Minnesota Accredited Medical Assistant Schools and Programs
Minnesota has a number of great schools for those who are considering entering the field of medical assisting. The state has programs in many different locations, making it easy for prospective students to find a campus that fits into their busy lives.
Minnesota is home to many great places to live and work, including rural and urban areas – the latter of which may have more job opportunities for medical assistants. Upon graduation, some of the best cities to find MA work in Minnesota include the following:
- St. Paul
These areas have the highest populations, and therefore a great need for those in the field of medical assisting. The average salary for medical assistants in Minnesota is quite good, coming in at nearly $16 per hour and even higher in some areas, which is greater than the surrounding states. Those who are certified will be able to join the Minnesota Society of Medical Assistants.
Researching prospective MA schools and programs is a must. Programs may have different requirements from school to school, and some will result in a certificate rather than a degree. Take the time to explore all the options before settling on a decision, as it can be the determining factor in a successful medical assisting career.
The following schools have accredited programs that offer certificates, diplomas, or Associate degrees.
Minnesota Medical Assistant Certification Requirements
Despite the fact that medical assistants (MAs) in the state of Minnesota aren’t required by law to hold credentials in order to practice, most employers of MAs – physicians, medical offices, etc. – undoubtedly give employment preference to MA candidates who hold one of the two most widely recognized credentials. Acquiring one of the credentials that are available for MAs – the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) and the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) – can greatly improve one’s career prospects, increase one’s earning potential, and place one in a stronger position compared to their colleagues without credentials.
As is the case in the rest of the states in the country, medical assistants practicing in the state of Minnesota can acquire the following nationally recognized MA certifications:
- The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) which has its certification exam administered by The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) – a national organization offering a membership along with a variety of opportunities for medical assistants
- The Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) which has its certification exam administered by The American Medical Technologists (AMT) – a not-for-profit association for allied health professionals which offers credentials for a variety of other entry-level healthcare workers like practical nurses (LPNs) and nursing assistants (CNAs), among others.
The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
Individuals are ONLY eligible to sit for the AAMA’s Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential examination after they have satisfied the following requirements:
- Submit proof in the form of transcripts of having completed a medical assistant (MA) program that’s accredited by either of the following agencies:
- Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP)
- The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
- In order to be accredited, the program must be composed of:
- Two main sections: clinical and theoretical
- The program’s curriculum is required to cover administrative and clinical topics which include but certainly is not limited to subject matter like medication administration, computer competency, medical law & ethics, pharmacology, record keeping and accounting, anatomy & physiology, patient relations, and diagnostic procedures, among others
- Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs) must renew their credentials every 60 months and can do so by:
- Providing proof of having earned a certain amount of relevant continuing education credits
- Pass a 200 question exam
The Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
Those who wish to acquire the AMT’s Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential will first need to satisfy ONE of the following requirements in order to take the exam that must be passed to become certified:
- OPTION 1: Be able to prove that you have completed a medical assistant program which:
- Is composed of at least 720 hours of in-class theoretical instruction and 160 hours of supervised, real-world clinical training at a healthcare office
- Is accredited by an agency which is recognized by one of the following:
- The American Medical Technologists (AMT) Board of Directors
- The US Department of Education
- The Council for Higher Education Accreditation
- OPTION 2: Be able to prove that you have completed a medical assistant program through the US Armed Forces which:
- Is composed of at least 880 contact hours of instruction: 720 hours of in-class theoretical instruction and 160 hours of supervised, real-world clinical training at a medical setting of some sort
- OPTION 3: Be able to prove that you have at least 5 years of experience in the past 7 years working as a medical assisting, carrying out both clinical and administrative duties
- OPTION 4: Be able to prove that you have at least 5 years prior experience working as an instructor in an accredited medical assistant program OR have over one year of experience as a medical assistant program instructor combined with three years of full-time employment as a medical assistant
List of Minnesota Medical Assisting Programs
1. Anoka Technical College
Anoka Technical College, found in Anoka, is able to offer a medical assistant diploma program as well as an associate degree in applied science. The diploma program provides students with the knowledge that they need to take the CMA exam and enter the field. The school has CAAHEP accreditation.
2. Century College
In White Bear Lake, Century College is providing students with opportunities to earn a diploma through their medical assistant program. The program offers full-time and part-time options, and it is possible to start in the spring or fall semesters. The school has CAAHEP accreditation.
3. Dakota County Technical College
Dakota County Technical College provides prospective medical assistants with multiple program pathways. They offer a medical assistant program that results in a diploma, as well as a program that leads to an associate degree. Students can take daytime or online classes. The school has CAAHEP accreditation.
4. Lake Superior College
Students can enroll in a program at Lake Superior College in Duluth, where they will be able to start earning their medical assistant diploma. The school offers CAAHEP accreditation, so students who receive a diploma will be able to take the CMA exam when they graduate.
5. Minneapolis Business College
Aspiring medical assistants can attend the program through Minneapolis Business College in Roseville. The school has CAAHEP accreditation, and students will be able to earn their associate degree in 16 months, or their medical assisting diploma in just 10 months.
6. Minnesota West Community and Technical College
Students enrolled in the medical assisting program at Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Luverne will be able to earn their associate degree or a diploma in the discipline. The curriculum teaches students the clerical and clinical skills needed for medical assistant careers. The program has CAAHEP accreditation.
7. Ridgewater College
With a campus in Willmar, students who attend Ridgewater College can earn a medical assistant program diploma. The program has both full-time and part-time attendance options, with start times in the fall and spring. The school has CAAHEP accreditation so will be able to sit for the CMA exam upon graduation.
8. Hennepin Technical College
Hennepin Technical College is a public community college in Minneapolis that offers a Medical Assistant (A.A.S.) Degree. The program is comprised of 44 credit hours and can be completed in three or five semesters depending on whether the student is enrolled full-time or part-time. Courses in the program include Human Biology, Disease Conditions, Intercultural Communication, Medical Ethics, and others. In addition to in-class lecture, students should also be prepared for hands-on lab practice and a clinical externship which takes place at a local healthcare facility.
9. Central Lakes College
Central Lakes College is a public community college with campuses in Brainerd and Stables that both offer a Medical Assistant (A.A.S.) degree as well as a certificate program. Each program consists of a mixture of in-class lecture, lab practice, and a clinical externship. Students who chose to go the A.A.S. route will need to complete a total of 60 units where whereas the certificate program requires just 39 units. Both programs are accredited by CAAHEP.
10. South Central College
South Central College is a public community college with campuses in Faribault and North Mankato. The college offers a Medical Assistant A.A.S. Degree comprised of 19 courses and 60 credit hours. Courses students can expect to take include Clinical Skills, Anatomy/Physiology, Medical Ethics, and more. The program can be completed in two years or four semesters.
11. Pine Technical Community College
Pine Technical Community College is a public college in Pine City which offers a 60 credit-hour Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Medical Assisting. During the two-year program, students take courses in Medical Terminology, Clinical Procedures, Electrocardiography, and more. In 2017, the program had a retention rate of 100%, a job placement rate of 100%, and an exam passage rate of 80%. The program is accredited by CAAHEP.
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