Medical assisting has emerged as one of healthcare’s hottest, fastest-growing careers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical assistant employment is expected to grow 29 percent by 2026. The career can offer a worthwhile salary and benefits, employment potential, and job security in an ever-changing market. Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) is a fulfilling career, but becoming one can be a process. Read below to see if you have what it takes.
Analyze Your Skill Set
Do you have analytical skills? Are you detail-oriented? Can you make a patient smile or remain calm in stressful situations? And, are you passionate about making a difference in people’s lives? If you answered yes to all, congratulations! You have the fundamental skills necessary to become a CMA.
Enroll in an Accredited Program
The next step is enrolling in a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited program. Many employers prefer medical assistants with a formal education. Depending on your preference, that could be a classroom, online, or hybrid program. Fortis offers flexible medical assisting programs designed to meet student needs while providing the knowledge and skills necessary to compete in the job market.
Once you’ve graduated, it’s time to schedule a CMA Certification Examination, which is given each year in January, June and October. To save money, consider becoming a member of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES), Commission on Accreditation (CAAHEP) or National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), since members are offered lower exam rates.
Prep Your Resume
You’ve done your training and aced your certification. Now it’s time to prepare your resume. With the cover letter, it’s your first impression for employers. It’s crucial to spend time preparing a resume that presents you as the most qualified and desirable candidate. Fortis offers graduate career services, including one-one-one resume development, to prepare students for success.
Find a Job
Once finished, you’re ready to send your resume to potential employers. If you’re worried about your experience level, consider applying with smaller physician’s offices and general care clinics or even podiatrists, chiropractors, obstetricians and other niche-offices. In addition to Fortis’ job placement services, students should set up accounts with employment websites such as Monster, LinkedIn or Indeed to connect with healthcare workers in their area.
Ace Your Interview
Getting invited to interviews gets you closer to becoming a CMA, so it’s important to “Wow” potential employers. A great interview can set you apart from the crowd, but lackluster ones often result in missed opportunities. To be your best, research questions typically asked during interviews and think about the answers. These can range from education background, to personality questions. Click here to see a list of sample questions.
Fortis offers mock interviews to prepare candidates for upcoming interviews. Along with interview coaching, they help ensure you’re dressed for success as well. Then, be sure to arrive for the interview on time with your resume in-hand. Be polite, make eye-contact with your interviewer and stay confident. It’s also advised to follow-up after your interview to thank the interviewer and ask any additional questions.
You Did It!
You’ve landed the job! While the journey was long, it should be worth it. Congratulations on becoming a full-fledged CMA!
If you think you’re eligible to take the journey to become a CMA, we invite you to visit one our campuses, click here to Request information from Fortis, or call 1-855-436-7847 to speak with a Fortis admissions representative to find out how you can enroll in one of our medical assisting programs.