Online Medical Assistant Programs

Medical assistant certificate holders can also apply to bachelor’s programs in nursing, medical laboratory technology, and medical laboratory science.

November 16, 2021

reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Online Medical Assistant Programs

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Medical Assistant Programs Online

Online medical assistant programs prepare students for a variety of roles in the healthcare field. MAs may hold an associate degree or professional certification and can transfer credits toward a bachelor's degree in health science or healthcare. Applicants to associate programs must typically possess a high school diploma and a minimum 2.0-3.0 GPA They may also need satisfactory standardized test scores.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical assistants earn a median annual salary of $34,800. The BLS projects employment for these professionals to increase 19% from 2019-2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Associate degree-holders can pursue careers in radiology, medical billing and coding, and nursing.

Graduates with an associate degree can also apply to bachelor's programs in fields such as nursing, medical laboratory technology, and medical laboratory science. A bachelor's degree may lead to increased job prospects and earning potential.

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What To Know Before Applying for a Medical Assistant Program

true Q. What is the difference between a medical assistant and a CNA?

Certified nursing assistants work directly with patients in contexts such as home health and nursing care facilities. Medical assistants often work in doctors' offices. These assistants complete diverse tasks, including keeping records.

true Q. Do you need a degree to become a medical assistant?

Many medical assistant positions require only a certificate, a certification, or on-the-job training. However, many employers prefer to hire medical assistants with a degree in the field.

true Q. What certifications do medical assistants need?

Many states do not require medical assistants to hold professional certification. However, employers often prefer MAs with credentials such as the certified medical assistant or certified clinical medical assistant certification.

true Q. Do medical assistants make good money?

Medical assistants earn a median annual salary of $34,800, according to the BLS. However, earning potential varies based on the professional's education, experience, and geographic location.

What Are the Goals of a Medical Assistant Program?

Current and aspiring medical assistants often pursue an associate degree as a stepping stone to a bachelor's program. Medical assistants often hold an associate of applied science in medical assisting or an AAS in health science with a specialization in medical assisting. Each degree requires general education coursework and a comprehensive introduction to medical assisting knowledge and skills.

Common course offerings explore sterile techniques, medical billing and coding, phlebotomy, and patient care. Some associate-level programs offer concentration options in areas such as dermatology, cardiology, geriatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology.

Why Enroll in a Medical Assistant Program?

Students in online medical assistant programs develop skills in the field, and graduates often qualify for career advancement and salary increases. The list below highlights a few common benefits for learners in medical assistant training programs.

The best online medical assistant programs help learners cultivate listening, collaboration, and speaking skills. Students prepare to communicate information to patients and to follow directions. Graduates often apply these skills to professional and interpersonal situations. Graduates often pursue medical assistant careers in various healthcare settings, such as doctors' offices, hospitals, and community health centers. Medical assistants' daily tasks may involve billing and coding, communicating by phone, assisting medical professionals, and keeping patient records. Additional training and education can lead to career advancement and pay raises for current medical assistants. Graduates of online medical assistant programs often secure positions in radiology, nursing, medical coding, and hospital administration. According to PayScale, individuals with an AAS in medical assisting earn an average salary of $38,270 per year. Professionals with a BS in medical laboratory technology and those with a BS in medical laboratory science earn average salaries of $82,320 and $72,980 per year, respectively. Medical assistant training programs prepare learners to take professional certification exams. Certifications demonstrate that the holder possesses in-demand skills. Some employers only hire certified medical assistants.

How to Become a Medical Assistant

According to the BLS, medical assistants can qualify for positions without a postsecondary degree. Many medical assistant careers require only a high school diploma and on-the-job training. Newly hired medical assistants often receive training in medical terminology, instruments, coding, and record keeping. However, candidates with relevant certifications or an undergraduate degree in the field may benefit from more job opportunities.

Many vocational and academic schools offer online medical assistant programs at the certificate and associate degree levels. These programs typically require 8-24 months to complete. Learners explore anatomy, medical terminology, biology, and chemistry. Classes often include laboratory sessions, which offer practical experience.

To qualify for professional certifications, medical assistants may need professional experience, a certain level of education, and a passing exam score. Medical assistants often benefit from the certified medical assistant, registered medical assistant, national certified medical assistant, and certified clinical medical assistant credentials.

Online Medical Assistant Schools

Renton Technical College true View School Profile Renton, WA $5908

Located in Renton, Washington, RTC offers a hybrid medical assistant program. Students conduct up to half of the coursework online while still receiving some face-to-face instruction for critical skills.

Students may choose to pursue a certificate (70 quarter credits) or an associate of applied science (90 quarter credits), depending on career goals. Required courses include medical terminology and the human body, introduction to medical insurance and coding, administrative medical procedures, and medical law and ethics. Associate degree seekers move on to general education requirements to prepare them for subsequent bachelor's programs elsewhere. Students must also engage in practicums and a course to prepare for the national exam.

Applicants must possess a high school diploma or equivalent and submit a background check to enter the program. RTC is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

Cox College true View School Profile Springfield, MO Unconfirmed

Based in Springfield, Missouri, Cox College offers an online associate of science in medical assisting. Students complete 60 credits online and become eligible to transfer to a bachelor's granting institution. Students may pursue most coursework online, with hands-on administrative and clinical labs and practicums also required to impart critical skills.

Required courses include an introduction to medical assisting, an introduction to anatomy and physiology, clinical medical assisting, and administrative medical assisting. Students finish credits in general education courses; they also complete at least 17 credits of electives to receive their associate degree. A capstone experience allows students to demonstrate skills mastery and collaborate with peers.

Applicants need a high school diploma with a minimum GPA of 2.0 or a GED equivalent. The school requires a minimum SAT score of 860 or a minimum ACT score of 18. Transfer students need at least 12 transfer credits and a minimum GPA of 2.0.

Cox College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Concordia University-Wisconsin true View School Profile Mequon, WI Unconfirmed

Based in Mequon, CUW offers a medical assistant certificate in a blended learning format. Students complete most of the 42 credits online with some required face-to-face coursework.

Students take required courses such as medical terminology, computing for healthcare professionals, medical law and ethics, and administrative procedures. Students also take courses for specific systems of the body, including the respiratory and cardiovascular systems and the lymphatic and digestive systems. Participants must also complete a 200-hour externship for vital hands-on skills and mentoring in order to complete the certification.

Applicants must possess a high school diploma or equivalent to apply for the program. The school requires an admissions counselor interview and a placement exam for certificate students.

CUW is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

Madison Area Technical College true View School Profile Madison, WI $9679

Located in Madison, Wisconsin, MATC offers amedical assistant certificatethrough a convenient hybrid format. Students complete 33 credits, with some online and some in-person coursework delivery. Students can complete the program in about two semesters.

Students begin the curriculum with required courses such as medical assistant administration procedures, the human body in health and disease, digital literacy for healthcare, and pharmacology for healthcare procedures. Students finish with a course in written communication and a practicum to receive hands-on hours and mentoring from professionals within a live medical setting.

Students apply to the school with a high school diploma or GED and then petition for the chance to enter into program courses. Applicants must demonstrate the completion of all prerequisites to begin the required courses.

MATC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale true View School Profile Fort Lauderdale, FL Unconfirmed

Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Keiser offers an associate of science in medical assisting. Students complete 60.5 credits online with two externships. Graduates qualify to sit for the registered medical assistant exam.

Students take general education courses and electives before beginning required medical assisting courses. Course topics include medical office management, anatomy and physiology, laboratory procedures, and clinical procedures. Students must also participate in two externships designed to expose learners to hands-on procedures and allow for mentoring to unfold over two semesters.

Applicants must possess a high school diploma or equivalent and must complete an interview with an admissions counselor to apply for the program. Keiser is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Educational Programs.

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