Medical assistants, or medical office assistants, are responsible for carrying out administrative and/or clerical tasks which keep the day-to-day processes in a health care setting operating smoothly. The settings they work in can be doctors' offices, medical centers, clinics, or other health care venues. 

Medical Assistants picture    Medical Assistants image

Medical Assistant Schools

You can find medical assisting training programs at:

  • Junior colleges
  • Vocational schools
  • Community colleges

Most medical assistants enter training programs with a high school diploma. Medical assistant training programs typically last one to two years. While one year programs may grant you a certificate or diploma, two year programs usually award associate's degrees. If you are especially ambitious, you might decide to get certified by nationally recognized medical assistant organizations such as the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or the Association of Medical Technologists (AMT). While national certification may not be mandatory for employment, it can lead to better pay and increased job opportunities.

Although some medical assistants are trained on the job, most employers prefer formal training of some type. Here are some of the medical assistant education requirements:

  • A high-school diploma or GED equivalency is typically required.
  • A one-year certificate/diploma or two-year associate degree is preferred, but not typically required.

Medical Assistant Training and Courses

Postsecondary programs often include an internship that provides practical experience in a physician's office, hospital or some other health care facility. Typical medical assisting programs may include courses in:

  • Allied Health Laws
  • Basic Pharmacology
  • Body Systems
  • Clinical Procedures
  • Computer Skills
  • Health Information Confidentiality / HIPAA
  • Medical Coding and Claims
  • Medical Information Management and Records Storage
  • Medical Terminology
  • Patient Assessment

There are literally hundreds of medical assisting programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education School (ABHES). Accreditation by one of these associations usually requires that the curriculum provide a sufficient amount of classroom, lecture, and laboratory time.

Medical Assistant Certification and Licensing

Certification is not mandatory for a medical assistant, but is definitely a plus that can look good to employers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that some jobs have a preference to hire workers who are either experienced or possess a certification. There are two credentials to choose from, both of which are widely recognized and highly valued:

  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) – This designation is conferred by the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Individuals who have graduated from an accredited medical assisting program are eligible for this certification, which is earned by passing a test.
  • Medical Assistant (RMA) – This is another popular and valuable certification, and it’s conferred by the American Technologists (AMT) agency.

Resources for Medical Assistants


  1. May 2014 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates United States, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm#00-0000
  2. Medical Assistants, Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Medical Assistants Schools

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Medical Assistants Schools jobs , as of 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Metro Area Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 29120 $33,550
Long Beach 29120 $33,550
Los Angeles 29120 $33,550
Fort Worth 19350 $31,890
Arlington 19350 $31,890
Dallas 19350 $31,890
Fort Lauderdale 16000 $31,920
Miami 16000 $31,920
West Palm Beach 16000 $31,920
The Woodlands 13280 $29,550
Total Employment for Medical Assistants - Top 5 Cities Nationwide
Compare Total Employment for Medical Assistants
Salaries for Medical Assistants - Top 5 Cities Nationwide
Compare Salaries for Medical Assistants
Total Employment and Salary for Professions Similar to Medical Assistants

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Medical Assistants Schools

To find out more about building a career as Medical Assistants, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Most Popular Industries for :
Medical Assistants Schools

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Medical Office 377,260 80% $28,260
Hospital 61,220 13% $29,790
Office Services And Staffing 7,140 1% $28,250
Education 6,890 1% $28,860
Nursing And Residential Care 6,300 1% $24,600
Government 4,990 1% $27,320
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Results:  10
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  • Medical Assisting
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  • Associate of Science in Medical Assisting Science
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Panorama City
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  • Certificate - Medical Assistant
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  • Medical Assistant Program
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  • Offers training in various types of massage therapy, physical therapy/sports rehab, and personal fitness training & wellness.
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  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • A Better Business Bureau (BBB) Accredited Business, with an A+ rating.
  • Computer Support Technician program is based on guidelines set by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) and Microsoft.
  • Offers free student services, including tutoring, campus internet access, career placement, and a student lounge.
  • Accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
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Cathedral City
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  • MSN - Informatics (Online)
  • RN to MSN - Advanced Generalist (Online)
  • MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner (Online)
  • At West Coast University, your education can pave the way to your healthcare career
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Medical Assistants Schools.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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