Texas Medical Assistant Requirements and Approved CMA Programs

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Medical assistants in Texas function as unlicensed individuals who perform duties assigned by an onsite physician. There is no requirement for certification or licensure to practice in the state. A supervising physician must determine the role and responsibilities of the medical assistant in accordance with the Texas code for unlicensed professionals and ensure that the individual has the training and competency to perform the assigned duties with supervision.

The Texas Society of Medical Assistants (an affiliate of the AAMA) provides a supporting role for medical assistants in the state. Its core purpose is “to enable medical assisting professionals to enhance and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and professionalism required by employers and patients; protect medical assistants’ rights to practice, and promote effective, efficient health care delivery through the optional use of multi-skilled Certified Medical Assistant.”

Benefits of Becoming a Medical Assistant

Allied health programs, numerous as they are, have been unable to produce sufficient graduates to meet the need for healthcare workers in Texas. The demand for medical assistants and other allied health jobs is unprecedented. Employers are having a difficult time finding available talent to fill the vacant spots left by aging and retiring baby boomers. The growing demands for health care and overworked health care workers have impacted the delivery and quality of care afforded to patients.  The unending cycle means opportunities for new graduates to secure employment within weeks of certification.

Medical assistant training provides a clear and short pathway to a job in the healthcare sector. If you’re seeking for a viable career option in healthcare and don’t want to pursue the traditional associate or bachelor’s degree, you can enroll in a medical assistant program and obtain the short-term credential to start earning in a few months rather than years.

Medical assisting can be the first step to a fulfilling career in healthcare. It gets you in quickly and supplies an avenue to branch into other areas, such as nursing, paramedics, physician assistants, and more. Start by enrolling in a program that offers college credits that you can transfer into another program of choice. For instance, some nursing programs provide credits or advanced standing for medical assistants.

Building on the last point, medical assisting gets your foot in the door. As you begin working for a healthcare employer, you may be eligible for tuition assistance or other incentives to continue your studies for personal and professional growth. You will also have opportunities to network with healthcare professionals who can provide support and guidance on the career options available.

Certified Versus Uncertified Medical Assistants

Medical assistants earn a decent salary without certification – so why go through the hassle of a certification exam and verification? If you entered the industry and completed training without the thought of certification, it may very well become a hassle to complete the requirements, especially if you did not complete formal training or an accredited program. Completion of an accredited program is a requirement to get certified by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and other certifying organizations.

Apart from the requirements for certification, there are benefits to be had that go beyond a decent salary. In fact, a survey of pay rates for certified and non-certified medical assistants reveals that certified medical assistants can earn as much as 35 percent more than their non-certified counterparts. The higher salary starts at the entry level and progressively rises as CMAs take on more responsibilities and the accompanying increase in salaries.

Though there are few states that mandate certification, it might not be that way for long. Changing trends in healthcare to protect public health and ensure delivery of the best care could lead to mandatory certification in more states.

Both patients and employers prefer certified medical assistants. More and more employment ads are listing certification as a prerequisite for hire. Certification is a safeguard for employers, employees, and patients. When physicians, nurses, and other healthcare employees are confident in your abilities to perform assigned tasks, patients will be at ease.

Certification will also boost your confidence in yourself. It is your commitment to yourself and the profession. It is a commitment to continue your education as you must earn continuing education points for recertification every 60 months.

Once certified, you will be set to work in any state since certification is national.

Recognized Medical Assistant 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 Texas

Complete accredited training

Medical assistants perform both administrative and clinical tasks assigned by a supervising physician. On-the-job training may be available at a decreasing number of facilities. It is a great option if you prefer hands-on training and don’t have the finances to enroll in a formal program. The vast majority of medical assistants acquire their training by enrolling in a program at a vocational school, college, or university to gain an edge in the industry. The program will cover clinical topics such as taking medical histories, collecting lab specimens, cleaning medical equipment, drawing blood, measuring and recording vital signs, removing sutures, dressing wounds, and providing general instructions to patients. Administrative topics include scheduling appointments, updating patient records, managing billing, greeting patients, and coordinating lab services. An additional benefit of formal training not covered in on-the-job training is preparation for citification. Accredited medical assistant programs provide students will all the training and tools needed to succeed on a national certification exam.

Some things to look for in a medical assistant program include:

Duration of the medical assistant program: Your choice of program should be short but comprehensive. It might be better to enroll in a degree program for another profession if you plan to attend school for more than one year. One of the benefits of an allied health program such as medical assisting is the short timeframe. The duration should be less than 12 months.

Employer-centered curriculum: The goal of the training is to hit the ground running you’re your first day on the job. Choose a program that will help you to develop the skills and confidence you need to function in the role.

Experienced instructors: Instructors who are actively working in the industry will be in a position to share insights that are beneficial in the long run.

Flexible formats: If you’re working while you prepare for a change of career, a flexible part-time or full-time schedule will help you to balance both. Some accredited programs offer blended training where you complete the theory online and go onsite for hands-on training.

Hands-on experience: The best way to learn and develop clinical and administrative skills is to do them. The program should provide extensive opportunities to put your skills to practice.  

Financially viable: Short-term programs must be affordable – and substantially cheaper than degree and diploma programs.

Fringe benefits: The school should have a network of affiliates who can provide jobs to graduates.

Obtain Medical Assistant Certification

The CMA Certification Exam, administered by the American Associate of Medical Assistants, comprises of 200 multiple-choice questions. Out of the 200 questions, 180 will be scored and 20 will be pretested. 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 must meet the following eligibility categories:

  1. Must be completing or a recent graduate of a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assistant program. A completing student may take the exam no more than 30 days prior to completing a formal program and practicum and a recent graduate must apply to take the exam within 12 months of graduation.
  2. Must be a nonrecent graduate of a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assistant program. A candidate who applies for the exam more than 12 months after graduation is a nonrecent graduate.
  3. Must be a CMA (AAMA) recertificant. This is a candidate who previously passed the CMA Certification Exam and is applying 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 on 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

Texas Medical Assistants FAQs

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

Medical assistants are not required to be licensed or certified by the State of Texas. Certification, while not legally required, is one of the best ways to gain a competitive advantage over other medical assistants. It is recommended because employers give preference to certified applications and is sometimes required for specific jobs. Certification may also lead to higher average earnings, access to continuing education options, and demonstrates your commitment to quality training and practice in the industry. Certified medical assistants earn the respect of their employers, colleagues, and patients.

What duties are medical assistants allowed to perform?

There is no specific list of medical assisting tasks that are delegable legally to medical assistants in the Texas statutes or regulations. Physicians have the authorization to delegate a reasonable scope of clinical and administrative tasks to competent unlicensed health professionals such as medical assistants who are working under their direct/onsite supervision in outpatient settings.

Some of the delegable tasks include:

  • Performing venipuncture
  • Performing intramuscular intradermal, and subcutaneous injections – including immunizations
  • Taking patients’ vitals, height, weight, temperature, blood pressure and pulse
  • Chart pupillary responses

Medical assistants may not engage in tasks that constitute the practice of medicine or which permit only certain health care professionals to perform or which require the medical assistant to exercise independent clinical judgment or to make clinical assessments, evaluations, or interpretations.

Contact the Texas Society of Medical Assistants

League City, TX 77573

Email: president@mytsma.org



CAAHEP & ABHES Accredited Medical Assisting Programs Texas

Allen, TX Medical Assistant programs:
Collin County Community College District-Technical Campus
2550 Bending Branch Way, Allen, TX
Austin, TX Medical Assistant programs:
The College of Healthcare Professions
6330 East Highway 290, Suite 180, Austin, TX 78723
(512) 617-5700
Corpus Christi, TX Medical Assistant programs:
Del Mar College
3013 Ayers St, Corpus Christi, TX 78404
Cypress, TX Medical Assistant programs:
Lone Star College-Cy Fair
9191 Barker Cypress Rd, Cypress, TX 77433
Dallas, TX Medical Assistant programs:
Dallas College – El Centro
801 Main St, Dallas, TX 75202
The College Health Care Professions
8585 North Stemmons Freeway, Suite N-300, Dallas, TX 75247
(214) 420-3400
El Paso, TX Medical Assistant programs:
El Paso Community College
919 Hunter Dr, El Paso, TX 79915
PIMA Medical Institute
6926 Gateway Boulevard, El Paso, TX 79915
(915) 633-1133
Western Technical College-El Paso
9624 Plaza Cir, El Paso, TX 79927
Fort Worth, TX Medical Assistant programs:
Tarrant County College-Trinity River Campus East
245 E Belknap St, Fort Worth, TX 76102
The College of Healthcare Professions
4248 North Freeway, Fort Worth, TX 76137
(817) 632-5900
Houston, TX Medical Assistant programs:
Houston Community College System
1300 Holman St, Houston, TX 77004

Lone Star College-North Harris
2700 W Thorne Dr, Houston, TX 77073
PIMA Medical Institute
11125 Equity Drive, Suite 100, Houston, TX 77041
(713) 778-0778
The College of Healthcare Professions
2616 South Loop West, Suite 201, Houston, TX 77054
(713) 664-5300
The College of Healthcare Professions
12230 Northwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77092
(713) 425-3100
McAllen, TX Medical Assistant programs:
The College of Healthcare Professions
1917 Nolana Avenue, Suite 100, McAllen, TX 78504
(956) 800-1500
Pasadena, TX Medical Assistant programs:
San Jacinto College
8060 Spencer Hwy, Pasadena, TX 77505
Pharr, TX Medical Assistant programs:
Rio Grande Valley College
5419 N. Cage Boulevard, Pharr, TX 78577
(956) 781-6800
Mt Pleasant, TX Medical Assistant programs:
Northeast Texas Community College
2886 FM1735, Mt Pleasant, TX 75455
San Antonio, TX Medical Assistant programs:
San Antonio College
1819 N Main Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212
PIMA Medical Institute
6550 First Park Ten Boulevard, San Antonio, TX 78213
(210) 966-9764
The College of Healthcare Professions
1964 SW Military Drive, San Antonio, TX 78221
(210) 957-3826
The College of Healthcare Professions
4738 Northwest Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78229
(210) 298-3600
Texas City, TX Medical Assistant programs:
College of the Mainland
1200 N Amburn Rd, Texas City, TX 77591
Waco, TX Medical Assistant programs:
McLennan Community College
1400 College Dr, Waco, TX 76708
Weslaco, TX Medical Assistant programs:
Valley Grande Institute for Academic Studies
345 S. Texas Boulevard, Weslaco, TX 78596
(956) 973-1945