Minnesota Medical Assistant Guide

Career Description

Medical Assistants in Minnesota help nurses and doctors take care of patients.  Anywhere a nurse or doctor can be found, there might be a medical assistant making sure everything runs smoothly.  Some of the ways medical assistants help maintain an efficient work environment include:

  • Transferring prescriptions to pharmacies
  • Reading patients’ temperature, blood pressure and pulse
  • Administering injections
  • Drawing and processing blood for laboratory tests
  • Running some equipment, such as an EKG
  • Welcoming patients
  • Answering patients’ questions

Certified Medical Assistants in Minnesota

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Quick Fact
In 2017, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma*.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics

One does not need to be certified in order to work as a medical assistant in Minnesota.  However, most employers will only consider assistants that are certified and have completed high school.  Employers will generally accept certification from any of these associations.

Here is how to become a certified medical assistant (CMA) through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

1.  Attend a CAAHEP CMA Program

There are many medical assistant training programs in Minnesota, but the AAMA will only accept one that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).  A suitable class may be taught at a physical school or online, but it must include a clinical portion.  Since these programs are accredited by the CAAHEP, not taught by the agency, the programs can vary in length and cost.

2.  Consider a Scholarship

The Maxine Williams Scholarship is for medical assistant students who have financial need and have maintained a high GPA (minimum 3.0).  Applications are due February 15.  The scholarship’s page is located at http://www.aama-ntl.org/endowment/scholarship/app.aspx.

3.  Submit a Test Application

The AAMA test application and fee should be mailed into the proper address well before students want to sit for the test.  It can take the association 30 days to confirm that they received the application, and students learn of their approved application 20 days after it is approved.

4.  Make a Testing Appointment

Once applicants have been notified by email of their approved status, they have three months to take the CMA test.  This can be done at any of the approved centers in Minnesota.  On the day of the test, the permit that was emailed to the applicant by the AAMA, will be required at the center.

5.  Do Practice Exams

Practice exams help students prepare for the real exam.  Most local AAMA chapters (listed in last section) and schools have old or mock exams available.

6.  Become Certified

Applicants who pass the exam become certified medical assistants and are listed as such on this page.

Medical Assistants’ Career Outlook in Minnesota

The career outlook for CMAs in Minnesota is extremely promising.  Within the state, the field is growing at a slightly lower rate (28 percent) than the national average.  Yet, there are a few hundred job openings every year for CMAs in Minnesota.  In a 10-year span, nearly 2,000 new jobs for medical assistants will be added in the state.

United States

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2010

2020

Medical Assistants

527,600

690,400

+31%

24,380

Minnesota

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2008

2018

Medical Assistants

6,870

8,790

+28%

270

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

(From: Career One Stop)

Medical Assistants’ Salary Outlook in Minnesota

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

Minnesota Hourly

$11.36

$13.35

$15.97

$18.13

$21.08

Yearly

$23,600

$27,800

$33,200

$37,700

$43,800

(From: CareerInfoNet.org)

Historically, medical assistants in Minnesota have earned salaries that were above the national average.  Without a college education, people earned a median wage of almost $16.00 an hour working in the state as a CMA.  Many earned even more than that.

The above chart is state-wide.  Here is salary data by city and region, which comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (salary / wage).

  • Duluth, MN: $33,100 / $15.91
  • Minneapolis, MN: $33,760 / $16.23
  • Mankato, MN: $31,540 / $15.17
  • St. Cloud, MN: $30,880 / $14.84

Transferring Information and Recertifying Information

The AAMA requires recertification 60 months after one’s initial certification.  Most CMAs must attend some continuing education classes.  They are usually guided through this process by their local AAMA chapter (listed in next section).

Transferring is relatively simple, since there are CMAs in every state.  For more information about transferring, visit the AAMA’s page on transferring.

Local AAMA Chapters in Minnesota

  • East Central
  • Great Lakes
  • Hennepin/Ramsey
  • Southeastern
  • South Suburban
  • West Central

In addition to these, the state has a website.

Resources: