Certified Medical Assistant

  1. Hello. I plan in starting a 10 month medical assistant program in April. The school is accredited and they are a testing site for certification.
    I have read mixed answers on the CMA field. Some say they find jobs, love their job, and are happy with the money they are making. Then there are those that say they can't find jobs, and make very little money.
    I know it varies by area. I am more concerned with being happy in my career but as a single mom of two making a living (financially) is also important.
    I'd love advise, suggestions. I have read the other threads but wanted to post my situation and get any replies :-)

    Thank you in advance
  2. Visit klwinkleman profile page

    About klwinkleman

    Joined: Feb '13; Posts: 20; Likes: 6


  3. by   FutureRNGreen
    Well it depends on the area you are in because i no where i am at i can not find a job and i have been finish school since nov 29th 2012 and im already back in school for nursing but some of my classmates found jobs and the only reason they found a job is because they knew somebody who worked at the job they wanted i can say only one person from my class who got hired on from they externship but it is hard as hell to find a job because everybody going to school for medical assistant
  4. by   Josieshs
    I'm in school for MA now. I'm at the end of my program. I've been looking for job opening and found a few places that will hire MA without expirence, but most want at least 2 years. The average starting pay in my area (Louisville, KY) is $11 - $12 an hour. As fare as if you be okay with the pay, it depends on your life style. If your middle class or higher, you wnat be happy. Being a single mother of 2, you would be able to get goverment assistance with a MA salery. I'm married with 5 kids. I grow up living in povery and now live on the boarded of being middle class. Fore me the pay would be okay because I'm use to living with the bare minimum. I would suggest nursing to you. In a doctors office MA and Nurses have similar duties, so you might as well be making nuresing money.
  5. by   Patita
    I'm a Certified CMA... Test is difficult and as for job search, it all depends in the area. I was lucky to get hired where I did my externship ... Gl on your certification it's a piece of cake.
  6. by   Jlmoore89
    I'm a CMA now but I'm going back to school to get an RN degree. I agree that finding a job soon after school is hard. In some areas there are just more openings I think it just depends on where you live has to how quick you find a job. I was lucky I found my job at my clinical site and got hired after finishing school
  7. by   ContraryRock
    I am a CMA, now working as a unit secretary while I'm in school for BSN. I got hired by the clinic where I did my externship and LOVED it. If I hadn't had to leave in order to go back to school, I definitely would still be there.
    A few things:
    Pay is not great, but not terrible. I worked in an ortho clinic in a hospital (one of the lowest paying places) and started at 11.50/hr.
    Hours are great if you are looking for a 9-5 type job. I worked 8-430, M-F, all holidays off. But it can be difficult to find work as a CMA if you need an evening or night shift job. They are out there, but they are few and far between.
    The job is actually really interesting, especially if you work in a surgical or specialty clinic. You learn a lot if you work for a good group of practitioners, and you actually have quite a bit of responsibility. Because of the way our units were structured, I worked 3 days a week in ortho and 2 days in burns. I learned all about different treatments and surgeries, wound packing and dressing changes, etc. We would occasionally float to the surgical unit where we would assist in the setup of PICC and central lines. I won't ramble anymore, but it was really, really interesting.

    However, if you are planning to continue on to nursing, I would get a CNA over a CMA. There are just way more positions you qualify for as a CNA, and it's usually a shorter and less expensive program. In ambulatory, you can do a lot as a CMA, but in acute care, we don't qualify to do jack when it comes to patient care.
    If you can get in to a community college CMA program over a private school, I would do that, as it is much less expensive.
    Don't put off taking your phlebotomy certification test, because this can create a lot of opportunities for you.
    If you are looking to advance your career, or go back to school, or in any other way progress past being a CMA, I would try to get in at a hospital for your extern and do your best to get hired there right after you graduate. They usually offer tuition assistance and/or support and other really good benefits, and it is so, so much easier to get a job in the hospital once you already work for them.

    Good luck!
  8. by   HippyDippyLPN
    Honestly if your looking for something that is quicker than RN but want to do clinic type work but make more get your LPN. I know this varies by location but a lot of clinics around me hire LPN's for MA positions but you get paid much more. Now generally private clinics do not do this because its not cost affective but the larger hospital system I worked for before did. Their job openings for MA's always have in the description that LPN licensure is also accepted its just not listed as an LPN job. So I would definitely research your area and ask around but this could be an option for you.
  9. by   MAtoBSN
    I was an MA for 13 years and I loved it. Worked in obgyn for 3 yrs and a pediatric office for 10 years. I just finished my BSN in December and just passed my boards for RN last month. I was a single mom while I was an MA and it was perfect for me at the time. I gained so much experience doing it, I had to go for more and become an RN. My MA experience helped me tremendously during nursing school. I started out in 1997 at 9/hr and ended my MA career in 2011 at 16.50/ hr. I say go for it...no matter what, there are always doctors offices looking for quality MA's! Good luck!