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

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Medical Assistant Jobs and Programs in Iowa

How to Become a Medical Assistant in Iowa

In Iowa, Medical Assisting is growing with huge steps.

But you need to make yours grow along with it.

To enter the field, a candidate has to really make himself appropriate.

But nothing is impossible.

You can easily achieve a career in medical assisting by following these steps:

  • Learn about Medical Education Options in Iowa
  • Develop Your Medical Assistant Credentials
  • Maintain and Enhance Your Assistant Qualifications

Considering these steps it is not a surprise why so many medical assistants in Iowa have secured their working place.

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Their number goes to 4,780.

And they have achieved their career success through nothing but education, national certification, experience or a mixture of the three options.

The location of medical assistants in work in Iowa is in proportion with the population patterns.

You will usually find them in virtual work offering health and medical services to people there.

These areas are:

  • 1,460 medical assistants in Council Bluffs-Omaha greater metropolitan area
  • 1,150 medical assistants in the greater Des Moines and West Des Moines areas
  • 690 medical assistants in the greater Davenport area
  • 380 medical assistants in Cedar Rapids
  • 320 medical assistants in Iowa City
  • 270 medical assistants in the Waterloo and Cedar Falls areas
  • 240 medical assistants in Sioux City
  • 160 medical assistants in Dubuque
  • 120 medical assistants in Ames

Step 1. Learn About Medical Assistant Education Options in Iowa

A degree in medical assisting is the foundation of any professional education one can get in the field.

The program can begin with an associate’s degree.

Follow up with a bachelor of science in medical sciences.

While it can end up with an advanced degree in medical assisting or health information technology.

The latter is an individual choice.

The associate degree, first of all, is a good start.

Earning it means you’re on the go for an extended career in medical assisting.

In addition, it is also a must for many certification credentials recognized on a national level.

Some certification credentials require education from academic programs accredited by one of these specific agencies:

  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)

But, you have to know that accredited programs in Iowa are offered both online and local.

As you complete your studies you can expect to take courses that include:

  • Diseases and health of the human
  • Medical assistant laboratory procedures
  • Medical assistant clinical procedures
  • Medical office procedures and management
  • Diagnostic radiography
  • Medical terminology
  • Psychology and communication
  • Medical assistant computer software programs
  • Medical insurance billing and coding
  • Medical law and ethics
  • Medical assistant practicum or seminar

Step 2. Develop Your Medical Assistant Credentials

After attending the medical assisting program, there will come credentialing.

From the national agencies located in the state, you will find the following ones as most common:

  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) – sponsored by the American Association of Medical Assistants  (AAMA)
  • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) – sponsored by American Medical Technologists (AMT)
  • Medical Assistant (NCMA) – sponsored by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)
  • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) – sponsored by the National Health career Association (NHA)
  • Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant (NRCMA) – sponsored by the National Association of Health Professionals (NAHP)

Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)

CMA is one of the most widely recognized professional certifications in Iowa.

You can become eligible for it as soon as you meet the following conditions:

  • Graduate from a medical assistant academic program that is accredited by CAAHEP or ABHES
  • Pass the Certified Medical Assistant Exam

To become certified for CMA, you need to enter an exam in prior.

The exam consists of 200 questions.

These questions can be answered in a total of 160 minutes.

For your information, the test is mainly offered at Prometric Testing Centers in Iowa.

While the topics evaluated on the exam are taken from three main subject areas:

  • General subjects
  • Administrative subjects
  • Clinical subjects

Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)

You can earn the RMA credential by completing one the following five routes to eligibility:

  • Graduate from an accredited academic program that includes at least 720 hours of coverage on the topic of medical assisting, including at least 160 hours of a clinical externship
  • Graduate from a formal medical services training program sponsored by the US Armed Forces
  • Have graduated from high school and worked as a medical assistant for at least five years; your work must have included both clinical and administrative duties
  • Be a medical assistant instructor with at least five years of teaching experience or teaching experience with multiple years of clinical medical assisting experience
  • Have earned another recognized medical assisting certification that includes passing an exam; you will, therefore, be exempt from taking the RMA Exam

Once you have completed one of these routes of eligibility, you will be qualified to take the RMA Exam.

Passing this will earn you the RMA credential.

Medical Assistant (NCMA)

There are several ways to become eligible for the NCMA exam.

These ways are:

  • Be a current student or graduate from a medical assistant school that is approved by the NCCT
  • Have at least two years of full-time work experience as a medical assistant
  • Complete the equivalent of medical assistant training in the US Military
  • Earn an equivalent medical assisting credential from another accrediting organization
  • Be a nurse or a doctor in a foreign country
  • Be a medical assistant instructor with at least 10 years of experience

Once you pass the NCMA Exam you will earn the NCMA credential.

Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)

To become a CCMA you will need to take and pass the CCMA Exam.

Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant (NRCMA)

You will need to pass the NRCMA Exam to earn the NRCMA credential.

To register for this exam you must complete an application with the NAHP.

You will also need to gain eligibility for the NRCMA Exam.

To do so, you have three ways:

  • Be a graduate of an accredited or approved medical assisting school or course of study
  • Have had at least two years of formal medical training in the US Armed Forces
  • Have been employed as a medical assistant or closely related field for at least two years, and be able to obtain your employer’s recommendation

Step 3. Maintain and Enhance Your Medical Assistant Qualifications

In Iowa, the employer can let you know of any possible continuing education in order for you to make progress in your medical assisting career.

If a specific medical assistant certification is suggested to you, you will need to meet the requirements as determined by the accrediting agency:

  • CMA – this expires 60 months after it is issued, and to maintain this you will need to either earn 60 re-certification points, including at least 30 points from AAMA-approved continuing education units, or retake the CMA Exam
  • RMA – complete 30 Certification Continuing Program(CCP) points every three years and maintain an annual membership with AMT
  • NCMA – complete an annual course of Continuing Education (CE) that is approved by the NCCT
  • CCMA – earn 10 Continuing Education (CE) credits every two years
  • NRCMA – complete the following three requirements:
    • Maintain a current CPR card
    • Complete at least two A-Class Continuing Education Units (CEUs) each year
    • Maintain an annual membership with the NAHP

Maintaining any of the above credentials means earning another advanced degree in the medical assisting field.

It can be either medical sciences or medical administration.

On the way to become a medical assistant in Iowa, you will also need more information related to the field.

This additional information can be found in professional organizations such as the Iowa Society of Medical Assistants (ISMA).

The Best Medical Assisting Schools in Iowa

Iowa is home to many Medical Assisting Schools and programs.

Depending on the program you’re interested in, you will choose the school as well.

To check them one by one, go to the end of this article.

They are waiting for you!

School NameAddress
Brown Mackie College-Quad CitiesBettendorf, IA
Des Moines Area Community CollegeAnkeny, IA
Ellsworth Community CollegeIowa Falls, IA
Hamilton Technical CollegeDavenport, IA
Iowa Central Community CollegeFort Dodge, IA
Iowa Lakes Community CollegeEstherville, IA
Iowa Western Community CollegeCouncil Bluffs, IA
Kaplan University-Cedar Falls CampusCedar Falls, IA
Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids CampusCedar Rapids, IA
Kaplan University-Davenport CampusDavenport, IA
Kaplan University-Des Moines CampusUrbandale, IA
Kaplan University-Mason City CampusMason City, IA
Kirkwood Community CollegeCedar Rapids, IA
Marshalltown Community CollegeMarshalltown, IA
Mercy College of Health SciencesDes Moines, IA
North Iowa Area Community CollegeMason City, IA
Northeast Iowa Community CollegeCalmar, IA
Southeastern Community CollegeWest Burlington, IA
Vatterott College-Des MoinesDes Moines, IA
Western Iowa Tech Community CollegeSioux City, IA
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Medical Assisting Salaries in Iowa

Salary satisfaction is crucial to productivity at work.

The more you earn, the more motivation you have to do more.

But before you get the salary, you need to become worthy of it.

And that comes with a good education.

Other factors that determine salary in Medical Assisting are many.

Factors such as place, work experience, and skills cannot be ignored.

Annual Salary Range:

Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Des Moines$34,503
Cedar Rapids$33,840
Sioux City$29,674
Iowa City$33,562
Council Bluffs$33,720
West Des Moines$34,503

Regional Salary in Iowa

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Ames, IA160$39,320$18.91$46,600$31,200
Cedar Rapids, IA460$40,980$19.7$48,860$35,420
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL620$37,620$18.09$45,940$29,180
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA1,090$43,350$20.84$49,140$35,910
Dubuque, IA140$38,850$18.68$45,990$34,020
Iowa City, IA530$44,200$21.25$52,170$37,450
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD250$37,610$18.08$45,570$30,800
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA270$40,040$19.25$46,420$34,490
* 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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