North Carolina Medical Assistant Guide

Career Description

Medical assistants in North Carolina act as a liaison between physicians and patients.  They take care of many administrative duties and often are given some clinical responsibilities.  Here are some of the ways medical assistants go between doctors and patients.

  • They draw blood for lab tests
  • They welcome patients
  • They call prescriptions into pharmacies
  • They update medical records
  • They document medical histories
  • They file insurance claims

Certified Medical Assistants in North Carolina

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  • Capstone projects and clinical practicums that can help prepare students for more career opportunities.
  • Flexible, online and on-campus program available.

Programs:

  • Medical Assisting
  • BS in Health and Wellness
  • Medical Billing and Coding Certificate
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Programs:

  • M.B.A.: Health Systems Management
  • B.S. in Health Sciences: Professional Development & Advanced Patient Care
  • Available business concentrations include Accounting, Economics, General Management, Marketing, and Human Resource Management.
  • Ranked among the Best Online MBA and Online Graduate Business Programs in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Programmatic accreditation provided by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Programs:

  • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Management
  • Healthcare Management programs at the bachelor and master’s level, with undergraduate specializations in health services administration and gerontology management.
  • Specialized degrees that provide in-depth study across multiple disciplines, such as law, marketing, business, government, and technology.
  • Industry-current curriculum where more of the courses you take are devoted to your field of interest, on average, than at other similar schools.
  • Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).

Programs:

  • Master's – Healthcare Management
  • Become an accountant, credit analyst, auditor, tax examiner, and more with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
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  • Work in the environment that suits you best. The B.S. in Accounting program prepares students for accounting careers in private, public, not-for-profit, and government organizations.
  • This program, along with other CSU-Global business degrees, is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
  • Each of our courses is 100% online, with no fixed class times or locations. All you need is an internet connection. Wherever you are, you’re already on campus.
  • Our programs are built for working adults. You complete coursework on your schedule, in your own time. Complete assignments and projects when it’s most convenient for you.

Programs:

  • Master - Healthcare Administration and Management
  • BS - Healthcare Administration and Management

Experience the Rewards of Caring, With ECPI’s Medical Careers Institute, you can Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree in 2.5 Years or Your Associate’s Even Sooner through Our Year-Round Schedule!

Programs:

  • Medical Assisting - Diploma
  • Medical Assisting - Associate's
  • Dental Assisting - Associate's
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Locations: Virginia Beach

Centura College, with campus locations in Virginia, South Carolina and Florida, is dedicated to helping students gain the skills and attitudes necessary to succeed. Drawing from over 30 years of career school experience.

Programs:

  • Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Medical Assisting-Concentration in Clinical Support
  • Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Medical Assisting-Concentration in Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Business with a Concentration in Allied Health Management
Locations: Virginia Beach

Miller-Motte Technical College (MMTC) has a history of helping students succeed through hands-on education and career training. Our faculty and staff work to ensure that when you've completed your program, you're truly ready to begin your career.

Programs:

  • Medical Clinical Assistant - Diploma
  • Medical Assisting - Associate of Applied Science
  • Medical Office Assistant - Diploma
  • And more...
Locations: Conway
South College, located in Knoxville, Tennessee, can help you achieve your goals. We offer a small college environment, quality programs, and flexible day, evening, or Saturday classes.

Programs:

  • CERT Medical Assisting
  • AAS Medical Assisting
  • BS Health Science (Post PTA)
  • And more...
Locations: Asheville

Virginia College  continues the tradition ofgiving lives new direction, fulfilling our mission statement tostudents wherever they live and offering the chance to pursue adegree while maintaining commitments to work and family.

Programs:

  • AS - Medical Office Administration
  • AS - Healthcare Reimbursement
  • AAS - Healthcare Reimbursement

Many medical assistants are currently working in North Carolina without certification, because it is not required.  Certified medical assistants (CMAs), however, are able to land the best jobs in the industry and are more likely to receive a raise.  There are several agencies that help medical assistants advance in their field through certification.

People who are being certified for the first time should pursue it through either the AMT or AAMA, which are the two strongest organizations.  Here is how to become certified with the AAMA.  The AMT follows a similar track.

1.  Coursework

All AAMA applicants must attend a CAAHEP-recognized course.  If a curriculum has not been accredited by the CAAHEP, then the AAMA will not accept it.  There are many courses that qualify, though, and they can be found at local schools throughout North Carolina.

Optional Scholarship

Students who would like to apply for a scholarship from the Maxine Williams Scholarship Fund can do so by emailing the AAMA.  They should include:

  • Their name
  • Their accreditation code
  • Their school’s name and location

2.  Apply

Students must apply to the AAMA, before they will be permitted to sit for the exam.  Once the AAMA receives an application, they respond within a month.  This initial response is nothing more than acknowledgement of the application, however.  Students learn of their approved application during the 20 days following their approval.

3.  Center for Testing

Centers that administer CMA tests for the AAMA are located throughout North Carolina.  Applicants who have received their test permit from the AAMA have 90 days to schedule the test at one of these centers.

4.  Practice

Going over practice exams with a partner is an excellent way to prepare for the CMA test.  Review materials can often be obtained through a chapter of the AAMA (listed below) or one’s training facility.

5.  Pass

Once the administrative aspects of applying are finished, students simply need to pass the CMA exam.  They will be asked for the test permit on the day of the exam.  Those who have it and pass the test will be identified as CMAs on the association’s Page of CMAs.

North Carolina CMAs: Career Outlook

(The following two charts are from CareerInfoNet.org)

United States

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2010

2020

Medical Assistants

527,600

690,400

+31%

24,380

North Carolina

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2008

2018

Medical Assistants

10,080

13,870

+38%

490

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

Across the country, medical assistants are in a growing field.  This career is expanding especially fast in North Carolina, partly because retiring Baby Boomers are moving to the state and need basic medical care.

Every year, there are about 500 open positions for medical assistants in North Carolina.  In total, there will be almost 4,000 jobs added between 2008 and 2018.  This is an easy career to being working in, because it is growing so rapidly.

North Carolina CMAs: 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

North Carolina Hourly

$10.27

$11.99

$13.71

$16.04

$17.95

Yearly

$21,400

$24,900

$28,500

$33,400

$37,300

Not only are there many opportunities for work as a CMA in North Carolina, but these are all decent paying jobs.  Across the state, nearly all CMAs earned more than $10.00/hr., and most made more than $25,000 in 2011.  Here is the median wages by city for CMAs (thanks to the Bureau of Labor Statistics):

  • Raleigh, NC: $31,150 (yr.) / $14.98 (hr.)
  • Wilmington, NC: $29,860 / $14.35
  • Greenville, NC: $26,570 / $12.78
  • Burlington, NC: $29,880 / $14.36

Recertifying or Transferring

Every 60 months, CMAs must go through a recertification process.  Information about recertification is available on the AAMA’s website.  Some continuing education units (CEUs) are typically required.  The North Carolina State Society of Medical Assistants (NCSSMA) offers one credit that can be completed online for $10.00 or $15.00.

Although national offices handle transfers, most CMAs begin the process by talking to their AAMA chapter, of which there are many in North Carolina (see below).

Local AAMA Chapters in North Carolina

  • Alamance County
  • Albemarle Area
  • Ashe
  • Buncombe County
  • Burke County
  • Cabarrus County
  • Catawba
  • Central Carolina
  • Charlotte
  • Craven County
  • Forsyth-Stokes-Davie
  • Gaston County
  • Greensboro
  • Haywood County
  • High Point
  • Iredell County
  • Lee-Moore County
  • Lenoir County
  • Lexington
  • Mayland
  • Nash County
  • Pitt County
  • Surry County
  • Union County
  • Wayne County
  • Wilkes County
  • Wilmington

NCSSMA also maintains a website and a FaceBook page.

Sources: