Customize Your Career Path with Stacked Credentials
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Customize Your Career Path with Stacked Credentials

Stacking or adding credentials is an option for building a career in allied health that is unique to you. Choose the credentials that support your personal career goals and special interests. Adding certifications or advanced certificates of study enhances your job qualifications and increases your value in the workplace. Customize your career goals by understanding the different ways to stack credentials.

Stackable Credentials Explained

Stackable credentials are certifications or advanced certificates of study accumulated to enhance your qualifications, increase your value in the workplace and potentially provide a higher paying job. These types of credentials can afford you the opportunity to expand your professional knowledge by developing skills that are relevant to your workplace.

What’s the difference between “certification” and “certificate”? In order to plan your career goals, it is important to understand the differences in these terms:

  • A certification is a professional credential that is validated and conferred through a third-party entity, after formal education and/or experience is completed elsewhere. Certification typically allows you to use initials after your name such as RMA(AMT).
  • An advanced certificate of study is earned after successfully completing a course or series of courses with a specific focus, followed immediately by an assessment. Successful completion would be indicated through a certificate and/or a digital badge.

Our AMT REACH Certificate Course video provides an overview on the differences between a certification and a certificate.

What are the different ways to stack a credential?

Horizontal stacking can be thought of as enhancing your skill set to move along a career pathway by earning additional professional certifications or taking an assessment-based certificate course.

  • Additional professional certification that you can earn based on your regular daily duties would be an example of horizontal stacking. For example, as illustrated below, a registered medical assistant (RMA) may also qualify for a registered phlebotomy technician (RPT) certification.
  • Assessment-based certificates are credentials that can supplement your professional certification with a certificate based on a specific skill set. An example of this is the AMT REACH Certificate Program which offers both training and assessment, all online. Illustrated below is a career path that includes earning two of these certificates.

vertialstackingVertical stacking can be thought of as climbing a career ladder to earn certifications that may require additional training or education.

For example, as illustrated to the left, a registered phlebotomy technician (RPT) or laboratory assistant (CMLA) may continue education to qualify for the medical laboratory technician (MLT) certification. An MLT can advance and take the medical technician (MT) exam with more education.

Additionally, a certified MT who is performing molecular diagnostics techniques may consider taking AMT’s newest certification, molecular diagnostics technologist (MDT) to become a more valuable employee.

Customize your own career path

As you can see, there are many different options for stacking credentials, and how you do it will depend on your career goals. You can stack credentials horizontally, vertically or a combination of both. Below is an example of how you can map your career goals using a combination of credentials and stacking orientation.

In the example below, someone working as a phlebotomist took the REACH Point-of-Care Testing (POCT) Certificate course Point-of-Care Testing (POCT) Certificate course to learn more about generating reliable patient results to aid or support diagnosis while the patient is present. They then decided to attend a formal training program and take the RMA exam. They decided to also take the Medical Administrative Specialist (CMAS) exam to add another certification to their credentials. Since administering immunizations became a task in their new position as an MA, they decided to take the REACH Immunization Certificate course as well, to show they have that skillset.


How can AMT help?

AMT offers several certifications and certificates to help you create a growth plan and enhance your marketability in the medical industry. By showing dedication in seeking out and completing additional educational opportunities, you are showing employers that you see value in furthering your knowledge, and in staying up-to-date on important topics in your field, not to mention that you see value in educating yourself.

REACH Certificate Courses

AMT’s REACH Certificate Program allows professionals to develop the skills they need to stay relevant and competent in their current role, while adding credentials to demonstrate their value as an employee.

By adding a REACH Certificate to your resume, you are demonstrating that you have the skills you need to do your job. REACH Certificate courses are broad enough to cover the topic as a whole, but detailed enough that you learn what to do on a day-to-day basis. Topics include:

Each REACH Certificate course contains:

  • Foundational knowledge that gives you a solid grasp of the topic
  • Information on what you need to know when working with patients
  • Knowledge checks and quizzes to reinforce your learning
  • A final assessment to verify your knowledge and skills
  • A digital badge that can be linked to your digital resume or social media accounts


AMT offers 11 different certifications. If you are interested in obtaining another certification, check out the eligibility requirements and see what exams you are eligible to sit for. Should you decide to apply for another certification, keep in mind that AMT offers many resources, including both free and paid for exam prep. AMT also offers digital badges for each certification that is completed, allowing employers to verify what skills and exam were required to obtain a credential. The badges can also be shared on digital resumes and in social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter.

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