How Long Does It Take to Become a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA) in Texas?

How Long Does It Take to Become a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA) in Texas?

Are you dreaming of becoming a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA) in Texas? It’s a smart move! While Texas allows medical assistants to work without certification, getting certified can make a world of difference.

Certification not only equips you with the skills and knowledge needed for the job but also puts you ahead of the competition. Employers in Texas often favor applicants with certification, seeing it as a mark of dedication and expertise in the field.

So, how long would it take to become a certified clinical medical assistant in Texas? Let’s find out.

Time Required to Become a Certified Medical Assistant in Texas

The time required to become a certified CMA is a lot more than that required to become a Patient Care Technician (PCT). It takes about 6 to 24 months to become a skilled and Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA). The period may vary depending on the program and route you opt for.

Certified Clinical Medical Assistants are responsible for the smooth operation of healthcare facilities. They are highly skilled multitaskers proficient in medical terminology and laws. Their responsibilities include checking vital signs, administering injections, assisting with prescriptions, scheduling appointments, and more.

To perform these tasks effectively, CMAs must have a solid understanding of basic medical terminology, knowledge of major body systems, excellent communication skills, professionalism, legal and ethical awareness, patient scheduling abilities, and proficiency in managing patient accounts. This explains why it takes more time to become a CMA compared to a PCT.


Female doctor with laptop working at the office desk.


Different Ways to Becoming a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA) in Texas

There are basically three known routes to becoming a certified CMA. These include:

  1. Completing an associate degree from a recognized full-time university or college
  2. Pursuing a diploma from a community college
  3. Enrolling in online certification courses, such as those offered by Career Unlimited

These days, even universities and colleges provide online and offline associate, as well as certificate programs. However, getting a degree or certification from them is a fixed 24-month program. Also, the fee structure and cost of getting a degree in CMA from colleges are comparatively higher than those of online certification programs.

Certified CMA Exam Eligibility in Texas

There are two routes through which you are eligible to sit for a Certified CMA exam in Texas.

Route 1:

You should possess a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent + have completed a Certified CMA training program within the last five years.

Route 2:

You should possess a high school diploma or GED or equivalent + 1 year of supervised work experience in a medical assistant field within the last three years or two years of supervised work experience in a medical assistant field within the last five years.

Here, we will discuss the process of becoming a certified CMA through Route 1. At Careers Unlimited, you can become a certified CMA in 7 months through Route 1. Here is how:

Step 1: Fulfil Minimum Qualification

In Texas, a high school diploma is the minimum qualification required to enroll in a training program to become a CMA. Once you have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent, you can enroll in the CMA training program provided by Careers Unlimited.

Alternatively, if you do not have a high school diploma, you can even enroll after passing the ability test.

Step 2: Complete the Training Program

You can complete your training program at Careers Unlimited in approximately seven months through on-campus delivery of instructions. The training program includes classroom instructions as well as hands-on clinical on-field experience, which are the prerequisites to appearing for and passing the certification exams.


Senior caucasian doctor having discussion in a hospital hallway with nurse.


Step 3: Apply for the National Certification Exam for a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)

Once you have completed your training program, you need to gain a certificate to become a Certified CMA. For entry-level Certified CMA, the candidate is free to enroll in the certification exam held by NHA (National Healthcare Career Association).

To apply for the certified clinical medical assistant (CCMA) certification exam, you need to visit and create a free online NHA account.

Once you have created your account, you will be able to access the exam application form for Certified Clinical Medical Assistants (CCMA). After that, you need to fill out and submit this exam application. Furthermore, you can choose the date of the exam and the mode of the exam (online or offline). Once selected, you will be promoted to make the payment for the exam fee.

Step 4: Prepare and Take the Certification Exam

The training program will help you prepare for the certification exam to some extent. You can get more preparation material from the NHA website. There may also be free resources available online to prepare for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA) certification exam.

Furthermore, at Careers Unlimited, we will help you pass the certification through our course classes that prepare you to work as a certified clinical medical assistant (CMA) in Texas.

Step 5: Pass The Exam and Get Results

Once you have taken the exam, your exam results will be posted to your account after two days of appearing. You can check by logging into your NHA account. Thus, you do not have to wait longer to get your scores.

Once you have your results, you can start applying for certified medical assistant positions in Texas.

Certified CMA Certificate Exam Format

The certification exam contains 200 multiple-choice questions to be answered within 40 minutes. The MCQs will revolve around subject matters like:

  • Psychology
  • Professionalism
  • Medical laws and ethics
  • Medical terminology related to body systems
  • Pharmacology
  • Phlebotomy
  • First-aid procedures
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Complete physical examination


Elderly woman consulting


Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) Certificate Renewal

In Texas, you need to renew your Certified CMA certificate every two years. You need to complete 10 Continuing Education (CE) credits before the expiration as well. If you have completed your CE credits, you can pay the renewal fee and get them renewed within one year of expiration.

To complete your CE credits, you need to visit the CE library available through the NHA website.

Salary of a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) in Texas

As per the latest figures by, a certified CMA collects an average of $39,676 in Texas. The pay starts at $33,213 and goes as high as $46,583 paid annually. The salary varies depending on various factors like experience, additional skills, place of work, certification score, and more.

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the projected growth in clinical medical assistant employment is 16% for the decade 2021–2031. This indicates a strong demand for skilled professionals in this field.

One of the advantages of becoming a Clinical Medical Assistant in Texas is that you don’t necessarily need to have graduated from a similar field. A high school degree is sufficient to enroll in a training program and start your journey toward becoming a certified clinical medical assistant.


It can take two years to become a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant if you enroll in a community college or get a degree in CCMA from a reputed college/campus. However, it only takes seven months to become a Certified CMA if you enroll in an online training program or course.

Both routes are equally credible and prepare you equally well for the Certified CMA certification exam. That said, if you want to pursue online training to become a CCMA or need any related assistance, contact Careers Unlimited today.

ATTENTION CNA License Seekers in Texas

We specialize in hybrid CNA, CMA, PCT, Phlebotomy and HIT classes tailored for the community of McAllen and the wider Rio Grande Valley region. Our program blends online education with vital in-person sessions right here in the Valley. Ready to advance your career locally? Click here to learn more and enroll! If you're outside the Rio Grande Valley, check back for potential future online course options tailored for distant learners.

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