Best Accredited Online Medical Assistant Programs

Students can earn a diploma or a degree in medical assisting online through a variety of schools. Explore schools and available programs, expectations and career details. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Best Online Medical Assistant Programs

When choosing an online medical assistant program, you should consider cost, program length, residency requirements and flexibility. 45 of the best schools that offer online medical assistant programs are listed below.

1. Herzing University - Minneapolis

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
St. Louis Park, MN $14,000 97%

Herzing University-Minneapolis has a fully online 10-month Diploma in Medical Assisting program that consists of 34 credit hours. The program includes clinical labs and externship experiences, which may be available at sites near students. With an undergraduate tuition rate of $580, the diploma program has a total tuition cost of $19,720. Herzing requires students to pass the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) certification exam to graduate, which can give students an advantage in the job market.

2. Community Care College

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Tulsa, OK $17,508 89%

The hybrid medical assistant program at Community Care College prepares and qualifies students to take the Registered Medical Assistant certification exam. Students can complete the program in as few as 9 months, but on average, students finish in 11 months. The total cost of the program is $15,627, excluding books and supplies. Students develop skills in patient assessment, phlebotomy, and medical coding. The school offers weekly start dates, allowing students to begin the program at their convenience.

3. Pamlico Community College

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Grantsboro, NC $1,867 40%

Pamlico Community College has a medical assisting diploma program as well as an Associate in Applied Science in Medical Assisting program. The diploma program consists of 44 to 45 credit hours, can be completed in one year (three semesters), and has a total tuition cost of $3,344 to $3,420. The associate's degree program can be completed in four semesters and has a total tuition cost of $4,940 to $5,016 (65 to 66 credit hours). The program is technically campus-based but allows students to take most of their courses online while completing labs and practice requirements on or near the campus.

4. Mitchell Technical Institute

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Mitchell, SD $6,720 89%

Mitchell Technical Institute has a campus-based Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting program. Students are required to complete 70.5 credit hours and can typically finish in two years. The total cost of the program (excluding books) is $15,713. Many of the required courses are available online but are also available on campus for interested students. Mitchell Technical Institute boasts a 100% job placement rate for this medical assistant degree.

5. Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Fort Lauderdale, FL $20,208 88%

Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale has an online Associate of Science in Medical Assisting Science degree program that consists of 60 credit hours. Students take courses in pharmacology, clinical practice, office procedures, and anatomy. Keiser students pay tuition based on the number of courses they take each semester; students taking 12 to 18 credit hours have a $9,904 per-semester tuition fee while students taking less than 6 credit hours have a semester tuition fee of $2,476.

Rank School Name Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
6 Alexandria Technical & Community College Alexandria, MN $5,416 88%
7 Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College Shell Lake, WI $4,729 80%
8 Pittsburgh Technical College Oakdale, PA $16,801 96%
9 Ferris State University Big Rapids, MI $11,788 97%
10 Northland Community and Technical College Thief River Falls, MN $5,549 87%
11 Ogeechee Technical College Statesboro, GA $2,876 89%
12 Northwest Technical College Bemidji, MN $5,488 93%
13 Siena Heights University Adrian, MI $27,124 100%
14 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA $22,584 97%
15 Madisonville Community College Madisonville, KY $4,248 98%
16 West Kentucky Community and Technical College Paducah, KY $4,248 98%
17 Pfeiffer University Misenheimer, NC $30,234 100%
18 Purdue University Global-Des Moines Urbandale, IA $14,343 100%
19 Riverland Community College Austin, MN $5,570 84%
20 Minnesota West Community and Technical College Granite Falls, MN $5,692 90%
21 Pennsylvania College of Technology Williamsport, PA $16,740 89%
22 Copiah-Lincoln Community College Wesson, MS $3,180 92%
23 Remington College-Heathrow Campus Lake Mary, FL $13,634 82%
24 Upper Iowa University Fayette, IA $18,540 99%
25 Holmes Community College Goodman, MS $3,110 91%
26 East Mississippi Community College Scooba, MS $3,440 96%
27 Owensboro Community and Technical College Owensboro, KY $4,248 98%
28 Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Green Bay, WI $4,479 70%
29 Eastern Florida State College Cocoa, FL $2,496 66%
30 Southern Regional Technical College Thomasville, GA $2,728 95%
31 Pennsylvania Institute of Technology Media, PA $13,365 87%
32 Southwestern Oregon Community College Coos Bay, OR $6,077 91%
33 Eastern Oregon University La Grande, OR $8,679 98%
34 Montgomery Community College Troy, NC $2,537 77%
35 Hutchinson Community College Hutchinson, KS $3,520 92%
36 University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks, AK $6,657 84%
37 Washburn University Topeka, KS $8,312 92%
38 Northeast Mississippi Community College Booneville, MS $3,596 99%
39 Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Perkinston, MS $3,670 93%
40 Maysville Community and Technical College Maysville, KY $4,248 98%
41 Minnesota State Community and Technical College Fergus Falls, MN $5,335 86%
42 Fisher College Boston, MA $31,384 97%
43 Vance-Granville Community College Henderson, NC $1,948 73%
44 Georgia Northwestern Technical College Rome, GA $2,798 91%
45 Daytona State College Daytona Beach, FL $3,104 73%

All statistics provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition based on 2018-2019 school year

Learn.org's school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

Online Medical Assistant Programs Overview

Online medical assistant programs typically consist of online and on-site components. Students can take one of two tracks in pursuit of medical assisting certification, both of which are discussed below.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs: Certificate and diploma programs do not lead to a degree, but instead prepare students to take medical assistant certification exams. These programs can be completed in less than one year and may consist of 30 to 60 credit hours (9 to 12 months) and 150 to 200 contact hours. The curriculum requirements vary by school and prior coursework (if applicable).
  • Associate's Degree Programs: Medical assisting associate's degree programs usually consist of 60 to 70 credit hours and can be completed in 4 to 5 semesters (16 to 20 months). Students may be required to complete up to 200 hours of contact components which can include labs and practice experiences. Upon completion of the program, students are awarded an associate's degree and are prepared to take medical assistant certification exams.

Medical assisting programs are typically open to all students with a high school degree or its equivalent. Most programs include courses in medical terminology, phlebotomy, biology, and medical assisting practice. Students can often complete all of the required coursework online but will have to complete various on-site requirements (labs and practice hours). The amount of practice and lab hours can vary by program, but many require around 150 to 180 contact hours.

Students may need to complete an online introductory course, or orientation, to familiarize themselves with their online learning platform. Online courses are often offered through third-party sites or learning portals. Within these learning portals, students may be able to complete a variety of tasks such as emailing instructors, submitting assignments, and communicating in class forums. Schools may require students to log in at specific times or at their convenience (asynchronous). Courses that offer asynchronous learning will still typically require students to log in and/or complete assignments during specific periods (such as weekly or biweekly).

How to Choose an Online Medical Assisting Program

When deciding which online medical assisting program is the best route, you should first consider the points listed below.

Programs Offered

The most important factor in choosing a school is what programs they offer in a hybrid/online format. Some schools may only offer a diploma or an associate's degree on campus and the other program via hybrid. Also, not all programs qualify students for all medical assisting certification exams. If you prefer a specific certification, check to see if it's available at the schools you're considering.

Accreditation

Schools and programs may have separate and multiple accreditations. Two main agencies accredit medical assisting programs: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). While several medical assistant certification exams only require students to graduate from an accredited school, some certifications require students to have earned their degree or diploma through an ABHES or CAAHEP accredited program. Ask your program what certifications you will be eligible for upon completion.

Residency Requirements

When looking at medical assisting programs, keep in mind that they require a significant amount of on-site components. Some programs may allow you to complete your contact hours in or near your geographic region, while others may require you to go to specific locations. Make sure to ask your school what options they offer for on-site requirements.

Flexibility

You may need a part-time or full-time program, depending on your existing time commitments. It's important to consider what time you can commit to a medical assisting program, including the coursework and field experiences. Once you've determined your availability, consult with your advisors to see if the programs that you're interested in are available in the format that you need.

Cost

The cost of your program can vary significantly, depending on whether you pursue a diploma or an associate's degree and what school you attend. Also, prior coursework may enable you to waive some courses, saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The cost of medical assisting programs can range from $3,000 to $22,000, but you may be able to fund some or all of your costs with scholarships and other types of financial aid.

License Requirements for Medical Assistants

Although most states do not require certification for entry-level medical assistants, many employers prefer candidates who have certification. There are four types of medical assistant certification:

  • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA): Graduates of any medical assisting program can earn certification as CCMAs. The exam has a fee and must be taken at an approved testing location near students. The exam consists of 150 scored questions and 30 pretest questions; it can take up to 3 hours to complete.
  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA): The CMA certification is open to graduates of a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited program or a non-accredited program that meets specific criteria. Students or recent graduates are required to take the exam at an approved testing center and pay applicable exam fees. The test consists of 200 questions and is completed through four 40-minute sections. Students receive their test results immediately after completing their exam and will receive their certification in the mail after six weeks. The CMA certification is nationally recognized, enabling certificate holders to use their credentials across the United States.
  • National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA): MA program students and graduates can take the NCMA exam within two years of completing their program. Students must pay the required test fee and submit all required documentation (before certification). The test consists of 150 scored items and allows students up to 3 hours to complete it.
  • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA): The RMA exam is open to students and graduates of an accredited medical assisting program, or from a program with qualifying contact hours that are offered by an accredited school. The exam consists of 210 questions and allows students up to two hours to complete it. Students are required to pay for their exam and can retake the exam up to three additional times. The test is offered at approved locations and shows student results immediately after completion.

Medical Assistant: Job Description & Salary

Medical assistants work in various healthcare facilities including hospitals and physicians' offices. Their duties vary by employer but can include clinical and administrative tasks such as taking patient histories, measuring vitals, scheduling appointments and preparing blood samples. They may also assist other providers in examining and treating patients. Some medical assistants may focus on specific areas such as administrative, podiatric, or optometric. In 2018, the median salary for all medical assistants was $33,610, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is expecting the medical assistant field to grow 23% between 2018 and 2028. Below, the salary and outlook for medical assistants are shown by industry.

Industry Median Annual Salary (2018)Estimated Job Growth (2018-2028)
Hospitals; State, Local, and Private $34,980 13.4%
Offices of Chiropractors $29,960 3.5%
Offices of Physicians $33,650 23%
Outpatient Care Centers $35,600 50.7%

Salary and outlook information provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Although medical assistants aren't always required to be certified, certification is preferred by many employers. Medical assistants need to comprehend and communicate medical information, professionally care for patients and have familiarity with various clinical instruments and practices. As they gain experience, medical assistants may choose to pursue other careers such as nurse practitioner, registered nurse, or physician assistant.

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:
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