CCMA vs. CMA: What’s the Difference?

The primary difference is a CMA is certified by the American Association of Medical Assistants, while a CCMA pursues certification through the National Healthcare Association. A CMA may perform more administrative work than a certified clinical medical assistant.

You are an experienced medical assistant (MA) or a recent MA graduate who is prepared to advance in your medical assistant career. If this applies to you, you can start looking into exams. This process could be overwhelming and only raise more questions, such as what to do, where to begin, which exam is best for you, and, more importantly, how to study and prepare for success.

The certifications of Certified Medical Assistant (CMA, AAMA), Registered Medical Assistant (RMA, AMT), or Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA, NHA) are worthwhile to obtain. Certified medical assistants are more likely to be hired by employers because their credentials attest to their possessing the necessary knowledge and abilities. Employers may occasionally demand certification or pay certified medical assistants higher wages. Knowing the certification exams that are available will help you select the one that is best for you, after which you can concentrate on preparing for success. This blog post will help you get started.

The Certified Medical Assistant (AAMA) Certification Exam will be covered first. The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)’s Certifying Board awards the CMA (AAMA) credential upon successful completion of this exam. The CMA (AAMA) exam is challenging, but applicants must have completed a CAAHEP- or ABHES-accredited medical assistant program to be eligible. This formal education aids test takers in preparing for the exam. Here is some additional information about this exam:

The Registered Medical Assistant (AMT) Certification Exam will now be covered. The American Medical Technologists (AMT) awards the RMA (AMT) credentials upon passing this exam. The RMA (AMT) exam evaluates a medical assistant’s knowledge and abilities and provides a number of eligibility paths. Here is some additional information about this exam:

The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (NHA) Certification Exam will be covered last. The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) awards the CCMA (NHA) credentials upon successful completion of this exam. An industry certification test called the CCMA (NHA) was created to gauge a student’s proficiency as a medical assistant. Here is some additional information about this exam:

Now that you are aware of who can take these three medical assistant certification exams and what they cover, Making an educated choice about which option will best meet your needs will enable you to submit your application and pay the exam fee. Following the approval of your application, choose an exam date and start studying. Here are some important advice for the big day:

Tip 1: Schedule strategically. It’s crucial to think about the timing of your credentialing exam even though you’re eager to take it and advance in your career. Make sure to choose a date that is not too far away so that you won’t likely put off preparing, but also not too close so that you won’t have enough time to do so. Ideally, give yourself a month or two to properly prepare.

Plan ahead! Now that the exam date has been determined, you should concentrate on creating a study schedule. Make sure to set aside time to create a schedule and organize your study materials. Consider your day-to-day obligations. Your schedule should be broken down into weeks, and you should be realistic when you schedule time for exam preparation. Ask yourself if there’s anything that might conflict with that time and don’t overbook. To ensure that the information you learn is retained, schedule at least two hours per session for three to four times per week.

Once you have created weekly schedules with specific times designated for studying and exam preparation, it will be crucial to follow those schedules. Controlling your environment will help you avoid distractions that could undermine your ability to prepare. Treat your study time as though you are in a class to prevent disruptions. Are you comfortable where you are working? Are there people around to distract you? Do you have everything you need?

Tip 5: Analyze your strengths and weaknesses. To identify your individual areas of strength and weakness, use practice exams and study resources like flashcards. Use this information to calculate the amount of time you will need to spend preparing for each topic. To ensure that you remember the information, you should continue going over topics that you are strong in, but you should also put more time and effort into strengthening your areas of weakness.

Tip 6: To get ready, finish timed practice questions and tests. The medical assistant certification tests consist of timed, computer-based exams that are proctored. Some test takers experience test anxiety because of timed exams, or they might not be accustomed to taking computerized tests. By making this type of testing more comfortable and familiar, practicing these techniques can help decrease that anxiety. Additionally, practice exams will familiarize you with the kinds of questions you can anticipate seeing on the credentialing exam while assisting you in continuously evaluating your knowledge, your areas of strength and weakness.

Medical Assistants: Difference between the CCMA NHA & CMA AAMA.

What is a CMA?

A certified medical assistant (CMA) is a professional in both administration and healthcare. Medical facilities can obtain clerical support services from CMAs, such as maintaining patient records or processing insurance claims. They may also carry out fundamental healthcare functions, such as supporting a doctor’s examinations. The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) certifies CMAs.

What is a CCMA?

An individual in the medical field who offers supportive services is known as a certified clinical medical assistant (CCMA). CCMAs assist physicians, nurses, and other medical personnel with routine medical procedures like taking blood samples or monitoring vital signs. CCMAs receive certification from the National Healthcare Association (NHA).


Medical assistants who play an important part in a healthcare team include CCMAs and CMAs. However, distinct healthcare organizations certify each of these professions separately. These certifications create some differences between these two careers. The key differences and similarities between a CCMA and a CMA are listed below:


The prerequisites for the CCMA exam are different from those for the CMA test. Candidates must first obtain a high school diploma in order to become CCMAs. Additionally, they must have completed an accredited medical assisting program or one provided by the military, a recognized apprenticeship, or have worked as a medical assistant for at least a year.

The requirements for the CMA evaluation, however, differ. You must have finished a medical assistance program that has been approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) in order to sit for the CMA exam. Additionally, candidates typically cannot have their professional licenses previously revoked or been convicted of a felony.

Medical responsibilities

Both CMAs and CMMAs are able to provide patients with fundamental medical care and carry out basic medical tasks, such as:

However, a CCMA may devote more time to these clinical responsibilities than a CMA.

Administration responsibilities

CMAs typically perform more administrative or clerical duties than CCMAs. These responsibilities may include:

A CCMA may sometimes perform some of these clerical responsibilities. But in many areas or states, CCMAs lack the authority to carry out any tasks involving patient medical records or privacy. As a result, CCMAs typically carry out more medical tasks than administrative ones.


Both CMAs and CCMAs require technical skills to use medical devices like blood pressure monitors or IVs. However, a CMA typically possesses a wider variety of tech skills, enabling them to carry out their administrative duties. A CMA may be proficient in using spreadsheet software, managing patient record databases, managing multiple online calendars, and troubleshooting common computer issues.

How can you choose between a CCMA vs. a CMA?

It’s important to take your career situation into account when deciding whether to pursue a CCMA or CMA certification. For instance, if you have already begun or finished a medical assistance program, you should apply for the medical assistant certificate that your school qualifies you for based on the type of accreditation it holds. Even if you haven’t completed an accredited program, you might be qualified to take the CCMA exam if you’re already employed as a medical assistant.

However, if you have not yet begun working as a medical assistant, consider the kinds of duties or areas of focus you would like to pursue in this line of work. People who want to perform clinical and administrative tasks may favor taking the CMA exam. You might prefer to pursue your CCMA if you’d prefer to concentrate primarily on your medical responsibilities.

Average salary and job outlook for CCMAs and CMAs

Both CCMAs and CMAs have many similar skills, including:

Basic medical abilities

Clinical tasks carried out by CCMAs and CMAs support nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals. A CMA or CCMA is familiar with the protocols and procedures for performing medical tasks like taking vital signs, drawing blood, bandaging wounds, or giving medications. They are also knowledgeable enough about more complex medical procedures to respond to simple patient inquiries about their proposed course of treatment.


Patients with a range of medical issues and from different cultures or backgrounds may be encountered by CMAs and CCMAs. A CMA or CCMA tries to understand the particular medical conditions and viewpoint of a patient. They actively listen to patients so they can sympathize with them and convey their concerns to the other members of their medical team.

Knowledge of safety protocols

CCMAs and CMAs deal with substances like blood, urine, germs, or dangerous chemicals on a regular basis. To reduce risks to themselves, their patients, and other medical professionals as well as to themselves, CMAs and CCMAs are trained in the safe handling of these materials. The proper use and disposal of gloves, accurate labeling of vials, and routine surface sanitization are all examples of safety precautions.


Health care can be a fast-paced and unpredictable industry. A CCMA or CMA is adept at taking proactive action in the face of unforeseen problems or difficulties. When new or complicated situations in the workplace arise, they can quickly adapt as necessary to handle them.


Both CCMAs and CMAs play crucial roles in a group of medical specialists. A CMA or CCMA knows how to work well with other team members in order to give their patients access to high-quality, all-encompassing medical care. CCMAs and CMAs may collaborate, compromise, persuade, and negotiate as part of their teamwork abilities.


Patients frequently inquire about upcoming procedures or treatments from CCMAs and CMAs. A CCMA or CMA uses their excellent communication abilities to easily explain to patients difficult medical terms or procedures in plain language. The ability to communicate effectively with doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals is another skill that CCMAs and CMAs use.

Please note that Indeed is not affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned in this article.


Which is better CMA or CCMA?

The CMA certification could better prepare students for a well-rounded career if they want to perform both clinical and administrative tasks. The CCMA certification is the better choice for students who want to concentrate solely on clinical procedures.

Is a medical assistant the same as a CMA?

The Medical Assistant may choose to be registered (R. M. A) or certified (CMA). The organization to which she or he belongs merely determines these designations. Simply because one credential uses the “Registered” title and the other uses the “Certified” title does not indicate a qualitative difference between the two credentials.

Which medical assistant certification is best?

1. The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) offers the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam, which is arguably the most well-known and widely accepted of the medical assistant certifications.

What is a CCMA in the medical field?

An ambulatory healthcare setting is where a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) focuses their clinical procedures. CCMAs may also perform administrative duties in smaller healthcare facilities.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *