West Virginia Medical Assistant Guide

Career Description

The medical assistants in West Virginia keep the state’s healthcare system functioning smoothly.  They can be found in doctor’s offices, chiropractor’s offices, podiatrist’s offices and other facilities.  In these settings, medical assistants perform a variety of functions, including:

  • Making reminder calls
  • Drawing blood samples
  • Documenting specimens for lab tests
  • Filing insurance forms
  • Updating office records
  • Cleaning equipment

Certified Medical Assistants in West Virginia

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Medical assistants can work in West Virginia without being certified.  Many, however, pursue certification with one of the four certifying groups.  Certification shows their commitment to excelling in the workplace and distinguishes them from among other medical assistants.  The agencies that provide certification are:

The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) has distinguished their CMAs as the leading employees in the field.  The path to certification is as follows.

First Step:  Classroom Education

There are a number of CMA-training schools in West Virginia; however, some of them fall short of the AAMA’s high standards.  Students should be able to find a nearby school that is respected by the AAMA, but they must confirm the school’s standing with the institution before enrolling.

The Maxine Williams Scholarship is a $1,000 grant awarded by the AAMA to a worthy CMA student in the U.S.  The application form is not publicly available.  Students should email the AAMA, if they are interested.

Second Step:  Test Application

Students typically receive an update about their application’s status within 30 days of turning in the AAMA test application.  Once it is fully approved, students are sent an email within 20 days.

The email, which informs students of their approved status, will have a permit in it.  This permit gives students three (3) months to take the CMA exam.  Students must bring a copy of it on the day of their exam.

Third Step:  Test Center

Training programs that teach CMAs often also proctor the CMA exam, but in some cases it may be more convenient to take the test at another location.  Approved students can schedule the CMA exam at any of the test locations in West Virginia.

Fourth Step:  Preparation

Taking practice tests is a great way to prepare for the certification test.  Most schools will have practice materials available, and they can be found online.

Fifth Step: The Test

All applicants who pass the CMA test are certified by the AAMA.  The AAMA updates its Online CMA Verification regularly, and the newly certified will be added quickly.

West Virginia CMAs: Employment

United States

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2010

2020

Medical Assistants

527,600

690,400

+31%

24,380

West Virginia

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2008

2018

Medical Assistants

3,140

3,780

+20%

100

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

(CareerInfoNet.org)

The medical assistant career is growing quickly all over the country.  In West Virginia, there are 100 open positions every year for CMAs.  By 2018, the number of CMAs in the state will be approaching 4,000.

West Virginia 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

West Virginia Hourly

$8.27

$9.51

$10.87

$12.80

$14.51

Yearly

$17,200

$19,800

$22,600

$26,600

$30,200

(CareerInfoNet.org)

Compared to national trends, the salaries of CMAs are depressed in West Virginia.  This relationship between state salaries and national averages, however, is not peculiar to the CMA career field.  Every day, people earn an honest living working as a medical assistant in West Virginia.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides geographical information about CMA salaries in West Virginia.  Here are some median wages by city:

  • Charleston, WV: $23,600 (yr.) / $11.34 (hr.)
  • Southern West Virginia: $23,100 / $11.10

Recertifying or Transferring

Recertification is a periodic process that CMAs go through at five-year intervals.  There are two ways to be recertified.  CMAs can either pass the certification exam again or take 60 CEUs, which can be taken online.

CMAs interested in transferring to or from West Virginia should contact the AAMA’s national offices.  The folks at the AAMA’s headquarters can guide people through the transfer process.

Local AAMA Chapters in West Virginia

There are no chapters in the state.

Sources: