Montana Medical Assistant Guide

Career Description

The roles of medical assistants in Montana have been defined by Montana’s Department of Labor and Industry.

Medical assistants shall work under the supervision of a Montana-licensed physician or podiatrist who is responsible for assigning administrative and clinical tasks to the medical assistant relating to the physician or podiatrist’s practice of medicine. (24.156.640 – Medical Assistants)

In Montana, medical assistants can perform a variety of tasks without a doctor or podiatrist physically present.  They can:

  • Welcome patients
  • Call pharmacies
  • Sterilize medical instruments
  • Prepare examining rooms

There are a few tasks that medical assistants can only take on if a doctor or podiatrist is present.  They are:

  • Anytime the medical assistant is performing an invasive procedure
  • Administering medicine
  • Conducting allergy testing

Certified Medical Assistants in Montana

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Medical assistants do not need to be certified in Montana.  The law states:

A medical assistant must be a graduate of an accredited medical assisting program or possess experience, training or education sufficient, in the supervising physician or podiatrist’s opinion, to perform assigned duties responsibly, safely and conscientiously.  (24.156.640.6 – Medical Assistants)

Since the doctor or podiatrist overseeing the medical assistant assumes ultimate responsibility for the assistant’s actions, most doctors and podiatrists will only hire certified medical assistants.  There are four agencies accredited to certify medical assistants.

Of these, the AAMA is one of the most respected certifiers.  Here is their certification process.

1.  A Class

CMAs must attend a class that the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) has accredited.  Students should only pay for a class accredited by the CAAHEP, because the AAMA will not recognize any other CMA course.

2.  Financial Scholarship

If they wish, students can apply to the AAMA’s Maxine Williams Scholarship Fund.  This is a $1,000 scholarship that considers one’s academic standing and financial situation.

3.  Test Application

The test application should be submitted well before the desired test date.  It can take the AAMA up to 30 days to confirm that they received the application and another 20 after it has been approved for them to notify the applicant.

4.  Test Center

Often, students can take the CMA test where their class is held, but in some cases they must find another testing location.  Centers are located throughout Montana.  Once an applicant has been notified (via email) of his approval, he has three months to take the test.

5.  Practice Tests

Practice tests help students get a feel for what the real exam will be like.  Most schools have practice tests students can use, and some local chapters do as well.  (Local chapters are listed in the last section).

6.  The Big Day

Eventually, all the preparation comes down to a single test.  Students who are able to demonstrate mastery of the subject pass and are certified medical assistants.  Their names will be added to the CMA Status Page.

CMA Career Forecast in Montana

United States

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2010

2020

Medical Assistants

527,600

690,400

+31%

24,380

Montana

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2008

2018

Medical Assistants

1,110

1,450

+31%

50

(Thanks to: Career One Stop)

The medical assistant career field is growing in Montana at the same rate as it is nationally, 31 percent.  In just 10 years, this could mean a jump from about slightly over 1,000 CMAs in Montana to nearly 1,500.    Few careers are as promising as the medical assistant path is right now.

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

Montana Hourly

$9.83

$11.94

$13.85

$16.28

$18.12

Yearly

$20,400

$24,800

$28,800

$33,900

$37,700

(Thanks to: Career One Stop)

Most CMAs in Montana earned between $11.94 and $16.28 during 2011.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides more specific data.  These are the median wages of CMAs in several cities and regions during that year.

  • Great Falls, MT: $30,300(yr.) / $14.57(hr.)
  • Missoula, MT: $29,250 / $14.06
  • Eastern Montana: $27,080 / $13.02
  • Western Montana: $31,090 / $14.95

Recertification Details and Transfer Information

CMAs must go through a recertification every five years.  The steps of recertification are described on the AAMA’s site.

Transferring is handled by the AAMA’s national offices.  People who want to transfer should contact the AAMA’s offices or their local chapter (next heading).

Local AAMA Chapters in Montana

  • Dillon County
  • Flathead County
  • Gallatin
  • Great Falls
  • Yellowstone County

In addition to these chapters, the state has a FaceBook page.

Helpful Sites and Sources: