Medical assistants are in demand in Florida, particularly in its central and southern metropolitan areas. Learn about typical job duties, how to become a medical assistant, and how to obtain certification in Florida. This guide also provides salary and employment growth statistics, along with strategies for advancing your career.
What Tasks Do Medical Assistants Perform in Florida?
Florida medical assistants perform administrative and clinical duties under physician supervision. Tasks can vary by workplace or practice specialization, but typical medical assistant duties include:
- Administering medications and injections
- Answering phones and scheduling appointments
- Assisting physicians with physical exams
- Coding, billing, and contacting insurance companies
- Collecting samples and performing lab tests
- Disposing of contaminated supplies
- Inventorying and ordering medical and office supplies
- Maintaining medical records
- Sterilizing medical equipment
- Taking patients' medical histories and vital signs
Featured Online Medical Assistant Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
How Do I Become a Medical Assistant in Florida?
While many states, including Florida, do not require specific education or training for medical assistants, earning credentials or completing training can lead to more employment options. Florida's colleges and universities offer certificate and associate degree programs for medical assistants. Employers often prefer candidates who have completed formal education.
Preferred Qualifications of Florida Employers:
Completed medical assistant certificate program or degree
Current medical assistant certification
Medical Assistant Education in Florida
Florida's medical assistant programs award certificates, diplomas, associate of science degrees, and associate of applied science degrees. Certificates and diplomas typically comprise 24-44 credits, while associate degrees require 60-65 credits. Certificates, diplomas, and degrees include core medical assistant courses in their curriculums, but degree-seekers also study general education topics in computer literacy, humanities, math, and science.
Core medical assistant coursework includes anatomy and physiology, clerical and clinical procedures, medical terminology, and pharmacology. Students also complete labs and supervised internships, externships, or practicums at healthcare facilities. Programs may also prepare graduates to take national certification exams.
Learners can earn certificates and diplomas in one year or sooner and associate degrees in about two years. Costs average around $100 per credit for Florida residents and $350-$400 for out-of-state learners. Some certificate programs list a total cost range of $3,000-$13,000.
Benefits of Medical Assistant Education in Florida:
Builds foundational knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy, and electronic medical records
Provides formal training for medical assisting tasks
Provides clinical and real-world experience
Medical Assistant Certification in Florida
As in other states, medical assistant certification in Florida is optional, but qualified candidates can choose to pursue two national certifications: certified medical assistant (CMA) and registered medical assistant (RMA). CMA certification requires a passing score on an exam and can lead to increased job opportunities and higher pay.
A candidate for CMA credentials, offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), must have completed a postsecondary medical assistant program from an accredited school with a program that has received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
Eligible applicants must complete anatomy, mathematics, pharmacology, and physiology coursework, along with a supervised practicum. RMA certification, conferred by the American Registry of Medical Assistants (ARMA), requires a high school diploma. These credentials may also specify that a candidate should possess a medical assistant certificate or diploma from an accredited institution, along with a recommendation letter from a physician who employs the applicant.
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Benefits of Medical Assistant Certification in Florida:
Demonstrates professional competency and expertise
Can help create more job opportunities
Can increase earning potential
Directory of Medical Assistant Programs in Florida
Before you can earn your medical assistant certification in Florida, you will need to complete a formal training program. Explore certificate programs and associate degrees available across the state.
|School Name||Campus Location||Program Offerings|
|Broward College||Fort Lauderdale||Certificate|
|Daytona State College||Daytona Beach||Certificate|
|Eastern Florida State College||Cocoa||Associate|
|Florida State College at Jacksonville||Jacksonville||Associate|
|Herzing University Orlando||Winter Park||Certificate|
|Indian River State College||Fort Pierce||Certificate|
|Keiser University||Fort Lauderdale||Associate|
|Miami Dade College||Miami||Certificate|
|North Florida College||Madison||Certificate|
|Palm Beach State College||Lake Worth||Certificate|
|Pasco-Hernando State College||New Port Richey||Certificate|
|Pensacola State College||Pensacola||Certificate|
|St. Johns River State College||Palatka||Certificate|
|South Florida State College||Avon Park||Certificate|
How Much Do Medical Assistants Make in Florida?
Average Wage in the U.S.
Average Wage in Florida
Florida medical assistants earn an average annual wage of $37,870, which is lower than the national average of $40,700. As the tables below illustrate, the lowest 10% of earners make $30,570 a year, and the highest 10% earn $45,460, on average.
Compared to the nationwide average, the cost of living is slightly higher in Florida. Florida's cost-of-living index is 101.9 and ranks 31st among U.S. states for affordability. Only transportation costs fall below the national average.
Highest-Paying Metropolitan Areas in Florida
The table below lists Florida's top-paying metro areas for medical assistants: Vero Beach, Naples, Fort Myers, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.
These areas host large hospital systems, numerous healthcare provider offices, and increasing demand for qualified medical assistants. In addition, the top-paying Florida cities have relatively high costs of living, so employers may pay more to attract and retain qualified medical assistants.
|Metropolitan Area||Employment||Hourly Median Wage||Annual Median Wage|
|Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL||430||$19.94||$41,460|
|Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL||1020||$19.45||$40,450|
|North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL||2250||$19.22||$39,970|
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL||16600||$18.76||$39,010|
|Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL||2380||$18.63||$38,750|
Comparing Healthcare Support Occupation Wages in Florida
The table below shows Florida's highest-paying healthcare support occupations, including medical assistants. These healthcare support systems usually require new hires to hold certificates or associate degrees.
Compared to the other occupations, medical assistant salaries fall in the middle of the list but rank with the lower-paying group in this array.
|Occupation||Hourly Median Wage||Annual Median Wage|
|Occupational Therapy Aides||$31.84||$66,230|
|Occupational Therapy Assistants||$31.31||$65,120|
|Physical Therapist Assistants||$30.94||$64,360|
|Medical Equipment Preparers||$17.69||$36,790|
|Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers||$16.16||$33,620|
Medical assistants can increase their wages with career advancement strategies, including higher degrees, national certification, job experience, and specialization.
For example, medical assistants can earn nursing degrees while continuing to work. The BLS reports an average annual salary of $53,780 for Florida licensed practical nurses and $79.910 for Florida registered nurses.
What is the Job Outlook for Medical Assistants in Florida?
A nationwide demand for medical assistants translates to a projected 18.4% job growth rate from 2020-2030 from the U.S. Department of Labor. As the figures below demonstrate, Florida's projected employment growth far outpaces the national rate, with a 29.8% increase from 2020-2030.
Factors driving medical assistant occupational growth include retirements or transfers to other fields and an aging U.S. population.
|Area||Current Employment||Projected Employment||Projected Change||Projected Growth|
Frequently Asked Questions About Florida Medical Assistant Certification
Do you need medical assistant certification in Florida?
Medical assistant certification in Florida is optional, but it can lead to more job opportunities and higher pay. According to the AAMA, an increasing number of allied health staff employers prefer or require CMA credentials. Becoming a CMA also expands permitted job duties, which can result in salary increases.
How do I get medical assistant certification in Florida?
Obtaining medical assistant certification in Florida requires you to pass an examination administered by the AAMA. Eligibility requires completion of a medical assistant program with programmatic accreditation from the CAAHEP or ABHES; coursework in anatomy, mathematics, pharmacology, and physiology; and a supervised practicum through an internship or externship.
What is the best medical assistant certification in Florida?
The best medical assistant certifications in Florida are offered by two national organizations: the AAMA and the ARMA. Employers may prefer the AAMA's CMA credential because it requires a passing exam score and a medical assistant certificate or associate degree. The ARMA may require medical assistant program completion, and an employer recommendation letter.
How much can I make with medical assistant certification in Florida?
Florida medical assistants earn an average annual salary of $37,870, and medical assistant certification may lead to higher wages. Urban hospitals and physicians' offices in central and southern Florida, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, tend to offer higher medical assistant pay. A demand for medical assistants in Florida can also raise salaries.