Indiana Medical Assistant Requirements and Approved CMA Programs

Medical assistants provide valuable support to physicians and other members of the healthcare team. Physicians would have a difficult task of attending to the needs of patients if they also had to manage administrative and minor clinical duties. Medical assistants improve the workflow within the practice, increase patient satisfaction, and reduce burnout that is so common among healthcare professionals. Indiana state permits medical assistants to operate under the license of a supervising physician, who must delegate tasks according to the experience, training and capability of the medical assistant.

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Medical assistants have been in use for many decades. The advent of formal medical assistant programs brings them into the spotlight and expanded their employment options. Today, medical assistants add value to almost any health care environment. They are employed in any patient care setting, but their duties vary from one type of practice to another. Although most medical assistants work in physicians’ offices, the percentage is slowly decreasing as more MAs enter other practice settings.

The clerical and clinical abilities of medical assistants make them perfect for private practices. Here they have diverse duties including the scheduling of appointments, greeting patients, performing diagnostic tests, administering medication, taking vital signs, drawing blood, cleaning exam rooms, recordkeeping, and billing and coding. A major part of the medical assistant’s role is to keep the patient at ease, establish trust, and keep maintain the organization and efficiency of the practice.

Benefits of Becoming a Medical Assistant

The COVID-19 crisis saw expanded roles for health professionals, including medical assistants who took on tasks beyond their normal scope of practice. The breadth of their education and national certification helped them to take on new responsibilities without extensive training from physicians, clinicians, administrators, and nurses. The versatility of medical assistants came to the spotlight, causing physicians to see them in a new light. Instead of routine tasks, medical assistants can be counted on to fully prep the patient before the doctor steps in. The assistant may greet the patient, take vitals, review the patient’s medication list, update records, and anything that does not require the medical judgment of the physician. The profession is an opportunity to acquire and use skills to support health care providers.

Support professionals like medical assistants are expected to be in demand until at least 2031. At a rate of 16 percent from 2021 to 2031, the profession is growing much faster than average. The number of aging people in need of care will challenge the health care infrastructure. Physicians will need the support of medical assistants to perform administrative and clinical duties, so they can attend to more patients. If you’re looking for a career in health where there’s great demand to increase your employment options, look no further than medical assisting.

Job responsibilities vary depending on where you plan to work. The diversity is part of what makes medical assisting so enjoyable. Being able to work in different places and learn different things reduces monotony, so you’ll never feel stuck. In a chiropractic center, the work will be largely administrative since there are no diagnostic tests or surgeries to perform. Here you’ll set appointments, perform data entry, file insurance claims, clean equipment, manage payments, order supplies, and assist the chiropractor. A role in medical records at a hospital will also provide opportunities to use administrative skills if you prefer this side of the medical assisting. A role in an urgent care center may be exactly the opposite as you’ll work with directly with patients and have an expanded clinical role. Duties include but are not limited to wound care, assist with x-rays, take vital signs, collect lab samples, and administer medications.

The place of work also determines your work schedule. Medical assistants who work in private practices have the best chances of working a regular 9 to 5, five days a week. It is one of few health professions that support a work-life balance. Working at a private practice may not be as financially lucrative as an outpatient center, but it will give you evenings, weekends, and major holidays free to spend time with family or pursue other goals.

Medical assisting provides ease of entry into the health care sector. In times past, medical assistants learned everything they needed to know on the job. The rise in formal training programs does not in any way affect ease of entry. With a high school diploma and a desire to work, you can enroll in a medical assistant certificate program and prepare for entry-level employment in 4 to 12 months in the state of Indiana. The American Association of Medical Assistants is the only certifying agency that requires formal training from prospective candidates for certification. Other associations accept experience in lieu of a formal education. The absence of licensing requirements by most states (except Washington) further reduces the barrier to practice, so you can begin working as soon as you complete a medical assistant program. Note that certification is not required, but recommended for greater employment opportunities and higher pay.

As long as there’s a health care industry and physicians to care for patients, there will be a need for medical assistants. The nature of their work is so personal and patient-centered that it cannot be replaced by technology or outsourced to an outside facility. Medical assisting provides stability and growth.

Certified Versus Uncertified Medical Assistants

With so many options for care, health facilities must raise the bar to increase their competitiveness and attract more clients. The quality of the staff, as relates to their education and certification, sets one facility apart from another. Similar to the hiring of BSN prepared nurses to achieve Magnet status, private practices and outpatient centers may use the certification of their staff as bragging rights. The quality of the staff can also affect insurance coverage for some facilities. The greater the educational preparation, the lower the risks of errors in practice. Certification is not required, but it’s certainly recommended if you want to earn the favor of the best employers and get the best jobs.

Certification establishes trust. Associations such as the American Association of Medical Assistants have a long-standing record of excellence. Their CMAs can be trusted to perform the administrative and clinical duties delegated by physicians, clinicians, and nurses. Your certification says that you are ready to hit the ground running from your first day on the job. Employers always keep their eyes on the bottom line. A cost reduction is one of the key reasons for hiring medical assistants. Training new employees only add to the cost and limits resources. The rigorous certification requirements including continuing education units for renewal demonstrates your ability to get the job done and saves the employer time and money.

Certified medical assistants are apt to learn and do more on the job. A supervising physician who is confident in the abilities of the medical assistant may assign greater duties with time. The extent of your role is closely linked with the value you bring to the practice. An employer who has come to depend on your contributions will pay more and offer additional incentives to reduce turnover. If not, you’ll have a skillset that you can take anywhere, even to the point of pursuing other career pathways in health.

See the list of certifying organizations below to determine what is the best option for you.

Nationally Approved Certifying Organizations

American Association of Medical Assistants
20 N. Wacker Drive, #1575
Chicago, IL 60606-2963
(312) 424-3100

American Medical Certification Association
310 Passaic Avenue, Suite 204B
Fairfield, NJ 07004
(888) 960-2622

American Medical Technologists
10700 W. Higgins Road, Suite 150
Rosemont, IL 60018
(847) 823-5169

Multiskilled Medical Certification Institute, Inc.
P.O. Box 17
7007 College Boulevard
Overland Park, KS 66211
(888) 625-8408 or (913) 754-3287 

How to Become a Medical Assistant in Indiana

Complete accredited training

Healthcare employers hire medical assistants with experience and medical knowledge gained through an accredited medical assistant program. A formal program will enable you to earn the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential. The AAMA is the only credentialing agency that requires candidates to complete formal training.

Medical assistants do not need a license to practice in most states. However, proper training is required to perform specific procedures like administering medications, drawing blood, or giving injections. An accredited program cross trains prospective MAs to not only perform these vital clinical tasks but also to shine in an administrative role. The curriculum will cover key tasks such as scheduling appointments, billing and coding, answering phone calls, updating patient records, and filing medical charts. Most programs cover at least 600 hours of academic and hands-on training including at least 120 hours in a clinical setting. You’ll learn how to advocate for patients with their insurance companies, order medical supports, take medical histories, educate patients, assist physicians with examinations, apply bandages, collect lab specimens, and remove sutures.

More than just the technical skills, an accredited will cover those soft skills that are essential to success. Since you’ll spend a great deal of time communicating with health care professionals, you’ll learn how to interact and communicate effectively, reduce stress that can arise in patients and team members, solve problems, and maintain organization for an efficient practice.

You’ll need to meet the age requirement (minimum 18 years), have a high school diploma, and be proficient in English and math to enroll in the program. Clinical partners may have additional requirements include up-to-date immunizations, clear background check and drug screen, and CPR certification.

An accredited program will cover all or most of the points on the checklist below.

Duration of the medical assistant program: The brevity of the training, compared to other health care careers, is one factor that draws many to medical assisting. You can complete an accredited certificate program in 12 months or less and be on your way to a rewarding career in health. The associate degree requires a 2-year investment of time, but its not required unless you have plans to further your education.

Employer-centered curriculum: Medical assisting is career focused, so training should be targeted to meet the exact needs of employers. Enroll in a program whose curriculum matches the role and responsibilities you’ll fill upon graduation. Employers hire graduates who can get the job done without extensive training and direction.

Experienced instructors: The instructor’s purpose is to teach students how to perform the role of the medical assistant. He/she will use demonstration techniques, lectures, and practical activities to accomplish this goal. The instructor should be a medical assistant with experience in education and in the health care field.

Flexible formats: How do you want to complete your training? It’s likely that there’s a schedule to meet your specific requirements. From online to hybrid to on-campus training, choose one that matches your learning style. Full-time, part-time, and weekend-only schedules are also available. Remember that you’ll need to commit time for participation in the clinical rotations.

Hands-on experience: The practical training is a valuable part of the medical assistant program. Indeed, you may not be qualified to graduate if you opt out. The hands-on activities provide for the application of the theory and paves the way for a smooth transition into the workplace.

Financially viable: How much “schooling” can you afford? The short-term quality of medical assistant programs means they’re not as expensive as training for other health care professions. You can also make use of any financial aid resources when you choose to enroll in an accredited medical assistant program.

Fringe benefits: What do you most want from your medical assistant training? If flexibility is you need, then choose the program that will give you flexibility. Decide what you want – affordability, proximity to work or home, etc. – and shortlist your options.

Obtain Medical Assistant Certification

Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)

The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential is a product of the American Association of Medical Assistants awarded to candidates who complete accredited training, pass the certification exam, and meet all other requirements for certification.

The CMA certification exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that will test your knowledge of pharmacology, safety and infection control, legal and ethical issues, communication, and much more.

The exam assesses three principal categories:

Clinical Competency (59%)

  • Clinical Workflow: Patient Intake and Discharge
  • Safety and Infection Control
  • Procedures/Examinations
  • Pharmacology

General (21%)

  • Legal and Ethical Issues
  • Communication

Administrative (20%)

  • Billing, Coding, and Insurance
  • Schedule Appointments and Health Information Management

Eligibility Requirements

You can sit for the exam if you meet one of the criteria outlined below:

  1. Must be completing or a recent graduate of a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assistant program. If you’re enrolled in a medical assistant program, you can take the exam no more than 30 days prior to completing the program and practicum. If you’ve graduated from a program, you must take the exam within 12 months of your graduation date.
  2. Must be a nonrecent graduate of a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assistant program. You’re considered a nonrecent graduate, if you apply for the exam more than 12 months after graduation.
  3. Must be a CMA (AAMA) recertificant. Use this option if you previously passed the CMA Certification Exam and want to recertify the CMA credential.

Application Steps

  1. Verify that you are eligible to take the exam
  2. Review the exam policies and information
  3. Gather your documentation for your eligibility category
  4. Determine the start date for 90-day testing period – this will determine when you apply for the exam.
  5. Submit your application, pay the application fee of $125 for AAMA members or $250 nonmembers
  6. Make name, email, and postal address corrections in a timely basis
  7. Schedule your exam appointment after your application and payment are processed
  8. Complete the exam and receive a pass/fail notification
  9. Watch for your official score reports – within three weeks after your exam
  10. Watch for your certificate or digital badge via email

Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)

The American Medical Technologists (AMT) awards the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential to persons who meet the eligibility criteria and pass the RMA exam. The RMA credential is also accepted by healthcare employers across the nation. RMAs have the abilities, knowledge, and commitment to quality care.

Following are some other requirements for RMA certification:

Through formal education-

  • Must have graduated, within the past 4 years, or scheduled to graduate from an accredited MA program or program that is housed within an accredited institution.
  • Must have completed 720 hours of instruction that includes at least 160 hours of externship

Other training –

  • Must have completed a medical assisting work-study/training program within the last 4 years such as:
    • An apprenticeship program registered with the US Department of Labor (DOL)
    • A federally recognized State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA)
    • Workforce Development/Employer program

Work Experience

  • Must be employed as a medical assistant for a minimum of 3 years within the past 7 years – 3 years of full-time employment at 36 hours per week is the equivalent of 5,616 hours. Provide documents of both administrative and clinical duties on the employment letter
  • Experience must include both clinical and administrative duties
  • Must have a valid CPR card (copy of front and back). CPR training must include both theoretical and in-person demonstration of CPR proficiency.


  • Must be a recent graduate, or scheduled to graduate from a formal medical services training program of the United States Armed Forces – Must have graduated within the last 4 years.


  • Must have worked as a medical assistant educator for a minimum of five years, and have previously completed a course in a healthcare related discipline.

The application fee for the RMA exam is $135. You must schedule your exam online after you receive approval from the RMA.

The official certification will be supplied within 7 to 14 days after you pass the exam.

Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)

The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) is another nationally recognized certifying organization for medical assistants. Candidates who successfully meet all the requirements will receive the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) credential. Candidates for certification may fulfill the requirements for certification via work experience or practical training.

To take the CCMA credentialing exam, you must:

  • Possess a high school diploma/GED equivalent AND
  • Have completed a medical assistant training program (within the last 5 years) OR
  • Have one year of supervised medical assisting experience, in the last 3 years

The exam is administered either at your school, a PSI testing center near you, or through live remote proctoring at the location of your choice.

For online CCMA exams, NHA will officially post your certification results to your account page within two days of scoring your test.

Indiana Medical Assistants FAQs

Are medical assistants required to be licensed or certified by the State of Indiana?

Medical assistants are not required to be licensed or certified by the State of Indiana. Medical assistants certified by an approved certifying organization, such as the AAMA, may administer immunizations as delegated by a physician or nurse practitioner.

What duties are medical assistants allowed to perform?

Indiana’s Medical Code authorizes physicians to delegate a broad scope of clinical and
administrative tasks to medical assistants, including:

  • Venipuncture/phlebotomy
  • Administering intramuscular, intradermal, and subcutaneous injections [including immunizations/vaccinations]
  • Conveying information verbatim as directed by the delegating physician
  • Transmitting verbatim the physician’s prescription/medication orders as directed by the
    delegating physician after review and approval by the physician

Medical assistants are not permitted to perform tasks

  • Which constitutes the practice of medicine
  • Which state law permits only certain health care professionals to perform
  • Which require the exercise of independent professional judgment or the making of clinical assessments, evaluations, or interpretations

The supervising/delegating/overseeing physician is responsible legally for any negligent acts by the medical assistant in performing tasks delegated by the physician. The medical assistant is also responsible for any of her/his negligent acts.

Contact the Indiana Society of Medical Assistants



CAAHEP & ABHES Accredited Medical Assisting Programs Indiana

Anderson, IN Medical Assistant programs:
Ivy Tech
815 E 60th Street
Anderson, IN 46013

Fort Wayne, IN Medical Assistant programs:
University of Fort Wayne
2701 Spring Street
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46808

Gary, IN Medical Assistant programs:
Indiana University Northwest
3400 Broadway,
Gary, IN 46408

Highland, IN Medical Assistant programs:
Medical Career Academy
8845 Kennedy Ave
Highland, Indiana 46322
(219) 764-1855

Indianapolis, IN Medical Assistant programs:
Indiana School of Phlebotomy
6919 E. 10th St., Suite D-6
Indianapolis, IN 46219
317-759-DRAW (3729)

Fortis College in Indianapolis
9001 N. Wesleyan Rd. Suite 101
Indianapolis, IN 46268
(317) 808-4800

Lincoln Tech
7225 Winton Drive
Building 128
Indianapolis, IN 46268
(317) 632-5553

International Business College
7205 Shadeland Station
Indianapolis, Indiana 46256

Jeffersonville, IN Medical Assistant programs:
Caris College
2780 Jefferson Centre Way, Suite 103
Jeffersonville, Indiana 47130
(812) 952-9791

Richmond, IN Medical Assistant programs:
Reid Health
1100 Reid Parkway
Richmond, IN 47374
(765) 983-3000

South Bend, IN Medical Assistant programs:
Indiana University South Bend
1700 Mishawaka Ave
South Bend, IN 46615

Vincennes, IN Medical Assistant programs:
Vincennes University
1002 North First Street
Vincennes, Indiana 47591