The Complete Guide

Medical Assistant

How To Become A Clinical Medical Assistant and save time and money on your certification
January 12, 2022

Why We Love CMA

Estimated Salary
Certification Online
Education Needed
No Prior Experience
2-4 Months

What if you could have an exciting career in the healthcare industry and make a difference in people’s lives, but without the need or expense of going to medical school for years?

Clinical medical assistants are an invaluable part of any healthcare team and enjoy the benefits of excellent pay and job opportunities. But best of all, these professionals may begin their rewarding careers in a short period of time, usually a matter of months.

If you love the idea of helping people while working in an incredibly rewarding and exciting industry, then keep reading to learn what a career as a clinical medical assistant offers!

Chapter 1:

What Do Clinical Medical Assistants Do?

A clinical medical assistant is a medical health professional that performs a variety of tasks in an effort to support physicians with optimal patient care, and with the Coronavirus pandemic, their roles and duties have expanded to offering even more support to the health care professionals. If it weren’t for these medical assistants, clinics and hospitals wouldn’t run nearly as smoothly or efficiently as they do!

Medical assistants are trained in a diverse range of tasks that include both medical as well as administrative. While clinical medical assistants working in smaller practices may be required to help out with some administrative tasks, those working in larger medical facilities work closely with patients and physicians in administering medical treatments. On any given day, clinical medical assistants perform a wide range of duties such as:

  • Scheduling medical procedures
  • Drawing blood
  • Taking patient medical histories
  • Updating patient medical files
  • Taking blood pressure and body temperatures
  • Instructing patients on proper usage of medications
  • Scheduling hospital admissions
  • Phoning in prescriptions to various pharmacies
  • Changing the dressing on wounds and even removing sutures
  • Collecting lab specimens
  • Sterilizing medical instruments
  • Preparing patients for x-rays or other medical examinations
  • Answering calls and setting up appointments
  • Maintaining correspondence, bookkeeping and billing
  • Filing as well as updating patient medical records
  • Handling computer systems and applications

So, imagine you are a clinical medical assistant working in an urgent care clinic and someone comes in complaining of nausea, vomit and dizziness. After helping them fill out the necessary paperwork, you would send them to one of the exam rooms. There you would take their blood pressure and temperature, as well as take their medical history. You would write all of this information down in their chart for the attending physician.

Later, after the physician has examined the patient, he or she determines the patient has food poisoning. They ask you to phone in an anti-nausea medication to a local pharmacy as well as go over some important information with the patient before they leave (i.e. be sure to rest, stay hydrated and call with any concerns). By taking care of all of these details, you allow the physician to take care of the next patient.

Without question, clinical medical assistants are recognized as one of the most important and versatile members of any medical practice. Their contribution has become even more prominent during the ongoing pandemic, around the world. No wonder demand for these professionals is increasing more and more!

Chapter 2:

7 Reasons to Become a Clinical Medial Assistant

While this is an in-demand career for numerous reasons, here are the Top 7 reasons you should consider a career as a clinical medical assistant:

1. No Prior Experience Necessary

You are not required to have any prior experience or a degree to begin your certification program. You could start your career journey in the medical industry in just six short months.


2. You Touch Other’s Lives in a Meaningful Way

This career provides immense personal satisfaction from helping people in need. Whether you are administering medication, collecting information, calming a patient’s nerves before a procedure, or simply assisting doctors in their duties, you’ll feel great at the end of every day!

3. You Could Complete Training in Under 6 Months

Not everyone has the money or schedule to be able to go to college for four or more years. Luckily, you can still become a valued medical professional by getting your certification. Many accredited universities offer this training, which can often be completed in less than one year. (And even more luckily – we can connect you to those very universities! So keep reading to find out how)


4. You Have Numerous Career Options

Clinical medical assistants have the choice of working in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, private practices, rehab centers, laboratories and nursing homes. In addition, it’s one of the few healthcare careers that give you the option of keeping traditional 9-5 hours as well as having the flexibility to work around your personal schedule.

 5. It Can be a Stepping Stone to Other Careers

Clinical medical assistant is an entry level healthcare job that provides an individual a unique look into two different worlds. Because many assistants will perform both administrative and clinical duties, they obtain a beneficial overview of the different roles within the medical field. Once this experience is gained, you can focus on the job aspects that suit your preferences and skillset best. For instance, if you like the administrative side of things, you may want to pursue a career as an office manager. Then again, if you like working directly with patients, you may eventually want to pursue a career in nursing. The choice is entirely up to you!


6. No Two Days are Alike

If the idea of sitting in a cubicle doing the same old thing every day doesn’t appeal to you, then you’ll love a career as a clinical medical assistant. No two days are alike, no two patients are alike and the variety of duties you will perform are so varied, you simply can never get bored!


 7. A Better Work/Life Balance

Many careers in the medical profession are demanding of your time. You often have to work odd hours including nights and weekends. This can make it difficult if you are raising a young family or hope to have any kind of social life. Because clinical medical assistants can choose to work in 9-5 positions, they can experience a better work/life balance and be there for their families as well.

Chapter 3:

How to Get a Clinical Medical Assistant Certification

Whether you work in a hospital, nursing home or private practice, employers typically require candidates to hold a clinical medical assistant certification and demonstrate their abilities to land a job in the field.  So, certification may be the best way to get started in this exciting new career.

We recommend you take our certification savings quiz to get started.

Take the Quiz! >

Our quiz could help you save time and money on a certification program from an authorized school or accredited university – and it takes less than a couple minutes to complete.

5 Things to Look for In A Clinical Medical Assistant Certification Program

1. Find an online program from an authorized school or accredited university

The most important step you can take toward your dream career is to gain the right training. Not only will a certification program provide the knowledge and skills you’ll need in this profession, a chance of breaking into the health care industry but you also have a certificate to hang on your wall!

2 Look for a discount and a low monthly payment plan

Easier said than done! We found very few programs that offer these financial resources, which is why we have made it our mission to help adult learners get huge discounts toward their certification! And we also realise that it is important for families, especially during the Covid crisis.

3. Make sure an externship placement is included

Nothing prepares you for the real world like practical hands-on experience, with the chance to practice newly learned skills. This is what will set you apart from other candidates to land that job!

4. Look for an online, mentor supported course you can take at your own pace

If you are an adult student, an online education will provide you will flexible coursework you can complete at your OWN pace and schedule. This ensures you don’t disrupt family and other responsibilities as you approach this exciting career.

5. Find out if textbooks are included in the cost of the program

Textbooks for a CMA program can be majorly expensive! Make sure to find a program that doesn’t charge extra for books. It’s important to look out for ways that help save money.

6. (Bonus!) Use our free quiz to find a certification program that meets all of these criteria 

We’ve gone ahead and saved you some time by researching accredited universities for you! By taking our short healthcare quiz, you can get matched up to the best certification program for your goals and life circumstances.


Chapter 4:

Clinical Medical Assistant Salary Data

How much do clinical medical assistants make? Here is the salary and growth data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

The median annual wage for medical assistants was $35,850 per year or $17.23 per hour, in May 2020. Salaries in this field vary depending on a variety of factors. For instance, clinical medical assistants in top industries can earn a bit higher median annual wage:

  • Outpatient care centers – $36, 810
  • Hospitals – $36,080
  • Physicians’ office – $34,870

Most medical assistants work full time. Some work evenings, weekends, or holidays to cover shifts in medical facilities that are always open, but can tailor their schedule to their needs.

Chapter 5:

Clinical Medical Assistant Job Growth Projections and Forecast

How fast is the clinical medical assistant field growing? Really fast!

This growth is due in part to the aging baby boomer population, who will require more medical services.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of clinical medical assistants is projected to grow 23% from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than average for all other occupations.

While all medical assistants are expected to have good job prospects, according to the BLS, those with certification may have better job prospects.

Luckily we can connect you with schools that offer this training!

Chapter 6:

How to Find a Job as a Clinical Medical Assistant

Without question, your first step toward a career as a clinical medical assistant is to complete the certification training program through an authorized school or accredited university. This training will give you the education you need and get you ready to enter the job market.

Next, you’ll need to take some time to determine what medical environment you’d enjoy working in the most and don’t worry, there are quite a lot of options. For instance, some medical assistants like the fast pace of a surgical ward, ER or trauma center. Other’s may like the calmer atmosphere of a private practice. And still others may enjoy working in a lab or nursing home.

Some other facilities to consider:

  • Outpatient Clinics
  • Ophthalmology Clinics
  • Clinical Labs
  • Chiropractic Unit
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology Facility
  • EKG/Cardiology Facility
  • Palliative Care Facility
  • Orthopedic Clinics
  • Psychiatric & Behavioral Health
  • Radiation Oncology Center

And this isn’t even an extensive list! So spend some time thinking about where you might like to work. Then, think about what job aspects appeal to you the most. In smaller settings, you will most likely handle both clinical and administrative duties. Whereas in larger practices or in a hospital setting, you will focus on clinical duties, interacting closely with doctors and patients.

Once you’ve determined your preferred work environment, your next step is to gain some critical hands-on experience before starting your job search. The good news is a quality certification program will include an externship so you can gain some hands-on experience!

Chapter 7:

Frequently Asked Questions

Additional questions and answers you may have about becoming a Clinical Medical Assistant and getting your certification to work in this exciting field:

Q: What Does a Clinical Medical Assistant Do Every Day?

A: Clinical medical assistants provide important services to both patients and medical professionals. They may perform basic tests in a lab, sterilize medical equipment, and administer prescribed medications and treatments. They may sometimes be called upon to collect samples and prepare patients for x-rays. The duties vary from day to day and no two days are ever alike!


Q: What is a Clinical Medical Assistant Certification?

A: A clinical medical certification is a valuable asset to have because it shows prospective employers that you have been trained and understand the fundamentals of the job. Certification will definitely help you stand out from other candidates.


Q: What Skills Will I Learn in Clinical Medical Assistant Training?

A: You will learn medical terminology, including those related to human anatomy, disease, medical instruments and medications. You will also become familiar with certain healthcare software that is commonly used as well as other technologies like blood pressure measurement equipment.


Q: What Are the Prerequisites for Enrollment in a Certificate Program?

A: The only requirement for enrollment in these programs is a high school diploma or equivalent.

Chapter 8:

How to Start Towards a Clinical Medical Assistant Career In 2-4 Months

One of the greatest advantages of this career is that you don’t need any prior experience or degree. You could start towards your career as a clinical medical assistant in as little as 4 months!

So here’s what we recommend you do to get started: Take this quiz to see if you qualify for an online certification program from an authorized school or accredited university.

Take the Quiz! >

A clinical medical assistant certification is preferred by most employers and required by some. Plus, taking a certification program could be the best way to get your foot in the door, build your network, get training, and work experience.

Take this quiz to see if you qualify for:

  • 10% Off A Certification Program
  • An Externship For Real Work Experience
  • Affordable Programs and Low Monthly Payments
  • A FREE Laptop To Take The Course If You Don’t Have One
  • No Extra Cost For Textbooks – All Included and Shipped To Your Door
  • Online, Mentor Supported Courses You Can Take 24/7 At Your Own Pace

If you are ready to get started on an exciting and rewarding career in healthcare, then take this short quiz to get started toward your dream!