The best time for entry in to medical assistant schools in Wisconsin is now and the government data backs up that statement. We get in to the details later in our latest article. We cover the ins and outs of the field just for you!
How to become a medical assistant in Wisconsin
It is not required to be certified for employment as a MA in Wisconsin but it is strongly recommended by employers and state agencies. Below are the accrediting bodies for medical assistant certification in Wisconsin and across the country.
National certifications from American Medical Technologists (AMT), American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) are all recognized in Wisconsin.
What is the process for becoming a medical assistant in Wisconsin?
Becoming a medical assistant in Wisconsin can be done in the following five steps.
Step 1 – Determine if you want to become certified
The initial step you should take is to consider if you are going to pursue certification, and the professional schooling it will require. The decision can impact your career in two significant ways: the types of opportunities you’ll be eligible to interview for, and the amount of time it’ll take for you to become employed.
Needless to say, there are far more benefits than drawbacks to being certified. In addition, many facilities now demand that their team members be certified in an effort to protect their practices against increasing insurance premiums and lawsuits.
The trend toward mandatory certification has even begun to affect non-certified employees who have been employed for years. A growing range of facilities around the nation have begun to ask their non-certified personnel to register for certification training courses in order to remain employed.
With all of that said, it is possible to start searching for a position as a non-certified medical assistant immediately if that’s your preference. The rest of the process outlined in this article only applies should you make the choice to get certified.
Step 2 – Did you want to earn your associate’s degree?
You’ll find a couple of different types of credentials that may be earned by finishing a formal medical assistant program – a diploma (or “certificate”, as they are also called) or an associate degree. Each of these credentials can help you secure a medical assisting position, but you will need to be familiar with the disadvantages and advantages of each prior to deciding on one.
Certificates and Diplomas
Certificate or diploma courses can often be finished in 12 months or less, and target their course of study only on the skill and knowledge necessary to start working. These programs are available at a wide range of schools, and might also be provided online. In contrast, associate degree programs call for students to take additional classes in non-related subjects.
Associate degree courses are normally two years long, and the information included is a lot more extensive in scope. Admission standards and costs for these programs are higher as they are typically offered by either junior colleges or trade schools.
The benefits and advantages of earning an associate degree usually far outnumber the ones from the diploma or certificate, therefore the extra hurdles are normally considered to be well worth it.
No matter the program you decide on, be sure to base your choice on your long-term career objectives and economic circumstances. The certificate or diploma approach is usually the best way to go for people who are worried about being able to commit the time and money needed for an associate degree. Remember, that it’s possible to go back at a later time and earn a degree after you’ve started your career.
Should you have a clear long-term career goal on your mind, however, then committing to an associate degree program might be the best decision.
Step 3 – Take accredited classes
The organizations in charge of regulating medical assistant programs in Wisconsin include the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Only those students who complete their classes at a program approved by one of these bodies will be allowed to challenge for certification.
It is very important to check for a few factors when figuring out where to register for training courses. As you weigh your options, you need to take the following into account:
- Take CAAHEP or ABHES accredited training
- Attend classes where 70% of program grads passed their certification exam
- Fit time to study into your personal schedule
- Fit costs in your budget
We all have different concerns that influence the choices we make. If the cost of tuition is the most critical factor to you, that should be the first thing you learn about every program. Next, you could evaluate every program per your second-most important requirement and to remove any that aren’t satisfactory.
By following this step-by-step approach, you can narrow down your choices to a couple of courses. This greatly boosts your probability of choosing a training course that will fit your needs.
Accredited medical assistant programs in Wisconsin
As mentioned above, for eligibility to sit for one of the major national certification exams, graduating from a program accredited by either the ABHES or CAAHEP is essential. Below are links to the accrediting bodies databses of programs in WI and across the country.
Step 4 – Finish clinical training
Clearly, graduation from your medical assistant program is an immensely essential step. To move ahead with the certification process, every training course requires that would-be medical assistants finish a pre-determined number of training hours in a clinical environment.
You are not considered eligible to challenge any certification exams unless you have met this prerequisite.
Step 5 – Pass a national certification exam
Medical assistants in Wisconsin need to pass one of the five national certification examinations to finish their certification. The exams consist of sections on all principal areas of knowledge you would’ve been exposed to in your training course.
All major national certification assessments administered in Wisconsin are detailed here.
Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) from AAMA – Among the most-recognized, and most-respected of the national medical assistant credentials, the CMA certification is awarded by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).
Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) from AMT – The RMA credential is accepted by businesses all around the nation, and shows that its recipient holds a broad set of medical assisting competencies.
National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) from NCCT – The NCMA certification is a nationally-accepted credential that qualifies its owner for a broad variety of positions in medical assisting.
Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) from NHA – The NHA presents a credential especially for medical assistants planning on a career in a clinical setting.
Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) from NHA – The CMAA credential symbolizes advanced competencies in the tasks necessary to keep a professional medical office operating without problems.
Medical assistant salary and jobs in Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, as well as the rest of the country, the need is very high for medical assistants. Up through 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 8% increase in new jobs for medical assistants in Wisconsin. Popular workplaces are: hospitals, physicians offices and general care facilities. Certain government organizations also hire medical assistants, nurse aides and orderlies.
As mentioned earlier, quite a few of these opportunities can be excellent starting points for careers in the medical field.
Below is a record of the major metropolitan areas in Wisconsin and even more specifics on medical assistant compensation by location and county.
|Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI MSA||Hourly||$13.84||$18.09||$23.47|
|Eau Claire, WI MSA||Hourly||$13.28||$17.13||$23.71|
|Madison, WI MSA||Hourly||$12.78||$17.07||$22.42|
|Duluth, MN-WI MSA||Hourly||$12.47||$16.92||$21.87|
|Sheboygan, WI MSA||Hourly||$13.15||$16.81||$21.49|
|Wausau, WI MSA||Hourly||$12.58||$16.71||$22.17|
|West Central Wisconsin BOS||Hourly||$12.33||$16.61||$21.98|
|Racine, WI MSA||Hourly||$12.67||$16.42||$19.28|
|Fond du Lac, WI MSA||Hourly||$13.18||$16.38||$19.50|
|Southwestern Wisconsin BOS||Hourly||$12.48||$16.28||$20.08|
|Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI MSA||Hourly||$12.34||$16.20||$20.72|
|Appleton, WI MSA||Hourly||$8.83||$16.15||$20.88|
|Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI Metropolitan Division||Hourly||$11.60||$16.15||$21.63|
|Janesville, WI MSA||Hourly||$12.51||$15.99||$19.36|
|South Central Wisconsin BOS||Hourly||$12.18||$15.96||$20.54|
|La Crosse, WI-MN MSA||Hourly||$10.94||$15.81||$19.21|
|Oshkosh-Neenah, WI MSA||Hourly||$11.87||$15.37||$19.57|
|Eastern Wisconsin BOS||Hourly||$12.51||$15.19||$18.96|
|Green Bay, WI MSA||Hourly||$11.98||$15.12||$20.77|