Table of Contents
- 1 How to Become a Medical Assistant in West Virginia
- 2 Step 1. Learn About Common Types of Medical Assistant Qualifications
- 3 Step 2. Earn Competitive Medical Assistant Credentials
- 4 Step 3. Pursue Medical Assistant Jobs Available in West Virginia
- 5 Step 4. Maintain and Improve Your Medical Assistant Qualifications
- 6 The Best Medical Assistant Schools in West Virginia
- 7 Medical Assisting Salaries in West Virginia
How to Become a Medical Assistant in West Virginia
Medical Assistants are a huge workforce in West Virginia.
But the state does not license them.
To find a job in the field, they need to fulfill the minimum requirements that health care professionals have set for them.
Of course, requirements vary from the employers.
But the main ones include:
- Graduation from a medical assistant degree program
- Completion of a medical assistant training program
- Completion of a medical assistant certification program
Consider the following steps to become a competitive applicant for medical assistant jobs in West Virginia:
- Learn About Common Types of Medical Assistant Qualifications
- Earn Competitive Medical Assistant Credentials
- Pursue Medical Assistant Jobs Available in West Virginia
- Maintain and Improve Your Medical Assistant Qualifications
Step 1. Learn About Common Types of Medical Assistant Qualifications
The majority of medical assistant qualifications start with education.
In Virginia, you will find many schools that offer a solid education and are accredited in the field.
In them, you will be able to earn a medical assistant diploma, certificate or associate degree.
The program you earn one of these needs to be accredited from one of the below accrediting organizations in the state:
- Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
- Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
This type of education will grant the candidate the opportunity to qualify for national certification as well.
You can expect to take courses such as the following as you complete a medical assistant academic program:
- Essentials of human systems for allied health professions
- Folk health care practices
- Health care law and ethics
- Medical terminology
- CPR, first aid, and emergency procedures
- Essentials of pharmacology
- Health care professional communication
- Business mathematics and accounting
- Medical assistant office programs and applications
- Medical office billing and coding
- Medical assistant internship or practicum
Step 2. Earn Competitive Medical Assistant Credentials
In West Virginia, you will find many medical assistant credentials.
Those who seek potential candidates to hire set some requirements.
They mainly set them for these type of credentials:
- Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
- Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
- Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant (NRCMA)
- Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
- Medical Assistant (NCMA)
Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
This credential is made possible through The American Association of Medical Assistant (AAMA).
A candidate can earn this credential after finishing an accredited program in medical assisting.
The program must be accredited from either CAAHEP or ABHES accrediting bodies in the state.
Ultimately, the exam is the last step to get the credential. Its questions cover these main areas of study:
- General medical assistant subjects
- Clinical medical assistant subjects
- Administrative medical assistant subjects
The exam contains 200 questions being multiple-choice.
It takes 160 minutes to finish it.
The candidates can register online to take it
Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
This credential can be taken through the American Medical Technologists.
The shortest route to this credential is through the CMA exam.
The sponsoring organization can also give the candidate another exam if he or she is not going for the CMA credential as well.
Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant (NRCMA)
The NRCMA credential is administered through the National Association of Health Professionals.
Qualifying for this credential takes graduation from a medical assistant school first.
The schools also need accreditation from one of the two accrediting bodies in West Virginia.
These organizations are the CAAHPE or the ABHES.
The final step of getting this credential is passing the exam with NAHP.
You can register for this exam through an application form.
Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
This credential is sponsored by the National Healthcareer Association.
To earn this you will need to take the NHA’s CCMA exam.
The cost of it is $149.
Medical Assistant (NCMA)
NCMA credential is sponsored by the National Center for Competency Testing.
For this credential, you need to earn another similar credential.
This can be the CMA.
Eligibility for this exam is the NCMA exam.
Step 3. Pursue Medical Assistant Jobs Available in West Virginia
Being a medical assistant, you can start looking for a job right away.
In West Virginia, medical assistants work in all areas where their medical services are needed.
Across the state, there are nearly 3,210 medical assistants in work relations.
They are mostly concentrated in these areas:
- 6,140 in the DC greater metropolitan area
- 780 in Charleston
- 760 in the Huntington-Ashland area
- 610 in West Virginia’s north-central non-metropolitan area
- 420 in Morgantown
- 390 in West Virginia’s southern non-metropolitan region
- 370 in the Martinsburg area
- 350 in Wheeling
- 270 in the Parkersburg-Vienna area
- 90 in the Weirton area
As you prepare to start your job search, consider the following sampling of medical assistant vacancy postings from throughout the state:
- Preston Memorial Hospital in Kingwood recently posted a medical assistant job description that stated the following requirements:
- Graduation from an accredited medical assistant school
- A medical assistant certification
- Prior work experience in a physician’s office
- Plateau Surgical Associates in Oak Hill recently posted a job announcement seeking a medical assistant who had at least a high school diploma and who possessed a medical assistant certificate
- MedExpress in Charleston was recently seeking a medical assistant who would be primarily working as a front office assistant. Minimum qualifications included the ability to follow OSHA and HIPAA guidelines and basic knowledge of electronic medical records and associated computer software
- MedExpress in Cross Lanes recently posted an advertisement seeking a medical assistant with the ability to triage patients, take vital signs, draw blood, administer medications, and maintain clinical supplies. Applicants were specifically required to have a current certification from one of the following associations:
- American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
- National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
- Any other recognized certifying body
- CRC Health in Dawmont was recently searching for a medical assistant who could fulfill the following preferences for hire:
- CMA credential
- Phlebotomy skills
Step 4. Maintain and Improve Your Medical Assistant Qualifications
Medical assistant maintenance and improvements in West Virginia are set by employers.
Maintaining professional certifications already discussed requires the following:
- To maintain a CMA credential you will need to earn at least 60 re-certification points, including 30 AAMA-approved continuing education units before your CMA expires. Once you are issued a CMA it will be valid for a period of 60 months.
- To maintain an RMA credential you will need to maintain an annual membership with AMT and earn 30 Certification Continuing Program\(CCP) points every three years.
- To maintain an NRCMA credential you will need to have a current CPR card and maintain an annual membership with the NAHP. You must also earn at least two A-class Continuing Education Units (CEUs) annually, except for your first renewal.
- To maintain a CCMA credential you must earn at least 10 Continuing Education (CE) credits every two years.
- To maintain an NCMA credential you will need to complete a series of annual Continuing Education (CE) that is approved by the NCCT.
One way to do a suitable continuing education in medical assisting is by pursuing a more advanced degree in medical assisting.
This may be a bachelor’s degree in medical sciences.
Through this degree, a candidate will keep his medical assistant certification as well as follow a career path in other professions such as:
- Nurse practitioner
- Physician assistant
- Registered nurse
With a medical sciences degree in the field, a candidate will also become more qualified to compete in the best medical assistants markets in the state.
One way to maintain the qualifications in the field is to check any legislation in the state that has an impact on both training and qualification requirements.
This check can be done with the help of professional organizations.
These organizations offer medical assistant certifications in West Virginia.
But they also monitor developments in the State Legislature.
The Best Medical Assistant Schools in West Virginia
With 17 Medical Assisting Schools in the state, there’s no room for complaint.
The only thing you have to worry about is finding an accredited program.
That’s what will grant you a quality and high standard education.
School Name Address Academy of Careers and Technology Beckley, WV Blue Ridge Community and Technical College Martinsburg, WV BridgeValley Community & Technical College South Charleston, WV Everest Institute-Cross Lanes Cross Lanes, WV ITT Technical Institute-Huntington Huntington, WV Monongalia County Technical Education Center Morgantown, WV Mountain State College Parkersburg, WV Mountwest Community and Technical College Huntington, WV New River Community and Technical College Beaver, WV Opportunities Industrialization Center Fairmont, WV Ross Medical Education Center-Charleston Charleston, WV Ross Medical Education Center-Morgantown Morgantown, WV Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Mount Gay, WV Valley College-Beckley Beckley, WV Valley College-Princeton Princeton, WV West Virginia Business College-Wheeling Wheeling, WV West Virginia Northern Community College Wheeling, WV
Medical Assisting Salaries in West Virginia
The salary in medical assisting will be the fruit of your education.
The more you know, the more places you go says Seus.
Similarly, being more qualified and more skilled in the field is an advantage to a better salary.
Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary Charleston $32,546 Huntington $31,556 Parkersburg $31,727 Wheeling $34,979 Morgantown $34,979 Weirton $34,853 Fairmont $34,979 Beckley $32,260 Clarksburg $31,442 Martinsburg $39,363