Missouri Medical Assistant Guide

Career Description

Medical Assistants in Missouri work clinically under the oversight of either doctors or nurses.  In addition to their clinical responsibilities, medical assistants often take care of administrative matters.  A typical medical assistant might do all of the following in a single day.

Clinical Work:

  • Drawing blood
  • Helping doctors during patient exams
  • Sterilizing equipment

Administrative Work:

  • Filing charts electronically
  • Sorting office mail
  • Calling other doctors’ offices

Certified Medical Assistants in Missouri

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Even though certification is not technically required, most medical assistants working in Missouri are certified by one of the following four bodies.

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

Most employers will only hire assistants who have been certified.  In addition to certification, employers prefer people who have a high school degree or higher.

The AAMA is the leading institution of these four bodies.  This is the steps people must take to be certified with them.

Step One: Coursework

All AAMA-certified medical assistants have attended an accredited course.  For a class to meet the AAMA’s specifications, it must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).  New students should confirm their school’s standing with CAAHEP, prior to paying any tuition.

Step Two:  An Optional Scholarship

Students who have a 3.0 GPA after the first quarter of their training are eligible to apply for the Maxine Williams Scholarship.  If they win the award, which is granted to those who have demonstrated academic achievement and financial need, they will receive $1,000.

Step Three: Applying to the AAMA

Students must apply to the AAMA, before they can take the association’s test.  The application must be fully completed and sent to the AAMA’s offices with payment for the test.  The AAMA updates applicants regarding their application’s status a month after receiving it.

Step Four:  Selecting a Test Center

Many schools that offer a CMA class also offer the CMA exam, but not all do.  In some cases, students must go to a different testing center.  After receiving their permit to take the test (which comes in an email), students have 90 days to pass the exam.

Step Five:  Prepare

As the test date nears, students must review and practice.  Extra materials should be available at any training center or through one’s local chapter of the AAMA (see below).

Step Six:  Passing and Certification

At this stage, the only step left is to pass the exam.  The test permit will be needed on the day of the test.  Once the exam is over, those who passed will soon find their names among the other CMAs listed online.

CMA Career Outlook in Missouri

United States

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2010

2020

Medical Assistants

527,600

690,400

+31%

24,380

Missouri

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2008

2018

Medical Assistants

8,130

9,800

+21%

260

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

(Source: Career One Stop)

Even though demand for CMAs in Missouri is growing at a slower pace than the national average (21 percent in Missouri compared with 31 percent nationally), there are still many opportunities for medical assistants in Missouri.  Each year, there are about 260 open positions.  By 2018, there will be nearly 10,000 medical assistants in the state, and all of them will be employed.

CMA Salary History in Missouri

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

Missouri Hourly

$9.44

$10.57

$12.57

$14.87

$17.72

Yearly

$19,600

$22,000

$26,100

$30,900

$36,900

(Source: Career One Stop)

Overall, medical assistants in Missouri earn less than the national average.  However, people living in Missouri also are not faced with the high costs of living that people face in New York, Los Angeles, Boston and other major cities.  Many medical assistants in Missouri are able to live comfortably on their salaries.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has more specific data about CMAs’ salaries.  Below are the median wages of CMAs in some of Missouri’s cities.

  • Jefferson City, MO: $24,020/yr / $11.55/hr
  • Springfield, MO: $25,010 / $12.02
  • Kansas City, MO: $30,370 / $14.60
  • Columbia, MO: $26,750 / $12.76

Recertifying or Transferring

Every 60 months, CMAs must be recertified.  This process is handled by the AAMA and explained here.

Transferring is also handled by the AAMA’s central offices, which oversee CMAs in every state.  People usually begin their transfer, however, by contacting their local AAMA chapter (next section).

Local AAMA Chapters in Missouri

  • Jasper County
  • Springfield

Sources Used: