Best CMA Certifications Online Of 2024

Jun 13, 2024

Key Takeaways

Depending on the certification’s requirements, you may be able to complete all or part of your training online.
Several organizations offer different types of medical assistant certification credentials. For example, the American Association of Medical Assistants® (AAMA) offers the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential.
Popular medical assistant certifications include the CMA, Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) and National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA).

Medical assistants work in physicians’ offices, hospitals, clinics and other medical settings. Whether they assist with patient care or handle administrative tasks, they play an essential role in our medical facilities and healthcare system.

If you are thinking about becoming a medical assistant, you may want to consider certification. A certified medical assistant (CMA) credential is one of the most widely recognized medical assistant certifications, but there are also others available. Now, you have options to complete all or part of your medical assistant certification online.

Many programs pair online courses with in-person, hands-on clinical experience or externships. Others allow you to become certified without in-person experience, which may be appropriate if you already have on-the-job experience or plan to gain experience separate from the program. This article touches on some of the best options, according to our research, to earn your medical assistant certification online.

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Should You Pursue an Online CMA Certification?

If you are considering becoming a medical assistant, you have a variety of training and certification options available. While earning a certificate or learning on the job may help prepare you for the workforce, earning a certification is one more step to help you qualify for more jobs.

Pro Tip
If you are considering medical assistant certification, look for programs that meet the requirements for the type of certification you want to earn.

Types of Medical Assistant Certifications

Below, we cover four types of medical assistant certifications and the cost and eligibility requirements for each one. Later, we will discuss some top training options to help prepare you to earn these certifications.

Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)

The CMA credential is offered through the American Association of Medical Assistants. PSI Services LLC (PSI) administers the exam, which includes 200 questions to answer throughout four 40-minute time segments. The cost is $125 for AAMA members and $250 for nonmembers. You must take this exam at a test center. Only students who earn their medical assistant credential through the AAMA may use the CMA designation.

To earn a CMA certification, you must complete a training program that is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. You may take the exam after graduation or up to 30 days before completion.

In general, you must have at least two semesters or the equivalent amount of relevant coursework, including subjects such as anatomy, pharmacology and physiology. You must also have knowledge and skills related to venipuncture and different types of injections.

AAMA sets different CMA certification requirements for recent graduates, non-recent graduates, students who are renewing their certifications and students who choose an alternative path, so you should check with them to learn more.

Degree Finder

Certified Clinical Medical Assistant

The CCMA credential is offered through the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). The NHA administers this examination. The test includes 150 questions over a three-hour time limit and costs $160. You may take your exam at a school, a PSI testing center or via live remote proctoring. The NHA offers study materials, including study guides and online practice tests.

To be eligible for the CCMA exam, you must have a high school diploma, GED or the equivalent, or you must be set to complete it within the next year. After this, eligibility requirements vary depending on your training program and supervised work experience. Check with the NHA for more information about its specific routes to certification.

Registered Medical Assistant

The RMA credential is offered through American Medical Technologists (AMT). The exam consists of 200 to 230 questions. Locations for testing options include your school, a Pearson VUE Testing Center or via live remote proctoring. The exam cost is $150. AMT offers study materials, exam content information, a fundamentals course and a practice exam.

There are multiple routes to earn your certification, depending on your training program, supervised work experience and other factors. Check with the AMT for more information about its specific requirements.

National Certified Medical Assistant

The NCMA credential is offered through the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). It features 150 questions, and you have up to three hours to complete your test. The exam cost is $119.

NCCT offers practice exams and an interactive review system to help prepare you for the exam. You may take this exam through remote testing.

There are several ways to meet the eligibility requirements for this exam, depending on your training program, work experience and other factors. Check with the NCCT for more information about which route is right for you.

Online CMA Certification Program Options

As you research online medical assistant programs, look for options that are available in your state and accredited by the appropriate accrediting body to align with your certification choice.

You should expect your program to cover a range of skills and knowledge, such as medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, ethics and administrative skills relevant to the medical field, along with some form of clinical experience. It should also meet your state’s licensing requirements.

It’s also good to know that while the cost varies greatly, some programs offer scholarships or grants that may help significantly offset the cost.

Advanced eClinical

Advanced eClinical

Program Title

CCMA

Cost

Starting at $3,300

Program Length

Eight weeks

Herzing University

Herzing University

Program Title

Medical Assisting Online Diploma Program

Cost

$12,360

Program Length

10 months

MedCerts

MedCerts

Program Title

Medical Assistant Online Certification Training

Cost

$4,000

Program Length

28 weeks

Penn Foster

Penn Foster

Program Title

Medical Assistant Career Diploma

Cost

$2,399

Program Length

11 months

Rasmussen University

Rasmussen University

Program Title

Medical Assisting Diploma

Cost

$19,550

Program Length

12 months or longer

Stepful

Stepful

Program Title

Medical Assistant Program

Cost

$4,000

Program Length

Four months

University of Providence

University of Providence

Program Title

Medical Assistant Certificate

Cost

$9,315 for general tuition or $5,653 for healthcare professionals who work with the University of Providence’s partners

Program Length

10 months

U.S. Career Institute

U.S. Career Institute

Program Title

Train at Home To Be a Medical Assistant

Cost

$1,239

Program Length

Up to one year

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Online CMA Certifications

What is CMA certification?

The CMA credential demonstrates advanced expertise in finance and accounting. This reputable certification can help you advance your accounting career.

Can I take the CMA exam online?

The Certified Medical Assistant CMA exam is offered through the American Association of Medical Assistants, and PSI Services LLC (PSI) administers the exam, which is not available online. You must take this exam at a test center. There are other medical assistant certifications that allow you to take their exams via a remote proctor, but this is not an option for the CMA credential.

Can I take the CMA exam without doing a program?

No, you may not. To be eligible for the CMA exam, you must complete a program that is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

What is the difference between CMA and CCMA?

While they both cover the fundamentals of medical assisting, CMA and CCMA are credentials offered by two different organizations and have different requirements. The CMA credential is offered through AAMA, and the CCMA credential is offered through NHA.

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