How to Become a Medical Assistant in New York

patient getting help

Did you know that New York is the #4 state in the country for medical assistant employment? It’s a great way to get into the healthcare field.

Education and Training

To get started, you should find an online certification program from a local school:

Search Medical Assistant Programs

Get information on Medical Assistant programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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    Berkeley College
    Offers a certificate program (45 weeks) and an AAS Medical Assistant Degree (60 weeks) accredited by the CAAHEP. Preps students for the following certifications: Certified Medical Assistant CMA, RMA, NCMA, CCMA and CMAC.

    • New York, Brooklyn, White Plains


    Hunter Business School
    7 1/2 month Registered Medical Assistant & Certified Medical Assistant diploma program with externships at a variety of major medical centers and hospitals.

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    Lincoln Tech
    Along with skills needed for an entry level position, the Medical Assistant Training Programs will prep you for the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) exam. Hybrid format. Flexible class schedules.

    • Whitestone, Brooklyn


    St. Paul’s School of Nursing
    Medical assisting course that preps students for entry-level employment.

    • Queens


Benefits of Education

It’s all about certification, and the right course will guide you towards any of these:

  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
  • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CMAA)
  • National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA)
  • Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant (NRCMA)

Be sure to ask your instructors about which certification to pursue.

How Long Does it Take?

Students can complete a medical assistant certificate program in about 9 to 12 months, or earn an associate’s degree in 2 years.

How Much Does it Cost?

$2,00 to $3,000 for the average certificate program.  Most can be financed which would equate to $145 to $200 per month depending on interest.

What Courses Do You Take?

During these programs, aspiring medical assistants take classes like:

  • Medical Terminology
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medications and Pharmacology
  • Charting and Medical Histories
  • Patient and Exam Room Prep
  • Laboratory Testing
  • Office Tasks and Bookkeeping
  • HIPPA Regulations and Patient’s Rights
  • Standard Safety Protocols

Many medical assistant schools also offer classes on EKG administration, specimen handling and phlebotomy, and wound dressing and injections so they can help LPNs and registered nurses with various medical tasks.

Some schools have campus labs where students can complete practice scenarios that require them to use the patient care and administrative skills they learned in class.

Supervised Clinical Experience

Other schools partner with local clinics, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers so medical assistant students can earn their clinical hours in actual healthcare facilities. To obtain their certificate or degree, aspiring medical assistants in New York must complete 108 hours of supervised clinical experience.

Obtaining Specialty Skills

If you’re hoping to work in a specific field of medicine, such as pediatrics, oncology, radiology, family medicine, or pathology, you may need to take additional classes. Having experience in your chosen specialty can prepare you to work in a  particular type of medical lab, clinic, or hospital ward.

New York Medical Assistant Requirements

Certification Exams

aama logo

AAMA

Although non-certified applicants can find medical assistant jobs in New York, most employers prefer to hire individuals with an official license.

Eligible candidates can apply to take certification exams through organizations like the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) or the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

Additional Skills Needed

Most medical assistants in NY will also need to know CPR and first aid or have other Basic Life Support credentials if they want to get a job in a hospital or clinic.

Some trade school programs include the necessary classes and certification exams as part of the standard curriculum. However, you can also complete this training on your own through the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association.

Average Salary Range

Using more BLS data, here are some numbers for parts of the state:

Area Hourly Annual
Albany-Schenectady-Troy $20.18 $41,970.00
Binghamton $19.32 $40,190.00
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls $20.64 $42,930.00
Capital/Northern NY $19.86 $41,310.00
Central East NY $19.52 $40,600.00
Elmira $19.19 $39,910.00
Glens Falls $20.29 $42,200.00
Ithaca $22.43 $46,660.00
Kingston $20.36 $42,340.00
New York-Newark-Jersey City $22.97 $47,780.00
Rochester $20.57 $42,790.00
Southwest NY $19.42 $40,400.00
Syracuse $20.33 $42,290.00
Utica-Rome $20.07 $41,750.00
Watertown-Fort Drum $18.47 $38,410.00

Occupation: Medical Assistants (SOC Code319092)
source: data.bls.gov

Specialists in a particular medical discipline can earn more. Salaries for assistants working in private doctor’s offices are also generally higher than wages for those with hospital and nursing home jobs.

Job Description

What Do They Do?

Working alongside nurses and physicians, medical assistants perform a wide range of administrative duties.

Standard Duties

In clinic, hospital, and doctor’s office settings, assistants may be responsible for:

  • Answering phones
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Greeting patients and helping them fill out paperwork
  • Admitting and discharging long-term care patients
  • Arranging laboratory services and medical tests
  • Organizing medical records

Patient Care Duties

Medical assistants also perform several patient care duties, such as taking medical histories, preparing patients for examinations, explaining treatment plans, and submitting prescription refill requests to pharmacy techs.

Some assistants may also earn additional credentials so they can collect blood samples, perform stress tests, and change bandages in facilities lacking phlebotomists, EKG techs, and CNAs.

Additional Tasks

Whether they’re handling clerical or patient care work, a medical assistant’s most important task is helping patients feel more at ease.

A friendly and professional attitude is essential when explaining tests and treatments to patients. Medical assistants also need to develop a soothing and comforting bedside manner to encourage patients to relax during procedures.

Career Outlook

Because of New York’s size and dense population, the state has many ill, injured, and older people who require assistance and care.

Medical facilities throughout New York need qualified professionals to assist with daily operations and help patients receive the care they need. As a result, medical assistants in New York are almost always in demand.

Experts at the Bureau of Labor Statistics predict the need for medical assistant jobs to grow by about 16 percent between 2021 and 2031. Qualified candidates looking to work in a hospital, outpatient clinic, research lab, or nursing home may have access to as many as 123,000 employment opportunities per year over the next decade.

Search Medical Assistant Programs

Get information on Medical Assistant programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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