North Dakota Medical Assistant Guide

Career Description

Medical assistants in North Dakota often work under a nurse’s oversight, although they might be employed by a doctor.  They are able to perform a variety of clinical procedures and often given several administrative tasks.  Medical assistants:

  • Schedule patients
  • Prepare exam rooms
  • Update medical records
  • Track vital signs
  • Communicate with other offices
  • Administer subcutaneous, intradermal and intramuscular injections

Certified Medical Assistants in North Dakota

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Medical assistants do not need to be certified before accepting a position, but certification allows them to assume a greater level of responsibility than people without certification can accept.  A certified medical assistant is qualified by to work as a Medication Assistant III.  This is the highest level medication assistant, and the only assistant who can legally give intramuscular injections.

The following organizations certify medical assistants.

Of these, the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) is the strongest association.  Here is how people become accredited with them.

Step One:  Complete Coursework

Certified medical assistants (CMAs) must graduate from a CAAHEP-accredited course.  Courses can be found throughout North Dakota at community colleges and vocational schools.

Optional Scholarship Application

Medical assistant students are free to apply for the Maxine Williams Scholarship.  The correct time to email the AAMA about this scholarship is after 25 percent of one’s training is finished, but before the February 15 deadline.

Step Two:  Complete the Application

The application to test must be sent into the AAMA, before students can schedule the test.  Applicants should wait a month before following up on their application, and they often receive an email three weeks after they are approved.

Step Three:  Decide on a Center

Test centers can be found in any North Dakota city, as well as in many towns.  Unlike the training centers, which charge different tuition rates, the test centers should have a uniform fee.  People should call the nearest one and schedule the CMA test.

Step Four:  Continue Studying

Students must continue studying, until they have passed the test.  Instructors and local chapters (final section) can help students prepare for the CMA exam.

Step Five:  Pass and Celebrate

Everyone who passes the CMA test is certified to work as a medical assistant.  This honor is worthy of a celebration.  All CMAs are listed on the Employer CMA Verification page.

North Dakota CMAs: Career Forecast

(The following charts are from Career One Stop)

United States

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2010

2020

Medical Assistants

527,600

690,400

+31%

24,380

North Dakota

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2008

2018

Medical Assistants

580

720

+23%

20

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

Although there are only several hundred CMAs in North Dakota, working as a medical assistant is a promising career.  The field is expanding in North Dakota (at 23 percent over 10 years) and rapidly growing nationally (31 percent over 10 years).  Few other career paths offer the immediate opportunities that CMAs have, as well as the ability to transfer and work in another state.

North Dakota 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 Dakota Hourly

$10.09

$11.64

$13.13

$14.59

$17.63

Yearly

$21,000

$24,200

$27,300

$30,300

$36,700

Overall, CMAs in North Dakota earn slightly less than the national averages.  This is likely because the cost of living in North Dakota is low compared to other states.  The lowest paid CMAs in the state, however, earn more than their peers in other locals.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides median CMA salary information by region.  In 2001, CMAs working in the following cities earned:

  • Bismarck, ND: $27,280 (yr.) / $14.12 (hr.)
  • Fargo, ND: $27,060 / $14.01
  • Grand Forks, ND: $31,120 / $14.96

Transferring or Recertifying

CMAs go through a recertification process five years after their initial certification.  The Recertification Page has pertinent details about this.

CMAs can easily transfer their certification to another state, since the AAMA is recognized in every state.  Transfers are typically begun by contacting a local chapter of the AAMA (final section).

Local AAMA Chapters in North Dakota

  • Northern Valley
  • Red River Valley-Fargo
  • South Central Organization

Sources: