Becoming a Medical Assistant in Houston

Becoming a Medical Assistant in Houston: 4 Things You Need to Know

Starting a career as a medical assistant in Houston opens a world of opportunity in the healthcare sector. This guide offers a clear pathway, detailing educational requirements, certifications, and local job resources. Dive into a career that blends patient care with administrative skills, right in the heart of Texas’s bustling healthcare community.

1. Education

CCI Training, similar to many other medical assistant schools, requires applicants have any of 3 educational attainments:
  1. High school degree
  2. GED or equivalent
  3. An associate degree/bachelor’s degree
For students who don’t have a high school degree, here is a list of GED resources in the Houston area:
  • You can study for the GED exam at any of these local prep centers:
  • You can take the Texas GED exam online (requiring a “GED Ready” practice test first) for $42/subject, or in-person for $36/subject. There are 4 subjects required to get a GED, so the total cost is $169 or $144, respectively.
  • You can take the GED test at certain Pearson VUE test centers across town.

2. Certification

In Texas, becoming a medical assistant (MA) doesn’t require state licensure, but employers often prefer or require certification for better job prospects and credibility. These are the primary certifications available for medical assistants:

  1. Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) – Also offered by the NHA, this certification focuses on the administrative tasks of a medical assistant. Eligibility includes completing an educational program or having relevant work experience.
  2. Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) – Offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), this certification requires passing an exam and either completing an accredited medical assisting program or meeting specific work experience requirements. Exams are held at Prometric locations around Houston (see below).
  3. Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) – Provided by the American Medical Technologists (AMT), to be eligible, candidates must graduate from an accredited program or have a certain amount of work experience, among other pathways. The RMA test is offered at Pearson VUE test centers in Houston (see locations below).
  4. National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) – The National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) offers this certification. Eligibility includes graduation from an approved program, sufficient work experience, or a combination of both. The exam can be taken in-person or online and the fee is $119. In-person tests in Houston are proctored by Prometric. For more info, call the NCCT at 913-498-1243.
  5. Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) – The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) offers this certification, focusing on the clinical aspects of medical assisting. Eligible candidates must complete an accredited program or have work experience in the field. The exam can be taken online or in-person at a PSI testing center. The exam fee is $119. To find an in-person test center in Houston, call the NHA at 913-498-1243.

Testing Centers in Houston

The following are a list of testing centers that offer proctored exams:
  • Pearson VUE
    • University of Houston, Downtown – 201 Girard St 716N Houston, Texas 77002 (map, info)
    • Houston Community College, Central College – 1300 Holman St., Houston, Texas 77004 (map, info)
    • The LIFE Organization CDC – 6202 Lockwood Dr. Houston, Texas 77026 (map, info)
    • See the Pearson VUE website for more options: Pearson VUE
  • Prometric
  • PSI Testing Centers
Each certification has its own set of eligibility requirements, exam topics, and renewal policies. Research and choose the certification that best fits your career goals. Some certifications may require continuing education units (CEUs) for renewal.

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3. Jobs and Employers

Job Boards

Following are a list of links to job boards where you can find open positions for medical assistants, specifically in the Houston area:

Employers in Healthcare Field

Below are a list of allied healthcare employers in the local Houston area that are likely to have medical assistant job opportunities:

Name Number of Beds URL
Texas Children’s Hospital 973 beds Texas Children’s,
Houston Methodist Hospital 907 beds Houston Methodist
Memorial Hermann Health System 3,938 beds Memorial Hermann Health System
MD Anderson Cancer Center 660 beds MD Anderson Cancer Center
Baylor College of Medicine N/A Baylor College of Medicine
St. Luke’s Health System 850 beds St. Luke’s Health System
Harris Health System 1,200 beds Harris Health System
HCA Houston Healthcare 1,936 beds HCA Houston Healthcare
Texas Women’s Hospital 397 beds Texas Women’s Hospital
UT Health Houston N/A UT Health Houston
Ben Taub General Hospital 586 beds Ben Taub General Hospital
Houston VA Medical Center 349 beds Houston VA Medical Center
Kelsey-Seybold Clinic N/A Kelsey-Seybold Clinic
Legacy Community Health Services N/A Legacy Community Health Services
Texas Heart Institute N/A Texas Heart Institute
Kindred Hospital Houston 100 beds Kindred Hospital Houston
Cornerstone Specialty Hospitals Houston 35 beds Cornerstone Specialty Hospitals Houston
The Woman’s Hospital of Texas 397 beds The Woman’s Hospital of Texas
Shriners Hospitals for Children — Houston 40 beds Shriners Hospitals for Children — Houston
West Houston Medical Center 302 beds West Houston Medical Center

4. Houston Healthcare News

It’s important to stay up to date on the healthcare news for the Houston area, both in terms of trends and employment opportunities — but also being well-informed when you start interviewing for jobs. Below are current articles from some of the prominent local Houston medical websites:

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