Online Medical Assistant Programs

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Medical Assistant Programs Online

Medical assistants (MAs) usually hold an associate degree, certificate, or professional certification. 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.

Top 10 Online Medical Assistant Programs

Rank School Location
1 Renton Technical College Renton, WA
2 Cox College Springfield, MO
3 Concordia University-Wisconsin Mequon, WI
4 Madison Area Technical College Madison, WI
5 Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, FL
See Our Rankings Methodology

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What To Know Before Applying for a Medical Assistant Program

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Communication Skills
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.
Diverse Career Options
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.
Career Advancement
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.
Salary Advancement
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.
Certification Preparation
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.

Professional Organizations for Medical Assistant Students

Students in online medical assistant programs can join professional organizations to meet peers, access career resources, and develop field-specific skills. These organizations often publish research, administer professional certifications, offer networking opportunities, and advocate for the profession. The list below features three of the top professional organizations for medical assistants.

  • American Association of Medical Assistants This professional organization serves medical assistants by offering networking opportunities, legal protection, and healthcare advocacy. The AAMA also delivers continuing education opportunities and administers the Certified Medical Assistant Certification Examination.

  • American Medical Technologists This nonprofit professional organization of allied health professionals administers the Registered Medical Assistant Certification Examination. AMT also provides networking, leadership, career development, and continuing education opportunities for medical professionals.

  • National Healthcareer Association NHA offers several certifications, including the certified clinical medical assistant credential. The association also delivers career resources including a job board and a career blog. NHA also advocates for the profession and provides a news center, research, and case studies.

Scholarships for Medical Assistant Students

Students in online medical assistant programs often qualify for scholarships. These awards do not require repayment, but some scholarships require recipients to work in underserved communities after graduation. Learners may qualify for scholarships based on their academic achievement, financial need, field of study, or identity. The following list includes three scholarships available to students in online medical assistant programs.

IHS Health Professions Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Indian Health Service awards three scholarships for students in health programs. The Health Professions Scholarship supports certified tribal Alaska Native or American Indian students who are pursuing a degree to prepare for a health profession. Recipients agree to complete two years of full-time work in clinics serving Native populations after graduation.
Amount: Varies

HSF Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Hispanic Scholarship Fund awards more than $30 million in scholarships each year. Applicants must be enrolled or plan to enroll full time in an accredited four-year school. High school seniors must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA, and college-level applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA. Candidates must demonstrate financial need and status as a U.S. citizen, permanent legal resident, or DACA recipient.
Amount: $500-$5,000

Allied Healthcare Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports healthcare students. After graduation, recipients must provide at least one year of direct clinical care at a qualifying California facility in a medically underserved area. Scholarship applicants must be enrolled in at least six credits, hold a minimum 2.0 GPA, and have no other service obligations.
Amount: Up to $8,000 annually for up to three years

Online Medical Assistant Schools

  1. Renton Technical College

    Renton, WA



    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

    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

    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

    Madison, WI



    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

    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.

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