Once the MA program is successfully completed, the student is eligible to sit for a certification exam.
Getting certified is optional, but most employers in Sonoma County prefer it, and some are now making it mandatory.
Certification can be obtained both at the national level, and at the state level. Most employers in Sonoma County prefer state certification, not national. Some are now making it mandatory to be certified at the state level as a condition of employment. Sutter is requiring it now, and St. Joseph and Kaiser are close behind in making the change. Smaller provider clinics and offices may, or may not, require it, but most prefer it.
The Medical Board of CA (the entity that oversees MA practice) only recognizes 4 certifying bodies, which can be found at this link, at the bottom of the webpage: Medical Board of CA Medical Assisting
The California Certifying Board for Medical Assistants (CCBMA) is the only state certifying body that the Medical Board of CA recognizes, and it is the one that SRJC recommends that MA students obtain. It's also the one that local employers want our graduates to have. Please go to the CCBMA website, and read over the requirements for testing.
The student may order both free AND paid study materials from the CCBMA. It is recommended that students get into study groups early in the program and purchase the study materials and start studying, well before the end of the program. Then at the end of the program, the student should be ready to apply for the exam, once the student receives the MA certificate from the Admissions and Records office at SRJC.
Students must apply and take the CCBMA exam within 1 year maximum after finishing the MA program.