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How Can a CNA Become a Medical Assistant

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the salary of a CNA ranges between $25, 000 and $30,000, whereas a medical assistant earns anything from $30,000 and $35,000 per year. The differences in the roles and responsibilities between these two professions make the latter profession more lucrative and preferred by healthcare assistants than the former profession. Fortunately, CNAs can get themselves certified as CMAs and enjoy these benefits, too. Here are two ways in which a CNA can become a medical assistant:

On-the-job Training

This is the easier and the fastest way to become a Medical assistant. For instance, if you are already certified as a CNA and need a job quickly, but don’t have enough money to pay for formal certification, you could find a doctor who is willing to train you for the job. Better yet, on-the-job training would allow you to earn money while learning. While some doctors require formal training, some will employ you and train you because you already know most of the services medical assistants provide.

Formal Training

CNAs require only 75 hours of training to apply for a job. On the other hand, they require at least one year of training to be certified. If you opt for formal training, you’ll have to enroll in a CMA program offered by an accredited institution. While some employers overlook formal certification, a CMA with a formal certification is likely to attract more respect and a higher pay.

Depending on your time and availability, you can choose online or physical training. Regardless of the learning method you choose, the course work will cover subjects such as clinical procedures, lab techniques, medical office procedures and medical terminologies. Moreover, choose a school with a good reputation because some employers prefer graduates from certain schools.


The average CMA enjoys a better salary, better chances of employment and more prestigious roles and responsibilities compared to the average CNA. Thankfully, a CNA can become a CMA by undergoing either formal training or on-the-job training.

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