern Community College
West Virginia Northern Community College is located in the city of Wheeling. The school also offers an Associate in Applied Science degree in medical assisting, which will be earned after two years of study.
Certification for Becoming a Medical Assistant in West Virginia
There are four national certifications available for medical assistants to choose from. These include the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA), and the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA). Each exam is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
Successful completion of an ABHES- or CAAHEP-accredited medical assistant training program will most likely make you eligible to sit for these exams.
Since each certification has its eligibility requirements, you may be able to use your professional experience to bypass educational requirements, or you may need to show a combination of both education and experience.
Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
To sit for the CMA exam, you must have completed an accredited training program or have about five years of experience working as a medical assistant. Additionally, you will need to submit an application and fee to the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). If approved, you will then be able to schedule your exam date and time.
Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
The RMA credential is offered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT). To be eligible to take the certification exam, you must have completed an accredited medical assistant program or have two years of full-time work experience as a medical assistant.
You will also need to submit an application and fee to the AMT. Once approved, you will be able to schedule your exam date and time.
National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA)
The NCMA credential is offered by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). To sit for the certification exam, you must have completed an accredited medical assistant program or have one year of full-time work experience as a medical assistant.
You will also need to submit an application and fee to the NCCT. Once approved, you will be able to schedule your exam date and time.
Certified Clinical Medical Assistant(CCMA)
The CCMA credential is offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). To be eligible to take the certification exam, you must have completed an accredited medical assistant program or have one year of full-time work experience as a medical assistant. You will also need to submit an application and fee to the NHA. Once approved, you will be able to schedule your exam date and time.
West Virginia State Licensure for Medical Assistants
Medical assistants in West Virginia are not required to hold a state license. However, those who wish to use the title “licensed medical assistant” (LMA) must meet the requirements set forth by the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Licensed Practical Nurses. To use the title LMA, you must have graduated from an accredited medical assistant program and passed the credentialing exam of one of the four nationally-recognized organizations. You must also submit a notarized application, along with the required fee, to the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Licensed Practical Nurses.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations for Medical Assistants in West Virginia
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data recorded in 2020 indicated that medical assistants working in West Virginia earned an average hourly wage of $14.30, or $29,740 per year. You can expect to earn more than $35,000 per year if you become one of the highest-paid medical assistants working in this state.
In 2020, there were 3,380 medical assistants employed in West Virginia, according to the BLS. By 2030, there are expected to be 4,460 people working as medical assistants in this state, signifying a 32 percent increase in the job market during these 10 years.
Working as a Medical Assistant in West Virginia
Cities like Falling Waters, Yellow Spring, and Capon Bridge are where some of the top-paid medical assistants in this state can be found working.
You should expect to find employment in hospitals, private practices, local clinics, urgent care offices, or other medical facilities.
Entry level position may have you performing administrative tasks such as answering phones, scheduling appointments, and handling patient records.
Clinical internship may give you the opportunity to work one-on-one with patients, taking vital signs, updating medical histories, and preparing patients for examination.
While the main function of your job will include interacting with people, you should also expect to be responsible for handling important medical records, listening attentively, and communicating effectively.
Popular Medical Assistant Schools in West Virginia
How much do medical assistants earn in the state of West Virginia?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in the state of West Virginia made an average of $29,740 per year in 2021. Entry-level medical assistants earned around $23,310 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $37,970.