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The Best Online Medical Assistant Schools & Programs in 2020

Review 2020’s best online medical assistant schools and programs, get details on accreditation, and read about financing options for your training needs. Take the first step toward your medical assistant degree today.
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MEET THE EXPERT

Alexander-Belkin
Alexander Belkin

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Alexander Belkin is an experienced medical assistant on his way to becoming a licensed physician. He has received a double major in neuroscience and biology from Brandeis University and is experienced in internal medicine, family medicine, emergency medicine, surgery, pediatrics, oncology, neurology, and clinical pathology. When he’s not at the hospital, Alex works with the United States Medical Licensing Examination board creating study material and practice exams.

Online medical assistant programs give you the chance to earn your credential at your own pace. But with so many options out there, which one is right for you? The school with the most online course options? The program with the lowest cost? What about the one with the accreditation that employers look for? To help you narrow the field, EduMed.org has created its new Best in 2020 rankings. Using data from each school and from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we’ve researched, analyzed, and ranked the best online medical assistant programs from across the U.S. Specifically, we wanted to see who offers the best combination of online program availability, affordability, student services, and career placement. See who’s making the grade in 2020.

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About the ranking

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Methodology for EduMed’s 2020 Rankings

To be considered for this ranking, each school must have the following:

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Program(s) offered at least partially online.

School Metrics Explained

EduMed.org data scientists analyzed government higher education data and created a proprietary algorithm to rank each U.S. postsecondary institution and its online programs using 5 primary factors:

  • Cost: Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Online Program Availability: Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to Department of Education.
  • Academic Counseling: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid: Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

About Our Data

EduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

Most recent data pull: February 2020

# 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 Southeast Community College AreaLincoln, NE Public $ 1

SCC’s Medical Assisting diploma program prepares graduates for entry-level employment as a medical assistant in the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning domains. Some coursework can be completed online but most courses will require attendance on SCC’s Lincoln campus. Additionally, students must complete a 225-hour practicum in ambulatory health, typically in a physician’s office in the Lincoln area. Students in the program sit for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential prior to graduation. An optional course is available that helps qualify students in obtaining their Nebraska Radiographer License. New students are admitted at the beginning of each term and the entire program can be completed in a minimum of three terms. Both full-time and part-time study options are available.

Program Overview:

Medical Assisting - Diploma

  • Credits: 35
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: $108/credit (Nebraska resident); $129/credit (out-of-state resident)
  • Mode: Some courses offered online
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC) (school); Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
43%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission (HLC) (school); Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) (program)
2 Houston Community CollegeHouston, TX Public $ 2

HCC offers three options for students interested in a medical assistant career. HCC’s 24-credit hour Medical Assistant – Medical Scribe Certificate Level 1 program prepares students for jobs in which they enter information into electronic medical records systems at the direction of a physician or other healthcare practitioner. The Associate of Applied Science in Allied Health with Medical Assistant Specialization degree program provides prospective and current healthcare professionals the knowledge and skills needed to both enter the medical assistant job market and to move from entry-level jobs into more advanced clinical positions. This 60-credit program consists of four semesters of coursework in general healthcare and major-specific medical assistant subjects, culminating in an in-person (practicum or field experience) capstone project. This is followed by a fifth semester of general education courses. HCC additionally offers a four-semester Medical Assistant – Specialization – Certificate Level 2 program with a curriculum that consists of the same major-specific coursework as the AAS degree minus the general education course requirements.

Program Overviews:

Medical Assistant – Medical Scribe Certificate Level 1/Hybrid Option

  • Credits: 24
  • Length: 6 months
  • Cost: $1,830.00 (total est. cost, in-district); $4,134 (total est. cost, out-of-district)
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school); CAAHEP (program)

Medical Assistant – Specialization – Certificate Level 2

  • Credits: 43
  • Length: 15 months
  • Cost: $3,306.50 (total est. cost, in-district); $7,434.50 (total est. cost, out-of-district)
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school); CAAHEP (program)

Associate of Applied Science in Allied Health with Medical Assistant Specialization

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: 24 months
  • Cost: $4,584 (total est. cost, in-district); $10,344 (total est. cost, out-of-district)
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school); CAAHEP (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
7%
AccreditationSACSCOC (school); CAAHEP (program)
3 Northeast Wisconsin Technical CollegeGreen Bay, WI Public $ 1

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s Medical Assistant Technical Diploma prepares graduates for entry-level MA clinical and administrative positions in doctor’s offices and other facilities where patients are treated, as well as medical labs, medical records departments, and with insurance providers.

The program is available in an 18-month (four semesters, including one in the summer) format that combines online and weekend on-campus coursework with an in-person full-time 184-hour clinical practicum at an approved physician’s office or other healthcare facility. Graduates are eligible to sit for the CMA exam. Additionally, graduates who earn their CMA or RMA certification and complete 3000 hours in a professional MA position may apply for NWTC’s Medical Assistant to Practical Nursing bridge program.

Program Overview:

Medical Assistant Technical Diploma

  • Credits: 33
  • Length: 18 months (part-time)
  • Cost: $5,000 (est. total program cost)
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school); CAAHEP (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
12%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission (school); CAAHEP (program)
4 Cerro Coso Community CollegeRidgecrest, CA Public $ 1

Cerro Coso Community College offers three programs that feature substantial online coursework. The partially-online Associate of Science – Medical Assistant degree requires two years of full-time study and consists of general education and medical assistant core and either administrative medical assisting or clinical medical assisting coursework. The AS program is available through the Kern River Valley and Ridgecrest/IWV campuses. The Administrative Medical Assisting Certificate program requires completion of 20.5 credits of core and administrative medical assisting courses, all of which are available entirely online. Cerro Coso’s 20.5-credit Clinical Medical Assisting Certificate can be completed partially online, with required on-campus classes taken on the Ridgecrest/IWV campus. All three programs include an in-person externship that is completed in a physician’s office or clinic providing patient care.

Program Overviews:

AS Medical Assistant

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: 24 months
  • Cost: $6,360 CA (resident); $20,100 (out-of-state resident) (est. total cost)
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: ACCJC (school); CCBMA (program authorization)

Administrative Medical Assisting Certificate

  • Credits: 20.5
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: $2,173 CA (resident); $6,868 (out-of-state resident) (est. total cost)
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC) (school); CCBMA (program authorization)

Clinical Medical Assisting Certificate

  • Credits: 20.5
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: $2,173 CA resident, $6,868 out-of-state resident (est. total cost)
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: ACCJC (school); CCBMA (program authorization)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationAccrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC) (school); CCBMA (program authorization)
5 SUNY Broome Community CollegeBinghamton, NY Public $$ 1

SUNY Broome Community College offers two medical assistant credentials that feature some coursework that can be completed online. The Associate of Applied Science Medical Assistant degree program prepares both students interested in immediately starting their careers after graduation and students planning to transfer on to a bachelor’s program in a medical assisting or related field. The 64-credit program requires two years (four semesters) of general education and major-specific coursework, and includes in-person practicums (16 total clinical hours) that can be completed in one of a variety of approved healthcare facilities. SUNY Broome’s Medical Administrative Skills Certificate program can be completed in one year (two semesters). All coursework for this certificate program is fully-transferable into the AAS Medical Assistant program.

Program Overviews:

AAS Medical Assistant

  • Credits: 64
  • Length: 24 months
  • Cost: $9,888 (est. total cost) (New York state resident); $19,776 (est. total cost) (non-NY state resident)
  • Mode: Some courses offered online.
  • Accreditation: MSCHE (school); CAAHEP (programs)

Medical Administrative Skills Certificate

  • Credits: 30-31
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: $4,944 (est. total cost) (New York state resident); $9,888 (est. total cost) (non-NY state resident)
  • Mode: Some courses offered online.
  • Accreditation: MSCHE (school); CAAHEP (programs)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
18%
AccreditationMSCHE (school); CAAHEP (programs)
6 Carrington College-SacramentoSacramento, CA Private, For-Profit N/A 1

Carrington College offers a Medical Administrative Assistant Certificate of Achievement program that prepares students for entry-level positions in a wide variety of healthcare settings in which they perform job duties such as running the front desk, ordering supplies, sorting mail, taking calls, light bookkeeping, and more. Coursework focuses on topics that include medical terminology, anatomy, health insurance issues, law and ethics, medical coding and billing systems, scheduling, and business communication skills. The program is offered 100% online with no in-person clinical hours or externship requirements.

Program Overview:

Medical Administrative Assistant Certificate of Achievement

  • Credits: 36
  • Length: 3 months
  • Cost: $14,895
  • Mode: Fully Online
  • Accreditation: ACCJC/WASC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
43%
AccreditationACCJC/WASC
7 Northeast Texas Community CollegeMount Pleasant, TX Public $ 1

The Associate of Applied Science Medical Assistant degree from Northeast Texas Community College prepares graduates for entry-level MA positions in the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains, as well as in both the clinical and administrative aspects of MA practice. This 60-credit hour program consists of 18 credits of general education (English, math, and the natural and behavioral sciences) and 42 credits of MA concentration coursework, with the total program designed to be completed with two years of full-time study. Some courses can be completed online while others require attendance on NTCC’s Mt. Pleasant campus. Coursework include six credits (nine clinical hours per week) of in-person work-based experience in an approved physician’s office or other healthcare facility.

Program Overview:

AAS Medical Assistant

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: 2 years
  • Cost: $127/credit hour (in-district); $189/credit hour (out-of-district); $384/credit hour (out-of-state).
  • Mode: Some courses offered online.
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school); CAAHEP (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
21%
AccreditationSACSCOC (school); CAAHEP (program)
8 West Virginia Junior College-MorgantownMorgantown, WV Private, For-Profit $$$ 1

West Virginia Junior College offers a Clinical Medical Assistant Associate Degree and Medical Assisting Diploma, both of which feature online study. All coursework for both programs is completed entirely online with the exception of an on-campus (Charleston or Morgantown, West Virginia or Irwin, Pennsylvania) clinical experience (approximately 20 hours) and in-person externship (160 clinical hours) at a program-approved healthcare facility. MA students receive training in a range of patient-related medical procedures, as well as office management, insurance processing, electronic medical records, and the use of computers and computer software. Graduates qualify to sit for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam.

Program Overviews:

Clinical Medical Assistant Associate Degree

  • Credits: 94 quarter credits
  • Length: 18 months
  • Cost: $26,850 (est. total program cost)
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: ABHES (school)

Medical Assisting Diploma

  • Credits: 62 quarter credits
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: $17,900 (est. total program cost)
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: ABHES (school)

Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
31%
AccreditationABHES (school)
9 Blue Cliff CollegeAlexandria, LA Private, For-Profit N/A 1

Blue Cliff College offers two options for obtaining a medical assistant credential through partially-online study: the Clinical Medical Assistant diploma and the Clinical and Administrative Medical Assistant Associate of Occupational Studies degree. Both programs prepare students for entry-level MA positions in physician’s offices, hospitals, nursing homes, retirement communities, and more. Both programs also feature online courses. However, students in both programs complete a substantial portion of their coursework on one of the college’s six campus locations: Alexandria, LA; Fayetteville, AR; Gulfport, MS; Houma, LA; Lafayette, LA; or Metairie, LA. Graduates of the associate degree program are eligible to sit for the Medical Assistant Certification exam.

Program Overviews:

Clinical Medical Assistant Diploma

  • Credits: 53
  • Length: 9 months (day classes); 15 months (night classes)
  • Cost: $15,881 (est. total program cost)
  • Mode: Partially Online.
  • Accreditation: ACCSC (school)

AOS Clinical and Administrative Medical Assistant

  • Credits:
  • Length: 24 months
  • Cost: $33,671 (est. total program cost)
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: ACCSC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
Accreditation ACCSC (school)
10 Community Care CollegeTulsa, OK Private, Not-for-Profit N/A 1

Community Care College offers its Medical Assistant Certificate program in a hybrid online/on-campus format. Most coursework is completed online. However, students are required to attend class in-person one night a week on CCC’s Tulsa campus. Students also complete 187 clinical hours in-person at an approved healthcare facility that offers patient care, typically in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area. This 37-credit hour program can be completed in as little as nine months. Graduates of the hybrid program are not eligible to sit for the CMA certification, but may sit for the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) certification administered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT).

Program Overview:

Medical Assistant Certificate

  • Credits: 37
  • Length: 9 months
  • Cost: $18,337 (total program cost)
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: ACCSC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationACCSC
11 Pinnacle Career Institute-South Kansas CityKansas City, MO Private, For-Profit N/A 1

Pinnacle Career Institute offers its Medical Assistant Certificate program to students interested in performing either lab work or administrative duties in a range of healthcare settings. The curriculum consists of eight 5-week long classes. Coursework is completed primarily online, with students required to attend a 12-day “boot camp” that combines on-campus course and lab work with a practicum/capstone experience at a Kansas City-area health services facility. Airfare, and room and board costs are included in the tuition price. The entire program can be completed in as little as 40 weeks of full-time study. Graduates of the program qualify for CCMA certification.

Program Overview:

Medical Assistant Certificate

  • Credits: 58.5
  • Length: 10 months
  • Cost: $21,424 (est. total cost)
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: ACCSC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
9%
AccreditationACCSC
12 Daytona CollegeOrmond Beach, FL Private, For-Profit N/A 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationN/A
13 Mountain State CollegeParkersburg, WV Private, For-Profit $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationN/A
14 Remington CollegeLittle Rock, AR Private, Not-for-Profit $$$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationN/A
15 ATA CollegeLouisville, KY Private, For-Profit $$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationN/A
16 Dawn Career Institute LLCWilmington, DE Private, For-Profit N/A 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationN/A
17 Kapiolani Community CollegeHonolulu, HI Public $ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
25%
AccreditationN/A
18 Neosho County Community CollegeChanute, KS Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
75%
AccreditationN/A
19 Dakota College at BottineauBottineau, ND Public $ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
42%
AccreditationN/A

Why Online School for Medical Assisting?

There was a time when earning higher education meant sacrificing work and family obligations to sit in a classroom. But with online learning, students can get the education they need without uprooting their family, changing their schedule, or taking time off work. Here’s more on why online education for medical assisting might be right for you.

Flexibility

Online learning allows earning a certificate, diploma, or degree on a more reasonable timetable, which is great for those who have full-time jobs (or even part-time jobs!), family obligations and the like. Medical assistant programs teach a great deal of information that can be conveyed through online courses, thus making it one of the best options for those who want to work in the allied health field but don’t have the time to visit a campus multiple times per week.

Affordability

The relatively short nature of medical assistant programs online makes them affordable by nature. Instead of paying for 2 to 4 years for an associate or bachelor’s degree, some programs can be completed in as few as 3 months. Learning online can also take commuting, parking, and similar costs out of the equation, allowing you to focus your costs on the coursework and fieldwork exclusively.

Speed

In online medical assisting programs, students learn only what they need to enter the workforce with confidence. This focus on the most important knowledge and skills is why so many programs can be completed within months. Even after accounting for the time it takes to complete a certification exam and find a job, students might be looking at a total of one year from the start of the program to getting comfortable in their new profession.

Types of Online Medical Assistant Programs

There are three primary types of medical assisting programs, all of which can be taken mostly or partially online: the certificate, diploma, and the associate degree. How do you know which one to choose? That depends on a few factors, including your desired career trajectory. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the three types of online medical assistant programs available today.

Certificate

In most cases, certificates are the fastest way to learn the skills and knowledge necessary to move directly into the workforce upon graduation. Certificates can be completed in one year or less, and some programs require only a few months of study. However, they usually require an externship, which can add some time to the pursuit of the certificate. Certificates can often be earned through community colleges; if the program is accredited, students will be able to sit for a variety of exams to earn medical assisting certification.

Diploma

Associate degree

What You’ll Learn: Key Knowledge & Skills

When you take medical assisting courses, the knowledge you obtain is often applied directly to the job. That’s why each course in a program is vitally important. Since medical assistants are expected to hit the ground running when they start a new job, it’s critical to garner the knowledge and skills necessary through each course. Here are a few of the courses you can expect to take and why they matter so much.

Medical Front Office: Medical assistants handle a variety of tasks, including billing, scheduling, and other duties in the front office. Understanding how the front office works is the first step toward a smoother experience for patients.

Medical Records: Keeping up with medical records makes a tremendous difference, and the job often falls to the medical assistant. This course teaches students all they need to know to handle the electronic health records for a typical medical office.

Anatomy: Students might take several anatomy courses, all designed to give them a firm understanding of the human body and how the systems work together during times of health and illness. Knowing the basics can help graduates enter the workforce prepared.

Insurance and Billing: When dealing with front office tasks, medical assistants will often have to know the ins and outs of medical insurance, billing practices, and coding. Several courses might be devoted to this subject, although many of the detailed tasks may be reserved for certified medical billers and coders. 

Patient Examinations: Knowing how to handle a patient examination, from welcoming the patient to checking the vital signs to assisting the physician or nurse, are all important aspects of the job. Other courses might also relate to this one, such as courses in nutrition, vital signs, and common diseases.

Other courses might include phlebotomy, ethical and legal issues, a variety of laboratory tests, safety in the medical office, medical equipment and supplies, psychology, and administering medication.

How Much Does an Online Medical Assistant Program Cost?

The cost of medical assistant programs varies widely. Some programs charge by the credit hour, while others charge for the entire program from start to finish in one lump sum – this is especially true when the program is short and will be completed within the span of a typical college semester. For instance, our spotlight schools on this page range from $2,599 to $17,900 for their medical assistant programs.

