One of the most promising entry-level roles you can pursue in allied healthcare today is as a medical assistant. Across the country, job demand is expected to grow by 18 percent — and Oregon is no exception. The Oregon Employment Department forecasts that medical assistant job openings will increase by 23.3% through 2032.
Keep reading to learn how you can start your journey to becoming a medical assistant and playing a crucial role in patient care. We understand that you may have your doubts, questions, and uncertainties as you stand at this crossroads. Which program is the best fit for you? What resources are available to support your education and career goals? What makes one program stand out from the rest? We’ve got you covered — we’ll help you navigate the diverse landscape of online medical assistant programs in Oregon and all they have to offer.
By the end of this guide, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and confidence to choose the online medical assistant program that aligns best with your aspirations. It’s time to take that first step toward a promising future as a medical assistant in the Beaver state.
An Inside Look at Popular Medical Assistant Programs in Oregon
If you’re just starting your search for medical assistant programs, it can be overwhelming trying to determine what to look for and how to compare programs. To help you jumpstart your search, we’ve highlighted some top programs in the state.
Central Oregon Community College
The Medical Assistant program at Central Oregon Community College (COCC) is set in a simulated clinical setting, with supportive instructors and a team-centered approach. The program prepares students for high-demand, entry-level careers in allied healthcare. Students learn key duties from recording medical histories, to taking and recording vital signs, giving vaccines, and drawing blood.
Students employed by the St. Charles Health system can participate in a nine-month, noncredit training partnership with COCC to gain essential clinical experience. Based at the Bend hospital, this partnership empowers employees looking for career advancement greater training and eventual employment opportunities.
COCC’s program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, CAAHEP, ensuring that students receive a high-quality education recognized and respected by potential employers.
Oregon Health & Science University
Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), in partnership with the National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement (NIMAA), offers a standout online medical assistant training program that can be completed in just eight months. Students gain hands-on experience through externships at primary care clinics across Portland.
OHSU’s program consists of 240 hours an online learning on-site clinicals across four terms. Students benefit from personalized support, live and recorded sessions, interactive material, discussion groups, and customized education and mentoring.
The NIMAA curriculum covers everything students need to know to start successful careers as medical assistants, including rooming patients, taking vital signs, communicating effectively, performing venipuncture, and more. By the end of the program, students are prepared to take the National Healthcareer Association MA examination.
Portland Community College
Portland Community College (PCC) offers a nine-month CAAHEP-accredited online medical assisting program dedicated to ensuring the academic and professional success of its students. Portland Community College’s Medical Assisting Program boasts an impressive faculty, all of whom have completed the program themselves, giving them unparalled insight into the student experience and a more profound ability to provide support, mentorship, and guidance.
PCC offers a wide range of benefits to students including a guaranteed admission process, flexible class delivery, paid externship opportunities, and more. If you’re looking for more information about PCC’s medical assisting program, their student handbook provides a more in-depth description of everything you need to know.
The Ultimate Checklist for Online Medical Assistant Programs in Oregon
When it comes to choosing the right online medical assistant program in Oregon, it can help to have a few key essentials that you are looking for. These factors can not only impact your educational experience but also play a pivotal role in shaping your career prospects. To set yourself up for success after your studies, start early and do your research.
We’ve written this checklist to help you get started. In the section below we’ll explore the critical elements that should be on your radar before applying to a program.
How to Become a Certified Medical Assistant in OR: The Next Right Step
Becoming a certified medical assistant in Oregon is a rewarding journey that demands a strategic approach. To launch your career successfully, you must follow a series of essential steps, each of which can significantly impact your ability to earn and maintain your certification.
Online Medical Assistant Programs in OR: Your Questions Answered
As you dive deeper into your search for the perfect online medical assistant program for you, you’ll likely have questions. Sorting through things like prerequisites, networking opportunities, and funding can all make it difficult to know where to start and how to compare programs. Here we’ve gathered some commonly asked questions to help guide you in your search.
Do online medical assistant programs in Oregon have prerequisites?
Specific prerequisites will vary from school to school, so it’s important to check with each program that you are interested in. However, there are a few common prerequisite courses that are common across medical assistant programs. These include Medical Terminology, Intro to Human Anatomy and Physiology, and Writing/Composition. Take a look at Clackamas Community College’s page for an example of necessary prerequisites.
How can I network during my program, and does it matter?
Networking opportunities are a vital component of any educational program. Even if you are taking classes online and part-time, it’s possible to prioritize building relationships that will expand your network and further your career. You’ll want to take advantage of online forums and other communication tools to connect with fellow classmates and instructors.
If you’re looking for additional networking opportunities, the Oregon Society of Medical Assistants (OSMA) is a professional organization that supports medical assistants through education, mentorship and more.
Is it difficult to be accepted to Oregon online medical assistant programs?
If you have the prerequisites needed for a medical assistant program, it’s likely that you’ll be a competitive candidate. Given the nationwide shortage of medical assistants, schools are eager to find qualified and motivated applicants to train for the field.
What funding is available for online medical assistant students in Oregon?
Many types of scholarships are available for medical assistant students. These can include school-sponsored scholarships, such as this one from Oregon Coast Community College. You’re also likely to find funding close to home, whether through local organizations or a state agency, like Oregon’s Department of Education. Our guide to funding for medical assisting programs can be another helpful place to start.
What is the average cost of an online medical assistant program in Oregon?
The cost of an online medical assistant program can vary greatly. Certificate programs are typically more affordable, costing $1,500 on average. Meanwhile medical assisting degree programs can cost around $20,000. Portland Community College offers a more affordable option at $162/credit. Look at their tuition and fees page for a better understanding of the full cost.
What subjects do medical assistant programs in Oregon cover?
Medical assistant programs in Oregon cover a broad array of topics to prepare you for a career in medical assisting including a few core subjects. Central Oregon Community College’s core courses include Introduction to Clinical Medical Assisting, Clinical Phlebotomy, Administrative Medical Assisting and more. Check out their course catalog to see an example of what a program’s coursework will look like from start to finish.
Salary Expectations and Career Prospects for Medical Assistants in OR
According to the BLS, Oregon is expected to witness significant job growth for medical assistants from 2020 to 2030, with a remarkable 25.7% growth rate compared to the national rate of 18.40%. This equates to an average of 1,770 annual openings in the state, highlighting the demand for medical assistants in the region.
Oregon also offers competitive compensation for medical assistants. The median annual salary in the state is $45,710, surpassing the national median of $34,800. However, specific salaries vary greatly by region. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro metropolitan area stands out with the highest median annual salary of $47,560. On the other hand, Albany, Oregon, offers the lowest median salary at $37,800. This variance can be attributed to the cost of living, healthcare demand, and local job markets.
Use this data to help you make an informed decision on your next academic and professional step. If you’re looking for an entry-level role in the allied healthcare field with growing demand and competitive pay, pursuing a career as a medical assistant in Oregon could be a great option for you.
Source: Projections Central
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics