Maryland Medical Assistant Guide

Career Description

Medical assistants in Maryland work under the supervision of a licensed physician.  The Maryland Society of Medical Assistants has an archived article that details what a physician can and cannot delegate to a medical assistant.  Some activities depend on whether the physician is providing direct oversight.  This piece is lengthy, technical and detailed, but full of useful information. Here is a digestible sample of what a physician can ask a medical assistant to do.

  • Preparing patients for physical exams
  • Recording patient history interviews
  • Preparing specimens for selected tests (e.g. pregnancy tests and urinalysis)
  • Performing laboratory tests (subject to state and local regulations)
  • Giving prescription information to pharmacies
  • Giving out samples of medication (subject to state and local regulations)

The above tasks can be completed without onsite supervision.  The following require onsite supervision.

  • Establishing intravenous lines
  • Administering some injections
  • Injecting intravenous drugs

Certified Medical Assistants in Maryland

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      According to the same document, medical assistants must either be “trained” or “certified.”  In Section .02.B(9), “trained” is defined as: “possessing the knowledge, skills, and abilities, as determined by the physician, to perform delegated acts.”  Therefore, it is not necessary to be certified to work as a medical assistant in Maryland, but certification is the most common path of training.

      People can become certified through any of the following agencies:

      Since this document is most readily available through the AAMA, here is the AAMA’s certification process.

      First:  Applicants Go to a Class

      There are AAMA-recognized classes in every part of Maryland.  These courses not only train medical assistants according to the state’s regulations, but they also prepare medical assistants for the AAMA’s certification exam.

      Second:  An Optional Scholarship

      For those interested, the AAMA offers a scholarship, called the Maxine Williams Scholarship.  The fund awards $1,000 to students who have completed some training.  Applications are due by February 15, and the application process is started by emailing the AAMA.

      Third:  Applicants Apply

      Students must apply to take the CMA test.  The application is available online.  When sending it in, applicants should also enclose the appropriate payment.  They can expect a response within 30 days.

      Fourth:  Applicants Make an Appointment

      There are several test centers in Maryland.  After being approved, applicants can schedule a time to take the test at one of these centers.  They will need the permit, which was emailed to them with the approval email.

      Fifth:  Applicants Study

      As with any exam, applicants must study.  Most local chapters of the AAMA (see final section), the state agency and training programs can provide practice and review materials.

      Sixth:  Applicants Pass

      All applicants that pass the certification test are certified medical assistants.  Employers can easily verify their status by visiting this online list of CMAs.

      Medical Assistant Employment in Maryland

      The U.S. Department of Labor has published the following information about the job outlook for medical assistants in Maryland.

      United States

      Employment

      Percent
      Change

      Job Openings 1

      2010

      2020

      Medical Assistants

      527,600

      690,400

      +31%

      24,380

      Maryland

      Employment

      Percent
      Change

      Job Openings 1

      2008

      2018

      Medical Assistants

      7,820

      9,700

      +24%

      280

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

      Although the field’s growth is slower in Maryland than other states, there will still be many job opportunities for CMAs in the coming years.  The field is expected to expand by almost a quarter by 2018 (since 2008).  This consistent growth should result in 280 job openings for CMAs in Maryland annually.

      Medical Assistant Salaries in Maryland

      The same site also has salary information for CMAs in Maryland.

      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

      Maryland Hourly

      $11.66

      $12.98

      $15.17

      $17.61

      $20.79

      Yearly

      $24,300

      $27,000

      $31,600

      $36,600

      $43,200

      This chart shows the state-wide averages, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has city-specific salary information.  Here is what some CMAs in Maryland earned in 2011 (location: annual income / hourly income).

      • Baltimore, MD: $32,020 / $16.38
      • Upper Eastern Shore of Maryland: $31,570 / $15.18

      How to Transfer or Recertify

      Both transferring and recertification are handled by the AAMA, for those who are certified with the association.  Their transfer page has information on how to move to another state, and recertification is often handled through local chapters (next section).  CMAs must be recertified five years after their initial certification.

      AAMA Chapters in Maryland

      As mentioned, the state organization is online at http://www.aama-md.org/.  There are also two local chapters in Maryland.

      Helpful Resources: