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

At South College we welcome students from all different stages of life and career.  Whether you are pursing a degree for the first time, going back to school as an adult learner, or furthering your career with an advanced degree, our faculty and staff will partner with you to give your dreams direction.


  • CERT Medical Assisting
  • AAS Medical Assisting
  • AS Health Science
  • And more...
Locations: Asheville

We Change Lives...One Person At A Time. ® Start your career education with Daymar College. We offer certificate, diploma, associate, and bachelor degree programs for careers in the business, health care, criminal justice, paralegal studies and computer technology fields.


  • Medical Assisting, Associate of Science
  • Medical Assisting, Diploma
  • Dental Assisting, Associates Degree
  • And more...
Locations: Clarksville

Online programs to fit your schedule.

You’ve expressed interest in Blue Cliff College before, now we have online programs to better fit your busy lifestyle. Enroll now!


  • Clinical and Administrative Medical Assistant
  • Health Information/Medical Billing & Coding

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.


  • Medical Assistant Associate's Degree
  • Medical Assistant Diploma
  • Medical Billing and Coding Specialist Diploma
Locations: Chattanooga


Online Education That Fits Your Life

For 80 years, we’ve been preparing students for career success. We’ve led the wayso that our students can too.

Globally Renowned Purdue to Acquire Kaplan University

Purdue University, one of the nation's most respected universities, will acquire Kaplan University and create a new, nonprofit, public institution within the Purdue system. Pending regulatory approvals, this exciting transition is expected to take place later this year. This change will be seamless—during the transition, you will still be able to enroll at Kaplan University, earn a high-quality education, and meet your educational and career goals.


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

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.


  • Medical Clinical Assistant - Diploma
  • Medical Assisting - Associate of Applied Science
  • Medical Office Assistant - Diploma
  • And more...
Locations: Chattanooga
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.


  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Veterinary Assistant
  • Medical Coding and Billing

At the University of Nevada, Reno, we teach public health practitioners how to look beyond physical conditions and consider environmental, economic and sociological factors that impact individual and community health, happiness and well-being.

The online Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice is designed to prepare you for employment in nearly any area of the public health field.

The lessons learned in your online courses can prepare you for whatever area of public health you’re interested in.  Courses include the following:

  • Biostatistics
  • Public Health Biology
  • Research Methods
  • Leadership in Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Finance and Budget
  • Health Informatics
  • Program Planning and Evaluation
  • Public Health Law, Ethics and Policy Analysis

Our 100% onlineand CEPH-accredited MPH program gives you the flexibility to enhance your expertise — and your career — without having to put your life on hold.


  • Online Master of Public Health (MPH)

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.  We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.  We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.

The field of technology is rapidly evolving to meet the growing demands of modern society. For those seeking a future in tech, this means maintaining skills, increasingknowledge and quickly adapting to change. For today’s students, however, successwill require dedication, commitment and access to education specifically designedto meet the demands of this dynamic industry.


  • Doctor of Education - Nursing Education

You’re serious about success. With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7.

At AIU, the Serious U, you can get started to get ahead.


  • Master's – Healthcare Management
  • Bachelor's (BBA) - Healthcare Management

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



Job Openings 1



Medical Assistants








Job Openings 1



Medical Assistants





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


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







United States Hourly












Tennessee Hourly













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/.