Louisiana Medical Assistant Guide

Career Description

Without medical assistants, Louisiana’s healthcare system would likely breakdown.  Medical assistants keep doctors’ offices and other healthcare facilities running smoothly, by performing basic clinical and administrative tasks.  Some of the responsibilities medical assistants take on include:

  • Communicating with patients and other doctors’ offices
  • Administering shots and drawing blood
  • Recording medical histories
  • Assisting with patient exams
  • Cleaning and sanitizing medical equipment
  • Preparing medical rooms

Certified Medical Assistants in Louisiana

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Programs:

  • Medical Assistant
  • Dental Assistant
  • Medical Insurance Billing and Coding
Locations: Beaumont

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Programs:

  • Medical Assisting
  • BS in Health and Wellness
  • Medical Billing and Coding Certificate

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Programs:

  • Medical Assisting
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Medical Billing and Coding
Locations: Baton Rouge

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Programs:

  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Office Specialist
  • Dental Assistant
  • And more...
Locations: Beaumont

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Programs:

  • Medical Assistant Associate's Degree
  • Medical Assistant Diploma
  • Medical Billing and Coding Specialist Diploma
Locations: Bossier City

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Programs:

  • Clinical Medical Assisting - Diploma
  • Health Information Management, Billing and Coding - Diploma
Locations: Houma
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Programs:

  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Veterinary Assistant
  • Medical Coding and Billing

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Programs:

  • Diploma - Medical Administrative Assistant
  • A.S. - Medical Billing & Coding
  • Diploma - Medical Billing & Coding
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      The following for associations certify medical assistants or comparable positions.

      Certification is not required by law for medical assistants; however, people with certification are often preferred by employers.  In addition to certification, many medical facilities only hire medical assistants who have a GED or high school diploma.

      The American Association of Medical Assistants, which goes by the AAMA, is one of the most recognized certifying agencies.  The AAMA’s certification process contains six steps.

      Step 1:  Find a School

      AAMA-sanctioned schools are located in almost every Louisiana city.  The tuition of the courses and their durations varies.  From all of the programs available, students should be able to find one that meets their budget and schedule.

      Step 2:  Consider a Scholarship

      The AAMA offers a national scholarship to medical assistant students who maintain at least a 3.0 GPA during the first quarter of their training.  This scholarship is based on academic merit, as well as financial need.  The recipients receive a $1,000 award.

      Step 3:  Send In the Test Application

      The AAMA test application must be sent in, before students can schedule a time to take the exam.  When mailing it to the AAMA, applicants should also enclose the exam fee.  They can expect to hear from the AAMA in about a month of applying.

      Step 4:  Find a Testing Center

      There are several AAMA-approved testing centers in Louisiana.  Students must contact one of these centers to schedule a time for their test.  On the day of the exam, they must bring the testing permit.  This is sent via email by the AAMA within three weeks of approval to take the exam.

      Step 5:  Study

      Two (sometimes dreaded) words describe the final step in the certification process: “test” and “exam.”  Just as with any other test, students must study for the CMA certification exam.  Course instructors can provide students with practice materials.

      Step 6:  Pass the Exam

      All applicants that pass the test are certified to work as medical assistants.  They will be listed on the AAMA’s page of certified medical assistants.

      CMA Employment Outlook in Louisiana

      The following chart comes from CareerInfoNet.org, which run by the U.S. Department of Labor.

      United States

      Employment

      Percent
      Change

      Job Openings 1

      2010

      2020

      Medical Assistants

      527,600

      690,400

      +31%

      24,380

      Louisiana

      Employment

      Percent
      Change

      Job Openings 1

      2008

      2018

      Medical Assistants

      4,530

      6,080

      +34%

      210

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

      The need for CMAs in Louisiana is growing at a faster rate than the national average of 31 percent.  A 34 percent increase in the demand for CMAs within Louisiana would result in more than 200 open jobs across the state each year.

      CMA Salary Outlook in Louisiana

      CareerInfoNet.org also has a chart that shows wage information for CMAs in Louisiana.

      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

      Louisiana Hourly

      $8.82

      $10.35

      $12.54

      $14.63

      $17.24

      Yearly

      $18,300

      $21,500

      $26,100

      $30,400

      $35,900

      Most CMAs who worked in Louisiana during2011 earned between $11.86 and $16.87 an hour, which is a decent wage for an occupation that does not require a college degree.

      The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) breaks this information down by region and city.  Here is what CMAs earned in some of Louisiana’s cities during 2011 (hourly wage / annual salary).

      • Lake Charles, LA: $21,670 / $10.42
      • New Orleans, LA: $28,780 / $13.84
      • Baton Rouge, LA: $27,180 / $13.07
      • Monroe, LA: $23,690 / $11.39

      Recertify and Transfer

      Since the AAMA handles medical assistant certification throughout the United States, it is easy to transfer from one state to another.  Nearly every state has the same certification process.  CMAs interested in transferring should visit the AAMA’s page.

      Recertification is required every five years.  It is also handled by the AAMA.

      Louisiana’s AAMA Chapters

      Louisiana does not have any local chapters, so CMAs must contact the national offices with any questions.

      Sites Used: