How to Become a Medical Assistant in Washington

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How to Become a Medical Assistant in Washington

Have you ever thought of getting qualifications and becoming a medical assistant or you belong to those who believe that post-secondary education is not necessary for this vocation?

Do you think that working with old, ill or wounded people can be so rewarding and satisfying?

As the number of old people is increasing,  their care and protection turned into something even more difficult and demanding.

That is the reason why doctors and their assistants are in constant demand and their job becomes of greater importance.

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Job Description

Numerous obligations in medical facilities are entrusted to medical assistants.

Just part of the whole job is done by the doctor.

Coming to a hospital is a stressful situation and a medical assistant is the first person who meets the distressed and scared patient.

Besides being in charge of less important tasks related to administration and insurance, medical assistants perform countless demanding responsibilities, including preparing patients and equipment for surgery and sterilize the examination rooms before and after it and looking after the patients while they are recovering.

Becoming a Medical Assistant in Washington

Unlike in most US states, those who want to have a career as a medical assistant in Washington will need to be licensed through the Department of Health.

According to Washington law, there are four different types of medical assistants:

  • Medical Assistant – Certified
  • Medical Assistant – Registered
  • Medical Assistant – Hemodialysis Technician
  • Medical Assistant – Phlebotomist

You can start your education by entering any of the colleges or programs accredited by either Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

The medical assistant programs introduce students to the profession and teach students about medical terminology,  proper ways to give medications and much more.

Furthermore, upon graduation, you must sit and pass one of the certification exams:

  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) Exam
  • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) Exam
  • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) Exam
  • National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) Exam

A certificate allows you to become a medical assistant with greater priority and qualifications and it can improve the chances of finding employment.


To become Washington approved medical assistant, you can choose among the above mentioned four options and each of them has its requirements.

While Medical Assistant – Certified requires education and a national certification examination, becoming a Medical Assistant–Registered is not that complex.

It requires that your employer fill out a Healthcare Practitioner Endorsement that clearly states the tasks you will be delegated.

This means that your employment options would also be limited.

If you want to reach Medical Assistant – Hemodialysis Technician certification, you will need to pass adequate education and training.

To become a licensed Medical Assistant–Phlebotomist, you will need to have seven hours of AIDS training and complete an accredited college or university phlebotomy training program.

When your education, training, and examination is finished, you should send the appropriate application to the Washington State Department of Health with the proof that you have completed your education.

These are the applications:

Getting a Job

The job opportunities in Washington are equal for all the certified applicants.

Who will be employed is determined by the employers.

Washington has to offer a lot of clinics and hospitals where medical assistants can find work.

Regarding the fact that medicine develops more and more and offers jobs for everyone ready to work,  there is a greater number of young people interested in becoming medical assistants, but at the same time the rising number of people asking for medical help.

Medical assistants are continuously being employed in Washington nowadays, and the rate of annual medical assistant job growth is high.

Also, annual job openings for medical assistants in the state of Washington are estimated to increase due to growth in the field.

The needed resources and information about employment can be found through professional organizations like the Washington State Society of Medical Assistants(WSSMA).


When deciding where to apply for the job and in case you have a chance to choose, it is always good to compare living-cost indexes and salary differentials.

The development of the region and the city where the medical facility is located, the annual incomes of its citizens and the level of education that assistant has all affect the average annual salary.

Different job requirements also affect the salary, since it is not the same when working with data and medical records, and giving first aid and medical help.

Medical assistant salaries in Washington vary significantly from city to city, even though this state is one of those where the medical assistant salaries are high.

It is reported that those employed in the Seattle area had the highest average annual salaries, while the lowest is in Yakima.

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

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Auburn,WA $36,812
Bellevue,WA $37,891
Bellingham,WA $35,255
Bremerton,WA $37,292
Everett,WA $36,947
Federal Way,WA $36,812
Kennewick,WA $34,530
Kent,WA $36,738
Lacey,WA $35,538
Lakewood,WA $36,812
Marysville,WA $36,947
Olympia,WA $35,538
Pasco,WA $34,228
Renton,WA $37,854
Richland,WA $34,312
Seattle,WA $37,891
Spokane,WA $34,254
Tacoma,WA $36,812
Vancouver,WA $35,998
Yakima,WA $34,219

Regional Salary in Washington

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bellingham, WA470$45,550$21.9$55,340$37,700
Bremerton-Silverdale, WA550$48,480$23.31$62,400$38,380
Kennewick-Richland, WA660$44,880$21.58$55,590$38,130
Longview, WA190$47,100$22.64$55,430$39,060
Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA280$47,550$22.86$58,380$37,670
Olympia-Tumwater, WA660$48,270$23.21$59,000$38,100
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA10,360$54,010$25.97$63,340$44,410
Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA1,530$44,510$21.4$55,060$37,340
Walla Walla, WA70$43,710$21.01$50,270$37,880
Wenatchee, WA400$42,950$20.65$49,160$38,630
Yakima, WA640$41,430$19.92$47,920$35,630
* 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 ideal candidate for the job of a medical assistant should be aware of all the duties and responsibilities that this job entails.

Furthermore, these people need to be familiar with medical terms, comfortable working with all kinds of people and successful in communicating with physicians and healthcare staff.

Medical assistants play a major role in helping the healthcare team and should be emotionally strong and mature in cases of emergency.

They also need to take care of themselves, as they might be working with dangerous chemicals and infections.


Washington is the state which requires that medical assistant should be educated and well trained, before entering the clinic.

This way they are enabling future employers to have qualified medical assistants who will be skillful, familiar with standard practices and procedures within the medical field.

Medical assistants are of great help when assisting physicians and their salary depends on the number of activities performed during the day and the difficulties that they meet.

But, the salary is not the reason why they are doing this job.

They find satisfaction in the happy and relieved faces of their patients.

USA Medical Assisting by City

USA Medical Assisting by State

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