Tennessee Medical Assistant Guide

Career Description

Medical assistants in Tennessee compose a vital part of the state’s healthcare system.  They perform a variety of duties under the guidance of a licensed nurse or physician, so that the licensed professional can focus on using his or her training.  Physicians and nurses delegate a variety of responsibilities to medical assistants, including:

  • Welcoming patients
  • Submitting insurance forms
  • Calling prescriptions into pharmacies
  • Cleaning and stowing instruments
  • Operating some medical equipment
  • Drawing blood

Certified Medical Assistants in Tennessee

Matching School Ads

Why Brightwood?

Real-World Training

We keep education relevant by employing instructors with real-world experience in the field, who bring their career backgrounds to the classroom. Our programs are continually assessed by faculty, staff and members of the business and education communities to help ensure your studies align with your career goals. Programs offered by Brightwood College focus on local employment needs, in areas such as allied health, nursing and technical and professional programs.

Programs:

  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Assistant - Diploma
  • Dental Assistant
  • And more...
Locations: Nashville
Get allied health training with Ross Medical Education Center. We offer programs in dental assisting, medical assisting, medical insurance billing and office administration, and pharmacy tech.

Programs:

  • Medical Assistant
  • Dental Assistant
  • Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration
Locations: Knoxville

Miller-Motte Colleges and Miller-Motte Technical Colleges comprise the Miller-Motte family of schools which is part of Ancora Education. For over a century, Miller-Motte has been a reputable leader in private career education. 

Programs:

  • Medical Clinical Assistant
  • Dental Assisting
  • Medical Billing and Coding
Locations: Chattanooga

The goal of Virginia College lies in its responsibility to its students, the technical and business communities, and the general citizenry. We have a long history of offering new direction to students.

Programs:

  • Medical Assistant Associate's Degree
  • Medical Assistant Diploma
  • Medical Billing and Coding Specialist Diploma
Locations: Knoxville
  • Fortis offers nursing programs including ADN, PN, BSN degrees, and more
  • 40+ schools in 15 states including Florida, Arizona, Ohio, and Virginia
  • All colleges are accredited by ABHES, ACCSC, ACICS, or other accrediting bodies
  • Fortis Online serves benefits to US military service members
  • Grants & scholarship aid may be available for qualifying students

Programs:

  • Medical Assisting - Diploma
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Assistant Technician (Associate in Specialized Technology Degree)
  • And more...
Locations: Grand Prairie
Daymar College
Daymar College has been providing career training since 1963. As a career training school, Daymar College offers more than 30 career tracks at our 9 beautiful campuses in addition to our Online Degree Programs. Our professional faculty brings their passion to the classroom to provide each student with the quality instruction needed to help you be successful on the job and in life. Small class sizes, day and evening classes, and relevant training are just some of the things that make Daymar College a great place to prepare for your future career. If you're ready for real success in the real world, Daymar College can provide the skills and training needed to help get you there.

Programs:

  • Medical Assisting - Associate
  • Dental Assisting, Associates Degree
  • Billing & Coding Specialist, Associates Degree
Locations: Murfreesboro
  • Earn your AVMA-CVTEA fully accredited Veterinary Technician Associate Degree online from Penn Foster College.
  • Graduates of our vet tech program will be eligible to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) in order to be credentialed as a licensed veterinary technician.
  • At only $79 per credit with low monthly payment plans and 0% interest, our vet tech program is one of the most affordable programs in the country.
  • Penn Foster College’s award-winning Veterinary Academy Team includes licensed veterinarians and credentialed veterinary technicians with over 100+ years of experience teaching vet tech students.
  • Over 160 students graduated from Penn Foster College’s Vet Tech program in 2016, more than any other program in the country.
  • Penn Foster College’s 24/7, on-demand learning platform is easy to use – at home or on the go – and you decide when to start and take your classes.

Programs:

  • Veterinary Assistant
Penn Foster offers affordable, self-paced career-focused distance education programs in fields like business, criminal justice, health services, technology, engineering, paralegal studies and more.

Programs:

  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Medical Coding and Billing
Daymar College Online
Daymar College has been providing career training since 1963. As a career training school, Daymar College offers more than 30 career tracks at our 9 beautiful campuses in addition to our Online Degree Programs. Our professional faculty brings their passion to the classroom to provide each student with the quality instruction needed to help you be successful on the job and in life. Small class sizes, day and evening classes, and relevant training are just some of the things that make Daymar College a great place to prepare for your future career.

Programs:

  • Medical Assisting - Associates Degree
  • Billing & Coding Specialist, Associates Degree

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and complete your degree as quickly as possible.

Programs:

  • AA: Medical Office Assistance
  • MA Human Services: Health & Wellness
  • BS Respiratory Therapy - Post-Licensure

Certification for medical assistants in Tennessee is voluntary.  Certification can help assistants secure the most desirable jobs in the field.  Medical assistants can pursue certification as a:

Although all of these certifications are accepted in Tennessee, the AAMA’s is preferable.  The process to become certified usually takes approximately two years.  It includes:

1.  Formal Training

CMAs must complete a curriculum that the CAAHEP (an accrediting organization) has approved.  These programs usually require two years of academic study and include a clinical portion, but the classroom training can be completed online.

After one semester of study, students are welcome to apply for the Maxine Williams Scholarship.  This is awarded by the AAMA to a CMA student in the U.S. and includes a $1,000 grant.

2.  Exam Application

Before registering for the exam, students must apply to take it.  There is a booklet online that details the entire exam process.  Some important facts to note are that it costs $125, and the AAMA sends an email within 20 days of an applicant being approved.  The email contains the applicant’s permit, which grants them 90 days to take the exam during.

3.  Testing Location

Most schools that offer a CAAHEP CMA class also offer the CMA test.  Students who are studying away from home, however, might find a closer testing location.  Any approved center will do.

4.  Studying

The test is a comprehensive examination that covers approximately four semesters of work.  Students should carefully review all this material and take several practice exams, which can be obtained through local AAMA chapters (check below) or schools.

5.  Pass to be certified

After passing the exam, applicants are officially CMAs.  They can put this on resumes, and employers can verify their standing with the AAMA here.

Tennessee CMAs: Occupation Forecast

United States

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2010

2020

Medical Assistants

527,600

690,400

+31%

24,380

Tennessee

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2008

2018

Medical Assistants

10,220

12,960

+27%

390

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

(CareerInfoNet.org)

Medical assistants find themselves in high demand, as the field grows quickly.  Between 2008 and 2018, nearly 3,000 jobs will be added to Tennessee’s medical assistant field, bringing the total to +/- 13,000.  There are about 400 open positions for CMAs in Tennessee each year.

Tennessee 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

Tennessee Hourly

$9.71

$11.14

$13.04

$14.96

$17.85

Yearly

$20,200

$23,200

$27,100

$31,100

$37,100

(CareerInfoNet.org)

Across the state, CMAs earn a few cents less than CMAs in other states.  However, the wages of CMAs in Tennessee’s cities, where the cost of living is higher, are often higher than those in the rural areas.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the wages for CMAs in some of Tennessee’s cities and regions.

  • Nashville, TN: $30,650 (yr.) / $14.73 (hr.)
  • Memphis, TN: $28,270 / $13.59
  • Western Tennessee (nonmetropolitan): $22,940 / $11.03

CMA Recertifications and AAMA Transfers

The AAMA’s medical assistants are recertified in 60-month intervals.  It costs them $125 to test, and they must have continuing education units.  Specific details are listed on the AAMA’s recertification page.

Transferring CMA credentials across state lines is easy, because there are CMAs working in every state.  To begin a transfer, people should contact their AAMA chapter in Tennessee (below).

Local AAMA Chapters in Tennessee

  • Chattanooga-Hamilton
  • Cherokee
  • Knoxville-Knox
  • Memphis-Shelby County
  • Nashville-Davidson County
  • Northeast Tennessee

Tennessee’s state AAMA organization is located at http://www.tnsma.org/.

Sources: