Maine Medical Assistant Guide

Career Description

Medical assistants in Maine work at doctors’ offices, hospitals and other medical facilities.  They help nurses and doctors during care and perform basic administrative duties.  The following list is an example of the duties a CMA might assume.

Clinical Duties:

  • Giving patients shots
  • Drawing blood from patients
  • Helping during patients’ exams

Administrative Duties

  • Contacting patients
  • Calling insurance companies
  • Filing charts after appointments

Certified Medical Assistants in Maine

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                  Certification helps medical assistants secure jobs and earn raises, but it is not required by Maine’s government. Those who are considering certification will want to investigate the following four organizations.

                  The following is how medical assistants become certified (CMAs) by the AAMA (American Association of Medical Assistants).  The other associations have similar programs for certification.

                  First Step:  Locate a Class

                  AAMA-sanctioned classes are taught throughout Maine, at vocational training centers and community colleges.  Tuition at these post-secondary institutions varies, so students might want to compare several schools.  Any AAMA-sanctioned class is acceptable.

                  Second Step:  Consider Applying for a Scholarship

                  The AAMA offers a scholarship to select students who are enrolled in one of the AAMA’s classes.  Anyone who has completed a quarter of the coursework and maintained a 3.0 GPA can apply.  The award is a $1,000 grant and one-year membership to the AAMA (a $20 value for students).  Those interested should visit the scholarship’s page and email the AAMA.

                  Third Step:  Apply for the CMA Test

                  Course instructors can help students through the test application process, but it is fairly simple.  The application can be found here and has explicit directions. It should be mailed to the appropriate address with payment for the test.  The AAMA will confirm that they received the application within 30 days.

                  Fourth Step:  Schedule the CMA Test

                  The AAMA emails approved applicants within 20 days of approval.  This email comes with a permit that allows applicants to schedule the CMA test.  The exam must be taken at one of the AAMA-approved centers in Maine.

                  Fifth Step:  Prepare for the CMA Test

                  As with any exam, students must prepare to take the CMA test.  Practice materials are available through course instructors and Maine’s two local AAMA chapters (see last section).

                  Sixth Step:  Pass the CMA Test

                  Well-prepared students should not have trouble passing the CMA test.  Afterwards, they will be listed as one of the AAMA’s certified medical assistants on the websites appropriate page.

                  Employment for CMAs in Maine

                  The U.S. Department of Labor has published this chart on CareerInfoNet.org

                  United States

                  Employment

                  Percent
                  Change

                  Job Openings 1

                  2010

                  2020

                  Medical Assistants

                  527,600

                  690,400

                  +31%

                  24,380

                  Maine

                  Employment

                  Percent
                  Change

                  Job Openings 1

                  2008

                  2018

                  Medical Assistants

                  2,130

                  2,490

                  +17%

                  60

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

                  According to these numbers, the growth in demand for CMAs in Maine is below the national average.  Across the country, the need for CMAs is expected to increase by nearly one-third, but only by 17 percent in Maine.  Although this is nearly half of the national average, 17 percent is still promising.  It shows growth in the field and will result in about 60 job openings for CMAs in Maine each year.

                  Salaries of CMAs in Maine

                  The same site publishes data on CMA salaries in Maine.

                  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

                  Maine Hourly

                  $11.48

                  $12.57

                  $14.16

                  $16.61

                  $18.34

                  Yearly

                  $23,900

                  $26,100

                  $29,500

                  $34,500

                  $38,100

                  Most CMAs earned between $11.86 and $16.87 an hour in 2011, although some made less or more.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) breaks this data down further, by geographic region.  Here is a sampling of what CMAs throughout Maine earned in 2011.

                  • Southwest Maine (nonmetropolitan): $31,110 / $14.96
                  • Bangor, ME:  $30,500 / $14.67
                  • Lewiston – Auburn, ME: $29,840 / $14.35

                  How to Transfer or Recertify

                  Both transferring between states and being recertified (which is required every five years) are handled by the AAMA.  One’s local chapter can help with either of these processes.  Information about transferring can also be found online.

                  AAMA Chapters in Maine

                  There are two AAMA chapters in Maine:

                  • Kennebec Valley
                  • Penobscot

                  Sites Used: