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AMCA CMAC | Health Science Certifications

What Are AMCA Certifications?

October 17th, 2023 | 17 min. read

Mike Cescon

Mike Cescon

With past experience in teaching, a couple of degrees in writing, and an upbringing immersed in medical jargon, Mike is positioned well to hear out the most common questions teachers ask about the iCEV curriculum. His goal is to write content that quickly and effectively answers these questions so you can back to what matters - teaching your students.

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The American Medical Certification Association (AMCA) is a well-known provider of healthcare certifications to help CTE students start their careers in the medical field.

The AMCA provides several health science certification options, with 13 of the most prominent ones including:

  1. Medical Assistant Certification (MAC)
  2. Clinical Medical Assistant (CMAC)
  3. Phlebotomy Technician (PTC)
  4. EKG Technician (ETC)
  5. Medical Administrative Assistant (MAAC)
  6. Patient Care Technician (PCTC)
  7. Physical Therapy Technician/Aide (PTTC)
  8. Nursing Assistant (NAC)
  9. Mental Health Technician (MHTC)
  10. Dental Support Technician (DSTC)
  11. Trichologist Certification (TC)
  12. Medical Coder & Billing Certification (MCBC)
  13. Electronic Health Record (EHRC)

On this page, you’ll learn what each of these AMCA certifications entails, why they’re important, and how digital curriculum can help you prep students for certification success!

Let’s start with the Medical Assistant Certification.

1. Medical Assistant Certification (MAC)


The Medical Assistant Certification (MAC) denotes that someone has the skills and knowledge needed to work as a medical assistant in a healthcare facility.

To pass the MAC exam, a student must be proficient in skills across six healthcare domains:

  1. Anatomy & Physiology
  2. Safety & Infection Control
  3. Medical Law & Ethics
  4. Patient Care
  5. Office Administration
  6. Healthcare Systems

In many cases, someone who starts out as a medical assistant can advance to other positions after additional training and further certification.

That makes the MAC a great first step for anyone interested in pursuing a lifelong career in healthcare, even if they’re not sure about what they want to do yet!

2. Clinical Medical Assistant Certification (CMAC)


The Clinical Medical Assistant Certification (CMAC) measures a student’s knowledge and skills needed to work as a clinical medical assistant in a healthcare facility.

Specifically, the AMCA states that CMAC recipients must be proficient in skills across four healthcare domains:

  1. Professionalism
  2. Medical Law & Ethics
  3. Clinical Medical Assisting
  4. Administrative Medical Assisting

Overall, obtaining a CMAC certification shows that an individual can perform a variety of duties, including standard medical assisting tasks, phlebotomy, EKG, and more.

These tasks are critical to the day-to-day operations in any healthcare facility, which means clinical medical assistants are in high demand across the country!

3. Phlebotomy Technician Certification (PTC)


The Phlebotomy Technician Certification (PTC) says that a student can collect and analyze blood and other specimens.

Specifically, a student earns the certification by showing proficiency in six domains:

  1. Professionalism and Regulatory Compliance
  2. Patient Identification, Assessment & Site Preparation
  3. Equipment Selection & Maintenance
  4. Collection of Blood and Non-Blood Specimens
  5. Specimen Processing & Transportation
  6. Infection Control & Safety

In addition, phlebotomy technicians may be expected to have other soft skills in the workplace — like empathy and patience — since it’s so common for individuals to be afraid of needles.

This all means the PTC exam is a great route for anyone interested in lab work but still wants to interact with clients on an individual basis.

4. EKG Technician Certification (ETC)


The EKG Technician Certification (ETC) designates that an individual has the skills needed to work as an EKG technician in a healthcare facility.

To pass the ETC exam, a student must be proficient in skills across six domains:

  1. Medical Terminology
  2. Anatomy & Physiology of the Heart
  3. Diseases & Disorders of the Heart
  4. Electrocardiography
  5. Pharmacology
  6. General Patient Care

Having these skills is a must for any EKG technician since the information they measure and document directly impacts how doctors diagnose patients.

This makes the ETC a good choice for someone interested in working with clients while also monitoring and analyzing data.

5. Medical Administrative Assistant Certification (MAAC)


The Medical Administrative Assistant Certification (MAAC) measures a student’s skills and knowledge pertaining to medical billing, coding, administrative tasks, and general care.

To become a medical administrative assistant, the student must be proficient in skills across eight domains:

  1. HIPAA & Compliance
  2. Scheduling
  3. Medical Records
  4. Other Administrative Knowledge
  5. Types of Insurance
  6. Billing & Coding
  7. Medical Terminology & Anatomy
  8. Emergency Care

Medical administrative assistants are often the first and last person to interact with a client at a healthcare facility.

Proficiency in these skills helps provide every client with a great experience each visit!

This makes the MAAC a good option for someone who wants to work in the healthcare field and interact with patients, but doesn’t want to be involved in clinical care or lab work!

6. Patient Care Technician Certification (PCTC)


The Patient Care Technician Certification (PCTC) measures a student’s ability to work in a healthcare facility as a patient care technician or assistant.

To earn the PCTC designation, the student must be proficient in skills across six domains:

  1. Anatomy & Physiology
  2. Medical Terminology
  3. Patient Care Skills
  4. Safety & Infection Control
  5. Medical Law & Ethics
  6. Pharmacology

The AMCA notes that individuals who pass the PCTC exam may also work as certified nursing assistants, healthcare technicians, licensed nursing assistants, or nurses’ aides.

That means the PCTC designation is a versatile certification option for any future healthcare professional!

7. Physical Therapy Technician Certification (PTTC)

The Physical Therapy Technician Certification (PTAC) denotes that an individual can work as a physical therapy aide or technician under the supervision of a physical therapist.

To earn the certification, a student must be proficient across seven domains:

  1. Patient Care & Administrative Skills
  2. Medical Law & Ethics
  3. Patient Prep & Positioning
  4. Anatomy & Physiology
  5. OSHA / Infection Control
  6. Therapeutic Modalities
  7. Medical Terminology

Physical therapy aides complete duties that involve both direct patient care as well as organizational and clerical tasks.

This certification is an excellent choice for anyone interested in the medical field, since employment is expected to grow 30% through 2026!

8. Nursing Assistant Certification (NAC)


The Nursing Assistant Certification (NAC) says a student is ready to work as a nursing assistant in a hospital or long-term care facility.

To earn the NAC designation, an individual must be proficient in seven domains:

  1. Medical Law & Ethics
  2. Medical Terminology
  3. Safety & Infection Control
  4. Pharmacology
  5. Anatomy & Physiology
  6. Patient Care Skills
  7. EKG

Along with the clinical skills and background knowledge, a nursing assistant will need soft skills like communication and empathy to build good relationships with their clients.

Overall, working as a nursing assistant is a rewarding career for anyone who wants to work in the healthcare field with a focus on helping others and building long-term relationships.

9. Mental Health Technician Certification (MHTC)


The Mental Health Technician Certification (MHTC) designates that someone can start a career as a mental health technician or psychiatric aide.

To pass the MHTC exam, the person must be proficient in five domains related to mental health:

  1. Process & Procedure
  2. Psychological Development
  3. Pharmacology
  4. Practice Settings
  5. Medical Office/Patient Care Skills

The AMCA is one of the only certification providers with an option for individuals interested in careers related to mental and behavioral health.

So, if your students are interested in working in this part of the healthcare field, the MHTC is a must!

10. Dental Support Technician Certification (DSTC)


The Dental Support Technician Certification (DSTC) shows that a person can work as an entry level dental employee, most often as a dental assistant.

To become a dental support technician, the person must be proficient in nine domains:

  1. Law & Ethics
  2. Patient Care/Administrative
  3. Medical Terminology
  4. Chairside Assisting
  5. Pharmacology
  6. Radiology
  7. OSHA/Infection Control
  8. Dental Medical Lab Procedures
  9. Anatomy and Physiology

The DSTC is a great starting point for someone interested in a dental career. It allows professionals to gain experience in the field to help them advance to other positions in the future!

11. Trichologist Certification (TC)


The Trichologist Certification (TC) prepares individuals to work in a number of careers related to hair loss.

The AMCA has partnered with the US Trichology Institute (USTI) to create this certification, which is part of the USTI’s trichologist program of study.

For the certification exam specifically, an individual must be proficient in skills across seven domains related to trichology:

  1. Anatomy and Physiology
  2. Effects of Drugs and Medicine
  3. Hair Composition
  4. Marketing/Client Interaction
  5. Phases of Hair Growth
  6. Product Knowledge
  7. Scalp Disorders

After completing the USTI program of study and the AMCA TC exam, an individual is ready to enter the field as a dermatologist assistant, trichology clinical researcher, trichologist counselor, or assistant in oncology for cancer patients.

12. Medical Coder and Biller Certification (MCBC)


The Medical Coder and Biller Certification (MCBC) evaluates a student’s knowledge and skills needed to work as a medical coder or health information technologist.

The MCBC exam is comprised of 100 questions, and to pass, a student must be proficient in eight domains:

  1. Medical Terminology and Anatomy
  2. CPT / HCPCS
  3. ICD-10
  4. Billing Regulations
  5. Types of Insurance
  6. Billing
  7. Regulations and Guidelines
  8. Reimbursement & Collections

These skills help medical coders document the correct information and follow the right procedures that accurately catalog clients’ statuses.

The MCBC is an excellent choice for anyone interested in the intricate details of the medical field but prefers to interact with other professionals instead of clients.

13. Electronic Health Record Certification (EHRC)


The Electronic Health Record Certification (EHRC) denotes that a person has the administrative and clerical skills needed to work with electronic medical records.

To pass the EHRC exam, a student must be proficient in skills across four domains:

  1. Medical Administrative
  2. Electronic Health Records/Functionality
  3. Entry Level Billing and Coding
  4. Medical Law & Ethics

Even though EHR specialists don’t often work directly with clients, their position is critical in maintaining accurate data, confidentiality, and HIPAA compliance for healthcare facilities!

Need to Prep Students for Their AMCA Certification Exams?

In this article, you’ve gained insight into some of the most important AMCA certification exams, including the skills they test and what knowledge domains they cover. Now that you know more about these exams, the next step is to find the right course materials to make sure your students pass. 

If you need a curriculum that will meet your course standards and prepare your students for AMCA certifications, then check out this free trial of iCEV

iCEV is a full-fledged curriculum containing hundreds of certification-aligned resources, including lesson plans, projects, assessments, and more. It’s designed to shoulder the burden of planning and grading, so you can focus on teaching a class your students remember:

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