Table of Contents
- 1 How to Become a Medical Assistant in South Carolina
- 2 Step 1. Learn the Requirements to Become a Medical Assistant in South Carolina
- 3 Step 2. Become a Qualified and Competitive Medical Assistant
- 4 Step 3. Maintain and Improve Your Medical Assistant Qualifications
- 5 Step 4. Pursue a Medical Assistant Job in South Carolina
- 6 The Best Medical Assisting Schools in South Carolina
- 7 Medical Assisting Salaries in South Carolina
How to Become a Medical Assistant in South Carolina
Medical Assisting in South Carolina is experiencing significant growth in South Carolina.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has foreseen job growth as faster than the average.
This growth will become even greater along with the aging of the population.
And as a result, the need for medical assistants will also become huge.
As the law of the state works, there is specific guideline related to the medical activities medical assistants are allowed to perform in the state.
But before we find that out, let’s see the way how to become one first.
Practically, we will be able to do so by following these steps:
- Learn the Requirements to Become a Medical Assistant in South Carolina
- Become a Qualified and Competitive Medical Assistant
- Maintain and Improve Your Medical Assistant Qualifications
- Pursue a Medical Assistant Job in South Carolina
Step 1. Learn the Requirements to Become a Medical Assistant in South Carolina
South Carolina’s law allows physicians to delegate tasks to medical assistants according to the following criteria:
- Duties delegated to a medical assistant must be done so directly by a physician and on one else
- Delegated duties must be of a routine nature that does not require a specially-licensed professional and that would not involve significant risk to a patient if mistakes were made
- When tasks are delegated to a medical assistant, the delegating physician must be immediately available for assistance if needed, and therefore must be in close proximity
- Medical assistants must wear a clearly visible badge that identifies their name and position
Apart from giving them the right to perform tasks legally, medical assistants are also defined by the state.
As such, they are defined as unlicensed personnel.
However, the requirements that medical assistant need to meet towards employment in the field is more serious than that.
This is how individual health care providers have stated.
Many of those who employ medical assistants require them to have qualifications such as:
- Graduation from a medical assistant certification program
- Nationally recognized medical assisting credentials
- Associate’s of science degree focusing on medical assisting or the health care sciences
- Bachelor’s of Science degree with a concentration in medical assisting and the health care sciences
- Advanced academic degrees in the field of medical sciences
However, employers do not set their requirements as fit for their individual ideas.
They do that in terms of the needs of the facility they are head of in the first place.
This means it is up to you to check with your prospective employer on the specific qualifications.
What Employers Are Looking For
As seen from the random job announcements in South Carolina, the following employment requirements are the most frequently set:
- A medical assistant job at a Charleston heart specialist clinic was seeking a professional with at least one year of experience who also graduated from a medical assisting training program
- A position with an advanced center for internal medicine in Charleston also stated a preference for medical assistants who had at least one year of experience and who had graduated from a medical assisting training program
- A medical assistant position with the US Department of Veterans Affairs in Columbia required one of the following:
- Six months of work experience in a clerical office or another relevant setting
- At least one year of college education, with more years of college translating to the possibility of a more advanced rank and pay level
- A combination of relevant education and experience
- A medical assistant position with Palmetto Health in Columbia required an associate’s degree in medical assisting or an equivalent amount of experience, in addition to accepting a CMA credential as meeting additional requirements
- A medical assistant position at an OBGYN practice in Mount Pleasant stated a preference for applicants holding a CMA, and had requirements that included:
- Completion of a medical assistant academic training program
- At least one year of experience in a medical office environment
- A medical office in Rock Hill recently posted an employment ad seeking a medical assistant who had completed a medical assistant program and had at least one year of experience working in a medical office; a preference was also stated for candidates who possessed a CMA credential
Step 2. Become a Qualified and Competitive Medical Assistant
So, there are so many things that determine being accepted in medical assisting positions throughout the state.
However, the best way to do so in the first place is by getting a degree in the profession.
The typical medical assisting program in South Carolina includes these subjects:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Communication for health care professionals
- Medical terminology
- Medical coding and insurance fundamentals
- Electronic medical office administrative software programs
- Creating and processing professional documents
- Professional career development and planning
- Practicum or internship in medical assisting
If you happen to be in South Carolina, you will be a witness to many medical assistant training programs there.
You will see all of them offer credentials such as certifications, diplomas and other degrees in the field.
Finishing one of these programs will help a candidate become a qualified and capable candidate in medical assisting.
The minimum he or she will benefit from will be more job and career opportunities.
Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
The CMA credential is the most common credential in the state.
Being qualified with it shows that the candidate has received enough knowledge in his or her profession.
This credential is usually sponsored by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).
To earn the CMA designation you will need to meet the following two requirements:
- Graduate from a medical assistant academic program that is accredited by either:
- Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
- Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
- Pass the Certified Medical Assistant Exam
The CMA Exam contains 200 multiple-choice questions.
To answer them, the candidate will have 160 in disposition.
Questions mainly belong to three main subject areas:
- General subjects
- Administrative subjects
- Clinical subjects
For the candidate’s flexibility, the registration for the exam can be done online.
