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What is a Medical Assistant?

A medical assistant in responsible for the daily care and treatment of patients, including intake, cleaning, and the delivery of medication all under the supervision of a physician or other qualified medical professional and are responsible for the daily treatment and review of patients, notifying supervisors when changes in the patients status occur. Medical assistants are also responsible for the day to day management of paperwork; supplies and other office work that may otherwise be attributed to a medical office assistant. Medical assisting is a fast growing field that requires the individual to be familiar with medical vocabulary, clinical and hospital environments and standard protocols in order to be effective.

Career Summary





Degree Median Salary vs Adjacent Degree Types

Source: BLS, US Census, and IPEDS

2021 Best Medical Assistant Schools

The Healthcare Training Institute (HTI) is located in Union, New Jersey, and is considered one of the leading vocational schools in the state.

The Healthcare Training Institute is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and approved by the State of New Jersey and the United States Department of Education.

HTI’s mission and goal is to foster an environment that utilizes modern technology’s speed to offer high-quality training to students while teaching skills of excellence in communication, leadership, professionalism, and ethics. HTI includes in their training a basic knowledge in medical jurisprudence in relation to the healthcare environment.

HTI specializes in the training of students through long-term healthcare training programs and short-term healthcare training programs in the following career paths:

  • Certified Nurse Aide
  • Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound Technologist
  • Fundamentals of Adult Echocardiography
  • Medial Assistant Technician
  • Medical Billing Specialist
  • Medical Coding and Billing Specialist
  • Patient Care Technician
  • Phlebotomy and EKG Technician

HTI also offers support to students through student services, such as advising, career loans, as well as placement assistance.

Students seeking to attend HTI must have the following completed before start of class:

  • Students must be at least 18 before the first day of class.
  • Verifiable ID must be submitted (Driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, or social security card)
  • Students must have either a high school diploma, a GED (with test scores) or at least 25 college credits. (Note: some programs require more credentials/documents)
  • Students must pass an entrance exam, if applicable to their desired program.
  • Students must also meet with an authorized representative of the Healthcare Training Institute to conduct a personal interview. There is a $25 application fee and a $75 registration fee.

More information can be found at

Acceptance Rate



$15,500 / year

Student to Faculty Ratio


Career Training Solutions understands that advancements in education and training are made each day. It is our goal to prepare our students for the changes in industry by providing quality education and training that is focused on hands-on experiences using the most current technology available.


Career Training Solutions (CTS) was established on April 27, 1998, as the Health and Beauty Academy, Inc., in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Health and Beauty Academy offered programs in European Skin Care, Body Spa and Wellness, Esthetics, Electrolysis, and Professional Massage Therapy. In October of 2000, ownership of the Health and Beauty Academy changed, and the school was renamed Career Training Solutions (CTS).

The new management of Career Training Solutions implemented stronger curricula to the programs already offered. In addition, Medical Assistant, Medical Insurance Specialist, Phlebotomy, and Practical Nurse programs were implemented. CTS attained national accreditation with the Commission of the Council of Occupational Education (COE) in February 2002. In 2008 CTS offered its first degree granting program, the Registered Nurse program, and will continue to look for new education alternatives to better serve the community.

Today Career Training Solutions remains committed to providing quality education to its students and to enhancing the prosperity of the communities we serve.

Acceptance Rate



$31,479 / year

Student to Faculty Ratio


Mountain State College, located in Parkersburg, West Virginia, is a private for profit two year institution founded in 1888. The school is dedicated to providing students with a quality education in a limited number of programs, all with a focus on career development. The faculty consists of professionals in their field and offer students a hand-on education with a focus on enrichment. The school has been in the business of producing professionals for over a century.


Mountain State College offers students opportunities in a select number of high demand fields. These programs are designed to prepare students for careers upon graduation, providing the skills and knowledge necessary to perform duties and tasks that will be required in their given field. Programs result in associate degrees.  Online classes are also available to assist individuals in need of flexible scheduling.

Programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid

Students interested in enrollment at Mountain State College may apply online through the school's website. The extensive questionnaire will ask for all pertinent information, after which the application will be reviewed and contact made by the school. Financial aid is available in the form of various loans and grants given out on the basis of need. Students must complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility and awards. MSC's financial aid office offers assistance for students who are having difficulty with the application process.

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Student to Faculty Ratio


Acceptance Rate



$15,955 / year

Student to Faculty Ratio


Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology (CPI), located in Pleasant Gap, PA, is a great vocational training opportunity for high school students and adults looking to further their education and careers. CPI hopes to produce highly competent individuals who are prepared and motivated to pursue the high skill careers of the 21st century. CPI is an accredited institution by the Pennsylvania State Board of Vocational Education. 

CPI has 19 different programs offered to high school students. These programs include cosmetology, culinary arts, and welding and metal fabrication technology.  High school students that take advantage of these programs will finish with certifications and training either while still in high school or shortly after. 

CPI also has a great adult education program. They offer full-time programs geared around helping adults progress to a career by giving them the certifications and training they need to be successful. CPI offers the following adult education career programs:

  • Transportation/Automotive
  • Welding
  • Construction
  • Healthcare
  • Computers/Information Technology
  • HVAC/R
  • Food Service

Tuition for these programs varies based on the length of the program and any required materials. Financial aid is available to those who qualify. CPI also offers a great online program. Their online program offers a wide variety of classes, including accounting and finance as well as writing and publishing. 

CPI offers great career placement services. They offer on-campus recruiting, job fairs, externships, mock interviews, resume classes, and cooperative education.

CPI is a vocational school geared toward helping high school students as well as adults reach their goals faster and more efficiently. 

Acceptance Rate



$15,340 / year

Student to Faculty Ratio


International Business College - Indianapolis is a two year private school dedicated to offering a practical education for students in Indianapolis and surrounding areas. Students may choose from several areas of study, including:

  • Health and Clinical Professions
  • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Business and Marketing Studies
  • Legal Professions and Studies

Over the previous several years International Business College - Indianapolis awarded degrees to over 650 students with a graduation rate of around 69%. More than ten different programs are offered at International Business College location in Indianapolis, and it awards degrees up to an Associates degree. Here are the more popular programs offered:

  • Veterinary Assistant
  • Dental Assistant
  • Graphic Design
  • Medical Assistant
  • Hotel and Hospitality Management

To help support students, International Business College - Indianapolis may offer services like:

  • Career path counseling
  • Employing students to lower education costs
  • Employment search assistance

International Business College - Indianapolis has been accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools since 1988. To see more and get consumer disclosures, you can visit

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Laurel Business Institute is a two-year career college, which provides career oriented education for its students. Students can pick from a few areas of study, including:

  • Personal and Culinary Services
  • Health and Clinical Professions
  • Business and Marketing Studies
  • Computer and Information Sciences
  • Family and Consumer Sciences
Over the past several years Laurel Business Institute granted degrees to more than 250 students with more than 53% of those who start the program continue it to completion. Over twenty different programs are offered at Laurel Business Institute, and it awards degrees up to an Associates degree. Below is a list of the more popular programs being offered:
  • Hair Styling
  • Medical Assistant
  • Respiratory Therapy Technician
  • Facial Treatment Specialist
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Massage Therapy
To help students and alumni succeed, Laurel Business Institute may provide student services including:
  • Counseling assistance
  • Work study style employment
  • Employment search assistance
The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools has accredited the program courses of Laurel Business Institute for over twenty-six straight years. Get more information by visiting the school's official website, where you can see programs available, tuition, and disclosures.

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Concorde Career Colleges, Inc. owns and operates proprietary, postsecondary institutions that offer vocational career training programs in the growing healthcare field. Concorde serves the segment of population seeking career-oriented education. We currently operate campuses at 15 locations in seven states. Concorde's campuses generally enjoy long operating histories in their local markets.

Concorde was formed in 1988 as a Delaware corporation. Our principal office is located at 5800 Foxridge Drive, Suite 500, Mission, Kansas 66202 (telephone: (913) 831-9977).

Concorde's 15 campuses are located in Garden Grove, North Hollywood, San Bernardino, and San Diego, California; Aurora, Colorado; Jacksonville, Miramar, Orlando, and Tampa, Florida; Kansas City, Missouri; Portland, Oregon; Memphis, Tennessee; and Arlington, Dallas, and San Antonio, Texas.

