Mississippi Medical Assistant Guide

Career Description

Medical Assistants in Minnesota assist other healthcare workers by performing basic clinical and various administrative duties.  Doctors often rely on medical assistants to prepare patients, ready equipment and run the administrative portion of an office.  Medical assistants’ specific responsibilities can include, but are not limited to:

  • Welcoming patients
  • Obtaining insurance information
  • Cleaning equipment
  • Administering shots
  • Checking patients’ vital signs
  • Calling pharmacies

Certified Medical Assistants in Mississippi

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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

Although certification is optional, most medical assistants in Mississippi are certified.  Those who have certification often receive better job offers than those who do not.  There are assistants certified by each of these associations within the state.

  • Association:     The National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
    Certification:      Certified Clinical Medical Assistants (CCMA)
  • Association:     The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
    Certification:    Certified Medical Assistants (CMA)
  • Association:        The American Medical Technologists (AMT)
    Certification:      Registered Medical Assistants (RMA)
  • Association:      The National Center for Competency Testing
    Certification:      National Certified Medical Assistants (NCMA)

Many of the assistants in Mississippi are certified with the AAMA and have gone through this process.

Step One: CAAHEP Class

The AAMA has entrusted their training curriculum to the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).  There are CAAHEP-accredited CMA classes throughout Mississippi, which meet all of the AAMA’s requirements.

Step Two:  Scholarship Application (Optional)

Students can elect to apply for the Maxine Williams Scholarship, which is a $1,000 scholarship.  To do so, they must email the AAMA.  Details about the scholarship are on the fund’s web page.

Step Three: Test Application

Every student must apply before sitting for the CMA test.  After they have sent the application, which can found online, in, students should expect a status update in 30 days.

Step Four:  Test Appointment

Once students are approved, which they learn of by email 20 days after their approval, students must schedule an appointment for the test.  There are several centers throughout the state, where the CMA test is regularly offered.  Any of these will suffice.

Step Five:  Continue Preparing

A student’s work is never finished, until the test is over.  Schools and local chapters of the AAMA (listed below) have materials that students can use for practice.

Step Six:  The Test

On the day of the exam, students will be asked for a test permit.  This was sent in the AAMA’s approval email.  After taking the exam, those who pass are certified.  Shortly, their names will appear on the online list of CMAs.

Career Forecast in Mississippi for Medical Assistants

United States

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2010

2020

Medical Assistants

527,600

690,400

+31%

24,380

Mississippi

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2008

2018

Medical Assistants

2,600

3,320

+28%

100

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

(Source: CareerInfoNet.org)

Across the U.S., the medical assistant career is quickly expanding.  In Mississippi, specifically, it is growing at 28 percent between 2008 and 2018.  In these years, medical assistants can look forward to 100 open positions each year.  As the baby boomers age, the need for CMAs will likely continue to increase.

Salary History in Mississippi for Medical Assistants

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

Mississippi Hourly

$8.79

$10.12

$11.75

$14.43

$18.54

Yearly

$18,300

$21,000

$24,400

$30,000

$38,600

(Source: CareerInfoNet.org)

Medical assistants in Mississippi earn less than ones in other parts of the U.S.  These depressed wages, however, are not caused by the career path.  They primarily reflect the low cost of living in Mississippi.  When compared to other wages in the area, CMAs earn a decent salary for the work they do.

The following data, which is supplied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, indicates what CMAs earned in different cities during 2011 (median salary / median wage).

  • Hattiesburg, MS: $25,980 / $12.49
  • Jackson, MS: $29,270 / $14.07
  • Pascagoula, MS: $25,860 / $12.43

Transferring or Recertifying

Every five years, CMAs must go through a recertification process.  This is detailed on a page of the AAMA’s website.  To transfer, people must contact the central AAMA offices; however, they often begin by talking to the leaders of their AAMA chapter (listed below).

Local AAMA Chapters in Mississippi

  • Central
  • Mainstream
  • Northeast

For More Information / Sources: