How to Become a Medical Assistant in Virginia

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How to Become a Medical Assistant in Virginia

It can be said that the job of a medical assistant is performed primarily because they have a desire to work with and help people in need.

They find satisfaction in providing them with love, care, and affection, as well as supporting them in the worst moments of their lives.

There are many states where the salaries of medical assistants are not satisfactory and should be higher when all their responsibilities are taken into consideration, but besides this, they still find this job fulfilling and rewarding.

Medical assistants are usually people who provide high-quality medical care and they are eager to achieve new knowledge and improvement throughout their whole career.

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Job Description

Medical assistants are there to provide first aid and medical care, as well as facilitate positive customer relationships.

Through their training and experience, they learn how to help people in case of illnesses and injuries.

Many issues are entrusted to them, and that is the reason why their job needs to be respected.

Whether they will perform some of the more complex and sensitive tasks depends on their certifications and licensures, as well as an eagerness to learn and advance more.

Becoming a Medical Assistant in Virginia

If you want to be good at something, you first need to learn how to do it.

Numerous young people decide to enter courses, to gain more education and practice from experienced people even though state law does not specify the educational requirements for entering this field.

Upon entering any of the medical assistant programs, you will learn how to interact with people, the anatomy and physiology of humans, how to take and update medical histories and take blood and urine samples.

Once you get into the clinic, you will already be prepared for administering medications, taking vital signs accurately and performing first aid, meaning that you will instantly become a valuable member of the team.

The programs also include courses in business and medical communications,  public relations and interpersonal communications, scheduling and meeting planning. 


There are no strict requirements when becoming a medical assistant since you can learn the job through the experience at the clinic itself.

But, you can notice that many employers require prospective medical assistants to hold national certification.

The accredited associations who offer these kinds of programs are:

  • Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant (NRCMA) – sponsored by the National Association of Health Professionals (NAHP).

It is important to graduate from a medical assistant school in Virginia that is accredited by Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and nine medical assistant schools in Virginia are accredited by one or both of these agencies.

They are located in:

  • Charlottesville
  • Danville
  • Harrisonburg
  • Lynchburg
  • Martinsville
  • Salem
  • Virginia Beach
  • Richmond

Getting a Job

Upon graduation and the gaining of the certificate, the easiest way of getting informed about employment opportunities is to enter the professional organizations such as the Virginia Society of Medical Assistants (VSMA).

There you can get acquainted with the upcoming education and professional development activities, job opportunities and changes in legislation regarding the medical assistant profession.

Even though the law does not determine the requirements, medical assistant employers are strict when deciding who to hire.

The most recent employment opportunities offered at locations throughout the state-required CPR certification, three years of experience and a valid certificate in the field of medical assisting.

Medical assistants may look for job opportunities in:

  • A Patient First Neighborhood Medical Center in Richmond
  • Riverside Health Care System in Newport News
  • Virginia Cancer Specialists in Gainesville


The salary of a medical assistant depends on many factors, and those who do not possess a certification cannot expect to be paid equally as those who possess it.

The skills, knowledge, abilities and daily duties affect the amount of money you will earn as a medical assistant.

The work setting, reputation of the clinic and the social development of the city where it is located also affect the annual salaries, making them different from one city to the other.

Virginia belongs to the states where medical assistant salary is among the highest ones, but at the same time, the variations from among the places are more significant.

They range from $ 31 870 in Roanoke up to even $ 38 408 in Alexandria and Arlington.

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

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Alexandria,VA $38,408
Annandale,VA $38,408
Arlington,VA $38,408
Centreville,VA $38,269
Chesapeake,VA $32,472
Hampton,VA $32,348
Lynchburg,VA $31,662
Newport News,VA $32,348
Norfolk,VA $32,513
Petersburg,VA $34,323
Portsmouth,VA $32,513
Reston,VA $38,338
Richmond,VA $34,617
Roanoke,VA $31,870
Suffolk,VA $32,372
Virginia Beach,VA $33,028

Regional Salary in Virginia

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA220$34,690$16.68$37,920$29,630
Charlottesville, VA460$37,800$18.17$44,390$30,450
Harrisonburg, VA160$36,370$17.49$45,900$30,140
Lynchburg, VA510$34,640$16.65$43,350$28,620
Richmond, VA2,400$37,920$18.23$46,260$30,150
Roanoke, VA550$35,620$17.13$42,680$29,640
Staunton-Waynesboro, VA180$37,440$18$44,200$29,640
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC2,950$37,180$17.87$45,930$30,490
Winchester, VA-WV400$36,680$17.64$43,880$30,140
* 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.


Medical assistants generally can perform basic administrative and clinical duties.

The licensed and more advanced medical assistants can do diagnostic, monitor and report to the doctor the condition changes of hospitalized patients, the administration of vaccines and sedatives and preparing of the patients for the surgery.

The first aid and initial communication with a patient are entrusted to them, so a medical assistant is far more than just the administrative worker.

It is enough to say that their role is to help the physician save the life of the patient to encounter how sensitive and serious their job is.


A medical assistant is a person who assists a doctor in supplying medical care and many of them say that they are satisfied with their job and it is fulfilling that their job makes the world a better place by helping make someone else’s life better.

They need to be communicative and emphatic, they need to understand the emotions of the distressed patient and be ready for all kinds of reactions and situations.

All in all, if you consider all these duties manageable and decide to try your luck in this field, bear in mind that a successful medical assistant must be a reliable, hard-working person, dedicated to this job.

If you are not ready to continuously learn and advance in medical science, to be able to follow the latest developments, maybe this is not the right vocation for you.

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