Medical Assisting programs in West Virginia

West Virginia Medical Assisting

West Virginia medical assistant students complete their training in less than a year if they choose to study the diploma or certificate program in medical assisting. Another option is the associate's degree program that can be completed within two years. These programs are available in technical schools, local colleges, or vocational schools and are accredited by either CAAHEP or ABHES, two of the recognized accrediting agencies by the U.S. Department of Education.

Although West Virginia has no laws about medical assistants sitting for a certifying exam, it is still best that you become a certified medical assistant to boost your hirability and marketability.

Pathways to Becoming a Medical Assistant in West Virginia

If you are a part-time student, you can still enroll in a medical assisting program through online courses offered in select educational institutions.

The course curriculum focuses on subjects that will enhance your clinical and administrative skills. Included in the programs are topics such as office and clerical procedures, computer skills, reimbursement methods, filling up insurance forms, accounting methods, and responding to claims and disputes, among others. Clinical topics will touch on anatomy and physiology, basic pharma, patient assessment methods, and minor laboratory procedures.

Considerations when Choosing Medical Assistant Schools

West Virginia has various educational institutions that cater to both on-campus and online students. Before making a decision regarding the medical assisting school where you will enroll, check the following points first.
Program accreditation. Does the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) accredit the medical assisting programs? 

School and volume of students. How many students are there in each class? What facilities does the school have that medical assistant students can use? Does the school have its own laboratory room for students' practical use? Will internship be done outside school premises?

Tuition fees and scholarships. How much does the complete medical assisting program cost? Are there any scholarships that the school can extend to its students? Will the school accept study grants or scholarships from institutions?

Success rate of graduates. How many graduates has the school produced already? How many of the graduates passed any of the certification exams for medical assistants? What is the success rate when it comes to finding employment?

Medical Assistant Schools in West virginia

West Virginia Salaries for Medical Assistants

Table 1 Salary Data Source: America's Career InfoNet
Level of Experience Hourly Rate Annual Salary
Entry-Level Wage
$8.27
$17,200
Median Wage
$10.87
$22,600
Experienced Wage
$14.51
$30,200

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projections, the medical assisting industry is set to increase the number of available jobs from 2010 to 2020. This means approximately additional 163,000 medical assistant positions to be filled in.*

In West Virginia, experienced medical assistants earn between $26,600 - $31,000 per annum with some practitioners working as clinical assistants, medical receptionist, medical billers, or insurance coders. The demand for medical assistants is continuously growing and if you want to be part of a thriving industry, now is the best time to begin your medical assistant education.

References:
* US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010–11 Edition: Medical Assistants. http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos164.htm, website last visited on November 1, 2012.
America's CareerInfoNet, website last visited November 02, 2012

Medical Assistant Programs by State

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