Medical Assisting Certifications | Medical Assisting Career

Medical Assisting Certifications

Certifications You Need for Your Medical Assisting Career

If you’re considering medical assisting as a career, you need to think about certifications. Many medical assisting jobs are only open to certified candidates. What makes it a little confusing is that there isn’t just one certification that all employers are looking for. To make the field a little easier to navigate, let’s break down some of the more popular certifications.


American Medical Technologists (AMT) has two notable certifications for medical assistants: RMA and RPT.

RMA (Registered Medical Assistant) from AMT is a prestigious certification, and having it will make you significantly more valuable to employers. However, it’s only valuable because it’s not easy to get. As well as completing an approved training program, you will need to have 160 hours of clinical externship. Then, you need to pass an exam. The exam is only open within four years of program completion.

Without an approved training program, a minimum of five years of full-time experience (in the past seven years) is required to take the exam. Work experience must include both clinical and administrative work. In other words, it’s probably better to just go through an approved training program.

RPT (Registered Phlebotomy Technician) is to phlebotomy certifications what RMA is to medical assisting. It’s the gold standard. Employers are often looking for RPTs to fill their phlebotomist positions, and, in many cases, are willing to pay more for RPTs than for phlebotomists with other certifications.

To obtain this certification, you will need to complete an approved training program as well as at least 50 successful venipunctures and 10 successful skin punctures from human sources. Then you will be eligible to sit for the exam. Pass the exam, and congratulations! You’re an RPT!


The National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) offers a variety of certifications which are invaluable for proving your skills in the specific areas they cover. Depending on desired specialization, medical assistant may be interested in NCMA, NCPT, or NCET.

NCMA (National Certified Medical Assistant) is a widely used medical assisting certification. Graduates of an approved program are eligible to sit for the NCMA exam within five years of graduation. Unlike RMA, externship hours are not a requirement for NCMA.

NCPT (National Certified Phlebotomy Technician) is NCCT’s phlebotomy certification, which is also respected around the country. Like NCMA, the exam is open to graduates of approved programs for five years. Unlike RPT, NCPT does not have a minimum requirement of venipunctures or skin punctures.

NCET (National Certified EKG Technician) is NCCT’s EKG certification. Within two years of graduation from an approved training program, you are eligible to take the NCET exam. There are no additional requirements.


Midwestern Career College’s Medical Assisting graduates are eligible to sit for RMA and RPT (on completion of optional externship) and NCMA, NCPT, and NCET exams. Interested in learning more about medical assisting? Call (312) 236-9000 or email

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