Concorde's programs of study are intended to provide students with the knowledge and job skills for positions in their chosen career field. The programs are Vocational Nurse/Nursing, Practical Nursing, Nursing, Respiratory Therapy, Surgical Technology/Technologist, Pharmacy Technician, Radiologic Technology, Medical Administrative Assistant, Medical Office Professional, Medical Assistant/Assisting, Dental Assistant/Assisting, Patient Care Technician, Dental Hygiene, Medical Office Administration, Physical Therapist Assistant, Occupational Therapy Assistant, and Massage Therapy. Program offerings vary by campus. The Aurora, Kansas City, North Hollywood, Garden Grove, San Bernardino, San Diego, Portland, Memphis, Jacksonville, Tampa, and Miramar campuses offer selected associates degree programs. Campuses utilize different program titles pursuant to state regulations.

Acceptance Rate



$31,866 / year

Student to Faculty Ratio


Midwest Institute operates as a private career school dedicated to offering a solid education for students in Fenton and surrounding areas. Over the past several years Midwest Institute has awarded degrees to over 330 students with a graduation rate of about 80%. Midwest Institute offers several programs to choose from. The more popular enrolled programs are shown below:

To help support students, Midwest Institute may provide student services like those listed below:
  • Weekend and night classes available
  • Career path counseling
  • Helping students find work after graduation
The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools has accredited the program courses of Midwest Institute for over sixteen straight years. To learn more and get consumer disclosures, please visit

Acceptance Rate



$14,680 / year

Student to Faculty Ratio


Acceptance Rate



$35,469 / year

Student to Faculty Ratio


International Business College operates as a private career college, which offers career oriented education for its students in Fort Wayne and surrounding areas. Students can pick from several areas of study, including:

  • Health and Clinical Professions
  • Business and Marketing Studies
  • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Legal Professions and Studies

Over the previous several years International Business College granted degrees to more than 560 students with a graduation rate of about 70%. IBC offers over twenty different programs available to students, and it awards degrees up to a Bachelor's degree. Here are the programs with more popularity among students:

  • Veterinary Assistant
  • Commerce
  • Graphic Design
  • Medical Assistant

To help support students, International Business College may offer student services like:

  • Career path counseling
  • Student employment
  • Assisting students to find work

The last reported accreditation for International Business College was done by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Please visit for more information on programs offered and consumer disclosures.

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Acceptance Rate



$16,010 / year

Student to Faculty Ratio


Thomas Jefferson University is a nonprofit private college that has a large number of degree programs available for students to choose from. The school is located in Philadelphia, PA, in a predominantly urban area. Nearly three thousand students enroll at Thomas Jefferson University annually.

Areas of study available at Thomas Jefferson University include:

  • Health And Clinical Professions
  • Biological And Biomedical Sciences
  • Liberal Arts And Sciences

To be considered for admissions, applicants may be required to fill out an application, write a personal statement, and submit school transcripts, which are then studied by the admissions office.

The cost of undergraduate tuition is close to $35,000, but may change yearly. Students are encouraged to visit the school's net price calculator to better estimate their cost of attendance. The price of on-campus housing is around $3,800 per year. This school may provide financial aid for students that are eligible as grants and loans.

Students can visit the school's to see additional information.

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Laurel Technical Institute is a two-year career school, which provides high quality education and training for its students. Over 270 students have attended and completed their schooling in the last few years with around 48% of students who start the program continuing on to complete it. Laurel Technical Institute offers several programs to choose from. Here are the more popular programs offered:

  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Medical Records Technician
  • Personal Grooming Arts
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Information Science Studies

To help support students, Laurel Technical Institute may offer student services like those listed below:

  • Academic counseling for students
  • Work study style employment
  • Assistance to find work

The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools has accredited the education provided by Laurel Technical Institute for over thirty-six straight years. Get more information by visiting the school's official website, where you can learn about programs available, financial aid & tuition, and disclosures.

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Student to Faculty Ratio



Concorde Career College has fifteen campuses in seven states. The school is dedicated to providing a quality career education through its 23 program offerings in the field of allied health. Concorde Career College has been providing health care education for over forty years with the goal of preparing individuals as professionals in the field that they choose.


Concorde Career College offers 23 programs of study to prepare students for entry level positions in allied health care. The school combines classroom education with practical training to ensure individuals have the skill and experience to begin working immediately after graduation. The school further assists students through their career placement program after graduation.

Programs offered include:

  • Dental Assistant – Diploma
  • Medical Assistant – Diploma
  • Medical Office Administration – Diploma
  • Polysomnographic Technology – Diploma
  • Practical Nursing – Diploma
  • Respiratory Therapy – Associate
  • Surgical Technology – Associate

Admissions and Financial Aid

Financial aid is only available for those who qualify. Students interesting in enrolling at Concorde Career College may begin by completing the online application available on the website. Once completed, the student will shortly thereafter be contacted by a school representative to assist in the process. Financial aid is available through various federal programs. Students will be assisted by financial aid specialists to help determine eligibility and determine payment methods.

Acceptance Rate



$16,516 / year

Student to Faculty Ratio


Acceptance Rate



$32,883 / year

Student to Faculty Ratio


Acceptance Rate



$17,701 / year

Student to Faculty Ratio


Acceptance Rate



$16,875 / year

Student to Faculty Ratio


Acceptance Rate



$50,048 / year

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Bidwell Training Center Inc operates as a two year career college dedicated to offering a solid education for students located in and around Pittsburgh. Students can select from several areas of study, including:

  • Personal and Culinary Services
  • Agriculture Operations
  • Health and Clinical Professions
  • Science Technology
  • Computer and Information Sciences

Last year over 170 students were awarded degrees with more than 77% of students who start the program continuing on to complete it. Bidwell Training Center Inc has listed over ten different programs available to students, with an Associates degree being the highest degree granted. Below is a list of the more popular programs being offered:

  • Culinary Arts
  • Horticulture
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Chemical Technology
  • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services
  • Medical Office Administration

To support students and graduates, Bidwell Training Center Inc may provide services like:

  • Remedial instructional courses
  • Career path counseling
  • Assistance to find work

The last reported accreditation for this school was done by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Please visit for more information on programs offered and consumer disclosures.

Acceptance Rate



$12,000 / year

Student to Faculty Ratio


Misericordia University is a nonprofit private college that has a large selection of programs available for students to choose from. The school is located in Dallas, PA, in a predominantly suburban area. The school's Roman Catholic affiliation is one of its defining characteristics and plays an important role within the school's curriculum. Enrollment at Misericordia University exceeds two thousand annually.

Here is a list of some of the popular programs Misericordia University offers:

  • Health And Clinical Professions
  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Education
  • Liberal Arts And Sciences
  • Psychology

To be considered for admissions, applicants may be asked to complete an application, write a personal statement, and submit high school records and test scores, which are then reviewed by admissions officials. Most students accepted to this school achieve an SAT score within the range of 980 to 1160, or an ACT score within the range of 22 to 25. An estimated 60% of all students that applied were accepted at Misericordia University, with 32% of those admitted choosing to attend. More information regarding admissions can be found at

The cost of undergraduate tuition is approximately $29,000, but may change per year. Students are encouraged to visit the school's net price calculator to better estimate their personal tuition costs. Housing is available for students and costs around $6,900 annually. Students at Misericordia University may be eligible for aid which is usually scholarships, grants, and loans.

This school has several athletic programs overseen by the NCAA. Athletic programs available may include:

  • Baseball (NCAA Division III)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division III)
  • Field Hockey (NCAA Division III)
  • Golf (NCAA Division III)
  • Lacrosse (NCAA Division III)

Students may visit the school's to view additional information.

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Student to Faculty Ratio


The St Louis College of Health Careers offers a wide range of career options in the health field. The goals of the college is to provide all students with a flexible and supportive place to learn, to create graduates that will be self sufficient, to provide career training opportunity and to help with career preparation and job search.

The Fenton campus is conveniently located only 3 minutes west of I-270 on I-44 at Bowles exit. 

Admission to St Louis College of Health Careers is open to anyone with a high school diploma or GED.  To complete the application process, you will need to fill out an admission application and enrollment agreement, provide proof of high school diploma or equivalency and college transcripts if applicable and complete financial aid forms. 

The St Louis College of Health Careers offers excellent medical training in fields such as Medical Assistant, Patient Care Technician, Pharmacy Technician, Physical Therapist Assistant and Medical Billing and Coding. 

The St Louis College of Health Careers provides its graduates with career counseling and job placement services.  Support includes resume writing, interviewing skills and professional development.

Acceptance Rate



$30,466 / year

Student to Faculty Ratio


Acceptance Rate


Student to Faculty Ratio


Ohio University (OHIO) is a national, public research university located in Athens, Ohio. U.S. News and World Report ranks Ohio University in the top 60 public national universities. It is ranked fourth in the nation by the Forbes ranking for its return on investment in research dollars.

The acclaimed faculty members of Ohio University include at least 10 Fulbright Scholars, and many other award winners.

Ohio University offers more than 250 undergraduate majors, and a range of majors at the master's and doctoral levels. Top ranking academic programs at Ohio University include ceramics, printmaking, speech and language pathology, audiology, physical therapy, fine arts, clinical psychology, social work, physics, English, and biological sciences.

Ohio University has many "firsts" to its credit, including the first university-based business incubator in the state, which helped develop nine spin-off companies and created more than 1,000 jobs.


The Ohio University was established in 1804 by an act passed by the Ohio General Assembly. Ohio University opened in 1803 with three students enrolled, and one professor. In 1828, Ohio University conferred a degree on its first black graduate, the third in the United States. In 1873, the University conferred a degree on its first female graduate.


In the fall of 2012, Ohio University will transition from a quarter-format academic calendar, to a semester format.

Colleges and Schools

Ohio University has 11 colleges, including:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Fine Arts
  • College of Health Sciences and Professions
  • Honors Tutorial College
  • Patton College of Education and Human Services
  • Russ College of Engineering and Technology
  • Scripps College of Communication
  • University College
  • Graduate College
  • Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

 Ohio University also has three Centers of Excellence:

  • Energy and the Environment
  • Health and Wellness
  • Scripps College of Communication

Student Life

Students attending Ohio University can take advantage of the more than 350 student clubs and organizations available for involvement. Interest areas that are represented include the arts, politics, professions, religion, sports and health, the arts, and more. Student club resources include a Campus Involvement Fair and a Handbook for Student Organizations.

There is a Campus Life newsletter that keeps students and their families informed of campus events and activities. Greek Life is thriving at Ohio University, with 33 active local chapters of national fraternities and sororities.


The Ohio University school colors are green and white, with gold as an accent color. Fans of the university's teams traditionally join the "Green and White Club."

The bobcat is the Ohio University mascot, and the athletic teams at OHIO are nicknamed the "Bobcats."


The OHIO "Bobcats" athletic teams compete in several intercollegiate sports, including:

Men's Sports:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross County
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Wrestling 

Women's Sports:

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Field Hockey
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball

Satellite Campuses

Athens University has its main campus in Athens, Ohio. It has five regional campuses and two centers located throughout Ohio:

  • Chillicothe Campus
  • Eastern Campus
  • Lancaster Campus
  • Pickerington Center
  • Southern Campus
  • Proctorville Campus
  • Zanesville Campus

Community Life

Ohio University forges partnerships in the community. It has partnered with high schools in SE Ohio to offer hands-on training to teachers in science, technology, engineering and math. It created an online virtual museum for Latino culture and art in partnership with the Smithsonian Institute.

Acceptance Rate


Student to Faculty Ratio


Acceptance Rate



$17,005 / year

Student to Faculty Ratio


What Does a Medical Assistant Do?

Medical Assistants work with physicians to ensure the clinic or medical office functions at an optimal level. MAs will be called upon to check-in a patient, collect information, document the incident, effectively communicate next steps, provide emotional comfort, and get them settled into their room or bed. The Medical Assistant may then help to draw blood, provide stitches, arrange lab tests, clean infected areas, document the procedures, and manage the medical insurance billing in conjunction with the attending physician. The MA has evolved into a very exciting profession in part due to the diversity of care provided coupled with real-time problem solving opportunities. In any given week, the variation in care provided to patients can vary widely keeping the job interesting and engaging.

How to Become a Medical Assistant?

In order to become a medical assistant, you will need to successfully take and pass one of four industry certification exams. Students who enroll in a medical assistant program at a college or university will find the coursework challenging and comprehensive. To find the best college for you, simply request information from a number of the programs below and compare their educational offerings to your personal priority list. A list of questions that coalesce into your priority list can be found on our Complete Guide to the College Admission Process here.

Currently, there are no formal education requirements to proceed in the field of medical assisting; however, you will quickly find that employers will have specific requirements that need to be achieved. An associate degree in medical assisting will take around 2 years to complete for full-time students as core classes are interspersed with general education courses. Liberal arts classes such as English composition, philosophy, and psychology help student think differently about the world around them and are often more well-rounded team players. On the other hand, certificate programs are generally structed to last about a year with focus on core programs.

On the whole, hiring managers and physicians favor students who have earned a 2-year degree as it provides a more comprehensive education with a variety of subjects versus a narrow swath of specialty training. Employers prefer candidates with a broad educational background as they may encounter a variety of questions and issues requiring a synthesis of information and experience to solve.

Online Medical Assistant Degree Programs

Curriculum for an online Medical Assistant will vary from school to school depending on the curricular design and degree types selected. As an example, you may enroll in a certification program strictly focused on the core curriculum of an MA while another student will see different classes in an associates degree track. For academic purposes, we have culled a list of common classes you will experience when enrolled in an online medical assistant associates degree program:

Popular Job Titles for a Medical Assistant

A Medical Assistant can work in a variety of settings depending on the constructs of the clinical office which directly affects the breadth of the job requirements. As such, there will be some variation in job titles across the country depending on roles, responsibilities, and employer preference. The most common job titles for a medical assistant we have found include:

  • Clinical Medical Assistant
  • Podiatric Medical Assistant
  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
  • Clinical Assistant
  • Doctor's Assistant
  • Medical Assistant (MA)
  • Chiropractor Assistant
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Ophthalmic Technician
  • Ophthalmic Medical Assistant
  • Administrative Medical Assistant
  • Optometric Assistant
  • Optometric Technician
  • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)

What are the Job Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant?

The majority of Medical Assistants are trained to perform a number of jobs day over day within a clinic. A medical assistant is effectively a support service for a physician and must be adept at performing a number of duties to keep the office running smoothly every day. The U.S. Department of Labor recently conducted a study to collect information about the job responsibilities of a medical assistant. The most commonly cited jobs of a medical assistant were found to be the following:

  • Answering the phone and greeting patients
  • Managing billing & bookkeeping activities
  • Documenting patient medical history
  • Preparing patients for medical procedures and examinations
  • Helping attending physicians with medical examinations
  • Preparing medications as directed by physicians
  • Coordinating prescription refills with physician authorization
  • Arranging for laboratory tests and patient hospital transfers
  • Collecting and preparing lab specimens
  • Scheduling medical exams and appointments
  • Maintaining medical records
  • Coding insurance documents
  • Drawing blood samples
  • Removing stitches and changing medical dressings


Top 4 Certifications for a Medical Assistant

There are 4 major certifications for a Medical Assistant that are recognized by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. The four certifications include the following list in no particular order of importance:

  1. NCMA- National Certified Medical Assistant administered by the National Center for Competency Testing
  2. CMAC - Clinical Medical Assistant Certification administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants
  3. CCMA- Certified Clinical Medical Assistant administered by the National Healthcareer Association
  4. RMA- Registered Medical Assistant administered by American Medical Technologists

It is important to reach out to the medical board in your state of residence to discuss the best certification options for you as certification will vary from state to state.

Educational Requirements in Medical Assisting

Medical assistant programs provide the knowledge necessary to operate and finish duties within a medical environment such as a clinic or a hospital. Medical assistant programs will offer an associate's degree or certificate depending on the program and typically take between one to two years to complete based on the type of program one is enrolled in. The primary difference between the two is that a certification program offers only classes that are directly related to medical assistance whereas an associate's degree will also have general education courses necessary to earn a degree and the credits earned from which may also be used when pursuing higher level education.

An education in medical assisting may be obtained through private career colleges, specialized schools or community and junior colleges. Such schools typically provide the program and curriculum necessary to successfully enter the field of medical assistance. Students interested in entering the field may find that community and junior colleges generally have lower cost educations versus the accelerated curriculum of a private career college or specialized school.

Courses one may encounter in a medical assistant program include:

  • Medical Terminology
  • Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology
  • First Aid
  • Medical Laws and Ethics
  • Pharmacology
Schools Other Students Requested Information From:

Employment Information and Medical Specializations

Though medical assistants do not need a post-secondary education to find work, it has become increasingly difficult to do so. Potential employers are quickly turning toward trained professionals to bring into the work place and it is prudent to consider at least a certificate program if one plans to enter the field. Medical assistants will help organize, file, and diagnose patients, if one is licensed to do so, among other tasks. Medical assistants working in a clinical setting may be required to obtain a license depending on state law.

Medical assistants primarily work in clinics and hospitals, though they may be found in smaller practices to assist physicians. The work done by a medical assistant assists in the day to day care of patients as well as administrative tasks as determined by the employer. Medical assistant will work under the supervision of nurses and physicians, as well as medical administrators.

Medical assistants may also pursue specializations, particularly in larger hospitals that require specific skills sets for specific areas of medicine. Such medical assistants may experience an increase in pay and responsibilities as specialization requires the development of new skills and additional knowledge. Clinical, pediatric, and administrative specializations are just some of the many fields a medical assistant may enter. Individuals pursuing long term careers will most likely cover several specializations, as well as expanding their overall skill set in order to provide as many services as possible for their patients and employers.

What Job Settings Exist for a Medical Assistant?

The job settings for a medical assistant can vary from employer to employer and diverge from one region of the country to the next. Generally, Medical Assistants can work in a hospital, doctors office, outpatient clinic, healthcare facility, or physicians office. It is important to understand that over 50% of medical assistants work in a physicians office.

Medical Assistants will typically work full time and mirror the hours of the clinic or medical office. The exception to this rule of thumb is the on-call work environment of an ambulatory medical assistant who works on-demand during a designated shift. Hiring managers and physicians look for articulate, well educated, medical assistants with exceptional communication skills and compassion for others.

Job Growth, Salary and Career Outlook for MA's

Work for medical assistants is expected to grow rapidly over the coming years as a large portion of the population grows older. Demand for medical care will increase, as will the need for medical assistants. The overall demand over the next decade is expected to increase 31%. The increase in the number of health center, hospitals, care facilities, clinics and other service providers will create a number of new positions resulting in more opportunities to go along with opening in previously existing positions due to retirement or turnover.

The job outlook for Medical Assistants is exceptionally bright as this sector is set to grow 23% through 2024 which is over 3 times the national composite rate for all occupations during this same time frame. The median annual income for a Medical Assistant is $31,540 with a projected 262,100 job openings during this reporting period. The rapid growth is due, in part, to an aging population of baby-boomers who need of medical care coupled with a robust healthcare system. It stands to reason more and more clinics and medical offices will continue opening for the foreseeable future to help satisfy a growing demand over the coming decade.

States with the Highest Employment for Medical Assistants

  • California 83,230
  • Texas 57,960
  • Florida 50,550
  • Pennsylvania 26,760
  • New York 23,870

Highest Paying States for a Medical Assistant

  1. Alaska $41,340
  2. District of Columbia $39,500
  3. Massachusetts $38,990
  4. Washington $38,020
  5. Minnesota $37,560

Largest Employers of Medical Assistants

  • Physicians Offices 361,890
  • Medical & Surgical Hospitals 90,730
  • Health Practitioners 54,930
  • Outpatient Care Facilities 53,760
  • Assisted Living Facilities 9,760

Those interested in becoming a medical assistant may also wish to consider a career as aphysical therapist assistant, pharmacy technician, oroccupational therapist assistant. For additional information about the Medical Assistant profession, please visit our blog for a career overview and important details about the profession.

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