While the test itself can be taken locally in Prometric centers across the state:
- In Columbia at 121 Executive Center Drive, Suite 144
- In Rock Hill at 452 Lakeshore Parkway, Suite 10
- In Florence at 2141 C Hoffmeyer Road
- In Charleston at 1954 Ashley River Road, Suite G
- In Greenville at 37 Villa Road, Suite 309
Step 3. Maintain and Improve Your Medical Assistant Qualifications
Maintenance and improvement of medical assistant qualifications are one of the requirements employers set upon their job candidates.
So this is an issue that both parties need to agree on in the meantime.
For instance, maintaining the CMA credential requires to complete either of the following before the CMA expires after 60 months:
- Retake the CMA Exam
- Earn 60 re-certification points including the following:
- At least 10 points relating to administrative duties
- At least 10 points relating to general duties
- At least 10 points relating to clinical duties
- At least 30 points from AAMA-Approved continuing education units
Improving medical assisting qualification and getting CMA Continuing education points, however, is not impossible.
The medical assistant can do that by pursuing a higher academic degree in the field of medical sciences.
One way to do that can be through a bachelor’s degree in medical assisting.
In the meantime, medical sciences will open up other work opportunities.
The candidate will have a double benefit since this degree will enhance his or her career as well.
Prospective doctors and nurses in South Carolina can start their careers as medical assistants and work their way to the top of their profession.
Step 4. Pursue a Medical Assistant Job in South Carolina
From the latest statistics gathered in medical assisting, there’s enough to celebrate.
There are 8,600 professionals employed as medical assistants in the state.
Regionally, it follows like this:
- 2,470 in the Rock Hill regional metropolitan area
- 2,190 in the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metropolitan area
- 1,690 in the Greenville-Mauldin-Easley greater metropolitan area
- 1,570 in Columbia
- 1,020 in the Richmond County regional metropolitan area
- 460 in Spartanburg
- 350 in the Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach greater metropolitan area
- 290 in Florence
- 270 in Anderson
- 170 in Sumter
Some of the largest employers of medical professionals throughout the state include:
- AnMed Health in Anderson
- Spartanburg Regional Medical Center
- The Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston
- McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence
- Bon Secours Saint Francis Hospital in Charleston
- Musc Medical Center in Charleston
- Greenville Memorial Medical Center
- Roper Hospital in Charleston
In South Carolina, just like in other US states, there are professional associations to look for help.
The South Carolina Society of Medical Assistants (SCMA) is one of them.
The organization offers medical assistants resources regarding legislative changes pertaining to medical assistants, professional development or education options, and employment opportunities.
The Association has several chapters located throughout the state:
- Anderson Chapter
- Trident Chapter
- Spartanburg Chapter
- Charleston Chapter
- Pickens Chapter
- Greenville Chapter
- Columbia Chapter
The Best Medical Assisting Schools in South Carolina
Check the medical assisting list of schools in the state below.
They’re 20 of them to complete your medical education.
You may get a diploma, certificate or associate degree.
While also advance in the career with job opportunities.
School Name Address Aiken Technical College Graniteville, SC Brown Mackie College-Greenville Greenville, SC Central Carolina Technical College Sumter, SC Forrest College Anderson, SC Fortis College-Columbia Columbia, SC Miller-Motte Technical College-Charleston Charleston, SC Miller-Motte Technical College-Conway Conway, SC Piedmont Technical College Greenwood, SC Remington College-Columbia Campus Columbia, SC South University-Columbia Columbia, SC Southeastern Institute-Charleston North Charleston, SC Southeastern Institute-Columbia Columbia, SC Spartanburg Community College Spartanburg, SC Tri-County Technical College Pendleton, SC Trident Technical College Charleston, SC Virginia College-Charleston North Charleston, SC Virginia College-Columbia Columbia, SC Virginia College-Florence Florence, SC Virginia College-Greenville Greenville, SC Virginia College-Spartanburg Spartanburg, SC York Technical College Rock Hill, SC
Medical Assisting Salaries in South Carolina
The salary in medical assisting in South Carolina is in accordance with the quality of your education.
So, the more you study, the better you will be rewarded when the time comes.
Annual Salary Range:
Location Avg. Annual Salary Columbia $33,557 Charleston $33,930 North Charleston $33,930 Greenville $34,859 Rock Hill $35,168 Mount Pleasant $33,930 Spartanburg $33,142 Sumter $31,949 Hilton Head Island $31,881 Florence $32,129
Regional Salary in South Carolina
Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary Charleston-North Charleston, SC 1,950 $38,430 $18.48 $47,310 $30,420 Columbia, SC 1,870 $35,260 $16.95 $43,510 $28,620 Florence, SC 920 $30,980 $14.89 $36,380 $27,160 Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC 2,390 $37,720 $18.13 $45,100 $29,450 Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC 530 $35,180 $16.92 $45,700 $20,800 Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC 780 $35,520 $17.08 $42,680 $29,710 Spartanburg, SC 730 $36,870 $17.73 $44,900 $29,410 Sumter, SC 170 $35,040 $16.85 $41,360 $27,840
* Employment conditions in your area may vary. Annual Salary by Location: