Arizona Medical Assistant Guide

Career Description

Medical Assistants in Arizona perform the following tasks as a part of their profession:

  • Communication: Serve as the liaison between the physician and the patient and serve as the communication “railway” throughout the medical office.
  • Legal Concepts: Are up to date and practice in accordance with federal and state regulations for health care, appropriately document patient communication and clinical treatments and maintain medical records.
  • Instruction: Educate patients, as directed by a supervising physician in both health maintenance and disease prevention according to the patient’s treatment plan. Additionally, the Medical Assistants refer patients to appropriate community resources.
  • Operational Functions: perform inventory and routine maintenance of medical equipment and supplies
  • Clinical Skills: these include collecting and processing specimens for lab tests, phlebotomy, electrocardiography and respiratory testing among other duties
  • Administrative Skills including scheduling patient appointments and completing and filing insurance paperwork.

Medical Assistant Certification in Arizona

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While you can be a medical assistant without certification in Arizona, pursuing certification gives one an opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge through formal education, and potentially make themselves qualified for better jobs and higher salaries as well as more responsibility as a CMA.

According to the Arizona Medical Board the Basic Requirements for Employment as a Medical Assistant are as follows:

“A supervising physician or physician assistant shall ensure that a medical assistant satisfies one of the following training requirements before employing the medical assistant:

  • Completion of an approved medical assistant training program; or
  • Completion of an unapproved medical assistant training program and passage of the medical assistant examination administered by either the American Association of Medical Assistants or the American Medical Technologists.

This Section does not apply to any person who:

  • Before February 2, 2000:
  • Completed an unapproved medical assistant training program and was employed as a medical assistant after program completion; or
  • Was directly supervised by the same physician, physician group, or physician assistant for a minimum of 2000 hours; or
  • Completes a United States Armed Forces medical services training program.”

There are various types of certifications related to CMA (listed below) but the official CMA Certificate in Arizona comes from the AAMA.

Becoming a CMA in Arizona

1. Complete an Accredited Medical Assistant Certification Program

There are various options of programs both locally in Arizona and many online programs. As you look at programs you will want to compare:

  • Tuition Cost
  • Length of Program
  • Course Requirements
  • Job Placement Rates
  • Reputation

Additionally, you should know that to complete the course work for an Arizona CMA, you will need to complete a supervised practicum, which is an unpaid, supervised internship. This practicum will give you real world experience in addition to the classroom knowledge you can aquire through the course work.

2. Schedule the Medical Assistant Certification Exam

  • The application can be found here.
  • Within 30 days, the CMA Certification Department will contact you with your application status.
  • Once your application has been processed you will receive a permit for scheduling your exam.
  • Use this permit to register for your exam

4. Studying for the exam

Your school and even potentualy your local Arizona chapter of CMA’s will offer review and prep courses to help you prepare. You can see the exam outline here: with the official outline. Additionally, there are practice exams online for both the Anatomy & Physiology Practice Exam & the Medical Terminology Pracitice Exam

Additionally, there are both private exam prep courses like Exam Matrix, which has an Exam Pass Guarantee, Mo-Media’s CMA Study Guide or many prep books on Amazon to help you prepare.

5. Pass the Exam And Become Certified

If you pass the exam, you will receive yourMedical Assistant Certificate. You will also be listed on the CMA Status Website – http://www.aama-ntl.org/employers/verify.aspx .

Arizona CMA Career Outlook

The Office of Employment and Population Statistics (EPS) within the Arizona Department of Administration (ADOA) predicts Health Care to be one of the fastest growing occupational sector in the state.

Specifically, the Medical Assistant field looks to have a 27% increase in jobs available between 2008 and 2018. This is slightly lower than the US as a whole (31% change) but still one of the faster growing fields in Arizona.

Tuscon & the Phoenix area are both in the top 10 metropolitan areas in terms of employing Medical Assistants.

Arizona CMA Salaries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average, the average hourly wage for an MA in Arizona  is $15.02/hr and an average salary of $31,330 per year.

The following salary averages are by city/region within Arizona:

Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ: $15.48/hr, $32,210/year
Flagstaff, AZ: $16.88/hr, $35,570/year
Tuscon, AZ: $14.43/hr, $30,250/year
Northern AZ, non metro area $13.61/hr, $28,720/year
Southeastern AZ, non metro area $13.21/hr, $27,550/year

Transferring to A New State & Recertification

Your CMA certificate is transferable from any state to Arizona or from Arizona to any state. Additionally, to keep your certificate valid, you must go through the recertification process every 5 years. You can find the official details on recertification here: http://www.aama-ntl.org/recertified/faqs_recertification.aspx

Local Arizona CMA Chapters

Arizona no local chapters of CMAs, but there is a state-level organization.

Sources and Helpful Resources: