The Best Online Medical Administrative Assistant Programs

Find the top-rated and most affordable MAA programs, learn about financial aid options, and launch your healthcare career.

Search hundreds of schools
for the degree you want ......

I want my
In

Written By
Edumed Staff

last updated

Last Updated: 09/21/2021
——

It’s exciting. Online medical administrative assistant programs offer a flexible way to become a medical office assistant in fewer than 12 months. Grads enjoy excellent job prospects and hold professional certifications. And the skills you learn by managing a medical office translate to key skills for roles in business and other professions. Taking the first step may seem tough, but we’ve researched and vetted the top online medical administrative assistant programs from schools across the U.S. with proper accreditation and an affordable price tag. See which schools can move your medical administrative assistant education forward.

or
About the ranking

X

Methodology for EduMed’s 2021 Best Online Programs

1. Create List of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • At least one program in subject area offered partially or fully online.

2. Assign Weightings

After creating the list of eligible schools, EduMed data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of affordability, support services, and online program availability metrics. Online program availability and overall affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.

Online Program Availability

  • Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education.

Affordability

  • Cost – Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid – Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

Support Services

  • Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement – Existence of this service on campus or online.

About Our Data

EduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2021

# School Name Type Cost Online Programs More Details School Information Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students w/Institutional Aid Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry Accreditation
1 Northcentral Technical CollegeWausau, WI Public $ 2

Northcentral Technical College offers a 31-credit medical office specialist technical diploma that can be completed 100% online. The program prepares students to work in a physician’s office, clinic, hospital, or wherever knowledge of medical terminology, professional procedures, and ethics is required. Duties of a medical office specialist may include obtaining and verifying patient registration information, transcribing medical dictation, and preparing patient billing and insurance claims. The program costs approximately $5,500, with financial aid available to qualified students. Classes include records management, medical terminology, healthcare documentation, electronic business communications, and professional development.

Program Highlights:

Medical Assistant Technical Diploma

  • Credits: 33-34
  • Length: 2 terms (full-time)
  • Cost: $138.90/credit (in-state); $208.35 (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Fully Online
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
11%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
2 Northwood Technical CollegeShell Lake, WI Public $ 2

Northwood Technical College offers a medical administrative professional associate degree that trains students to perform administrative duties in a healthcare setting. Some of the business-related tasks include scheduling appointments, registering patients, medical billing, filing insurance claims, and maintaining medical records. Students who complete this program can also receive a diploma as a Healthcare Receptionist, Health Office Professional, and Medical Billing Specialist. The two-year, 60-credit program includes classes that can be taken online, on-campus, or live online during the class period. At the end of the program, students complete a 72-hour externship in a healthcare facility.

Program Highlights:

Medical Administrative Professional

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: 2 years
  • Cost: $155-$160/credit (in-state); $225.50/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Fully Online or Hybrid
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
16%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
3 Century CollegeWhite Bear Lake, MN Public $ 2

Century College offers a medical office assistant program for students looking to enter the healthcare field in settings such as hospitals, dental offices, long-term-care facilities, and government agencies. Students choose between the administrative track or the coding track to tailor their skills to their preferred profession. The program consists of 60 credits and, after completion, students will be prepared to take the Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) credentialing exam. Many courses are offered in a flexible online format. To be accepted into the program, students are expected to have a typing speed of 30 words per minute with 85% accuracy and have adequate reading and English skills.

Program Highlights:

Medical Office Assistant, Administrative Track, AAS

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: 2 years
  • Cost: $189.94-$196.89/credit (in- and out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: HLC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
4 Minnesota State Community and Technical CollegeFergus Falls, MN Public $ 2

Minnesota State Community and Technical College offers a medical administrative assistant program designed for students looking to enter the medical setting. Graduating students will have the skills and knowledge to become highly professional medical office specialists with the skills for both medical and administrative duties, including lab work, collecting specimens, taking vitals, scheduling appointments, billing, and more. The degree consists of 60 credits that can be taken online for students who are looking for flexibility and convenience, with the option of transferring 50 of those credits toward a bachelor’s degree in Health Service Administration.

Program Highlights:

Medical Administrative Assistant

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: two years
  • Cost: $175.55-$198.95/credit (in- and out-of-state)
  • Mode: Fully Online
  • Accreditation: HLC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
5%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
5 Dakota County Technical CollegeRosemount, MN Public $$ 2

Dakota County Technical College offers a medical assistant associate degree (60 credits) or diploma (42 credits) that is offered partially online. Students gain the knowledge and skills to be an effective assistant in medical and clinical settings, including cross-training in medical procedures as well as administrative duties. DCTC offers daytime or evening classes both full-time and part-time to accommodate all kinds of students. The medical assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. To be admitted, students must have a high school diploma or GED and pass a reading comprehension test.

Program Highlights:

Medical Assistant Associate Degree

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: 2 years
  • Cost: $223.42/credit (in- and out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP

Medical Assistant Diploma

  • Credits: 42
  • Length: 1 year
  • Cost: $223.42/credit (in- and out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
19%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
6 Riverland Community CollegeAustin, MN Public $ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
17%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
7 Saint Paul CollegeSaint Paul, MN Public $ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
8 Minnesota State College SoutheastWinona, MN Public $$ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
9 Ridgewater CollegeWillmar, MN Public $$ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
10 Northwest Technical CollegeBemidji, MN Public $$ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
7%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
11 Danville Area Community CollegeDanville, IL Public $$ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
8%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
12 West Virginia Junior College-CharlestonCharleston, WV Private, For-Profit $$$ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
30%
AccreditationAccrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
or
About the ranking

X

Methodology for EduMed’s 2021 Best Online Programs

1. Create List of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • At least one program in subject area offered partially or fully online.

2. Assign Weightings

After creating the list of eligible schools, EduMed data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of affordability, support services, and online program availability metrics. Online program availability and overall affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.

Online Program Availability

  • Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education.

Affordability

  • Cost – Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid – Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

Support Services

  • Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement – Existence of this service on campus or online.

About Our Data

EduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2021

# School Name Type Cost Online Programs More Details School Information Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students w/Institutional Aid Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry Accreditation
1 Yakima Valley CollegeYakima, WA Public $ 2

Yakima Valley College offers both a certificate and an associate degree in medical assisting. The program prepares graduates for entry-level positions as medical assistants with a thorough curriculum in business administration duties such as filing, billing, and scheduling, as well as medical duties such as assisting with medical exams, phlebotomy, checking vital signs, and administering injections. Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, this program combines online learning with hands-on practicum experience to give students the knowledge and skills to be successful in healthcare settings.

Program Highlights:

Medical Assisting, AAS

  • Credits: 90
  • Length: 7 quarters
  • Cost: $129.55/credit (in-state); $144.77/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP

Medical Assisting Certificate

  • Credits: 66
  • Length: 4 quarters
  • Cost: $129.55/credit (in-state); $144.77/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
17%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
2 College of Southern NevadaLas Vegas, NV Public $ 1

The College of Southern Nevada offers a medical assisting program with online, in-person, and clinical components. Students learn clinical and administrative duties, such as phlebotomy, collecting samples, taking vitals, billing, and scheduling appointments, that will qualify them to take the national certification exam and earn the credential of Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) through the American Association of Medical Assistants. Students who complete the certificate can choose to be a laboratory assistant, billing clerk, office assistant, and more. This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

Program Highlights:

Medical Assisting, Certificate of Achievement

  • Credits: 41
  • Length: 3 semesters
  • Cost: $109.75-$180/credit (in-state); $120.75-$198/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
21%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
3 Madison Area Technical CollegeMadison, WI Public $ 1

Madison Area Technical College offers a medical administrative specialist associate degree completely online that only requires 63 credits. The program can be delivered totally online or in a hybrid format combining in-person and online courses. Students take classes such as medical language, keyboard skill-building, business spreadsheet applications, communication skills, medical procedures, and business management procedures to give them the skills and knowledge necessary to work in a hospital, doctor’s office, or clinical setting. Students who complete the program will be qualified to sit for certifications through National Healthcareer Association (NHA), including Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA), Certified Billing & Coding Specialist (CBCS), and/or Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS).

Program Highlights:

Medical Administrative Specialist

  • Credits: 63
  • Length: 2 years
  • Cost: $138.90/credit (in-state); $208.35/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: HLC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
17%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
4 Arkansas Tech UniversityRussellville, AR Public $$ 1

Arkansas Tech University (ATU) offers a medical assisting associate degree in a blended format with online coursework and hands-on lab work. Students learn skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, effective communication, and teamwork to give them the experience to obtain an entry-level position as a medical assistant. This program requires an internship of 160 hours in a medical facility such as a hospital, clinic, or pharmacy. ATU’s medical assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs and offers an exam pass rate of over 90 percent.

Program Highlights:

Medical Assisting Associate Degree

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: 2 years
  • Cost: $129/credit (in-state), $258/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
45%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
5 Renton Technical CollegeRenton, WA Public $ 2

Renton Technical College offers a medical assisting certificate (70 credits) and associate degree (90 credits) that have some courses available online. Students learn both administrative and medical duties such as billing, transcription, filing, taking vitals, sterilizing equipment, assisting in minor surgeries, administering medication and injections, and more. To be admitted to the program, students must have a high school diploma or GED, be fluent in English, and be up to date on all vaccinations. Students who graduate will be prepared to sit for exams and obtain an entry-level position as a medical assistant in a healthcare setting. This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

Program Highlights:

Medical Assistant Associate Degree

  • Credits: 90
  • Length: 6 quarters
  • Cost: $130.04/credit (in-state); $145/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP

Medical Assistant Certificate of Achievement

  • Credits: 70
  • Length: 4 quarters
  • Cost: $130.04/credit (in-state); $145/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
10%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
6 Seattle Central CollegeSeattle, WA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
14%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Profiling Online Medical Administrative Assistant Programs

As you research online medical assistant programs, it can be helpful to look at real-world programs to get a better sense of what to expect — from how much it will cost to class structure and online learning support. While every school is different, the three we’ve profiled below will give you a great preview of what it’s like to earn your online medical assistant credential online.

San Francisco State University

San Francisco State’s “Medical Administrative Assistant” program consists of a self-paced online course followed by a voluntary 40-hour clinical externship. Students learn how to navigate the practice and ethical responsibilities in the medical industry. The comprehensive online course covers the role of the assistant, legal and ethical issues (including compliance), terminology and technology in a healthcare setting, financial and practice management. Other studies include a HIPAA review and patient bill of rights, medical records management, and insurance coverage and billing/coding procedures. You can take advantage of the career center that provides job search resources, career guidance, cover letter and resume writing. Online courses have 24/7 instructor support, student exercises, videos, labs, and animated simulations. The voluntary externship places you in the heart of the healthcare industry and provides contacts and mentorship for employment. Students receive six months access, all textbooks, and related course materials when they register. Tuition is $1,399 for the full program and financial aid programs are available.

Ashworth College

Ashworth’s 10-month medical administrative assistant certificate program is built around a flexible online study model that allows students to complete their learning at their own pace. Even students who haven’t been in school for a number of years will find easy access to the required 14 lessons and faculty support. Tools include the Binder mobile app that allows students to take their program wherever they go and ProQuest digital access to thousands of research resources. The certificate program features a continuum-based course of study from online lessons to career services. Entering students are automatically given access to Ashworth EDGE, a toolkit that provides assistance with a step-by-step course for building your resume, drafting cover letters, and interviewing – a service you can continue to use after you graduate. Tuition is $599 for students who pay up-front or $799 for students using monthly payments as low as $49/month. At specific times during the year, Ashworth offers slashed tuition rates. For example, a recent offer allowed students to start their accredited program for as little as $1.

Grantham University

Grantham University’s 18 credit-hour medical administrative assistant program is accelerated and 100% online. It can be completed in less than a year, compared with many online and campus programs requiring 12-30 credits with a year and a half commitment. The six courses in Grantham’s program focuses the healthcare delivery system, medical terminology, and key skills needed in medical office assisting. New courses are offered monthly. In the program, students receive assistance with job searches, resumes, and practice interviews. They also create an ePortfolio of their skills and experiences to show potential employers. The career-focused program is designed to prepare students for certification. In fact, the final capstone course requires students to visit a testing facility to take their Medical Administrative Assistant Certification (CMAA) exam. Fees for the examination are included in the cost of the program. The undergraduate tuition is $295 per credit hour. Grantham also offers financial aid packages and provides tuition discounts to first responders, military members, veterans, and civil servants.

Inside Online Medical Administrative Assistant Programs

Before leaping into an online medical administrative assistant program, do your research. This page helps you discover the best path to the physician’s office and the best price. That means understanding the coursework, school accreditations, and financial aid resources to pay for your education. We’ll also outline career prospects and salaries and the differences between a clerical or clinical assistant.

What does an online medical administrative assistant program cover?

Each online medical administrative assistant program sets its own requirements, affecting the number and type of classes needed for graduation. However, the core subjects are based on medical industry standards. Make sure the curriculum at your target schools aim toward securing your certification. The following list identifies the core classes that most programs have in common:

Medical terminology

All allied healthcare workers must learn the basic vocabulary of communications between staff, physicians and patients. Interactive online lessons will help you to apply your learning to related physiology or anatomy. Understand the basic language of procedural terminology, abbreviations, and diagnostics. Students learn how use the language roots for analyzing and pronouncing medical terms.

The Profession of Medical Assisting

This course introduces students to the profession, its history, and options for career advancement in the allied health fields. Learn about administrative and clerical duties, certification requirements, and medical/surgical specialties. The course includes studies in law and ethics, informed consent, HIPAA requirements, the Hippocratic oath and the Patient’s Bill of Rights.

Medical Records

Students learn the fundamental procedures for charting with the SOAP charting methodology. Covers the range of cross-referenced systems in allied health and coding systems for numeric, alphabetic, and color-coded filing. Learn the required HIPAA compliance for electronic records and how to address procedural problems such as converting from paper to digital records.

Legal/Ethical issues

As a key member of the office, you’ll help ensure that both medical staff and patients are protected by laws relative to patient privacy and medical malpractice. Learn the different types of malpractice and burden of proof of the patient’s reporting responsibilities. We’ll also cover HIPAA compliance.

Insurance and claims

This course will navigate the different insurance and claims systems that may vary from provider to provider. Learn the distinctions between HMOs, PPOs, and traditional programs. Explore the differences between individual, group, and government-sponsored benefits. The course will focus on health insurance and medical claim forms currently used by allied health professionals.


The organizational and clerical skills you’ll learn at school can also be beneficial in pursuing jobs outside of a physician’s office. The use of office equipment, providing friendly customer reception, using billing software, multitasking and the ability to handle phones are all basic assets to have in a non-medical business environment. Here are Here’s a list of core skills you’ll develop in a medical administrative assistant program:

  • Customer service
  • Medical terminology and transcription
  • Insurance processing, billing and coding
  • Communications etiquette and empathy
  • Bookkeeping

How is a medical administrative assistant different than a medical assistant?

While the terms “medical administrative assistant” and medical assistant” are often considered to be the same, the key duties are not interchangeable. Medical administrative assistants keep the medical office or clinic functioning smoothly. Clinical medical assistants may undertake some clerical tasks, but their main responsibility lies in assisting the physician. The following table breaks out the distinctions:

Medical Administrative Assistants Medical Assistants
Schedules appointments Takes vital signs, administers injections
Maintains medical records Administers injections and medications
Codes procedures for insurance claims Assists physicians during examinations
Updates medical office inventory Prepares blood draws and x-rays
Coordinates visits to labs and other providers Creates and maintains medical histories

How long does it take to earn medical administrative assistant certification online?

Online MAA certification programs take about one year if the student can attend on a full-time basis. Some accelerated online programs can be completed in 9 months. It can take a few months following graduation to earn your formal certification by passing the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant exam (CMAA). The program may also offer a voluntary externship to build experience, so that program will last a week or two longer. If you go to school on a part-time basis, the additional time to complete the program depends entirely on how many courses you can take and complete at a time.

How much does an online medical admin assistant program cost?

Calculating the cost of your online medical administrative assistant training has many variables to juggle. Tuition can vary by the type of school (community college or private assisting school), any required commuting to voluntary externships, the length of the program and how many courses are required for completion. If cost is your number one issue, contact prospective schools to inquire about enrollment deals. For instance, you could sign up for your first semester for as little as a dollar and pay off your tuition in monthly installments. You may qualify for federal or state grants to offset the total costs. Monthly tuition is higher than if you pay it all upfront. For the cost of a specific online program, find a school in the ranking above and visit its tuition and fees page. To see the range of costs, here’s a sampling of five online programs and their in-state tuition rates:

Purdue University Global
$371 per credit

Penn Foster College
$79 per credit

Three Rivers Community College
$244 per credit

Pierpont Community College
$206 per credit

Paying for Your Online Medical Office Assistant Program

Lining up your financial aid can spare you needless worry about paying for your MAA program. But you’ll have to start applying for aid as soon as possible. There are fewer federal financial aid programs for undergraduate certificates than there are for undergraduate degree programs. Beware, not all schools will accept students dependent on federal financial aid or private student loans. But take heart: there are many ways to receive tuition assistance. Let’s look them over:

1 Scholarships

There are a number of scholarships that do not need to be repaid for medical assistant students. Some are offered by the college, some by allied health professional organizations, some by individual states and others from medical assistant associations. There are online search websites such as Fastweb that can direct you to the right MAA scholarships. For example, California offers scholarships to medical assistant programs through the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. On the national level, AARP offers scholarships for women 50-years or older go to college based on need. Applications for scholarships need to be made at least several months before school begins.

2 Financial aid

There’s a common way to will measure your ability to pay and send your results to your prospective schools. You start the aid process by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). The process also evaluates your parents’ ability to contribute. Students should call the admissions or financial aid office of target program to see what’s available. Find out more at our financial aid page.

3 Loans

Don’t feel alone if you need to borrow money. The National Center for Educational Statistics reports that 46 percent of first-time college students take loans. Loans have to be repaid, so borrow carefully. Loans are available from the Federal government, from banks and credit unions, and private lenders.

4 Grants

There are grants available from the Federal government, state governments, national associations or trade organizations. One of the most-common grants is the Federal Pell Grant that offers $6,195 to first-time college students. The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) pays from $100 to $4,000 a year to supplement students that cannot afford school from a Pell Grant alone.

5 Tuition discounts

Depending on the institution, colleges offering an online MAA program offer discounts for enrolling students. These can be enticements to sign up near the application deadline for the school. Other deals include a small down payment plan for signing up for the program letting you pay off the balance. Others have interest-free installment plans, but the total repayment can cost more if you don’t pay it all upfront. Check with the allied health department or college that you have in mind.

The Importance of Accreditation

It can be a mistake to attend a school or MAA certificate program that is not accredited. The right accreditation means a program’s curriculum has been approved by independent academic evaluators endorsed by the Department of Education. There are several types of accreditation: Institutional accreditation covers the entire school. Programmatic accreditation is offered to individual academic departments or specific programs. Employers in healthcare pay close attention to accreditation. They want to know that job applicants are fully prepared for their medical administrative roles before they hire them. There are other severe, negative implications. Students at schools and programs that are not accredited do not receive Federal financial aid of any kind. Moreover, graduates will not be eligible to sit for National Healthcare Association’s Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) exams. Accreditation is voluntary. In exploring schools, be on the watch for a programmatic accreditation from The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Online institutions and programs can be accredited as well, typically by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).

After Your Medical Administrative Assistant Program Online

It’s important to understand the big picture. Before signing up for a certificate program, students are rightfully curious to know how to get a license, whether there will be jobs for them, and how much they can expect to be paid. Can you continue your education to assume roles with greater responsibility and better pay? That’s what this section is all about.

Do I need certification or licensure to work in as a medical admin assistant?

According to the Department of Labor, medical administrative assistants are not required to hold certification in most states. But you can increase your hiring potential to gain certification and you can find even more opportunities by earning optional certifications. The most-common certification employers are looking for is offered after you pass the CMA Certification Exam from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Grads can also receive certification as a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) from American Medical Technologists. Optional certifications can also give your career a boost. For example, the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) from the National Healthcareer Association tells employers that you have a special aptitude for handling clerical tasks.

MOA-Certification
MOA-Certification

How much can you earn as a medical administrative assistant?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that medical assistants earn a median annual wage of $33,610. Your pay increases with experience. The lowest salary nationwide is $24,790, with a top-end of more than $47,250. The variables that can affect your salary is your education level, your certifications, and your experience. It may be worthwhile to complete a voluntary externship. The cost of living for your community also matters.

The following table shows estimated salaries for medical assistants and medical administrative assistants by experience level across the United States:

Created with Raphaël 2.1.0NHVTRINJDEMDDCMACTHIAKFLMENYPAVAWVOHINILWINCTNARMOGASCKYALLAMSIAMNOKTXNMKSNESDNDWYMTCOUTAZNVORWAIDCAMI
Area Name Employment Entry-Level Early Career Mid-Career Experienced Late Career
Alabama 9,180 $20,840 $23,890 $27,980 $31,800 $37,870
Alaska 1,820 $34,360 $38,520 $44,230 $49,700 $57,410
Arizona 18,250 $25,900 $28,660 $32,880 $37,470 $40,850
Arkansas 3,790 $21,860 $25,520 $29,330 $34,150 $39,180
California 92,960 $25,600 $29,820 $36,080 $45,150 $55,830
Colorado 11,150 $26,590 $30,900 $35,640 $40,460 $47,960
Connecticut 7,700 $27,880 $32,640 $36,950 $42,440 $50,900
Delaware 2,560 $23,770 $27,810 $32,560 $38,410 $45,000
District of Columbia 1,970 $29,160 $34,330 $41,500 $48,080 $55,320
Florida 55,330 $24,700 $27,790 $32,170 $37,510 $41,960
Georgia 24,570 $23,040 $27,100 $31,790 $37,080 $41,160
Hawaii 3,600 $27,360 $31,900 $37,420 $44,530 $50,240
Idaho 3,170 $25,340 $28,900 $33,850 $38,190 $41,570
Illinois 23,830 $25,700 $29,270 $34,640 $40,150 $48,730
Indiana 14,810 $25,300 $27,970 $32,110 $37,040 $40,490
Iowa 5,090 $26,350 $29,810 $34,700 $39,200 $46,130
Kansas 4,240 $22,880 $26,490 $30,540 $35,930 $40,420
Kentucky 8,970 $23,230 $26,990 $31,290 $36,670 $40,900
Louisiana 8,490 $20,040 $23,460 $28,120 $32,850 $38,570
Maine 4,180 $27,260 $30,510 $34,940 $39,300 $45,250
Maryland 12,630 $26,840 $30,500 $35,270 $40,030 $47,830
Massachusetts 13,710 $30,700 $34,410 $39,240 $46,010 $51,120
Michigan 23,680 $25,250 $27,980 $31,900 $37,170 $40,940
Minnesota 10,010 $32,060 $35,180 $39,880 $46,280 $50,610
Mississippi 3,160 $21,810 $25,280 $28,770 $32,540 $39,250
Missouri 10,260 $22,770 $27,080 $32,200 $37,290 $41,110
Montana 1,120 $26,480 $29,470 $34,070 $38,610 $44,890
Nebraska 2,630 $25,000 $28,290 $33,660 $40,200 $47,750
Nevada 6,220 $25,590 $28,500 $32,950 $38,020 $43,740
New Hampshire 2,550 $28,790 $32,670 $36,400 $40,160 $46,400
New Jersey 19,110 $26,300 $29,960 $35,290 $40,650 $48,400
New Mexico 5,960 $22,560 $26,500 $30,050 $35,420 $39,880
New York 26,080 $27,280 $31,340 $36,640 $43,490 $49,940
North Carolina 18,340 $24,940 $28,160 $32,710 $37,350 $40,820
North Dakota 580 $28,100 $32,800 $36,480 $40,130 $46,730
Ohio 23,930 $23,690 $27,290 $31,680 $36,730 $40,180
Oklahoma 8,310 $22,620 $26,330 $30,200 $35,600 $39,740
Oregon 12,960 $27,120 $32,880 $38,200 $44,720 $49,540
Pennsylvania 27,590 $24,310 $27,720 $31,830 $37,450 $43,100
Rhode Island 2,390 $28,290 $32,320 $35,880 $39,360 $43,550
South Carolina 9,800 $23,480 $27,290 $31,220 $36,630 $40,700
South Dakota 950 $24,150 $26,870 $29,660 $33,110 $37,510
Tennessee 14,070 $23,390 $27,110 $31,220 $36,930 $41,710
Texas 59,930 $22,080 $26,340 $31,030 $36,950 $41,240
Utah 7,020 $25,970 $28,420 $32,320 $37,340 $40,860
Vermont 850 $29,070 $32,840 $36,300 $40,150 $48,240
Virgin Islands 60 $24,350 $27,090 $30,250 $35,650 $41,990
Virginia 14,170 $24,820 $28,560 $33,710 $39,670 $48,700
Washington 14,450 $31,490 $35,210 $40,620 $47,560 $52,920
West Virginia 3,520 $21,500 $24,330 $27,810 $31,110 $36,240
Wisconsin 11,350 $27,980 $32,430 $36,430 $40,440 $46,840
Wyoming 660 $24,950 $28,330 $33,430 $38,390 $44,610
Load More

Continuing Education & Related Degrees

As with most careers involving certification or licensing, medical administrative assistants are required to renew their credentials by completing additional education. The American Association of Medical Assistants requires working assistants to complete 60 continuing education points in a three-year period to remain certified. But there are other significant reasons to continue your education. Perhaps you want to add an undergraduate degree to create more healthcare opportunities that offer higher wages. Or you can pivot from assisting directly into another branch of healthcare. Many schools offer credit for your previous college courses, shortening your time to complete the program. If you’re already working as an assistant, online allied health programs allow you to tailor your schooling around your daily commitments. Here’s a look at a few of the degree options that may be a good fit, even if you’re still in your MAA program:

Continuing Education

Continuing Education

Online Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN):

Medical administrative assistants often find themselves called to the nursing profession. With the two-year Online Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), you can complete your coursework from the location of your choice, but typically must attend clinical labs at a designated location. The programs take from 2 to 3 years to complete. Some employers seek graduates of four-year baccalaureate nursing programs, but a registered or licensed ADN can find ample opportunities at hospitals, clinics and physicians’ offices. You must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

Online Associate Degree in Health Science:

Graduates from a two-year associate program in health science are prepared to serve in a variety of roles in healthcare assisting in specialties including patient care, health information management, insurance, and patient communication. Students increase their core knowledge in the health sector, including the fields of compliance, human resources, licensing, and community health. The degree might be suited for people changing fields or licensed practical or vocational nurses who want to complete a non-nursing degree in the business of healthcare.

Related Degrees

Related Degrees

Online Medical Assistant Programs:

Medical assisting certificate programs are designed for those who want to help in the examination room in concert with the physician. It is not a front-office specialty. It takes about a year to finish these programs that are offered at community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates of accredited online programs can sit for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam offered by the National Healthcareer Association.

Online Medical Billing & Coding Schools:

The online certificate programs are designed specifically for MAA’s who want to focus on the business side of healthcare. They take approximately 10 months to complete. Students are prepared to work with invoicing, coding for medical procedures, and insurance claims. Upon completion of the program, graduates can take the Certified Professional Biller (CPB) or Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam from the American Association of Professional Coders.