Medical Assistant Schools & Salaries in Arkansas

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Medical assistants are in demand in Arkansas; today there are just over 2,000 employed in the state of Arkansas, with another 470 expected to be employed between 2012 and 2022. They might find work in offices of physicians, which is the most common employer, but they might also work in home health, outpatient care centers, nursing homes and more. This guide is designed to delve deep into the work of medical assistants in Arkansas, including what aspiring graduates can expect after graduation.

Top 10 Medical Assistant Schools & Salaries in Arkansas

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Top Medical Assistant Schools in Arkansas

  • Methodology


    To be considered for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria:

    Accredited at the institutional level
    Private nonprofit or public school
    Minimum of 1 bachelor’s or master’s degree in subject area for 4-year schools
    Minimum of 1 associate degree or certificate program in subject area for 2-year schools

    Schools were then scored on factors such as:

    Cost & Financial Aid
    Number and variety of program offerings
    Student-teacher ratios
    Graduation rates (4-year schools only)
    Placement and support services offered
    Academic/Career counseling services
    Employment services
    Loan default rates

    These factors were assembled for each school and rated using a peer-based-value (PBV) calculation. PBV compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or similar) qualitative score and cost. PBV denotes the overall value or “bang for your buck” of a college or degree program.

With the various options for medical assisting programs in Arkansas, it can be a challenge to find just the right one. Medical assistants work directly with patients and physicians in a professional health care setting, helping to serve the community as a whole. The job market continues to grow, making it a lucrative career opportunity for those looking to go into the field. We did some research for you, looking at class sizes, student services, the number of degrees available and more to bring you our list of the 2017 Top Schools for Medical Assisting in Arkansas.

4 – Year Colleges

  1. Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas
    Location

    De Queen, AR

    Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas offers technical certificate in medical assisting at just under 40 credits, allowing students to begin the process of becoming a medical assistant without worrying about spending too much time in school. Students who complete this degree will be able to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of necessary medical terminology, medical office management, and legal and ethical practices in relation to medicine. CCCAU hosts several student organizations on their campuses, allowing students to socialize with one another in their extracurricular time. CCCAU student resources academic advisement or disability resources, for example help to keep students on the most productive path to graduation.

  2. East Arkansas Community College
    Location

    Forrest City, AR

    The associate of applied science degree in medical assisting technology available at East Arkansas Community College provides students with the added specialization of an emphasis in medical coding. Students will develop basic filing and records management skills, a comprehensive understanding of medical terminology, and a base knowledge of general education to make them into a well-rounded student. Depending on the program they pursue, graduates from EACC have the option to transfer to a four-year school and continue their learning in a bachelor s degree program, or to enter into the workforce after just two years of learning.

  3. Arkansas State University Mid-South
    Location

    West Memphis, AR

    Completing Mid-South Community College s medical assisting program is an excellent way for students to begin a career as a medical assistant in a variety of medical settings. This program's curriculum revolves around developing students understanding of medical terminology, human anatomy and physiology, and basic administrative procedures necessary for proper medical office management. Mid-South employs one-on-one tutors, academic advisors, and career counselors to help guarantee students don't fall behind in their learning. Students may also choose to learn in an online format, allowing them to benefit from a comprehensive Mid-South education without disrupting their daily schedules.

Arkansas Medical Assisting School Spotlight

Medical assistants must earn the proper training in order to become certified. Medical assisting schools in Arkansas offer everything from a certificate to an associate’s degree. Learn what Arkansas Tech University offers aspiring medical assistant students.

Arkansas Tech University

School Type:

Public University

Accreditation:

CAAHEP

School highlights:

The Arkansas Tech University associate degree program offers students a wide variety of courses that will prepare them for both clinical and administrative tasks. After graduation, students will be ready to take the Certified Medical Assistant exam.

Programs offered:

Only the associate degree in medical assisting is available to students at Arkansas Tech University. This degree consists of 60 credits, which takes two years to finish.

Arkansas Tech University

Arkansas Medical Assisting Careers: By the Numbers

1 How does Arkansas define “medical assistant”?

According to Regulation 31 of the Arkansas Medical Board, a medical assistant is defined as an employee of a physician who has been delegated medical practices or tasks, and who has not been licensed by or specifically authorized to perform the practice of task pursuant to other provisions or Arkansas law. The regulation sets forth mandatory guidelines a physician must follow when delegating any procedures to a medical assistant, yet still gives the physician a great deal of discretion in choosing what is appropriate to delegate.

2 Is certification required in the state?

Though medical assistant certification is not required in Arkansas, some employers may prefer to hire someone who has been certified, and thus can prove certain knowledge and skills relating to medical assisting.

3 Is certification available?

While the state does not offer specific certification, medical assistants in Arkansas who choose to become certified can choose from any of the certifications:

  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
  • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
  • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
  • National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA)

4 Is formal education and/or training required?

Unlike some states, there is technically no formal training or education requirement in place for medical assisting in Arkansas.

5 Are there tasks outside the scope of medical assistants in Arkansas?

Medical assistants in Arkansas can perform tasks that are delegated to them by their supervising physician. There are very few guidelines as to the scope of practice for medical assistants in Arkansas, but physicians in the state are instructed not to delegate the following:

In addition, physicians can only transfer delegation to other physicians; they cannot turn to registered nurses or other healthcare providers to delegate tasks to medical assistants.

  • Medical practices or tasks that require advanced assessment skills or training
  • Administration of drugs that require substantial, specialized judgment
  • Administration of anesthesia
  • Anything that might be outside the limits of the medical assistant’s training and experience

Salaries for Medical Assistants in Arkansas

How does payment for Arkansas medical assistants stack up against the rest of the nation? Here’s a comparison on wages based on both hourly and annual medians.

 Annual Wage
25th percentile
Annual Wage
Median
Annual Wage
75th percentile
Hourly Wage
Median
Arkansas$23,230$27,130$30,490$13.04
National$25,500$29,960$36,070$14.41

Source: BLS, 2014

Arkansas City and Metropolitan Area Salaries

There are numerous factors that play into the salaries of medical assistants, including certification status, formal training or education, years of experience and more. Geography is also a factor; where in the state someone works has a strong influence on their bottom line. Here’s what medical assistants make across the state.

     
AreaAnnual Wage
25th percentile
Annual Wage
Median
Annual Wage
75th percentile
Hourly Wage
Median
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO$23,100$27,600$33,730$14.18
Fort Smith, AR-OK$21,350$25,550$28,940$12.83
Hot Springs, AR$25,910$28,630$31,980$13.91
Jonesboro, AR$19,100$23,300$27,960$11.38
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR$24,900$27,800$30,840$14.19
Pine Bluff, AR$23,460$27,200$30,910$13.31
Central Arkansas nonmetropolitan area$24,200$26,950$29,480$12.89
East Arkansas nonmetropolitan area$18,930$23,230$27,600$11.21
South Arkansas nonmetropolitan area$19,140$26,070$32,030$12.38
West Arkansas nonmetropolitan area$21,040$23,990$28,020$11.82

Source: BLS, 2014

Arkansas Medical Assisting Employments Trends

The chart below illustrates the growing need for medical assistants in Arkansas, as well as how state growth compares to the national average.

Medical Assistant Estimated Employment Growth 2012-2022

 Average Annual
Openings
Current
Employment
Projected
Employment 2022
Jobs
Added
Growth
Rate
Arkansas902,0102,48047023.4%
National26,990560,800723,700162,90029%

*Source: Projections Central, 2012-2022

Arkansas Medical Assistant Resources

Arkansas Medical Board – Regulation 31

This regulation is designed to explain the scope of what physicians are allowed to delegate to medical assistants while still allowing for a great deal of discretion.

Arkansas Medical Practices Act and Regulations

Arkansas’ law regulating the practice of medicine, including what tasks physicians can delegate to medical assistants.

Arkansas Society of Medical Assistants

The Arkansas Society of Medical Assistants has the goal of improving patient care provided by medical assistants through the education and advocacy of the profession.

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