Medical assistants play a very valuable role, but they are NOT nurses !
Medical assistants play a very valuable
role, but they are NOT nurses !

Finding a Medical Assisting Job With No Experience

It is not required at this time for MA to complete a medical assisting training course to work in the field. Although some employers prefer to hire those with experience, MA without experience can also find jobs within the industry.

Obtain Credentials

An individual must obtain the necessary credentials, determined by the state, to be employed as a MA. Typically a high school diploma, or GED equivalent, is required to be considered for hire as a medical assistant. The successful completion of an accredited medical assisting program is helpful, but not required by most states. Some employers may require the MA possess a current CPR card. CPR courses are available through organizations such as the AHA (American Heart Association) or Red Cross. Some employers can require BLS, basic life support, certification as well. This type of course can be found locally by contacting schools that offer medical assisting, emergency medical technician or other allied health programs. They can also be found on-line.

Complete an Externship

To gain clinical experience, a non-experienced MA may choose to participate in a MA externship, or job-shadowing program. A MA externship gives individuals lacking work experience the opportunity to see what it is like to work as a MA. They follow experienced MA around the job site and learn about the skills needed to work as a successful medical assistant. An externship in medical assisting can be arranged by contacting local physician practices, clinics and hospitals to find out if their facility accommodates inexperienced individuals who would like to participate in an externship

Entry Level Position

An individual who has the desire, but lacks the experience necessary by an employer, to work as a MA may choose to enter the company at an entry level position with an option for advancement. Some employers who insist their medical assistants have a specific amount of work experience will hire those lacking experience for entry-level positions. These positions include working in the front of the office, where mostly clerical duties are performed, or as an assistant to experienced MA in the back where patient care and treatment occurs. After working at the entry-level position for a certain amount of time determined by the employer, the employer may provide the employee with the opportunity to advance a medical assistant position. At this time, the employer may choose to send the employee to complete a MA training program or provide on-the-job training.


In areas where participating in a medical assisting externship is not an option, an individual lacking MA experience may choose to volunteer with a local physician’s practice, hospital or clinic that utilizes medical assistants. The individual can contact local health care facilities to see if they could volunteer in their establishment. Volunteers may not be permitted to perform actual patient care or assist physicians directly however, they will be allowed to observe and take notes on how things are done.


Article Written by Rachel Dennis

Rachel Dennis works as both a professional writer and health care provider. She has been a licensed health care provider since 1998, with work experience as a medical assistant, certified nursing assistant and emergency medical technician. She has been writing since 1994 and has been published both on-line and in print.


20 Responses to “Finding a Medical Assisting Job With No Experience”
  1. Teresa Cruz says:

    I am an medical assistant but never used my skills as an MA would love to work as an MA if any Dr. office would give me the opportunity to use my skills. I don’t mind shadowing another MA, I just want to get the exprience needed to work in a office/clinic an be a great MA.

    Thanks, Very Much

    Teresa Cruz

    • Patricia Postell says:

      I agree with you and I would like to know if you were able to solve this problem. I graduated in 2014 and I am still not able to get my feet wet. I am back in school online for medical billing and coding through UMA.

      • Jamje says:

        I’m having the same issue. Everyone wants someone with experience yet no one wants to give me an opportunity to gain experience.

  2. Megan Hashbarger says:

    I am a recent graduate of an MA program that is accredited. I did an externship for six weeks and have taken the AAMA exam to become certified. I am still running into issues with them wanting a bunch of experience. How can I find a job within my career path that will help me be the best MA possible?

  3. jeanett morones says:

    I graduated last year as a certified medical assistant but have no expierence other then externship. I feel like its unfair not to have the chance to work in the doctors office without expierence! Everyone should be given a chance to learn alot more then what they’ve learned in school..,

  4. Michael says:

    I am a graduate from an accredited MA school with a 3.89 GPA; got extern experience/performed extremely well and did some temp. work as an MA—what a waste of time and money! The maintenance guys where I did my temp work get paid $1 and hour more than the MAs do….only they didn’t have to spend over $10,000 and go to school to get a job. I went back to doing what I did before becoming an MA…working in a fishing shop and it pays more than the MA temp job I did. With ALL of my classmates whom I’ve spoken to, it’s the same story: either no job or very, very low-paying jobs. In contrast to what you’re told, Medical Assistants ARE NOT given the same respect as an LPN. For anyone out there who is considering reading becoming an MA and is reading this post….I would really encourage you to think twice about it. You will be much better off going to Nursing School.

  5. lisa says:

    I too am having trouble looking for jobs with no experience. I almost regret going to school to be a medical assistant. I cant find work. i signed up with every online job site there is and still no call backs. How do u get experience if they wont hire you.? In 6 months i will be in default of my student loans and it isnt from lack of looking for work. I have been looking. All i see is experience , 1 year experience, 1-2 years experience. What do i do now???

  6. Shanieka says:

    I completed the MA internship on July 3, but the site where i did my internship did not hire any of the interns. I am looking for employment but has been unsuccessful because all i am seeing is the want 1-2 years of experience.

  7. Lakendra says:

    What a coincidence, I’m dealing with these same issues. I’ve completed the Medical Assistant program with a GPA of a 4.0. I received my Diploma but failed my exam to become Registered twice by one and two points ( which is heart-breaking) because i NEVER missed a day of school or externship and i was always on the president’s and dean’s list smh. It almost feels as if i really wasted money (over$10,000) for a career that won’t even give me a chance to gain experience. I mean i know what I’m capable of doing but no ones willing to give me a try. I too agree with you all, when i’m filling out job applications the first thing i scroll down to is the requirements because i feel like i’ve wasted enough of my time trying to win an employer over already. Well good luck ladies i’ll be praying something comes along for us all.

    • Lacey says:

      I’m in the same boat, my dear. It makes you wonder where everybody else got their start considering we all have to start somewhere.

  8. Kenia Aguilar says:

    I’m Medical assistant and i am in the same page of all you I can find a job is very hard I filled a lot of application and no call back I have Ekg phlebotomy to the thing I don like is that they need experienced 2 years

    • Lori says:

      Let’s start our own bonded MA coalition. We offer 2 weeks free externship, with proof of CMA. Or CCMA documentation. I’m good at my job. So are you. We can take a one week boot camp, get bonded, post our resumes on LinkedIn, and visit any urgent care center, clinic, Occupational Health center, or whatever! We could be the “Travelling MAs! I have a camper. Its an Idea, anyway…..💝

  9. qiana nickerson says:

    I am having the same problem as all of you. I’m going to buy me some scrubs and do my job search the old fashioned way. Go into these medical sites speak to the off. Mngr and tell them my story. Pour my heart out and ask to train as an intern or shadow then get hired. That’s my last resort.
    I owe too much money not to get a job. I refuse to give up…

  10. Heather Hughes says:

    Do not waste your money on the MA program! 2 years later, still not able to get a job as an “unexperienced MA”!!!

  11. Akeenya says:

    Ladies…I am dealing 28th the same issue! Graduated in 2015..I have been on a few interviews. But of course they chose the one who had the experience. I am told I was a “great chose but had to go another direction.” which sucked! I was told the best thing to do is volunteer.
    But truth be told intill the “older MA’s ” retire we want have a that’s my opinion…they so be in need.but we all will be waited so long that we will be in to other job options…so currently I am still working as a CNA…thank GOD for that experience!!!!!!! Keep pushing MA’S

  12. Kevin says:

    US Healthworks does not require experience nor does UCLA for MA positions

  13. Ms Ty says:

    I graduated from the medical assistant in 2012 I did not find a job. I went back to school to get my bachelors degree in health care management and I finished that program in august of 2016. It is now nov and I have not found a job in that field yet. I get to the interview and I write a thank you letter for the interview and I hear nothing. My resume shows that the only experience that I have is in CNA. that is the only job that I am able to get. I have turned down jobs because I do not want to do CNA work anymore. I am trying not to get discouraged. What I really need is for a doctor office to give me the chance to show the skills that I have and prove tho them that I can do the job that they are requiring of me. I can do both clinical and administrative duties. I owe a lot of money in school loans, I can not give up. I am signed up to every job site I can think of. I want to move to NC and I am sending my resume to doctors offices out there also. I will not stop until I get a job in the field I went to school for. SOME ONE PLEASE HELP. I will work at the bottom and work my way up my last option is to volunteer so I can get the experience that they are looking for.

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