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Best Online Medical Assistant Programs in Ohio

Online medical assistant certification programs are popular in Ohio for good reason. Here’s what you need to know about enrolling in online certification programs in the Buckeye State.

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Medical assistants form the backbone of the allied healthcare world. They provide front and back-office support to other members of the medical team at hospitals, clinics, and physicians’ offices across the country. Given their importance, it’s no surprise that these professionals are in high demand in Ohio. In fact, the Ohio Department of Higher Education reported that this demand is so great that many medical care providers were developing special medical assistant training programs for existing employees to address this need.

Even if your current employer does not offer a training program, becoming a certified medical assistant is more convenient now than ever thanks to the abundance of online medical assistant programs in Ohio. These online programs typically combine the flexibility of remote classwork with the effectiveness of in-person experiential training.

Unfortunately, understanding the benefits of these programs isn’t the same as knowing how to pick the best one for you — that’s why we created this guide. We’ll help you choose the right program, get a clearer idea of what you’ll learn, and walk you through your career and salary prospects after graduation.

Profiling Top-Tier Ohio Programs

As long as you ensure your online medical assistant program in Ohio meets certain basic requirements (we’ll go over these in the next section), you really can’t enroll in the wrong program. That being said, there are still some programs that stand out in terms of affordability, curricula, and student services. Let’s take a look at three programs that stand out with respect to these characteristics.

Columbus State Community College

The Medical Assisting Associate of Technical Studies (ATS) Degree program from Columbus State Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The program’s 62-credit curriculum familiarizes students with clinical and administrative medical assisting tasks and subjects in anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, medical terminology, and more. By graduation, they are equipped to work in outpatient healthcare settings like urgent care clinics and medical offices. Graduates are also prepared to pass the Certified Medical Assistant exam.

The program takes five semesters to complete, after which students can sit for their certification exam and begin working or choose to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program at any number of local institutions, including Tiffin University, Ohio University, and Miami University.

Interested students should be able to meet prerequisite requirements, including demonstrating passing grades in specific English, math, and biology courses.

East Ohio College

East Ohio College’s Online Clinical Medical Assistant program is one of the most convenient medical assisting programs in the state. That’s because the bulk of didactic leaning is available remotely. Only the necessary labs and externships must be completed on campus and at real-world healthcare sites.

In addition to a flexible online course structure, students can make the most of 24/7 tech support, mobile access to classes, career advising and small class sizes. The program takes less than two years to complete and prepares students both to earn their associate degree and to pass the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant exam administered by the National Healthcareer Association. East Ohio College offers institutional grants and traditional forms of financial aid to help students fund their education.

Miami University

The prerequisite-free Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) at Miami University sets itself apart from other similar programs in that it can be completed 100% online in just one year. That said, because the program’s didactic instruction is delivered fully online, students can work through material at their own pace and take more time to graduate if they wish. Students have access to the course instructor, industry experts, and a student advising team at any time.

Upon completion of this fully online program, students can choose to apply for a clinical placement that consists of 180 hours of hands-on training at an approved clinical site near them. Students also receive a special voucher for the CCMA exam.

What to Look for in Online Medical Assistant Programs in Ohio

There are plenty of online medical assistant programs in Ohio, but before spending the time and money applying to any of them, you’ll first want to create a checklist of must-have features. In addition to any personal must-haves, make sure the medical assisting online certification programs you apply to check the boxes on this list. Doing so will give you the peace of mind you will receive a high quality education that prepares you with the skills you need to make a positive impression on future employers.

Accreditation

Accreditation indicates that an independent organization has confirmed that a school or program meets certain education quality standards. Most accredited online medical assistant certification programs in Ohio will have programmatic accreditation from either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Some certification exam providers (like the American Association of Medical Assistants) require anyone sitting for their exam to have graduated from a program accredited by either of these organizations. Attending an accredited program also makes you eligible for federal financial aid and better job prospects after graduation.

Certification Exam Eligibility

Your eligibility to sit for a certification exam depends on a number of factors, including, but not limited to, attending an accredited program. If you want to earn your Registered Medical Assistant credential through the American Medical Technologists(AMT), you’ll have to complete a program that offers a minimum number of instructional and clinical-training hours.

Not all online medical assisting certification programs in Ohio will prepare you to take all of the medical assistant certification exams available. So, if there’s a specific credential you want to get, you may need to find a program that focuses on preparing its students to take it.

Faculty Qualifications

The faculty of medical assisting programs will often have varied academic and professional backgrounds. At a minimum, you should expect the faculty to have medical assisting credentials and experience. As obvious as it may sound, you want to learn from instructors who have real-world experience working as a medical assistant.

Graduation and Certification Rates

A good way to tell how well a program trains its medical assisting students is to look at its graduation and certification rates. Both are indicative of the quality of the services and material available to students. You can visit OhioHigherEd to compare the graduation rates from you medical assisting program of choice to the school’s overall graduation rate.

State-Specific Considerations

Ohio doesn’t require medical assistants to be licensed or certified. Therefore, you don’t need to confirm a particular program has a particular course, feature, or policy in place to meet state guidelines. If you are interested in a particular skill, practice area, or career path, look for Ohio programs that prepare you in those areas.

Transferability

Attending a school that allows you to transfer credits opens you up to the opportunity of receiving credit for the work you do in your Ohio medical assisting program if or when you apply to another degree program or relocate out of state. One way to do this is to find a program that prepares you for certification recognized across the country.

Requirements to Become a Certified Medical Assistant in Ohio

Ohio doesn’t technically require medical assistants to be licensed, but that doesn’t mean just anyone can become a medical assistant; employers want to be confident that their medical assistants possess a minimum level of knowledge and skills. To confirm you have the training necessary to work as a medical assistant in Ohio, you should expect to meet the following requirements:

Complete a Clinical Externship

Medical assisting is an inherently hands-on profession, so some amount of hands-on training will be necessary to complete an Ohio medical assistant certification program online. In addition to the online courses, you should expect to spend a few hundred hours completing a clinical practicum or externship at a healthcare facility like a doctor’s office or clinic.

Graduate From an Accredited Program

Graduating from an accredited online medical assistant certification program in Ohio, which not technically necessary, sets you on the path to success as a medical assistant. Not only does attending an accredited institution make you eligible for federal financial aid, but it also guarantees that you will receive a quality of education that prepares you to pass your certification exam and demonstrate to future employers that you are competent.

Pass the Certificate Exam

While not all employers require their medical assistants to be certified, most do. According to the National Healthcareer Association, 62% of employers say that certification is the single most important screening criteria when hiring new medical assistants. There are four main certification exams for medical assistants:

Renew Your License and Take Continuing Education Credits

Certifying bodies, like the American Association of Medical Assistants, require medical assistants seeking recertification to complete a minimum number of continuing education units. The exact continuing education requirements will vary based on the certification you’re trying to renew.

Answering FAQs About Online Medical Assistant Programs in Ohio

If you’re still on the fence about the online medical assistant program in Ohio that’s right for you, it may be because you still have questions. Chances are you’re not the only one. Below we’ve addressed some of the concerns you and other students are likely to have about Ohio medical assistant programs.

Are scholarships or grants available for online medical assistant students in Ohio?

Yes. Scholarships and grants are available to medical assistant students in Ohio through private organizations, the government, and your individual school. The awards available to you will depend on factors like your academic credentials, financial need, and school. School-administered funding may be available to all students or to students of specific programs, as is the case at Cuyahoga Community College’s.

Are there professional organizations or networking opportunities for Ohio medical assistants?

Yes. The primary professional organization for medical assistants in Ohio is the Ohio State Society of Medical Assistants (OSSMA), a state branch of the American Association of Medical Assistants. Joining a professional organization like OSSMA gives you access to grants and scholarships, networking events like the annual AAMA Annual Conference, and more.

Do I need to complete any prerequisites before applying?

Prerequisite requirements can vary significantly from program to program. Some require applicants to place into one or more prerequisite classes while others, like that at Cuyahoga Community College, require students to not just enroll in, but complete four prerequisite courses. The vast majority of programs, including Miami University, don’t have any prerequisites.

How much should I expect to pay for my program?

Generally speaking, you can expect to pay a few thousand dollars for your program. However, the price of completing an Ohio medical assistant certification program online depends on several factors. Earning a two-year associate degree will cost more than a one-year certificate. You should also take note of whether your school is public or private, the latter of which will almost always charge expensive tuition. Finally, consider the availability of financial aid, which could make an otherwise unaffordable program cheaper than those with lower sticker prices.

What are the admission requirements for Ohio medical assistant programs?

Every online medical assistant program in Ohio has its own unique admission process, but at a minimum, you should expect to have to complete an application prove you have earned a high school diploma or GED. Depending on the school, you may also need to be enrolled in or have completed certain prerequisite classes. Some programs may also require you to provide placement testing scores and immunization records.

What does an online medical assistant curriculum in Ohio cover?

The curriculum at most online medical assistant certification programs in Ohio cover two main areas of practice: administrative and clinical. This means you’ll take courses in everything from human anatomy and physiology to medical billing and coding, as well as pharmacology and medical terminology. You may also take classes on how medical offices work and how to complete basic patient-care tasks. These practical skills are typically taught through on-campus labs and/or externships at healthcare offices.

Ohio Medical Assistant Salary and Career Insights

The demand for new medical assistants in Ohio is well-represented in terms of job growth and average annual salary. That said, both metrics sit slightly below the national average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national median annual salary for medical assistants is $38,270, while the median annual salary in Ohio is $36,800. It’s important to remember, however, that the overall cost of living in Ohio is more than17% lower than the national average.

Medical assistants make more in larger urban areas and outpatient care centers, particularly compared to rural areas and doctor’s offices. The following table offers a more detailed look at medical assistant salaries across Ohio.

As for the annual job growth rate for medical assistants, Ohio lags behind the national average but is still robust at 13.5%, well above the total growth rate for all occupations in the United States, which is just 3%.

Occupation NameNew Jobs (2020-2030)Job Growth Rate (2020-2030)Average Annual Openings (2020-2030)
United States853,50018.40%104,400
Ohio30,01013.50%3,620

Source: Projections Central

Area10th PercentileMedian90th Percentile
Ohio$28,890$36,800$45,750
Akron, OH$28,820$36,570$38,170
Canton-Massillon, OH$27,980$34,790$38,220
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN$29,600$37,310$46,790
Cleveland-Elyria, OH$29,580$37,660$47,470
Columbus, OH$29,410$37,360$47,160
Dayton, OH$29,340$37,170$45,850
Lima, OH$27,910$35,270$38,220
Mansfield, OH$27,430$30,540$37,610
Springfield, OH$28,870$35,840$37,500
Toledo, OH$28,810$36,020$38,220
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA$22,800$29,410$36,880

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics