When it comes to entry-level healthcare jobs, medical assisting is among the most promising. You will assist the medical staff and patients as you work side by side with them. The median salary for a medical assistant (MA) in the United States is $33,580 per year, and the demand for MAs is expected to rise rapidly over the next decade. You could stay in the role of medical assistant (MA) for your entire working life, or you could use it as a stepping stone to other healthcare jobs.
Earning a certificate, diploma, or associate degree that demonstrates competency in medical assisting is typically required for entry-level positions in the field. Obtaining your master’s degree online is a viable option at a number of universities across the country. The following information about online medical assistant programs will help you determine whether or not this field is right for you by highlighting their advantages and disadvantages. To help you select the best online degree program, we have included our own rankings based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to graduation rate, program cost, student services, technology, faculty credentials, and more.
Best accredited online medical assistant programs
After completing the 10-month online Herzing Diploma in Medical Assisting program, students will be fully prepared to take the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam. It’s a great choice for people who want to enter the medical field and gain transferable credits for future study. There are three options for medical assistant training at Herzing. A diploma, an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree in a related field are all viable options.
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a highly regarded accreditation agency, has recognized Herzing University as a premier online institution of higher education. You can attend either full- or part-time, and most students finish in about 10 months. The program is entirely online, but students are required to complete a 180-hour externship and a student readiness training proctorship at a healthcare facility during their final semester to prove they are prepared for the workforce.
The total cost of the program, including the cost of taking the CCMA exam and applying to the program, is around $12,860. Your final externship may require you to purchase a uniform and pay for transportation, both of which are your responsibility. Time and money can be saved by transferring some credits from previous courses or applying for loans, scholarships, or military discounts offered by Herzing.
You can submit an application for the program online, and then enroll for the next available start date after meeting and interviewing with an admissions advisor. Students from anywhere in the United States can enroll, and the flexibility of the schedule makes it a great fit for those with other commitments. When looking to become a certified medical assistant, Herzing is an excellent option.
Penn Foster is a DEAC-accredited online school with three distinct routes to the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential. You have the option of pursuing a certificate, associate’s, or bachelor’s degree. You can use these courses at your own pace to study for professional certification exams like the RMA and CCMA.
Penn Foster provides three distinct options for financing your education. When compared to the other programs we considered, this one has a relatively low price tag: around $3,600 upfront. All course materials and unlimited tutoring for the CCMA certification exam are included in the tuition fee. You can save money by transferring credits from another institution, and veterans may be eligible for additional financial aid.
Penn Foster is an online learning platform that can be accessed from any device. Study anywhere, anytime with access to study materials on your computer or mobile device. There is no set schedule for classes, and students and teachers can stay in touch via various electronic means. You can get the most out of the material and feel ready to launch your career thanks to the inclusion of live webinars, virtual simulations, and other online learning tools.
You can submit an application to the program at any time, and there are no prerequisites. Penn Foster has sales at various times of the year where you can enroll for as little as one dollar. However, if you are self-motivated and stay on track, you can finish the program in about a year. This is because you must complete 60 units over the course of four semesters.
You must complete an externship at the end of your program to test your knowledge and skills in the real world before taking the national certification exam.
Purdue University Global
The Purdue University system includes the affiliated company Purdue Global. It has a solid reputation in the medical field and is home to a number of respected online degree programs. When you finish the Medical Assisting Certificate program, you’ll be ready to take the NCMA certification test.
Although some of the courses at Purdue Global can be completed at your own pace, the overall degree of flexibility is lower than that of the other schools we looked at. It takes about a year and a half to complete the program, with each semester lasting 10 weeks and requiring 58 credits.
We like that there are instructor-led online seminars, message boards for student-teacher interaction, and a 160-hour externship for practical experience before entering the workforce. If you feel like you need some extra help before taking the national exam, we offer private tutoring sessions.
The total cost of the program is over $21,000, but there are many ways to save money through Purdue Global, such as transferring credits from another institution. In addition, it has a financial aid program through which you may be able to receive various grants and scholarships. Tuition reductions for employees of Purdue partner organizations and steep discounts (up to 55%) for active military and veterans are also available through Purdue Global.
Purdue Global’s medical assisting certificate program equips students with the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to succeed on the National Commission for the Certification of Medical Assistants (NCMA) exam and launch successful careers in the medical assisting field.
Keiser University – Ft Lauderdale
Keiser University is a private institution that is affiliated with the Florida Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. The city of Ft. Lauderdale is home to Keiser University’s primary campus. It also offers classes online and at campuses in Florida and other countries. Keiser University eCampus is the online campus of Keiser University, which provides fully online associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs. Graduates of an accredited online associate of science in medical assisting program are qualified to provide clinical support to doctors during patient exams, injections, laboratory procedures, and electrocardiograms.
This is one of the top medical assistant schools online. Students who complete the required online courses are better prepared to take the American Medical Technologists’ Registered Medical Assistant certification exam. Topics covered in this degree program’s courses range from anatomy to medical ethics to laboratory techniques. Graduates of Keiser University’s online medical assisting programs consistently outperform their employers’ expectations.
Thomas Edison State University
Trenton, New Jersey is home to Thomas Edison State University, a public institution. Graduates of the school named after the famous New Jersey inventor Thomas Edison are as curious and creative as their namesake. The university’s College Degrees for Adults program allows students to earn a number of degrees entirely online. Students interested in the radiology side of medical assisting can earn an online Associate of Science in Applied Science and Technology in Medical Imaging.
The unique focus of this software on medical imaging is a major selling point. All prospective students must present proof of state registration as a radiographer. Topics covered in these classes range from the ethics of nuclear power to the physics of radiation. At least sixty credits must be completed by the student. Adults in their mid- to late-career should consider this degree as an opportunity for growth. It is mandatory for students to complete these areas of study.
Minnesota State Community and Technical College
Multiple campus locations across the state of Minnesota and an online learning platform (eCampus) allow Minnesota State to serve both in-state and out-of-state students. There are 25 available online programs at this university. The school provides students with access to an extensive digital library and online tutoring services. Students at M State who are interested in administrative and managerial positions in medical settings should consider enrolling in the online AAS Medical Assistant program.
Medical terminology, medical billing, health insurance processing, office management, and medical ethics are just some of the topics covered in this online medical assistant program. At least sixty credits must be completed by the student. This consists of nine elective credits and 51 required ones. The curriculum covers a broad range of topics, from medical terminology and college writing to medical office administration and lifespan development. After graduation, many students find employment in dental offices, medical offices, and insurance agencies. Your need for developmental coursework will be determined by your Accuplacer results.
Barton County Community College
Great Bend, Kansas is home to Barton County Community College. Its primary audience is local students, though it also caters to those who study online. BARTonline provides affordable tuition, round-the-clock course access, and tech support. There are 33 online degrees that can be finished asynchronously in Barton County. Gain the knowledge and experience to succeed in one of the healthcare industry’s hottest fields with an online medical assistant certification.
The curriculum of this online medical assistant program is extensive. Students gain experience in the areas of laboratory techniques, phlebotomy, record keeping, patient care, and medication administration. In order to graduate, students need to earn 68 credits. An internship in an outpatient clinic is also part of the curriculum. The evening campus component accounts for 50% of the total program time. Those who have completed the prerequisites for the Medical Assistant Certification program may take the exams online.
Since its founding in 1987, Ashworth College has become an industry pioneer in online education, assisting over 2 million students in completing their education and entering the workforce. You can sign up whenever it’s convenient for you, and once you’ve been accepted into a program, you can begin studying right away. More than 300,000 people from all corners of the globe have used the college’s online courses to earn degrees.
The college offers a flexible, self-paced online medical assistant certificate program. Classes cover topics like medical front desk administration, medical documentation, and insurance claim processing to better prepare students for administrative roles. You will have access to a web-based student portal where you can access online labs, research libraries, and other resources to complete course modules. Ashworth College also offers a handy smartphone app for its mobile students. Supportive online communities facilitated by discussion forums, email, live chat, and webinars are invaluable resources for today’s students.
