5 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Certification

With all the medical certifications out there, how do you know which one is the right one for you? We are here to set you on the right pathway and help you when selecting a certification.

Selecting a Certification

Ask yourself these five questions and see where it takes you:

1: Do you want to work in a hospital?

If the answer is yes, then there are a myriad of certifications you could consider: Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Certified Medication Aide (CMA), and Pharmacy Technician to name a few.

Additionally, most hospitals require their staff to be certified in Basic Life Support as well. So it is a good idea to have that on your resume. And it takes less than a day to complete.

If the answer is no, you are likely wanting to work in a nursing home or assisted living facility. The entry level certification required by most facilities is a CMA that takes 40 hours to complete.

Depending on the level of care patients need in the facility, they may also be looking to hire CNAs. This certification takes 76 hours to complete and trains you on more difficult skills than the CMA course. To understand the difference between a CNA and CMA: CLICK HERE

2: Do you want to work directly with patients?

Sometimes people want to have a medical profession, but not necessarily work directly with patients. If this is the case for you, you should consider becoming a Pharmacy Technician. While some Pharm Techs work the ‘front of the house’ in a pharmacy, many are needed behind the scenes to fill all the orders.

The Pharm Tech course is primary online, with a few in-person check points to ensure you are understanding the material. You then complete the program with an externship at CHI Health. Upon completion you will know how to:

    • Complete patient paperwork
    • Accept payments & process insurance claims
    • Receive & verify prescriptions
    • Price & fill prescriptions
    • Package & label prescriptions
    • Manage drug supplies

3: Do you want to make more money?

We know. This is a silly question. Most people do. The reason it is on our list is to ensure you also consider dual certifications. In most cases, if you have more than one certification on your resume you are more appealing to employers.

The most common dual certification is a CNA and CMA. The CMA portion focuses on medications and monitoring patients. The CNA rounds out your training by focusing on all aspects of the patient while under your care. At Quality Career Pathways, we offer a discount when you take both courses with us.

4: Do you want to get trained quickly?

Having a medical career does not mean you need to spend years in school. In fact, the Certified Medication Aide course can be completed in one week. But, please understand this is different than becoming a Certified Medical Assistant – also sometimes called a CMA.  This credential takes one to two years to complete.

5: Will you need to find a job after you get your certification?

While no one can guarantee employment, some certifications are in higher demand than others. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , here are some average job growth predictions from 2019 to 2029:

CNA: +8%
CMA:  +19%
Pharm Tech: +4%

As you can see, all certifications are on the rise, but the predictions for Certified Medication Aide are huge. There will likely be a very high demand for CMAs in the years to come.

There are many more questions to ask when selecting a certification, but this will get you a head start. Once you have selected one, head over to our enrollment form and get started.