How to Become a Medical Assistant in Tennessee

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How to Become a Medical Assistant in Tennessee

Taking into consideration the fact that a person with a high school diploma or a GED can become a medical assistant with no further formal education needed attracts many young people.

They want to get into the medical field without post-secondary education which can be time-consuming and expensive and get the training on the job.

However, they should be aware of the fact that they do not possess adequate knowledge to effectively do the job.

That is why employers became very strict when choosing the perfect candidate and rather prefer to hire job applicants who have received medical assistant training and have certification.

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Job Description

Medical assistants are people who work directly with patients, no matter whether they are in small or large healthcare settings.

Their job is responsible because they provide health professionals with vital patient information and assist them during the examination or surgery.

They can be asked to perform a variety of back and front office duties both in the clinical and administrative aspects of the medical office.

The medical clinic or office is not only a place where medical services are provided, but also a business, so medical assistants need to be multi-skilled health professionals able to deal with computer and software usage, insurance and billing.

Becoming a Medical Assistant in Tennessee

Even though young people interested in medical assisting as their future vocation believe that formal post-secondary education is not necessary, many employers empathize with the need and importance of medical training before becoming a medical assistant.

When it comes to Tennessee, law regulations governing medical assistants are only related to limited candidates’ employment age, criminal background, and legal ability to work.

Education requirements are not regulated by the law, but employers are becoming stricter about education, experience, and national certification.

So, numerous young people decide to enroll in a certificate or associate degree program to improve qualifications, tools, and skills to be competitive in the workforce and to efficiently do the job once hired.

Medical Assisting program prepares them to function under the supervision of a licensed physician and they need to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Educational Programs (CAAHEP) in collaboration with the American Association of Medical Assistants or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).


The medical assistant in the state of Tennessee can be any person with a high school diploma if he/she manages to get employment.

But, physicians and other medical professionals have the right to require employment qualifications when selecting a medical assistant.

They are looking for a person who graduated from an accredited medical assistant training program or with a medical assistant associate’s degree or who possess credentials such as:

  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
  • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
  • Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant (NRCMA)

The benefits of further education are numerous, starting from easier employment and better salaries to higher self-esteem and success in this field.

No matter which courses you choose, the education and skills that you achieve there are the same, but the quality of knowledge and training and the details might differ.

Students are educated in terms of verbal, written and nonverbal communication, usage of computer technology, scientific and mathematical reasoning, and performing laboratory testing, recording patient vital signs, and assisting health professionals with surgeries.

Upon completion of the course, the graduates are eligible to take the national certification examination, conducted by the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants.

Getting a Job

As in all the other states, the number of old and ill people is rising thus leading to the constant opening of new clinics that are seeking educated professionals to meet their job requirements.

There is the fear that one day there will not be enough educated medical assistants to satisfy the needs of them.

At the moment, Tennessee has numerous job offers and you can make yourself a more competitive candidate by obtaining certifications from nationally recognized associations.

The professional organizations – the Tennessee Society of Medical Assistants (TNSMA) provide medical assistants with information regarding employment in Tennessee.

As a medical assistant job is one of the most developing, it is projected that medical assistant employment levels will increase in the future.

Medical assistants may look for job opportunities in:

  • The Shelbyville Clinic
  • Southwind Medical Specialists in Memphis
  • Chattanooga Memorial Hospital
  • Maury County Clinic in Columbia
  • American Family Care in Hendersonville


As it is now the ideal moment for those who are interested in this profession to enter it, they are also concerned about the future salary.

Tennessee belongs to those states where the salary is decent enough but neither too low, nor too high.

The average medical assistant salary in Tennessee is $ 31 578.

Because the number of medical assistant jobs in Tennessee is projected to grow it should result in the growth of the salaries as well.

To get the chance of negotiating the salary or reach the highest possible one, you should be well qualified, educated and experienced and ready to continue learning and advance in the medical field.

The table below shows average salaries for medical assistants in major cities of Tennessee, presenting the difference from one place to another:

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Chattanooga,TN $31,028
Clarksville,TN $31,039
Franklin,TN $31,886
Germantown,TN $32,585
Hendersonville,TN $31,950
Jackson,TN $32,424
Johnson City,TN $30,052
Kingsport,TN $30,165
Knoxville,TN $31,578
Memphis,TN $32,665
Murfreesboro,TN $31,757
Nashville,TN $31,999

Regional Salary in Tennessee

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Chattanooga, TN-GA2,160$37,100$17.84$56,430$29,050
Clarksville, TN-KY460$34,650$16.66$46,570$27,730
Cleveland, TN270$32,890$15.81$36,730$28,580
Jackson, TN480$36,030$17.32$51,910$25,230
Johnson City, TN730$33,460$16.09$39,150$27,400
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA660$34,340$16.51$41,950$28,640
Knoxville, TN2,410$35,710$17.17$43,960$29,520
Memphis, TN-MS-AR3,500$36,550$17.57$45,820$30,000
Morristown, TN230$33,900$16.3$39,930$25,780
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN6,220$38,560$18.54$47,240$30,680
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Medical Assistants, OCC Code 31-9092, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.


The primary duties of a medical assistant are both medical and administrative:

  • providing care for patients
  • performing electrocardiograms, hearing and vision tests
  • collecting specimens and performing basic laboratory procedures
  • maintaining medical records and documents, as well as billing and insurance
  • providing medical support to healthcare staff
  • operating and maintaining the medical equipment and machines
  • conducting first aid
  • measuring weight, temperature and blood pressure.


In the conclusion, it can be said that completing college courses is not only a great way  of becoming a qualifying candidate for the job and earning national credentials, but also makes you eligible to qualify you for higher-level positions if you decide to advance in this field and gives you self-confidence in job performance, as your work has impact on the community around you.

USA Medical Assisting by City

USA Medical Assisting by State

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