Discover Programs, Certification & Wages in the State
The number of Alabama medical assisting jobs is increasing fast. Between 2012 and 2022, Projections Central reports there will be a robust 27.2 percent increase in the number of medical assistants in the state. This is because medical assistants provide strong and much-needed support to doctors, from providing hands-on medical care to patients, to performing administrative and billing tasks in the office. Alabama has several accredited programs to meet the demand for well trained, knowledgeable medical assistants. For more information about the training required to become a medical assistant in Alabama, salaries, certifications offered and schools available, read on.
Top Medical Assistant Schools in Alabama
Earning a degree in medical assisting in Alabama is a good way to grow your career opportunities. Graduates of these programs go on to work in physician offices, helping to cut back on wait time for patients and easing the caseload for physicians by taking on routine visits. To help you find the perfect program to meet your needs, we've done the research to bring you our list of the 2017 Best Schools for Medical Assisting.
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Certification and Training Requirements for Medical Assistants in Alabama
How does Alabama define "medical assistant"?
Alabama does not define "medical assistant" nor have any laws expressly defining the scope of a medical assistant's practice. However, medical assistants in Alabama can expect to engage in the same tasks as medical assistants in any other state. Tasks might include:
- Filling out paperwork
- Processing lab work
- Taking patient's vital signs
Is certification required?
Alabama does not require certification in order to work as a medical assistant. However, certification can be obtained through medical assistant programs in the state, and it is highly recommended as a way to improve the potential for hiring and advancement.
Is certification available?
The following certifications are widely recognized around the country and are recommended for Alabama medical assistants:
- Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
- Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)
- Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
- National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA)
- Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
Is formal education and/or training required?
Alabama has no formal training or education requirement in order to practice as a medical assistant. However, those who want to become a medical assistant usually have at least one of the following:
- Completion of an accredited medical assisting program
- Practical training and experience performing tasks that a medical assistant would do
Are there additional requirements?
Assuming a medical assistant is certified, most certifications have continuing education requirements and require recertification every few years.
Are there tasks outside the scope of medical assistants in Alabama?
Alabama does not have explicit rules dictating what medical assistants can or cannot do. However, there are rules regarding what medical tasks can be delegated to unlicensed healthcare professionals. Tasks that specifically cannot be delegated to medical assistants include:
- Any tasks that would exceed the scope of what a registered or licensed practical nurse is allowed to do
- Any task that requires independent nursing judgment
- Any task that involve sterile or invasive procedures (finger sticks and peripheral venous phlebotomy are not considered sterile or venous procedures)
- Administering certain medications, such as certain types of prescription drugs.
Alabama Medical Assistants Salaries
What can Alabama medical assistants expect to make compared to the national average? The chart below answers that question.
Source: BLS, 2014
Medical Assistant City and Area Salaries in Alabama
Depending on where a medical assistant decides to work within the state, compensation may vary. But by how much? The following chart offers insight into which areas pay more, on average, or less.
|Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL||$17,920||$20,710||$25,200||$10.27|
|Northwest Alabama nonmetropolitan area||$20,230||$24,170||$29,220||$11.89|
|Northeast Alabama nonmetropolitan area||$21,400||$25,270||$30,950||$12.52|
|Southwest Alabama nonmetropolitan area||$22,230||$25,760||$28,690||$12.23|
|Southeast Alabama nonmetropolitan area||$19,700||$23,030||$28,370||$11.88|
Source: BLS, 2014
Alabama Medical Assisting Job Growth Trends
The need for medical assistants is expected to rise dramatically across the country in the coming years, and Alabama is no exception. The chart below details the expected need for medical assistants in Alabama.
Source: Projections Central, 2012-2022
Alabama Medical Assisting School Spotlight
Students seeking an associate's degree in medical assisting may find Wallace State Community College a good option. Learn more about what this college can offer aspiring medical assistants in Alabama.
Wallace State Community College offers an associate's degree in medical assisting that consists of 71 credits. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be ready to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant certification exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants.
The associate in applied science degree in medical assisting can be earned in as little as two years, or longer if the student chooses to attend part-time or does not enter with any general education requirements already completed.