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Workforce Education » Medical Assistant

Medical Assistant

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The Industry

As more people reach retirement age, and with ever increasing technological advancements in health care, more people are living longer than at any time in history. Because of these and other factors, Medical Assistants as a profession are in very high demand, with a projected job growth of 29 percent between 2010 and 2020. The median income for Medical Assistants is $30,780 a year, with excellent medical and retirement benefits available at most jobs. The earning potential for graduates is well over the national average for most other occupations.

Our Medical Assistant Program

Prepares students with a wide range of skills to assist in health care settings

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Medical Assistants are multi-skilled practitioners who perform in a wide range of skills in physician offices and other health care settings. Program graduates assist physicians and other health care practitioners on many aspects of medical practice, including patient care management, administrative, and clinical procedures. Clinical procedures include: assisting with physical examinations, phlebotomy (blood draw), administering injections, performing electrocardiograms (EKGs), and instrument sterilization.

Accreditation, Credentialing & Certification

The Centralia College MA Program is accredited at the institutional level by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

The CC MA Program is affiliated with the American Medical Technologists (AMT) organization. The AMT is one of four national credentialing organizations that provide written examinations for MA graduates to become certified at the national level. This national certification is now required to work in the state of Washington. Upon successful completion of the national exam, the MA will be awarded the national credential Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) through AMT. The national RMA credential is equivalent to the national CMA credential, and should be recognized as such by all potential employers. Once nationally certified, graduates will be required to complete continuing education units to renew the national credential per the AMT renewal schedule.

It is the responsibility of the MA graduate to apply to the AMT to take the national boards and to pay all incurred costs with this national written examination.

The CC MA Program meets all criteria for our graduates to be eligible to work in the state of Washington as a Medical Assistant-Certified (MA-C), once the graduate has passed their national boards. This certification requires renewal every two years.

Once hired, the graduate's employer will obtain from the state an interim MA-C certificate that is good for exactly one calendar year from the date it is issued. The one-year interim period is to allow the new graduate to start work even if they have not passed their national boards yet. However, they must pass their national boards within that one-year interim period; otherwise, the MA-C will be revoked and they will only be allowed to work from that point forward in Washington as a Medical Assistant-Registered (MA-R), which is a lesser credential.

Career Opportunities

There are excellent career opportunities available for Medical Assistants working in a variety of fields and settings, such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Physician Offices
  • Outpatient Care Facilities

Occupational Outlook, Job & Salary Statistics

For statistics on Medical Assistant occupations, see:

Application & Admission Process

Applications are accepted the third week in May and are due at the end of the first week in June.

A maximum total of 24 students are selected each year to continue into the second year of the Medical Assistant Program. In order to be considered for admission to the second year of the Medical Assistant Program, you must complete all of the following:

  • Payment of $29 (check payable to Centralia College) for Washington State Patrol background inquiry and National Certified background inquiry, with the understanding that if you have a positive finding (a disqualifying crime), you may not be eligible for externship, therefore unable to pass the class.
  • Graduation or G.E.D Affidavit completed
  • Submit Letter of Interest which includes the following:
    • Why you wish to enroll in the Centralia College Medical Assistant Program, second year
    • Your experience working in the medical profession, where and when, paid or unpaid
    • Your Professional Goal(s) for the next three years

Application packets and transcripts are evaluated during the month of June, followed by interviews for the top 30 candidates in July, and finally, notification of acceptance mailed by the second week in August.

For more information, contact:
Linda Murray, Program Director
Medical Assistant Program
600 Centralia College Blvd.
Centralia, WA 98531
360-736-9391 ext. 790

Important Links

Assist physicians and other practitioners in the health care industry...


Linda Murray, Instructor (360) 736-9391 ext. 790

Medical Assistant Program Guide
Download Program Guide PDF