Medical Assisting in West Virginia
West Virginia has a relatively small population and many residents live in rural areas. However, 3,380 medical assistants work in the state and the employment level is fairly high, with 4.78 out of 1,000 employed people working in the medical assistant field. Demand for health services is predicted to increase over the coming years, so the need for all types of medical assistants is expect to rise too.
West Virginia is in the lower range for medical assistants pay, with average salaries of $25,550 and hourly pay of $12.28. Employment prospects are greater for those who complete postsecondary education on an accredited certifcate, diploma or degree program. Medical assistants who sit a recognized certification exam upon graduating from their training program can expect higher earnings and the best job opportunities.
There is no state affiliate of the professional body AAMA (American Association of Medical Assistants) in West Virginia, or local AAMA chapters, but medical assistants in the state can be national members of the association.
West Virginia Medical Assistant Schools and Programs
Located in Morgantown, West Virginia Junior College offers an associate degree program that prepares students to become Registered Medical Assistants. In addition to learning administrative and clinical skills, students on this program will receive on-the-job training on an externship.
Huntington Junior College runs a medical assisting Associate degree program that provides practical training in clinical and laboratory skills as well as front office clerical duties. The program is CAAHEP accredited and prepares students for employment in entry level medical assisting positions. Prior to graduation, students are required to complete at least 160 hours of a supervised externship, which will give them real world experience of working in a healthcare environment and an insight into the demands of a medical assistant job.
New River Community and Technical College offers an Associate of Applied Science degree program that provides general medical assistant training covering both administrative and clinical duties and includes supervised externship experience in real healthcare facilities. Upon graduating from this program, students can apply to take the nationally recognised CCMA (Certified Clinical Medical Assistant) examination. This program is available at campuses in Beckley, Lewisburg, Princeton and Summersville.
- Length: 2 years (65 credit hours)
- Cost: Not available
- Job Placement Rate: Not available