What Does a CMA Do?

Woman with short blonde hair and blue shirt.
Written by Sarah Handzel, BSN, RN Freelance Writer, IntelyCare
CMA dispensing pills to a senior patient in a wheelchair.

A certified medication aide (CMA) — also called a med tech or a med aide — fulfills a vital role in the healthcare system. What does a CMA do? Their main duty is helping patients and other members of the healthcare team by administering medications that don’t require an injection.

What Is a CMA and What Does a CMA Do in the Medical Field?

CMAs are certified nursing assistants (CNAs) who have completed extra training to safely give various medications to patients. These medical professionals work under the supervision of a registered nurse. Dispensing medication to patients may be done at a doctor’s or nurse’s request, or meds may be given on a set schedule.

What Does a CMA Do: Typical Duties

Your duties can be different, depending on where you work. Medication aides work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, clinics, outpatient care centers, retirement centers, and nursing homes. In general, medication aides:

  • Prepare, dispense, and monitor the effects of medications under the supervision of a registered nurse.
  • Check the identity of the patient receiving the medication.
  • Verify the medication is the correct drug and dose, and that it’s given at the correct time.
  • Maintain patient records related to medication administration.

The tasks above are examples. To better understand the full scope of practice for medication aides in your state, check with your state board of nursing.

Additionally, CMAs must have many skills to be successful in their careers, such as exceptional attention to detail, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, the ability to multitask and follow biohazard and other safety guidelines, and excellent verbal and written communication skills. To learn more about what CMAs might do, check out this sample CMA job description.

How to Get CMA Certification

What does a CMA do before becoming certified? The answer is that you must become a CNA by completing a certified nursing assistant program. Depending on what state you’re in, you may need to gain some experience working as a CNA before you can complete a CMA program from a community college or vocational school. You’ll also receive on-the-job training to round out your education.

CMAs must also hold a special license or certification to work. This may involve paying additional fees, completing continuing education requirements, or accomplishing tasks that prove professional competency. This role has different titles and requirements from state to state. Find more information about how to get certified as a CMA in your state.

What Are the Benefits of Working as a CMA?

There are many pros to working in this job. These are just a few.

Diversity in Job Tasks

Maybe you’re wondering, What does a CMA do in a nursing home or in another skilled nursing facility? Well, the fact is each day is different. Depending on patient assignments, you might administer different types of drugs. Also, you interact with many different patients throughout the day and are a source of comfort and caregiving.


You can typically work flexible hours depending on your place of employment. You may be able to choose your own schedule or pick up extra shifts to earn a little more cash. Check out the available CMA jobs on IntelyCare right now.

Helping Other People

Certified medication aides are an essential part of the healthcare team. The work a medication aide does is an essential part of each patient’s treatment plan. Also, you really help other healthcare providers by taking over an important responsibility in patient care.

Positive Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for nursing assistants (the main category that a CMA falls under) is consistent. That’s good news for job seekers.

What Is a CMA Salary Expectations?

The average salary for a CMA is $35,100 per year. The amount you earn each year is influenced by facility type, which region of the country you live in, and your years of job experience.

What Does a CMA Do for IntelyCare? Find Out

Once you’ve completed your training, you’ll be ready to help patients get the medications they need. Create a flexible schedule that works for you. See how IntelyCare can help you start working today.