Looking to become a certified medical assistant? Make sure you choose the right school and program for it, as minor differences on paper can turn into big differences in job potential, convenience, flexibility, and your ability to advance your career further. To help you choose the right school for your life and goals, we’ve put together a brief guide to what you’ll want to consider; after all, there’s no single right choice that fits everyone. You want the school that makes sense for you.
First and foremost, make sure you’re looking at a program that will let you become a certified medical assistant, and not something leveraging similar terminology but lacking the necessary accreditation as a school or program. This is non-negotiable; you can’t get a job as a CMA if you received your training from an unaccredited scam.
Fits Your Life
The second highest point of consideration for most potential students should be determining how your CMA program will fit into your life. If you’re already working a job, raising kids, or otherwise committed to other things, then it’s very important to find a program that can work around your life without stretching you to the breaking point.
An accredited CMA program is going to be hundreds of hours—probably closer to 1000—of classroom education, lab work, and on-site training. Athena Career Academy’s course, for example, requires about 800 hours of study over 9 months. That’s a significant commitment, so make sure you’re certain it can fit into your schedule.
It’s a good idea for anyone looking to become a certified medical assistant to consider flexibility in their program as a factor. If something changes in your life unexpectedly—a change of job, family concerns, etc.—you don’t want to have your time and money wasted because you can’t adjust to the changes appropriately.
Schools with programs which are regularly starting new classes will have an easier time fitting you back in with minimal problems if something does change; smaller programs that run new classes less frequently may leave you waiting much longer than you’d like.
A reputable school and program with a focus on producing career-ready CMAs will help you become a certified medical assistant. A school can have its paperwork in line but still set off red flags in the eyes of every hiring manager who looks at your resume if it has a history of subpar graduates or cutting corners in education.
Aside from poor schools, there’s also a difference in schools which can offer effective and meaningful networking opportunities and career advancement courses to their students, alongside your medical assistant training.
Evolving in Your Career
If you want to go further in your career than entry-level work as a medical assistant, then it’s worthwhile to consider additional education beyond that point. Staying within a school to pursue training in admin, or advanced medical knowledge, or various other specialty skills will be easier than changing schools down the line. It’s worth considering now what you might want to do next year or five years from now, rather than thinking about it once you’ve already committed to a school which can’t help you with your next set of career development goals.
Choosing to become a certified medical assistant and seeking your education is a great idea. With the chronic understaffing of support medical personnel, medical assistants are and will continue to be in high demand. Just make sure you get your education in a way that’s compatible with your life and conducive to the future you want! Athena Career Academy has an outstanding medical assistant program with flexible class schedules. Contact us today to learn more!