Medical Assitant FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Medical Assistants are not required to be certified in most states. However, employers may prefer to hire certified medical assistants

Several organizations offer certification. An applicant must pass an exam and have taken one of several routes to be eligible for each certification. These routes include graduation from an accredited program and work experience, among others. In most cases, an applicant must be at least 18 years old before applying for certification

The National Commission for Certifying Agencies, part of The Institute for Credentialing Excellence, accredits five certifications for medical assistants:

• Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) from the American Association of Medical Assistants
• Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) from American Medical Technologists
• National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) from the National Center for Competency Testing
• Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) from the National Healthcare Association
• Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) from the National Healthcare Association

Work Environment

Medical Assistants held about 743,500 jobs in 2021. The largest employers of medical assistants were as follows:

Offices of physicians 58%
Hospitals; state, local, and private 15%
Outpatient care centers 9%
Offices of chiropractors 4%


The large baby-boom population continues to enter older age groups, which typically have more healthcare concerns than younger age groups and will continue to increase demand for medical services. As a result, more medical assistants will be needed to perform routine administrative and clinical duties in physician’s offices and other primary care settings.


The median annual wage for medical assistants was $37,190 in May 2021. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,070, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $48,170

Job Outlook

Employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 16 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations

About 123,000 openings for medical assistants are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire

Career Advancement

With experience, medical assistants can specialize and move into leadership roles. With more education they may advance into other healthcare occupations such as registered nurse, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner.

***all information in this section is collected from The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website 2022