Best Online Medical Assistant Programs 2022

A medical assisting degree can lead to a rewarding career. Here, we outline how to become one, degree costs, and salary potential.

Updated August 22, 2022

Reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Best Online Medical Assistant Programs 2022

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Medical Assistant Programs Online

Online medical assistant programs train learners to complete administrative and clinical tasks. Medical assistants may schedule patient appointments and record their vitals. These professionals often work in hospitals, doctors' offices, or other healthcare settings.

Some healthcare facilities hire medical assistants without a formal degree or certificate. However, higher education can make job candidates more competitive. An online format provides a flexible path to earning a medical assistant degree.

This page lists the top online medical assistant programs. Read on for answers to common questions and for information on becoming a medical assistant.

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Questions About Medical Assistant Degrees

Do you need a degree to become a medical assistant?

Most states do not require a formal degree to practice as a medical assistant. However, employers may prefer a postsecondary non-degree award like a certificate.

What is the difference between a medical assistant and a certified nursing assistant (CNA)?

Medical assistants help with administrative tasks and some clinical tasks. CNAs primarily help with patient care.

How long does it take to become a medical assistant?

Aspiring medical assistants can often earn a certificate in a year or less.

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Why Get a Medical Assistant Degree?

Medical assistants do meaningful work. They often greet patients, record questions, and help patients feel more at ease. They also perform important tasks that require precision. These tasks include taking bloodwork and recording patient data.

This job also requires minimal education. For this reason, a degree can help job applicants stand out to employers. Even a one-year certificate can teach learners the skills to thrive as medical assistants.

Online medical assistant programs provide flexibility. Some programs run asynchronously, allowing students to complete coursework when convenient.

How Much Does a Medical Assistant Degree Cost?

The price of an online medical assistant degree varies by school. A medical assistant certificate requires fewer credits than an associate degree. Since many schools charge per-credit tuition, the certificate often costs less. A bachelor's degree in medical assisting prepares students for advanced roles. However, this degree requires about twice as many credits as an associate degree.

Online bachelor's degrees cost an average of $51,091, according to EducationData.org. In-state students spent an average of $38,496 on an online bachelor's degree. On average, out-of-state students spend $54,183. Learners attending private colleges pay $60,593 on average.

Additional Online Student Fees

Online learners should budget for expenses such as scrubs and stethoscopes for clinical rotations.They must also buy books and class materials. Many colleges charge technology fees to cover virtual classroom platforms and tech support.

Students may need to pay graduation or lab fees. Learners who want to become certified clinical medical assistants may need to pay for exam study guides.

How Much Do Medical Assistants Make?

Medical assistants earn a median annual salary of $35,850, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest earners in this field earn more than $50,580 per year. Medical assistants who work in outpatient care centers earn the most. They make a median salary of $38,860 annually.

However, many factors influence salary, including professionals' geographic location and education level. For example, medical assistants in California earn a mean annual wage of $42,990. The same professionals in Texas earn a mean wage of $33,700.

Courses in a Medical Assistant Program

Online medical assistant programs teach students how to draw blood and take vitals. Enrollees also practice using software for record-keeping. Most schools offer medical assistant programs at the associate level. Associate degrees require 40-60 credits.

Courses in online medical assistant programs may run synchronously or asynchronously. Students who need flexibility may prefer asynchronous programs. Learners who need accountability may prefer synchronous programs, which include live, scheduled classes.

How to Become a Medical Assistant

Medical assistants need a non-degree award, such as a certificate. Learners can complete a certificate in medical assisting in about one year. Students can increase their earning potential by earning a degree. Full-time learners can complete an associate program in two years. Bachelor's programs take four years.

Aspiring medical assistants can also pursue certification. Employers do not always require certification, but many prefer certified candidates. Even medical assistants with certification must complete on-the-job training. Every healthcare facility operates differently, and medical assistants must understand the protocols.

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Licensure and Certification for Medical Assistants

Most states do not require medical assistants to earn a license or certification. However, employers may prefer job candidates who demonstrate these qualifications.

The National Healthcareer Association oversees the exam for certified clinical medical assistants. This test costs $155. It covers topics like best practices for patient communication and recording vitals. Before taking the exam, applicants must complete a medical assistant training program. They can also take a practice exam for $39.

Medical assistants must complete 10 continuing education credits every two years to renew their license. They must also pay a recertification fee of $179.

Many organizations offer certification opportunities. For example, American Medical Technologists offers a registered medical assistant certification. The National Center for Competency Testing provides the National Certified Medical Assistant Exam.

Online Medical Assistant Programs

  1. Renton Technical College
    Location

    Renton, WA

    Tuition

    $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.

  2. Cox College
    Location

    Springfield, MO

    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.

  3. Concordia University-Wisconsin
    Location

    Mequon, WI

    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.

  4. Madison Area Technical College
    Location

    Madison, WI

    Tuition

    $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.

  5. Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale
    Location

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    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.

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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