Medical assistance is a great career for anyone who wants to enter the healthcare field.
But what is a Medical Assistant?
Medical assistants are trained healthcare workers that provide support services and work in close proximity to physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Their duties generally entail both clinical and administrative tasks.
You might also wonder if you can become a medical assistant without experience or certification.
To answer shortly, yes.
Medical assistants are getting hired without experience or certifications since their demand has been constantly rising. Most of such jobs are entry-level positions offering on-the-job training, which will help you gain all the relevant experience and skills you would need as a medical assistant.
Read on to learn more about how to become a medical assistant without any experience, how to look for jobs, what skills are necessary to become one, and more.
Also see: Medical Assistant On-the-Job Training
How To Become a Medical Assistant With No Experience or Certification
Even though most entry-level medical assistant jobs do not require certifications, experience, or schooling, the minimum requirement is a high school diploma or a GED.
The quickest way to gauge what medical assisting is all about is through an externship program. Externships are generally unpaid and involve aspiring medical assistants shadowing their seniors.
The duration of medical assistant externships is usually a few days to a few weeks, which helps you understand what the job will entail.
Externships not only help you network with potential employers across the field, but it also helps you gain an insight into what a day in life as a medical assistant looks like. It also allows you to showcase your passion and work ethic for the field.
Where To Find Jobs As a Medical Assistant With No Experience or Certification
Many job board sites keep listing opportunities for medical assistants that do not have any experience or certifications.
You can start by searching for “medical assistant no experience” in the search bar to optimize your results.
Although there are many websites with jobs for a novice or aspiring medical assistants, here are the job sites with the most postings that you should check out-
It is important to note that not every job will necessarily have “no experience required” mentioned in their listings. Some of the postings might have other terms you will need to look out for, such as “no certification required” or “entry-level medical assistant.”
Another recommendation is to also keep checking your local clinic and hospital websites for job postings.
You can also try to visit potential job sites, such as any local clinics or hospitals near you. This is the best option for when you have no experience, and it helps you get noticed by the employer since you get to hand in your resume and introduce yourself.
Also read: Where Can Medical Assistants Work?
Carefully Check the Job Description
It is recommended that you thoroughly review the job description before applying for any position since every job listing tends to list its requirements.
The general job requirements for medical assistants with little to no experience usually include a high school diploma, good interpersonal skills, good organizational skills, and a strong work ethic.
Working as a medical assistant usually involves working in a fast-paced environment where you must multitask at times. Since medical assistants also handle clinical responsibilities and administrative tasks, they must be on their feet for long hours.
Read more on Medical Assistant Job Duties
Look for Jobs that Provide On-The-Job Training
Some companies may hire medical assistants who are certified. If you’re an aspiring medical assistant without any certification or experience, you can still call the healthcare facility.
Some employers hire inexperienced medical assistants and offer on-the-job training opportunities. However, they still expect medical assistants to gain certification after training.
Many big hospitals and clinics also offer internship opportunities for medical assistants that want to pursue this rewarding career. Internship programs usually allow you to earn a stipend while training.
Interns might also be offered other incentives or raise after completing their program.
One advantage of completing an internship is that most employers count internship hours as work experience. So, if you have interned in a hospital or a clinic for a year, most organizations will count that as one year of work experience.
Build Your Resume
It is highly recommended that you try to get yourself into as much volunteer work as possible. Volunteering in any medical experience will look great on your application, in addition to boosting your confidence and your opportunity of helping the community.
Volunteering usually involves working with people in need and interacting with them regularly, which is similar to what medical assistants do. Hence, this boosts your chances of getting hired as a medical assistant.
You can also opt to volunteer in clinics or hospitals; this can help you get hired later within the same setting.
While volunteering, you should also check job listings for medical assistants to ensure you cover all the mentioned requirements before you start applying for jobs.
Skills That Can Help You Get a Job as a Medical Assistant With No Experience or Certification
You will need to complete a medical assistant program if you wish to become a certified medical assistant.
Many options are available for completing your medical assistant training, and its duration may range from six months to two years.
Taking the route of medical assistant training programs might not be the best suited for everyone since it involves spending a significant amount of time and money.
There are, however, other ways to boost your resume. You can complete certifications that are faster and inexpensive and are preferred by employers. Some employers may even require one or two certifications to hire potential employees.
Here are a few certification courses that you can take:
You can become certified as a phlebotomist in just a few weeks. Drawing blood is also one of the most common tasks of a medical assistant.
- Medical Billing-
There are many medical billing courses available online, and it costs somewhere around $300. Handling medical billings and medical coding is also a medical assistant’s most important task; having experience in this aspect will help you outshine other candidates.
Also see: Medical Assistant vs Medical Billing and Coding
- Medical Terminology-
Online courses for medical assistant medical terminologies are available for around $50 to $100. Taking this course will help you stand out and become a valuable medical assistant, as you will be able to understand the physician’s orders much better.
Obtaining a CPR certification is a requirement for any healthcare job. CPR certifications are one of the most important requirements, and hence you can expect to be reimbursed for taking a course.
- First Aid-
You can learn the basics of first aid and trauma care by enrolling yourself in a first aid course. The Red Cross offers one such course. This course is usually a very small one and can be completed within a few hours.
- Healthcare Experience-
For aspiring medical assistants, any healthcare experience involving customer interaction works well.
What is the Typical Pay For Medical Assistants With No Experience or Certification?
As an inexperienced medical assistant who is just starting out, you can expect to have a lower salary. This can, however, change as you evolve in your career and gain all the necessary skills and experience.
Medical assistants who are not certified are generally paid around $35,000 per year. These figures can change based on various factors such as job location, experience, level of education, and certifications.
You should also get certified as a medical assistant, as a certified medical assistant salary is nearly 20% more than for non-certified medical assistants. When starting out as an inexperienced or non-certified medical assistant, you can expect your working hours to be less desirable.
Also read: Medical Assistant Hours
Ways to Complete Your Medical Assistant Training
If you do decide to complete your medical assistant training, or if you wish to become a certified medical assistant, you need to meet the minimum requirements first. This includes completing your high school diploma or a GED.
After you’ve obtained your high school diploma, you can complete your medical assistant training in three common ways, such as –
- Getting an associate’s degree from a technical university
- Completing a diploma course from a community college
- Completing an online training program
Out of all the above-mentioned available options, it is highly recommended that you choose an online training program. This is because an online training program offers several advantages over its alternatives.
Here are a few significant advantages-
- Online programs allow you to complete your training much faster than an associate’s degree or a diploma. You can complete an online course in as little as 6 months.
- You have the option of learning at your own pace and time schedule and from the comfort of your own home.
- Online training programs cost significantly less than their alternatives, with courses costing as little as $5000.
- Online courses also prepare you for your medical assistant certification exams.
After completing your medical assistant training, the next step is to sit and clear your certification exams. You will need to clear either the CMA, CCMA, or RMA certification exam to become a certified medical assistant.
Read more on: Is Medical Assistant Degree Required?
Even though it seems impossible, getting hired as a medical assistant with no degree or experience is very much possible. Though not required, obtaining certifications and gaining any form of healthcare experience will help you shine in front of employers and get hired.
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