Online Medical Assistant Programs 2021

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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.

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Top 10 Online Medical Assistant Programs and Schools

FAQ


  • 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.


Online Medical Assistant Programs 2021



  1. Independence University
    Location

    Salt Lake City, UT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    In just 22 months students can graduate from Independence University's online option for receiving an associate degree in occupational studies. Graduates pursue positions such as medical assistants, pharmacy technicians or medical coders. The program entails 90.5 credit hours in coursework such as Principles of Drug Administration and the Psychology of Motivation. You will have access to one-on-one mentoring and free tutoring services. Additionally, all students receive a laptop and tablet with enrollment.

  2. Weber State University
    Location

    Ogden, UT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Students interested in becoming a Clinical Laboratory Assistant (CLA) can register for Weber State University's online certificate program. You must work at or have access to a laboratory, as well as partner with a professional mentor who is willing to supervise your work. On top of clinical experience, students will complete the class Core Clinical Laboratory Skills with a grade C or higher in order to graduate. Curriculum covers lab safety, specimen processing, phlebotomies and urinalysis.

  3. University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    Location

    Stevens Point, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Students seeking a career as a medical office assistant can major in health science at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. Although the majority of the program is delivered on campus, certain classes are offered online. In order to graduate, you must maintain a 2.0 GPA while working through 120 credits in topics such as medical terminology and health economics. You will also be required to work with a local agency or medical facility to complete a field experience. Admissions criteria are based on class rank, ACT or SAT scores, GPA and community involvement.

  4. Bellevue University
    Location

    Bellevue, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    At Bellevue University, students interested in becoming a medical or clinical laboratory technician or technologist can apply for the online program to complete a bachelor's degree in health science. Curriculum covers 40-41 credits in classes such as Wellness for Life, Abnormal Psychology and Medical Terminology. You must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA in order to graduate. BRUIN Support helps online learners with academic advising and there is 24/7 technical assistance available through the Service Desk. Applicants must demonstrate satisfactory completion of high school.

  5. Illinois State University
    Location

    Normal, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  6. Park University
    Location

    Parkville, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  7. Davenport University
    Location

    Grand Rapids, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  8. University of Cincinnati-Main Campus
    Location

    Cincinnati, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  9. Columbia College
    Location

    Columbia, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  10. Ferris State University
    Location

    Big Rapids, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

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.

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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

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