Medical Assistant Jobs and Programs in California – Schools, Salary, and License Info

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Medical Assistant Jobs and Programs in California

How to Become a Medical Assistant in California

There are so many ways to achieve something.

But the most common way is always through.

Similarly, when pursuing a career in Medical Assisting, an aspiring student must consider several issues along.

First of all, they need to know how a medical assistant is defined in California.

And what do they need to become one close to that definition.

When talking about it, the definition is given below for you to read.

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Medical Assistants in California are defined as unlicensed individuals who practice non-invasive technical support services that are routine under the supervision of medical professionals such as:

  • Nurse midwife
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Physician assistant
  • Physician/surgeon
  • Podiatrist

In the state, medical assistants are supervised by a licensed physician or nurse practitioner.

They are not allowed to performing any technical support services in a non-invasive way without their prior supervision.

However, before doing any kind of practice, you need to become a proper Medical Assistant first.

The way to this profession is through three major steps such as:

  • Receiving Training Recognized by the Medical Board of California
  • Earning Medical Assistant Certification
  • Receiving Training in Venipuncture/Injections

Step 1. Receiving Training Recognized by the Medical Board of California

Regardless of the fact that the California Medical Board does not provide licenses to medical assistants, still, an acceptable training in the field is required from the candidate.

As mentioned earlier, medical assistants work under supervision.

Hence, supervising professionals such as podiatrists, physicians or instructors are responsible for measuring that services and technical duties are done appropriately towards the patient.

The training that the medical assistants are asked to complete, can be administered in environments such as:

  • Under a licensed physician or podiatrist; or under a registered nurse, licensed vocational nurse, physician assistant, or qualified medical assistant or
  • In a secondary, post-secondary, or adult education program in a public school authorized by the Department of Education;
    in a community college program,
  • in a post-secondary institution approved or accredited by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education within the Department of Consumer Affairs

In the variety of all these school levels, post-secondary schools in medical assisting receive accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

While they also receive it from the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

In these schools, diploma, certificate or associate degree programs are accredited.

All these credentials offer adequate knowledge to Medical Assistant students to perform well in their profession.

Step 2. Earning a Medical Assistant Certification

Medical assistants’ licenses are elective in California.

Yet, when it comes to being employed in the field, they need certification.

Usually, supervisors such as physicians or podiatrists will surely ask the medical assistant for this issue.

The shortest way to receive certification in California is to ask that from the Medical Board of California.

But that’s not the only portal to certification.

They can also seek that from other certifying organizations across the nation.

Nationally, these certifications are recognized from California:

  • California Certifying Board for Medical Assistants: California Certified Medical Assistant (CCMA)
  • The American Association of Medical Assistants: Certified Medical Assistant
  • American Medical Technologist (AMT): Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)

The CCMA Exam

CMMA Exam is an exam to be taken as a final step to certification.

It is a practice since 1990 in the state.

The exam is usually administered by the California Certifying Board for Medical Assistants.

Whereas the test is offered by hand from the Pearson Vue testing locations all year long.

The test is focused on three areas of Medical Assisting:

  • Basic
  • Administrative
  • Clinical

In relation to the areas of examination, the new applicant must take the three of them, the Basic, Administrative and the Clinical aspect of Medical Assisting.

For certification, both the Basic and one of the rest is a must to pass.

The exam has a cost of course.

Its total cost is $115 for the Basic and one of the specialty examinations.

While $155 is for the three examinations.

Another thing to add as far as certification in Clinical Medical Assistant is concerned is proof of having done training in venipuncture or injections.

Eligibility Requirements

To be able to take the CCMA exam, you need to meet the requirements.

The first requirement is having a current CPR certification, as well as meeting the following conditions:

  • Be currently employed as a medical assistant by a licensed podiatrist or physician in the U.S.; OR
  • Have been employed as a medical assistant for at least 2 of the previous 5 years; OR
  • Have graduated from a medical assisting program through an accredited U.S. institution within the last year; OR
  • Be currently employed as a medical assistant instructor in an accredited U.S. institution; OR
  • Have received U.S. Military training

 Step 3. Receive Training in Venipuncture/Injections

Receiving a CCMA certification in Clinical Specialty requires sending proof that the candidate has completed training in venipuncture and injections.

The training, which can be part of the medical assisting curriculum or not, must meet some standards.

It initially needs to include:

  • 10 clock hours of training in performing skin tests and administering injections; OR
  • 10 clock hours of training in skin puncture and venipuncture for the purpose of withdrawing blood; AND
  • Satisfactory performance by the trainee of at least 10 each of subcutaneous, intramuscular, and intradermal injections and 10 skin tests, and/or at least 10 skin punctures and 10 venipuncture

Apart from this training, there is also another action to take.

The medical assistant can also choose to administer medication by inhalation method.

He or she can do so by taking minimally 10 clock hours on the same practice.

Training in the above must include instruction and demonstration in:

  • Anatomy and physiology pertinent to the procedures
  • California law and regulations regarding medical assistants
  • Choice of equipment
  • Emergency procedures
  • Hazards and complications
  • Patient care following treatment/tests
  • Proper technique, including sterilization

As soon as a medical assistant receives certification of CCMA, he or she can administer intramuscular, intradermal medications.

He can also perform skin tests and skin puncture, as well as venipuncture for withdrawing blood.

Anyway, for the medication and dosage used in the practice, a physician or podiatrist is in charge of verification.

Step 4. Pursue a Medical Assisting Job with One of California’s Top Employers

Whether it is worth pursuing a job in Medical Assisting is a matter of considering the statistics of employment in California for years.

According to California’s Employment Development Department, 82,450 medical assistants were in work relations in the state in the first years of 2014.

Whereas from 2005, employment in medical assisting has increased in 31,000, thus making significant progress in the profession.

Another way to become a medical assistant along with education and training is also making connections in the profession.

Medical Assistants can do that by making membership in the California Society of Medical Assistants, which is a professional association in the field.

In addition, several job settings will be available for getting a job in medical assisting.

These areas include hospitals, ambulatory care centers as well as physician groups.

The largest groups of physicians and hospital systems in California are these:

  • Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, Oakland
  • UCLA Medical Group, Los Angeles
  • EmCare Nationwide, Santa Barbara
  • Palo Alto Medical Foundation Clinic, Santa Cruz
  • UC Davis Medical Group, Roseville
  • California Emergency Physicians, Pomona
  • UC San Diego Medical Group, San Diego

The Best Medical Assisting Schools in California

California is home to 20 Medical Assisting Schools.

In them, you can have different types of programs, licenses, and credentials.

However, it is upon you to choose the program you’re interested in.

School NameAddress
Advanced CollegeSouth Gate, CA
Advanced Training AssociatesEl Cajon, CA
Allan Hancock CollegeSanta Maria, CA
American Career College-AnaheimAnaheim, CA
American Career College-Long BeachLong Beach, CA
American Career College-Los AngelesLos Angeles, CA
American Career College-OntarioOntario, CA
Angeles CollegeLos Angeles, CA
Antelope Valley CollegeLancaster, CA
Baldwin Park Adult & Community EducationBaldwin Park, CA
Bay Area Medical AcademySan Francisco, CA
Blake Austin CollegeVacaville, CA
Cabrillo CollegeAptos, CA
California Career InstituteGarden Grove, CA
California College San DiegoSan Marcos, CA
California College San DiegoSan Diego, CA
California Healing Arts CollegeCarson, CA
California Nurses Educational InstitutePalm Springs, CA
Cambridge Junior College-WoodlandWoodland, CA
Cambridge Junior College-Yuba CityYuba City, CA
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Medical Assisting Salaries in California

Salaries are an important aspect of every profession.

It is the means through which an employee fuels his energy to work better.

In California, Medical Assisting salaries vary from place to place.

But they also vary from other factors.

However, one thing is certain, professional growth is the key to a better salary in the state.

Annual Salary Range:

Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Los Angeles$40,150
San Diego$38,347
San Jose$44,761
San Francisco$44,690
Long Beach$39,768
Santa Ana$39,804

Regional Salary in California

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Bakersfield, CA2,670$40,870$19.65$58,130$31,590
Chico, CA520$43,030$20.69$56,160$34,440
El Centro, CA480$37,590$18.07$46,180$32,740
Fresno, CA3,190$43,990$21.15$66,200$33,730
Hanford-Corcoran, CA370$40,640$19.54$47,740$34,550
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA36,770$43,880$21.1$59,090$35,370
Madera, CA290$39,510$19$46,900$31,830
Merced, CA550$37,120$17.84$44,060$31,200
Modesto, CA1,490$46,680$22.44$65,130$33,410
Napa, CA380$54,870$26.38$66,270$39,360
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA1,700$44,770$21.52$59,690$36,030
Redding, CA750$43,570$20.95$65,440$34,460
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA10,380$41,020$19.72$58,940$30,980
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA7,470$56,450$27.14$74,720$37,190
Salinas, CA1,010$44,000$21.16$55,360$36,270
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA8,810$44,960$21.62$61,550$36,690
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA14,500$58,710$28.23$76,050$42,900
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA6,420$55,980$26.91$73,630$38,890
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA750$45,150$21.71$59,370$35,530
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA870$49,010$23.56$65,830$37,360
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA1,150$44,580$21.43$61,340$35,620
Santa Rosa, CA1,630$55,690$26.77$73,250$38,490
Stockton-Lodi, CA1,590$47,680$22.92$66,630$34,390
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA1,160$62,050$29.83$75,790$37,760
Visalia-Porterville, CA1,200$43,300$20.82$58,220$34,740
Yuba City, CA370$43,730$21.03$50,840$35,170
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Medical Assistants, OCC Code 31-9092, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

USA Medical Assisting by State

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