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Top 10 Clinical Assistant Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications available for clinical assistants, including details on requirements and benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Clinical assistant certifications are important in the job market because they demonstrate a professional level of knowledge and experience in the field. Certifications show employers that a clinical assistant is committed to their profession and has met certain standards of practice. They also help employers identify and hire qualified candidates who have the necessary skills and qualifications to perform the job successfully. Certification can be used as an indicator of competence, reliability, and trustworthiness when it comes to selecting clinical assistants for positions. Employers value certified individuals because they are more likely to deliver quality patient care and adhere to established protocols for medical procedures. Additionally, certifications can provide potential career advancement opportunities since many organizations require them for promotion or higher-level roles within their medical practices.

This article reviews the top certifications for Clinical Assistants and explains how they can help to enhance a clinical assistant's career.

What are Clinical Assistant Certifications?

Clinical assistant certification is a credential that demonstrates an individual has met certain criteria of competency as a clinical assistant. Clinical assistants are health care professionals who provide services such as taking vital signs, assisting with medical procedures, administering medications and injections, and performing other related tasks under the supervision of a physician or nurse. Having a certification in this field can help individuals demonstrate their knowledge and experience in the health care field, which can lead to more career opportunities and higher wages. Certification may also help those interested in pursuing further education or professional development since many employers prefer to hire certified clinical assistants. Additionally, having a certification may give an individual an edge over other applicants during job interviews.

Pro Tip: When considering clinical assistant certification, make sure to research the different types of certifications available and the requirements for each. Different certifications may require additional training or experience, so it’s important to understand what you need to do in order to obtain a specific certification.

Related: What does a Clinical Assistant do?

Top 10 Clinical Assistant Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Clinical Assistants today.

1. Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)

A Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) is a healthcare professional who provides administrative and clinical support to physicians, nurses, and other medical staff. CMAs typically work in doctors' offices, clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. They are responsible for taking patient histories, preparing patients for exams, measuring vital signs such as blood pressure and temperature, administering medications as directed by a physician or nurse practitioner, performing laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures, assisting with minor surgeries or treatments, and providing patient education.

It typically takes about two years to become a CMA. To get certified as a CMA you must complete an accredited medical assistant program at an accredited college or university. After completing the program you must pass the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). The cost of the exam varies depending on your state but typically ranges from $125 - $150.

2. Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)

Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) is a certification that recognizes medical assistants who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to provide quality patient care in a clinical setting. The CCMA certification is offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

To become certified, candidates must successfully complete an accredited training program and pass the NHA's CCMA exam. Training programs typically take between 8-12 months to complete, depending on the type of program chosen. Most programs include classroom instruction, laboratory practice, and hands-on clinical experience.

Candidates can register for the CCMA exam online or by mail with the NHA. The cost of registration is $125 for NHA members and $150 for non-members. Once registered, candidates will receive an authorization letter with instructions on how to schedule their exam at a local testing center. The exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions and must be completed within two hours.

Upon successful completion of both the training program and the exam, candidates will be awarded their Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) credential from the NHA. This credential is valid for five years before needing to be renewed.

3. Certified Clinical Medical Administrative Assistant (CCMAA)

A Certified Clinical Medical Administrative Assistant (CCMAA) is a professional who has been certified to provide administrative and clinical support services in a medical office setting. This certification is offered through the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

To become certified, applicants must have at least one year of experience working in a medical office setting and must pass an exam that tests their knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, medical coding and billing, patient scheduling, insurance processing, and other administrative tasks.

The CCMAA exam takes approximately three hours to complete and consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. The cost of the exam is $155 for NHA members or $205 for non-members. Candidates can register for the exam online or by phone. Once the exam is successfully completed, candidates will receive their certification within two weeks.

4. Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT)

Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) is a certification that is offered to individuals who have completed an accredited phlebotomy training program and passed the national certification exam. The CPT certification demonstrates that the individual has the knowledge and skill to safely collect, handle, process, and transport blood specimens for laboratory testing.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete a phlebotomy training program depending on the type of program you choose. Most programs include both classroom instruction and hands-on clinical experience. After completing the training program, individuals must pass a national certification exam in order to become certified as a phlebotomist.

To get certified as a CPT, you will need to enroll in an approved phlebotomy training program through an accredited school or institution. You can find accredited programs by searching online or contacting your local community college or vocational school. After completing the training program, you will need to take and pass the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) Certified Phlebotomy Technician Exam.

The cost of becoming a CPT varies depending on the type of program you choose and where it is located. Generally speaking, most programs range from $500-$2000 USD. This cost includes tuition fees, textbooks, lab fees, and other related expenses such as background checks or drug tests that may be required by some employers prior to employment.

5. Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS)

A Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS) is a professional certification that demonstrates expertise in the use of electronic health records (EHRs). This certification is offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), which is an independent, non-profit organization that promotes healthcare professionals and their career advancement.

The CEHRS certification program consists of two parts: a written exam and a practical skills assessment. The written exam covers topics such as EHR hardware and software, data entry, security, privacy, coding and billing, and other related topics. The practical skills assessment tests the candidate’s ability to use EHRs in real-world scenarios.

The written exam takes approximately four hours to complete and costs $199. The practical skills assessment takes up to three hours to complete and costs $149. Candidates must pass both components in order to receive their CEHRS certification.

In order to be eligible for the CEHRS certification program, candidates must have at least one year of experience working with EHRs or have completed an accredited course in EHR technology within the past five years. Additionally, applicants must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent degree.

6. Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)

Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) is a professional certification program designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of administrative assistants working in the medical field. The certification is offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

The CMAA certification requires applicants to pass an exam that covers topics such as medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, coding systems, insurance processing, patient scheduling, and other administrative duties. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately two hours to complete.

In order to be eligible for the CMAA certification, applicants must have at least one year of experience working in a medical office or related environment. They must also have completed a minimum of 10 hours of continuing education within the past two years.

The cost of taking the CMAA exam is $125 USD. The fee includes access to study materials, practice exams, and a voucher for the actual exam. Once you pass the exam, you will receive your official certificate from NHA within four to six weeks.

7. Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)

Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) is an allied health professional who has been certified by the American Medical Technologists (AMT). The RMA performs administrative and clinical tasks in a variety of healthcare settings, including doctors’ offices, hospitals, nursing homes and outpatient clinics.

To become a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), you must complete an accredited program and pass a certification exam. Programs typically take one to two years to complete and include courses in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, medical law and ethics, pharmacology, laboratory procedures, clinical procedures, patient care and communication.

To get your RMA certification you will need to apply for the exam through AMT. You will be required to submit documentation of your academic credentials as well as proof of work experience or completion of an approved externship program. The cost for the exam is $115.

Once you have passed the exam you will receive your certificate from AMT which is valid for three years. To maintain your certification you must complete continuing education credits every three years.

8. National Healthcareer Association’s Clinical Medical Assistant Certification (CMAC)

The National Healthcareer Association’s Clinical Medical Assistant Certification (CMAC) is a voluntary certification program that recognizes the knowledge and skills of medical assistants in the clinical setting. The CMAC certification is designed to ensure that medical assistants have the necessary skills and knowledge to provide quality healthcare services to patients.

The CMAC exam consists of 120 multiple-choice questions, which must be completed within two hours. The exam covers topics such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, laboratory procedures, pharmacology, patient care procedures, and medical office management. To be eligible for the CMAC exam, applicants must have at least one year of full-time experience as a medical assistant in a clinical setting or complete an accredited training program.

To obtain the certification, applicants must pass the CMAC exam with a score of 70% or higher. The cost for the exam is $125 for NHA members and $150 for non-members. After passing the exam, applicants will receive their CMAC certification within 4-6 weeks.

The CMAC certification is valid for three years and can be renewed by retaking the exam or completing continuing education credits.

9. American Association of Medical Assistants’ Certified Clinical Medical Assistant Certification (CCMA-AAMA)

The American Association of Medical Assistants’ Certified Clinical Medical Assistant Certification (CCMA-AAMA) is a voluntary certification program that recognizes medical assistants who demonstrate knowledge and mastery of the core clinical skills required to practice in the field. The CCMA-AAMA certification is offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). It is an important credential for medical assistants who want to demonstrate their expertise and commitment to patient care.

To obtain the CCMA-AAMA certification, applicants must first meet certain eligibility requirements. These include having completed a formal medical assistant education program accredited by either CAAHEP or ABHES, or having at least five years of experience as a medical assistant. Once these requirements are met, applicants must pass a comprehensive exam administered by the AAMA. The exam covers topics such as anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, patient care procedures, laboratory procedures, medical terminology, and administrative tasks.

The exam can be taken online or at one of several testing centers located throughout the United States. It typically takes about two hours to complete and costs $125 for members of AAMA or $200 for non-members. Upon successful completion of the exam, applicants will receive their CCMA-AAMA certification which is valid for three years from the date it was issued.

In order to maintain their certification status, certified medical assistants must complete continuing education credits every three years in order to renew their credentials. The cost for recertification is $75 for members or $150 for non-members.

10. National Center for Competency Testing’s Clinical Medical Assisting Certification (NCCT-CMAC).

The National Center for Competency Testing’s Clinical Medical Assisting Certification (NCCT-CMAC) is a nationally recognized certification for medical assistants. It is designed to demonstrate the knowledge and skills of those who work in clinical settings, such as physicians' offices, clinics, and hospitals. The NCCT-CMAC certification is awarded to individuals who have successfully completed a comprehensive examination that covers topics such as medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, patient care procedures, laboratory techniques, pharmacology, and medical office administration.

The process of obtaining the NCCT-CMAC certification typically takes between four to six weeks. To begin the process, applicants must first register with the NCCT website and pay an application fee. Once registered, applicants will be sent an eligibility form that must be completed and returned before taking the exam. After submitting their eligibility form, applicants will receive an authorization letter from the NCCT which will provide them with instructions on how to take the exam.

The exam itself consists of 150 multiple choice questions and takes approximately two hours to complete. It is administered at Pearson VUE testing centers located throughout the United States. Applicants must pass with a score of 70% or higher in order to receive their certification.

The cost for taking the NCCT-CMAC exam varies depending on your location but typically ranges from $125-$175 USD. Additionally, there may be additional costs associated with registering for the exam or purchasing study materials or practice tests if desired.

Do You Really Need a Clinical Assistant Certificate?

The answer to whether you need a clinical assistant certificate depends on your career goals and the requirements of the job you are pursuing. A clinical assistant certificate can provide valuable education and experience that can help you land a job in the healthcare field, but it is not always necessary.

If you are interested in becoming a medical assistant, for example, then a clinical assistant certificate could be beneficial. Such certificates demonstrate advanced knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, medical office procedures, and other related topics. This type of certification may also allow you to perform more complex tasks than those with just an entry-level medical assistant position.

If you are looking to move up in the healthcare field or pursue higher level positions such as nurse practitioner or physician's assistant, then a clinical assistant certificate could be extremely helpful. Many employers look for candidates who have completed additional training beyond what is offered in traditional college courses. A clinical assistant certificate shows that you have taken extra steps to further your education and increase your knowledge base.

Finally, if you are already working in the healthcare field but want to expand your skillset or gain more specialized knowledge, then a clinical assistant certificate could help open up new opportunities for advancement or higher pay grades. Even if certain jobs do not explicitly require this type of certification, it could still give you an edge over other applicants and make you more attractive to potential employers.

In conclusion, whether or not you need a clinical assistant certificate depends largely on your individual career goals and the requirements of the job at hand. If obtaining this type of certification would benefit your professional development or help improve your chances at landing a particular job then it may be worth considering.

Related: Clinical Assistant Resume Examples

FAQs About Clinical Assistant Certifications

Q1. What is a Clinical Assistant Certification?

A1. A Clinical Assistant Certification is a credential that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and skills in providing medical care and support to healthcare professionals. It usually involves completing an accredited clinical assistant program, passing a certification exam, and meeting any other state-specific requirements.

Q2. How long does it take to get Clinical Assistant Certification?

A2. The length of time to complete a Clinical Assistant Certification program can vary depending on the specific program and the student’s availability. Generally, most programs take between 6 months to 1 year to complete.

Q3. What are the prerequisites for becoming certified as a Clinical Assistant?

A3. Prerequisites for becoming certified as a Clinical Assistant typically include having at least a high school diploma or equivalent, completing an accredited clinical assistant program, passing a certification exam, and meeting any other state-specific requirements.

Q4. How much does it cost to get certified as a Clinical Assistant?

A4. The cost of getting certified as a Clinical Assistant will vary depending on the specific program chosen and whether there are any additional fees associated with taking the certification exam or other state-specific requirements needed for licensure/certification in your area. Generally speaking, most programs range from $500-$2000 in total cost (including tuition fees).

Q5. Are there online programs available for getting Certified as a Clinical Assistant?

A5. Yes, there are some online programs available for getting Certified as a Clinical Assistant; however, they may not be accepted in all states or jurisdictions so it is important to check with your local regulatory board before enrolling in one of these programs.