State Fair Community College
The online courses provided by State Fair Community College are equivalent to their in-person counterparts in every way. More than 260 courses can be taken at the college via the internet. Students taking courses online may be required to take proctored exams at off-campus locations. Students can choose between starting their studies in July or December.
State Fair Community College offers a 34.5-credit MA professional certificate program and a 61.5-credit Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting, both of which can be completed entirely online. Both programs have identical MA-related curricula, but the associate degree requires additional general education coursework. Students acquire knowledge in both clinical and administrative areas, including vital sign taking and recording, injection administration, and appointment scheduling and billing. Each MA concentration culminates in a research-intensive seminar designed to encourage students to strike out on their own.
Niche.com, an online rating service, recently named Liberty University the best online university in the country based on data collected from the U.S. Department of Education. The University is one of the few online schools that recognizes students’ prior work and military experience for credit toward degree requirements.
The Medical Office Assistant Associate’s Degree at Liberty University can be completed in two years. Curriculum topics include medical terminology, diagnostic coding, risk management, confidentiality, and the impact of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 on the work performed in physicians’ offices, with an emphasis on the administrative aspects of an MA’s job. Students need to take both required general education courses and MA electives in order to graduate. Coursework at Liberty University is grounded in the Christian faith and the Bible. All applicants must have completed high school or have a valid GED.
How Long Will the Online MA Program Take to Complete?
Most students complete their online MA in one to two years, though this varies by institution and the number of required courses. Your pace will depend on your individual needs and the amount of time you have to devote to studying.
How Much Will the Online MA Program Cost?
The total cost of your MA certificate, diploma, or degree will depend most on the institution you attend and the number of required courses. The total cost of your education could be anywhere from $1,200 to $30,200.
How Much Do Medical Assistants Make?
As of May 2021, the BLS reported a median annual salary for medical assistants of $37,190.
Your salary will be determined by a number of factors, including the state in which you work, the company for which you work, your level of education and experience, and whether or not you hold any relevant certifications.
The average annual salary of a medical assistant is between $30,000 and $50,000.
Even though you can enter the workforce quickly after finishing a medical assistant program, your earning potential will increase with experience, certification, and/or further education.
If a medical assistant wants to move up the healthcare ladder and earn more money, they can go back to school.
What certification is best for a medical assistant?
Your choice of medical assistant certification should be guided by your professional objectives.
Those interested in the administrative and clinical aspects of the medical field should pursue either the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) or the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential.
Becoming an NCMA or CCMA (Certified Clinical Medical Assistant) will allow you to specialize in clinical work.
Those who are interested in working in the medical field as an administrative assistant or secretary can take the exam to become a CMAA.
Professional medical assistants are essential in almost every aspect of patient care. Medical assistants are an integral part of the healthcare team, and doctors and other medical professionals rely on them to provide excellent service to patients and organize daily operations. Therefore, medical assistants may specialize in either office management or patient care; the specific tasks they perform on the job may vary depending on the size and scope of their employer’s operation.
Jobseekers in the medical field can set themselves apart by earning an associate degree in medical assisting online. Although a degree in medical assisting is not typically required by employers, it can be advantageous to have one. However, the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) certification is highly sought after by many employers. While some seasoned medical assistants learned everything they needed to know on the job, today’s students are typically required to complete an externship or field practicum before they can even apply for a job. Each student should look for a unique field experience opportunity related to their own interests. Students interested in working in the office of a small medical clinic, for example, would benefit from an externship at a facility in their area that meets their specific requirements.
Even though certification as a medical assistant is not mandated by law in the United States, most employers would rather have someone who has already gone through the process. The certifications available in this industry range from those focused on clinical work to those focused on the administrative and clerical skills most relevant to hospitals and medical facilities, demonstrating a standardized knowledge and understanding of industry skills.