Careers in medical assisting offer an attractive blend of lucrative job opportunities and the chance to make a difference. Medical assisting is one of the quickest routes into the healthcare field, and the profession offers exciting growth potential. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 19% job growth for medical assistants between 2019 and 2029.
To qualify for jobs, candidates usually need an associate in medical assisting. This page outlines that program in detail, delving into courses, careers, and admission requirements.
For more information, check out our associate in medical assisting program guide.
What Are the Best Online Associate in Medical Assisting Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top Four:
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|1||Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale||Fort Lauderdale, FL|
|2||Georgia Northwestern Technical College||Rome, GA|
|3||State Fair Community College||Sedalia, MO|
|4||Dakota College at Bottineau||Bottineau, ND|
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2021 Best Accredited Online Associate in Medical Assisting Programs
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Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale
|Fort Lauderdale, FL||Graduation Rate: 65%||
With over 15 campus locations, including online options, Keiser University offers programs for all types of learners. Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, Keiser's associate in medical assisting program meets the educational requirements for medical assisting in all 50 states.
The program maintains a retention rate of over 66% and a passing exam rate of over 96%. The 60.5-credit curriculum includes courses in clinical procedures, laboratory procedures, and medical office management. All learners can pursue externship opportunities.
Over 85% of students find employment after graduation, and graduates have reported a 100% satisfaction rate with the program.
Keiser is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Georgia Northwestern Technical College
|Rome, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 43%||
Based in Rome, Georgia, Georgia Northwestern Technical College offers an affordable associate in medical assisting degree and allows students to enroll in the program in any semester for pre-occupational courses. Requiring 28 pre-occupational credits and 35 occupational credits, the degree typically takes four semesters to complete.
GNTC's associate in medical assisting program includes courses, such as legal and ethical concerns in the medical office, medical insurance management, and human diseases. Students can take evening, online, and hybrid courses.
GNTC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
State Fair Community College
|Sedalia, MO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 30%||
State Fair Community College provides a competitive and selective associate in medical assisting program. Learners can complete coursework at SFCC's Clinton campus or fully online with weekly in-person clinicals. Incoming students can begin the program in the fall semester.
Students in the program first complete a skills certificate in medical assisting and a professional certificate in medical assisting. Each certificate takes one semester. Learners then complete the rest of the program's 61 required credits. Relevant courses include medical scribe, technology in healthcare, and allied health career development. The program culminates in a capstone project.
SFCC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Dakota College at Bottineau
|Bottineau, ND||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 22%||
Most students complete Dakota College at Bottineau's online associate in medical assisting program within one year.
The 62-credit curriculum requires fewer general education credits than comparable programs. Relevant classes include introduction to pharmacology, developmental psychology, and principles of nutrition. DCB accepts transfer credits and offers credit for prior knowledge.
The program progresses at an accelerated rate and can be combined with a medical coding certificate or a medical administrative assistant degree. Students receive an associate in applied science degree upon graduation.
DCB is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
What Can I Expect From an Online Associate in Medical Assisting Program?
In addition to providing a medical foundation, online associate in medical assisting programs build technical, analytical, and interpersonal skills.
In addition to providing a medical foundation, online associate in medical assisting programs build technical, analytical, and interpersonal skills. The degree usually requires 60 credits and takes two years to complete, although some schools offer accelerated study options. Most programs award an associate of applied science degree.
Within an associate in medical assisting, students typically receive administrative and clinical training. Some programs require learners to complete practica or internships. Degree-seekers also complete electives, which can complement foundational coursework by providing skills in communication and leadership.
While an associate medical assisting rarely offers formal concentrations, some programs may focus more on clinical or administrative training. Students with a particular career goal in mind should consider each program's emphasis when choosing a degree. Electives and internships can also contribute to a program's focus.
Similarly, prospective medical assistants should be aware of any additional credential requirements in their state. Though few states make industry certifications mandatory, some employers prefer candidates with credentials, including the certified medical assistant credential from the American Association of Medical Assistants. Some programs prepare graduates to take specific certification examinations.
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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Associate in Medical Assisting Program?
Online associate in medical assisting curricula can vary, but most programs cover similar topics. This list highlights some of the most popular core courses in medical assisting programs.
- Medical Terminology
Medical terminology courses teach students the language used in the healthcare world. Learners study medical words, analyze their meaning, and put them into use. Students also learn the structure of medical language, including how words are created and how they relate to various systems, medicine, or the human body.
- Medical Law and Ethics
In medical law and ethics courses, students learn the regulations surrounding medical professionals and how these laws are developed and implemented. They also study the code of ethics for healthcare workers, analyzing major issues in the field like patient record confidentiality.
- Medical Billing and Coding
This course covers the major coding guidelines used by medical assistants for billing in healthcare settings. Students learn the regulations and ethical frameworks in the field, as well as how insurance companies use codes to process patient files.
- Anatomy and Physiology
In anatomy and physiology courses, students learn the different systems of the human body. They learn how each system functions and interacts with other systems. Students may also investigate the impact of medical conditions on bodily systems and the physiological effects of certain diseases.
Pharmacology courses examine the impact of drugs on the human body, disease, and care delivery in healthcare. Students learn the language of pharmacology, including drug groupings, use instructions, and positive and negative effects. Some courses also cover the legal and ethical requirements of drug administration.
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What Can I Do With an Online Associate in Medical Assisting Degree?
Students with an online associate in medical assisting can pursue many in-demand healthcare careers, although they may need additional training or certifications. The BLS projects 15% job growth for healthcare occupations between 2019 and 2029.
Due to an aging population, the demand for healthcare services continues to increase, which bodes well for medical assistants. Although not always required for employment, an associate in medical assisting can give degree-holders a competitive advantage in the field.
See where an online associate in medical assisting can take you. Learn more about healthcare careers here.
- Medical Assistant
Medical assistants handle administrative duties within healthcare settings. They may complete patient documents, records, and billing or work directly with patients by measuring blood pressure and vital signs. According to the BLS, 57% of medical assistants work in physician offices, 15% work in hospitals, and 8% work in outpatient care clinics.
- Health Information Technician
Health information technicians manage patient records and data, storing and classifying the information for easy yet secure access. These professionals may work with insurance records, compliance assessments, and health outcome reports. According to BLS data, 37% of health information technicians work in hospitals, 15% work in physician offices, and 5% work in administrative services.
- Medical Transcriptionist
Medical transcriptionists convert voice recordings and videos into written records for documentative and tracking purposes. Transcriptionists update patient records, perform quality and accuracy checks, and follow healthcare laws and ethical guidelines. According to the BLS, 26% of transcriptionists work in physician offices, 18% work in hospitals, and 2% work in medical and diagnostic libraries.
Phlebotomists draw blood from patients and donors in various medical settings. They walk patients through the process, record patient information into their records, and submit samples for further testing. According to the BLS, 38% of phlebotomists work in hospitals, 32% work in medical laboratories, and 15% work in ambulatory healthcare services.
- EMT or Paramedic
EMTs and paramedics respond to emergency calls, perform medical care on patients when needed, and transport patients to healthcare facilities. These professionals assess the patient and situation, provide stabilizing treatment, and report on their findings. According to the BLS, 46% of EMTs and paramedics work in ambulance services and 19% work in hospitals.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Associate in Medical Assisting Programs
- Is an associate in medical assisting worth it?
An associate in medical assisting provides graduates with a quick avenue into a medical profession and can lead to various opportunities. Medical assistants help people in need and can advance with experience and additional training.
- What can I do with an associate in medical assisting?
Most graduates become medical assistants, but they can also pursue other careers, such as transcriptionist or health records technician. The degree can also lead to a bachelor's program in a healthcare discipline.
- Are medical assisting majors in demand?
The demand for medical assistants continues to rise as the population ages and requires more medical services. Between 2019 and 2029, the BLS projects 19% job growth for medical assistants, nearly five times the average growth rate for all occupations.
- How much money can I make with an associate in medical assisting?
Salaries can vary considerably depending on experience and location. According to the BLS, medical assistants earn a median annual salary of $34,800. The top 10% in the field earn more than $48,720.
- What are the highest paying jobs with an associate in medical assisting?
According to the BLS, medical records and health information technicians make a median annual salary of $42,630. In hospitals, their salaries jump to $45,710, and the top 10% of earners make over $71,150 per year