To learn how you can finance your education, and for even more detail on cost, please visit our page on financial aid for online medical assistant programs.

How Long Is Medical Assistant Training?

The length of a medical assistant program depends upon the final outcome – whether you earn a certificate, diploma, or degree. Certificate and diploma programs usually take a year or less, with the certificate taking just a little less than the diploma. The associate degree often takes two years to complete, but might be finished faster if the student takes accelerated programs. To learn more about how long specific programs take to complete, check out the schools in our ranking list.

  • Does Accreditation Matter?

    Though many factors go into choosing the best online medical assisting program for you, accreditation might matter most of all. When a school or program earns accreditation, it means that school or program has been examined by an independent body and found to meet the rigorous standards of a quality education. In other words, accreditation ensures that your degree, diploma, or certificate teach you what you need to know.

    Why does this matter so much? First, it’s important to remember that federal financial aid is available only to accredited schools; attend a school without accreditation, and you will likely have to pay for it out of your own pocket. It also speaks to career advancement, as medical assistants must graduate from an accredited program in order to sit for the certification exam. And finally, employers will readily accept credentials from a person who has graduated from an accredited program, but maybe not from someone who attended a non-accredited institution.

    Medical assistant programs are accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). When learning more about a school, look for information on accreditation on the school’s website. If the accreditation is not stated there, look to one of the two agencies. If it’s still difficult to find information about accreditation, contact the school directly to get a solid answer.

  • Do I Need to Become Certified?

    In most states, certification is not a requirement. However, many employers prefer to hire those who have earned certification, as it proves that person has a strong working knowledge of all the things medical assistants need to know to begin their work. There are five certifications available for medical assistants:

    CMA

    The American Association of Medical Assistants provides the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential.

    RMA

    American Medical Technologists provides the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential.

    NCMA

    The National Center for Competency Testing offers the National Certified Medical Assistant option.

    CMAA

    The National Healthcareer Association is home to two options for medical assistants: The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)

    In most cases, an applicant must be 18 years of age or older to sit for an exam. They must have also completed certain guidelines, such as graduating from an accredited program or obtaining a certain amount of work experience. For more information, visit our page dedication to medical assistant certification online.

Financing Your Online Medical Assistant Program

Students who attend accredited medical assisting programs might be eligible for federal financial aid in the form of grants and loans. Grants are financial aid awards (often provided to those who demonstrate financial need) that do not have to be paid back. Student loans are often available for those who don’t receive enough grant money to cover their educational expenses. Loans can be subsidized, meaning the student will not pay interest until they are out of school, or unsubsidized, meaning that interest begins accruing immediately.

They might also be eligible for a variety of scholarships specifically designed for those in medical assisting or the allied health field in general. Scholarships, like grants, do not have to be paid back. However, sometimes scholarships can be quite competitive. For more info, read our full page on scholarships and financial aid options for medical assistants

Career Outlook for Medical Assistants

The career outlook for medical assistants is incredibly bright. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 29% employment growth rate from 2016-2026. To break that down a little more, the percentage translates to almost 184,000 new job openings for medical assistants across the United States. Many factors are driving the growth of medical assistant positions. Perhaps the biggest factor is an aging population; as U.S. residents get older, they require more medical care, which means busier clinics, hospitals, and private practices. Primary care in particular has a high demand for medical assistants as these practices grow to meet the influx of new patients. Though medical assistants will be needed everywhere, it’s important to remember that certification can increase your chances of getting hired, as can a strong familiarity with electronic health records.

Working as a medical assistant, you also get a thorough look at how medical offices work, as well as a peek into the jobs of others with similar positions. Medical assistants might choose to work for a while to hone their skills, and then build on their knowledge by taking more college courses – eventually moving into careers such as nursing. They might also have an opportunity to move into leadership positions, especially in a practice that might have numerous offices and a large staff to manage.

How Much Do Medical Assistants Make?

A medical assistant’s salary depends upon several factors, including the level of experience they have, whether they completed a medical assisting program (and whether it resulted in a certificate, diploma or associate degree), and the area in which a person chooses to work. The following table provides some pertinent information on medical assisting salaries.

Percentile
Hourly Wage
Annual Wage
10%
$11.46
$23,830
25%
$13.26
$27,580
50%
$15.61
$32,480
75%
$18.43
$38,340
90%
$22.07
$45,900

All numbers from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics