Medical Assisting Degrees and Courses

Medical assistants work alongside professionals like physicians and nurses to assist with patients and help with office duties. Read on to learn the degree options available and the required courses for a career in medical assisting. Explore the job duties of medical assistants in greater detail. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Employment for medical assistants will continue to grow over the next few years, and the job will continue to be a vital part of the healthcare industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, employment for medical assistants is expected to grow by 29% between 2016-2026, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Degrees and courses prepare aspiring medical assistants for their in-demand roles and contributions to healthcare.

Degree Options Associate's degree or certificate programs
Courses Anatomy, physiology, medical records, clinical procedures and others
Salary $32,480 per year (Median salary from May, 2017, for medical assistants)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are My Options in Medical Assisting?

Though medical assisting is not federally regulated - and formal training is not required to work in the field - many employers prefer to hire medical assistants who have completed a formal training program, according to the American Medical Technologists organization ( Medical assisting programs are available as associate degree and certificate programs. At the certificate level, they typically take one year to complete and focus specifically on the field of medical assisting. You might find Certificates of Achievement in Medical Assisting or Administrative Medical Assisting in addition to a Certificate of Proficiency in Medical Insurance Billing Medical Assisting. A Medical Assistant Certificate Program might be another option.

Some schools also offer online or partially-online programs in medical assisting. These programs often offer the coursework online, but they may require you to complete an externship before earning your degree.

What Are Associate's Degree Programs Like?

Associate degree programs in medical assisting often incorporate general education studies into the curriculum of medical assisting and can be completed in two years. These programs are available at technical or vocational schools, community colleges and some universities. An Associate of Science or an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting might be two available degree options. Graduating from an accredited medical assisting program qualifies you to sit for certification examinations from professionally recognized associations, such as the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

What Courses Can I Expect to Take?

Medical assisting programs provide you with a basic understanding of medical procedures. In most programs, the curriculum combines classroom learning with clinical training in a practicum environment where you refine your medical skills. Typical coursework for medical assisting programs covers:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Medical records
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical procedures
  • Medical ethics
  • Diseases
  • Insurance billing
  • Healthcare reimbursement
  • Medical terminology

What Job Duties Might I Have?

Medical assistants work to increase the productivity of healthcare offices and clinics. They perform administrative tasks such as filing medical records, scheduling appointments, answering telephones and greeting patients. Medical assistants may also perform basic clinical duties under the supervision of a medical professional. Clinical duties vary depending on the work environment, but may include:

  • Assisting physicians with examinations
  • Changing dressings
  • Drawing blood
  • Administering medications
  • Preparing patients for procedures
  • Removing sutures

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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