Schools & Salaries For Virginia Medical Assistants

The demand for medical assistants in Virginia is very high, with expected job growth over 10 percent of the national average. Virginia medical assisting schools are available at community colleges, career colleges, and vocational schools in the state, several with an option to learn online. Salaries for medical assistants vary, but the annual median wage is slightly higher than the national wage. Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs) in Virginia are fortunate to be eligible for membership in the Virginia Society of Medical Assistants, which has four chapters throughout the state and is dedicated to helping medical assistants enhance their skills and professionalism. If pursuing a career in a high-growth field sounds interesting, discover what it takes to become a Virginia medical assistant, including education, certification, resources and more.

Medical Assistant Certification & Training Requirements in Virginia

1. How does Virginia define “medical assistant?”

Medical assistants in Virginia are non-licensed medical support personnel who perform administrative and clinical tasks under the supervision and direction of a licensed nurse, physician, podiatrist, chiropractor or optometrist. These tasks include basic administrative duties such as filing medical records and scheduling appointments to clinical duties such as taking vitals and drawing blood.

2. Is certification required?

Medical assistants in Virginia do not need to be licensed or certified to work in the state. However, many employers prefer to hire medical assistants who hold national certification because it could be proof of comprehensive training.

3. Is certification available?

National certification is available for medical assisting in Virginia. There are several certifying organizations, including (but not limited to):

  
CertificationCertifying Organization
Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)American Medical Technologists (AMT)
National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA)MNational Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)

4. Must medical assistants have formal training?

While medical assistants are allowed to receive on-the-job training in Virginia, training in a formal learning environment could help ensure they are prepared to work in a clinical setting and take certification exams. Some physicians may be required to use certified or formally educated medical assistants as a requirement of their liability insurance.

5. What additional clinical and administrative skills do students learn in a formal medical assisting program?

Virginia medical assisting schools in Virginia teach a wide range of skills, including (but not limited to):

  • Preparing patient rooms
  • Bookkeeping
  • Administering medication
  • Initiating IVs
  • Taking electrocardiograms
  • Removing sutures and changing dressings
  • Performing basic lab tests
  • Medical coding
  • Electric charting
  • Patient follow-up

Medical Assistant Salaries in Virginia

The following 2014 salary figures for medical assistants from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provide a comparison between earnings in Virginia and the nation.

 Annual Wage
25th percentile
Annual Wage
Median
Annual Wage
75th percentile
Hourly Wage
Median
Virginia$25,700$30,300$35,720$14.57
National$25,500$29,960$36,070$14.41
Source: BLS, 2014

Medical Assistant Salaries for Virginia Cities

Salaries for medical assisting in Virginia can vary by several thousands of dollars a year depending on geographical location, illustrated by the 2015 wage amounts from the BLS shown in the map below. The highest paying areas are located in or around the Charlottesville area, while the lowest wages are in Harrisonburg and Roanoke.

     
AreaAnnual Wage
25th percentile
Annual Wage
Median
Annual Wage
75th percentile
Hourly Wage
Median
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA$25,310$28,000$30,680$13.46
Charlottesville, VA$27,560$30,630$35,990$14.73
Harrisonburg, VA$22,730$27,510$33,000$13.23
Lynchburg, VA$23,670$27,430$30,840$13.19
Richmond, VA$24,890$30,360$35,710$14.60
Roanoke, VA$24,360$28,500$34,090$13.70
Staunton-Waynesboro, VA$25,960$28,100$30,250$13.51
Source: BLS, 2014

What factors are responsible for the rise of medical assisting jobs in the nation? The growth rate for medical assistant jobs is faster than average for all occupations, according to the BLS, due to reasons such as technological advancements, a growing number of older Americans requiring treatment, and a predicted surge in the number of healthcare facilities in the country. The table below compares Virginia medical assisting job growth with national growth.

Medical Assistant Estimated Employment Growth 2012-2022

 Average Annual
Openings
Current
Employment
Projected
Employment 2022
Jobs
Added
Growth
Rate
Virginia62010,46014,6304,17039.9%
National26,990560,800723,700162,90029%
*Source: Projections Central, 2012-2022

Spotlight on Virginia Medical Assisting School

While there are few institutions offering medical assisting programs in the state of Virginia, prospective students also have the option of attending school online. Here are a few schools with Virginia medical assisting programs to help you start your search.

NORTHERN VIRGINIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE

School Type:
Community College

Accreditation:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV)

School highlights:
Program is laid out in four sections: Clinical Medical Assisting, EKG, Lab Services and Phlebotomy, and Clinical Externship.
Students receive training in preparation for the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) national examination.
The program assigns students to a local medical provider for a 160-hour clinical rotation.

Programs offered:
Certificate, Certified Clinical Medical Assistant

Northern Virginia Community College

Medical Assistant Resources in Virginia

2006 Code of Virginia 54.1-3408 – Professional Use by Practitioners
This document explains the law pertaining to the delegation of duties related to medical prescriptions to medical assistants in Virginia.

Salary.com, Virginia Medical Assistants
Find job listings and salaries for medical assisting jobs in Virginia.

Virginia Law Permits Delegation to Unlicensed Professionals
This document from the AAMA outlines the duties that licensed physicians can delegate to medical assistants under state law.

Virginia Society of Medical Assistants
This membership organization is an affiliate of the AAMA that provides leadership, events, and support to medical assistants in Virginia.

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