New Mexico Medical Assistant Guide

Career Description

Medical assistants in New Mexico are employed by doctors, and they at times work under nurses.  They care for patients by performing clinical tasks.  Medical assistants also assume administrative roles, in most settings.  A medical assistant’s specific responsibilities often include:

  • Administering medications
  • Drawing blood
  • Checking vital signs
  • Calling insurance companies
  • Schedule future appointments
  • Contacting pharmacies

Certified Medical Assistants in New Mexico

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Programs:

  • AA: Medical Office Assistance
  • MA Human Services: Health & Wellness

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Programs:

  • Diploma - Medical Assistant
  • Associate of Science - Allied Health
  • Diploma - Medical Insurance Billing & Coding
Locations: Albuquerque

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Programs:

  • BS in Health and Wellness

There are several agencies in the U.S. that certify medical assistants.

It should be noted that certification is not required, but it gives people a competitive edge in the marketplace.

People who are beginning to pursue a medical assistant career should become certified, preferably with the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).  Here is how they can do just that.

First:  Enroll in a Course

The certification process begins with a course in CMA training.  Programs are offered by different schools, so the cost of enrollment will vary.  Any AAMA-approved course will be accredited by the CAAHEP.

Optional:  The AAMA’s Scholarship

The Maxine Williams Scholarship, which is awarded annually, is a $1,000 grant for students in an AAMA-approved program.  Students who have maintained at least a “B” average during the first quarter of their course will be considered, if they apply by emailing the AAMA.

Second:  Test Application

There is a PDF of the test application online, which should be sent in well before one wants to actually take the exam.  The AAMA sends a confirmation notice, which states that they received the application, within a month, but an approval email can come much later.  (The approval email is sent about three weeks after an applicant has been approved).

Third:  Test Center

CMA exams are only proctored at approved test centers, but these are located throughout New Mexico.  People have three months after they have been approved to find a test and schedule a time for the exam.

Fourth:  Practice Tests

Going through practice exams, which can be found at training centers, is the best way to prepare for the CMA exam.

Fifth:  The Test

The only thing left is to pass the CMA exam.  Everyone who passes is certified by the AAMA, which keeps an updated list of CMAs on the Employer Verification Section of their website.

New Mexico’s CMA Employment Forecast

United States

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2010

2020

Medical Assistants

527,600

690,400

+31%

24,380

New Mexico

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2008

2018

Medical Assistants

3,600

4,750

+32%

150

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

(CareerInfoNet.org)

Every year, there are about 150 job openings for CMAs in New Mexico.  Few career fields are expanding as fast as the 32 percent increase for medical assistants in New Mexico.

New Mexico’s CMA Salaries

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

New Mexico Hourly

$9.94

$11.28

$13.11

$15.11

$17.41

Yearly

$20,700

$23,500

$27,300

$31,400

$36,200

(CareerInfoNet.org)

Although CMAs in New Mexico make a little less than medical assistants in some other states, they are able to earn a decent living in New Mexico.  Most CMAs made more than $27,000 in 2011.  The Bureau of Labor Statics presents this information with respect to cities.  The following is what CMAs made in several different parts of New Mexico during 2011.

  • Santé Fe, NM: $32,510 (yr.) / $15.63 (hr.)
  • Albuquerque, NM:  $27.720 / $13.33
  • Las Cruces, NM: $25,740 / $12.37
  • Farmington, NM:  $26,550 / $12.77

Recertification Information and Transfer Information

The AAMA oversees both CMA recertifications and transfers.  Recertification information is available on their website.  People will have to contact the state society (below) for transfer information.

Local AAMA Chapters in New Mexico

There are no AAMA chapters in New Mexico, so people should direct their questions to the state organization, the New Mexico Society of Medical Assistants (NMSMA).

Sources: