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Medical Assistant Requirements in California

Student taking blood sample

Medical assistants are an integral part of any healthcare team. They organize paperwork and health records, check patients in for appointments by getting their vital measurements recorded, clean and restock rooms between appointments, and help with minor medical procedures. If you are looking for a position in the healthcare field, medical assisting is an exciting choice with opportunities for career advancement. 

What Are the Medical Assistant Requirements in California?

Medical Assistant Requirements in California
  • Complete a medical assisting program. Consider choosing an accredited medical assisting program to be eligible for financial aid
Hands-On Training
  • Hands-on training is necessary to learn the skills you will need for your career. Most students will get this training through an externship
  • National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA)
  • Certified EKG Technician (CET)
  • National Certified Phlebotomy Technician (NCPT)
State-Specific Requirements
  • Specific education requirements for all training programs
  • A specific number of procedures to be completed before graduating
  • *California Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT-I)
    • If your job requires you to perform blood draws
*California does not require medical assistants to hold any certifications, however, your job prospects and wage negotiation are much stronger with these three credentials.

Below we dive into the details for each medical assisting requirement.


The most essential step in becoming a medical assistant is completing an accredited medical assistant training program. An excellent education will give you a solid foundation for anything you will experience in the field and will give you confidence in your skills and networking opportunities for your future. 

When looking at programs, you should choose one accredited through one of the major medical assisting program accrediting organizations. Not only will this tell you the school routinely meets metrics to provide a thorough and reputable education, but it also means you could be eligible for financial aid to help you pay for school and achieve your dreams. The program you choose should provide sufficient clinical, administrative, and general education (e.g., anatomy, medical terminology, ethics) so you can confidently pass your certification exams.

Hands-On Training 

All medical assistants need hands-on practice during their training program to become proficient in the skills and techniques they will use daily. Medical assistants in training will practice:

  • Recording Patient Histories
  • Taking Vitals
  • Injections

Medical assistants in training at BAMA’s 3-in-1 Training Program will also practice:

  • Blood Draws
  • Venipunctures

Students will continue their clinical training during an externship. Some medical assistant training programs coordinate externships for their students, while others leave it up to the student to find their own. Externships are a great way to get additional training, develop your skills, network, and find full-time employment.


Your career as a medical assistant can take you in many different directions. Depending on what you love to do and where you would like to end up, additional certifications can make you a strong candidate for any job. While California does not require medical assistants to hold any specific credentials, employers know certified medical assistants are well-trained and prepared to handle the responsibilities of their jobs from day one. The basic credentials to give you the most job portability include:

  • National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA)
  • Certified EKG Technician (CET)
  • National Certified Phlebotomy Technician (NCPT)
  • California Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT-I)

This core set of credentials will give you a competitive edge when looking for medical assistant positions and boost your earning potential.

Medical Assistant Requirements Specific to California

California prides itself on being a state with excellent healthcare providers. Because of this, there are additional requirements for anyone wanting to be a medical assistant in California. The unique medical assistant requirements in California include detailed education specifications for all training programs. Some of those stipulations set forth by the California Medical Board include:

California-Specific Medical Assistant Requirements
10 hours of training in:
  • Administering injections
  • Skin tests
  • Venipuncture
  • Blood draws
  • Administering medications by inhalation
Administering 10 of each:
  • Intramuscular injection
  • Subcutaneous injections
  • Intradermal injections
  • Skin tests
  • Venipuncture
Additional training in:
  • Equipment choice for procedures
  • Sterile techniques
  • Emergency procedures
  • California laws and regulations

While you are not required to be certified to be a medical assistant in California, most employers will only hire medical assistants who have graduated from an accredited program and have passed the National Certified Medical Assistant examination administered by the National Center for Competency Testing – or one of the other nationally recognized certification exams – to become a certified medical assistant. Being a certified medical assistant will help you find higher-paying jobs and give you a wider array of professional opportunities since employers in California know certified medical assistants have more advanced skills and can handle various clinical and administrative duties.    

How BAMA Can Help You Prepare for Your Career

Bay Area Medical Academy is the premier training program to help you meet all the medical assistant requirements in California. BAMA offers an accredited 3-in-1 Medical Assisting with Phlebotomy Program that prepares you for three certifications. 

  • National Certified Medical Assistant
  • Certified EKG Technician
  • California Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT-I) / National Certified Phlebotomy Technician 

The 9-month program exceeds the medical assistant requirements in California, and employers know it. Our graduates successfully gain employment after graduation, thanks partly to the additional career services we provide. Our program culminates in a 200-hour externship we coordinate for our students, so you never have to worry about having the support you need to thrive. 

If you want to learn more about BAMA’s medical assistant program in California, fill out our form or call 415-217-0077 (San Francisco campus) or 408-896-9440 (San Jose campus). 

Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing industries in the US, and you can be a part of it!

Our career-oriented program gives you hands-on, real-world training and ongoing support for your long-term goals.

For more information on BAMA's medical assisting and phlebotomy degree programs, contact us today!

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