Kansas Medical Assistant Guide

Career Description

In many ways, medical assistants in Kansas form the foundation of Kansas’ healthcare system.  Medical assistants provide support for the people who are trained in advanced medical techniques (doctors, nurses and physician assistants).  Here are some of the ways medical assistants aid others in the care of patients.

Administratively, medical assistants help by:

  • Scheduling appointments
  • Calling patients
  • Filing charts
  • Running the reception area

Clinically, medical assistants help by:

  • Review medical histories with patients
  • Confirming lists of medications that patients currently take
  • Drawing blood for laboratory testing
  • Giving immunizations

Medical Assistant Certification in Kansas

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Kansas’ state laws do not require certification for medical assistants, but being certified can greatly aide one during a job search.  Employers are more apt to hire a certified medical assistant, as opposed to a non-certified one.  Certified medical assistants can prove they have been trained in the responsibilities of a medical assistant.

There are several agencies that certify medical assistants.  All of these positions are comparable.  People can train to be a:

These agencies have similar certification programs.  Here is an example of what one can expect during certification.  This example is based on the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

1.  Enroll in a Class

There are training programs for CMAs throughout Kansas.  These classes are usually offered at local two-year colleges, adult educational institutions and through online schools.  Because these courses are not taught by the AAMA directly, students should compare costs and timeframes.  They should also ensure that a course is recognized by the AAMA.

2.  Complete the Scholarship Application

After students have completed at least a quarter of their CMA training, they are eligible for the Maxine Williams Scholarship.  This fund awards a $1,000 grant and one-year membership with the AAMA to students.  Both academic achievement and financial need are considered in the decision process.

3.  Complete the Test Application

Students can apply to take the medical assistant certification exam after completing their coursework.  The application should be mailed in with a check for the exam fee.

4.  Find a Testing Center

There are several AAMA-approved testing centers in Kansas.  Once students have received their test permit via email from the AAMA national offices, they can schedule an exam.  The email sent by the AAMA comes with an exam permit, which gives students 90 days to find a testing center.

5.  Review the Course Material

As with any test, students must review for it.  A training facility should have materials and practice tests available.

6.  Become a CMA

Applicants who pass the medical assistant exam can now identify themselves as certified medical assistants with the AAMA, one of the nation’s leading medical assistant organizations.  They will be listed as such on the CMA Status Page.

Kansas CMA Career Forecast

The chart below, which can be found at CareerInfoNet.org, shows the promising outlook for CMAs in Kansas and the United States.  Few careers have as much promising growth as the medical assistant career path offers.  In Kansas, a growth rate of 30 percent through 2020 would create 170 jobs a year (including turnover).

United States

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2010

2020

Medical Assistants

527,600

690,400

+31%

24,380

Kansas

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2008

2018

Medical Assistants

4,010

5,220

+30%

170

1Job Openings refers to the average annual job openings due to growth and net replacement.

Kansas CMA Salary Forecast

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has detailed salary information for CMAs in Kansas.  According the Bureau’s data, medical assistants earned an average wage of $27,000 in 2011 ($13.01 an hour).  Career One Stop shows that most CMAs earned between $22,000 and $30,000 that year.

Location Pay
Period

2011

10%

25%

Median

75%

90%

United States Hourly

$10.04

$11.86

$13.99

$16.87

$19.62

Yearly

$20,900

$24,700

$29,100

$35,100

$40,800

Kansas Hourly

$9.70

$10.68

$12.48

$14.56

$17.68

Yearly

$20,200

$22,200

$26,000

$30,300

$36,800

In addition to these state-wide numbers, the BLS has city-specific data.  CMAs in Wichita, KS earned nearly $26,500 (median salary), while most medical assistants in Kansas City, KS brought in over $30,000 in 2011.

Transfer and Recertify

Most medical assistants (and all CMAs with the AAMA) must be recertified every five years.  The AAMA’s process is detailed online.

Since the AAMA is not a Kansas-specific association, but is a national one, transferring to or from Kansas is simple.  CMAs should contact the national offices to begin a transfer.

AAMA Chapters in Kansas

Kansas does not have any AAMA chapters, so CMAs should deal directly with the national AAMA organization.

Further Reading and Sources: