South Carolina Medical Assistant Schools & Salaries

Degrees, Wages & Job Growth

Whether they work in hospitals, clinics or doctor's offices, medical assistants make an important contribution to the healthcare field in South Carolina. The SC Board of Nursing and the SC Board of Medical Examiners recognize this contribution, and have officially affirmed the importance of the role of certified medical assistants in the state's healthcare facilities. Learn more about the rewarding work of these professionals in the state, as well as where they can get training and how much money they can potentially earn in different areas of South Carolina.

Certification & Training Requirements for Medical Assistants in South Carolina

1 How does South Carolina define "medical assistant?"

In South Carolina, medical assistants are unlicensed assistive professionals who can be delegated certain tasks from a physician.

2 Is certification required?

The state does not have specific certification or licensing requirements.

3 Is certification available?

Medical assistants can become certified, which often makes them more attractive to potential employers. The American Association of Medical Assistants issues the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), which students can obtain after completing an accredited training program in South Carolina.

4 Is a formal education and/or training required?

The state does not require training to become a medical assistant. However, specific employers do have their own standards, which can vary from one facility to the next. For example, some employers may require an associate degree in medical assisting, while others may hire people who have earned a certificate.

5 Are there additional requirements?

Those who earn a certification must take continuing education courses in order to keep their credentials current.

6 How are tasks delegated to medical assistants in South Carolina?

South Carolina has specific guidelines for what kinds of tasks medical assistants can perform. The following are examples of what is expected from these professionals.

  • Tasks can only be assigned by a licensed physician.
  • Work must be routine and not require a license to complete.
  • Badges must beworn in the workplace at all times in order to identify medical assistants' name and position.
  • Medical assistants must be given work only when the delegating physician is in close proximity to provide assistance if needed.

Salaries for Medical Assistants in South Carolina

The following table compares salaries of medical assistants in South Carolina to the national averages. This data is compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 Annual Wage
25th percentile
Annual Wage
Median
Annual Wage
75th percentile
Hourly Wage
Median
South Carolina$24,110$28,120$33,290$13.52
National$25,500$29,960$36,070$14.41

Source: BLS, 2014

South Carolina Medical Assistant Salaries: City and Metropolitan Area Salaries

The salaries that medical assistants command can differ depending on what area of the state they work in. The following provides details of the earnings these professionals make in different locations around South Carolina.

     
AreaAnnual Wage
25th percentile
Annual Wage
Median
Annual Wage
75th percentile
Hourly Wage
Median
Low Country South Carolina nonmetropolitan area$24,570$29,640$35,730$14.25
Anderson, SC$25,840$29,110$33,310$13.99
Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, SC$24,800$28,470$34,200$13.69
Columbia, SC$24,400$28,410$33,520$13.66
Upper Savannah South Carolina nonmetropolitan area$25,230$28,400$33,260$13.66

Source: BLS, 2014

South Carolina Medical Assisting Employments Trends

The medical assisting profession is poised to grow exponentially in the United States-and South Carolina is no exception. In fact, the percentage of the state's jobs that will be developed in the coming years rivals that of the national average. The table below provides specific details on the number of jobs expected to be added to the workforce.

Medical Assistant Estimated Employment Growth 2012-2022

 Average Annual
Openings
Current
Employment
Projected
Employment 2022
Jobs
Added
Growth
Rate
South Carolina3808,14010,3902,25027.7%
National26,990560,800723,700162,90029%

*Source: Projections Central, 2012-2022

South Carolina Medical Assisting Schools Spotlight

Medical assistants have a variety of job duties, so they need solid training in order to do the work that doctors delegate to them. The following are examples of schools in South Carolina where students can prepare to work in different kinds of health care facilities.

Central Carolina Technical College

School Type:

Technical school

Accreditation:

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

School highlights:

This program prepares students to work in clinical settings by offering courses in medical terminology, pharmacology, and general psychology. In addition, students take courses designed to teach administrative functions. These classes include introduction to computers, office skills, and business communications.

Programs offered:

DiplomaCentral Carolina Technical College

Greenville Technical College

School Type:

Technical school

Accreditation:

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

School highlights:

This program combines theory with practice to provide a well-rounded educational experience. Students get hands-on training in laboratory and clinical settings, which can include being presented with scenarios they may experience in the workplace in order to demonstrate their critical thinking and communication skills. Class subjects include medical ethics, anatomy and physiology, written and verbal communication, vital signs, and infection control.

Programs offered:

Certificate

Greenville Technical College

Trident Technical College

School Type:

Technical school

Accreditation:

Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

School highlights:

The diploma program prepares students to perform routine tasks allowed by South Carolina law. Students take courses in subjects like first aid, phlebotomy, clinical skills and lab procedures.

The school's associate degree is a completion program for medical assistants who want to advance in their careers. This degree builds on students' prior education and experience to provide more advanced knowledge. In addition to coursework designed to sharpen students' clinical skills, they also can take classes in public speaking, interpersonal communication and abnormal psychology.

Programs offered:

Diploma

Associate degree

Trident Technical College

South Carolina Medical Assistant Resources

American Association of Medical Assistants

This is the professional organization responsible for certifying medical assistants.

American Medical Technologists

Those who want to become registered medical assistants get that credential through this organization.

Joint Statement on Verbal Orders from a Physician Through a Certified Medical Assistant or Other Unlicensed Person to an RN or LPN

Provides information on the types of tasks physicians can delegate to medical assistants.

Medical Assistant Certification NCMA (NCCA) Exam

This website includes detailed information on the examination medical assistants must pass to earn a certification.

"Spirit of Cooperation Prevails," CMA Today, American Association of Medical Assistants

Learn more about the affirmations by the nursing and medical examining boards in South Carolina regarding the contributions of certified medical assistants.

South Carolina Society of Medical Assistants

With chapters in areas like Columbia, Spartanburg, Charleston, and Anderson, this organization represents the needs of medical assistants around the state.

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