Michigan Medical Assistant Guide

Career Description

Medical Assistants in Michigan are governed by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.  According to the department’s site on medical assistants, a medical assistant’s role is to, “Under the direction of a physician, provide various medical care and related services. They may assist physicians examining patients and/or handle duties involving office management.”

The depart has a lengthy list of what medical assistants can do.  Here is a sampling of some of the responsibilities they can accept.  Medical assistants can:

  • Interview, receive and instruct patients
  • Drape patients with a covering and position instruments
  • Record patients’ blood pressure, pulse, temperature, height and wieght
  • Administer medications and injections.

The equipment that medical assistants can operate is also clearly defined.  They can use:

  • Electrocardiograph (EKG) machines
  • Hypodermic equipment
  • X-ray equipment
  • Sphygmomanometer (blood pressure apparatus)

The department also saw it necessary to give medical assistants the right to use computers with internet access.

Certified Medical Assistants in Michigan

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The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has this to say about certification: “Although certification is not mandatory for Medical Assistants in Michigan, many employers require it for employment.”

There are two agencies that certify medical assistants in Michigan:

  • The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) certifies Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs)
  • The American Medical Technologists (AMT) certifies Registered Medical Assistants (RMAs)

Note: Although certification is not legally required for medical assistants in Michigan, the National Healthcareer Association and National Center for Competency Testing (two certifying agencies) are not recognized by Michigan’s government.

Both the AAMA and AMT require applicants to attend a class and pass an exam before being certified.  Here is how people become CMAs through the AAMA.

First, They Attend a CAAHEP Course

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) handles the educational aspect of training CMAs for the AAMA.  There are CAAHEP-sanctioned courses throughout the United States, including in Michigan.  Any of these medical assistant courses meets the AAMA’s requirements.

Second, Some Apply for Scholarships

The AAMA offers a scholarship in honor of Maxine Williams. The deadline to apply is February 15, and information about the $1,000 scholarship is available on the fund’s page.

Third, They Apply for the Exam

Only students who have completed a CAAHEP course can take the AAMA test, so they must apply and prove the coursework has been completed.  Within four weeks, applicants will receive a confirmation from the AAMA that their application was received.

Fourth, They Locate a Testing Location

The AAMA notifies people of their approval within three weeks of when they are approved.  The association sends and email with a permit to test.  This permit must be brought to a nearby testing location on the day of the exam.

Fifth, They Study until the Test

The AAMA’s test is challenging, so students must prepare for it by studying.  Local AAMA chapters (below), the state’s site (under “Sites Used”) and schools often have practice exams students can use.

Sixth, The Pass and are certified

Applicants who pass are certified medical assistants of the AAMA.  Their name will be listed on the CMA (AAMA) Certification Status site.

Medical Assistants’ Job Outlook in Michigan

Each year, there are expected to be 720 job openings in Michigan for CMAs.  These numbers reflect a 26 percent rate of growth in the field, which is slower than the national rate.  Nevertheless, the medical assistant career path is promising in Michigan and other states.

United States

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2010

2020

Medical Assistants

527,600

690,400

+31%

24,380

Michigan

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2008

2018

Medical Assistants

19,470

24,470

+26%

720

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

(From: CareerInfoNet.org)

Medical Assistants’ Salaries in Massachusetts

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

Michigan Hourly

$9.90

$11.49

$13.16

$14.89

$17.53

Yearly

$20,600

$23,900

$27,400

$31,000

$36,500

(From: CareerInfoNet.org)

CMAs in Michigan make slightly less than their peers in other states, but they still earn a decent salary.  Few occupations offer the job growth and salary potential (up to $36,500) for people without an expensive college degree.

Here is a look at CMAs’ wages by city from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (hourly wage and annual salary).

  • Singsaw, MI: $12.50 / $26,000
  • Ann Arbor, MI: $15.07 / $31,340
  • Grand Haven, MI: $15.21 / $31,650
  • Grand Rapids, MI: $14.01 / $29,140

Recertifying Information and Transferring Information

CMAs must go through a recertification process every 60 months.  This includes continuing education credits.  Information is available through people’s local chapters (below).

Transferring information can be found on the transfer page of the AAMA’s site.  Since the AAMA is one of the leading medical assistant certifying agencies, transferring to another state is easy.

Local AAMA Chapters in Michigan

  • Eastern Great Lakes
  • Genesee
  • Greater Wexford
  • Jackson County
  • Kalamazoo
  • Macomb
  • Northwest Michigan
  • Oakland County
  • Saginaw County
  • Shiawassee
  • Southwest
  • Straits Area
  • Western Wayne County

Sites Used: