7 Best Online Schools for Medical Assistants: Affordable, Fast Track Programs
On the hunt for one of the best online schools for medical assistants? Looking for affordable and fast-track online programs? Read our guide below to see what your options are.
Medical assistants are essential for the day to day functioning of a healthcare system,
As a medical assistant, you’ll serve as a liaison between doctors and patients. Your daily work could include checking vital signs and diagnostics, taking blood samples, or even administering injections. You might also be responsible for keeping track of patient records.
To become a medical assistant, you’ll need to have a medley of skills - many of which can be obtained through a formal medical assistant training program. You can boost your hireability and potential earnings by pursuing advanced education in this field.
But not all medical assisting programs are built alike. Earning your degree online will provide you with the flexibility and convenience you need to earn a degree - no matter how busy your life outside of school might be.
What Kind of Medical Assistant Degree Should I Get?
When you are considering a medical assisting career, you will have two options - you can get an associate degree in medical assisting or you can get a certificate. Many schools offer both.
There are several benefits to earning a certificate in medical assisting. When you enroll in this kind of program, you’ll take only the classes that are the most focused on the specific skills and knowledge you’ll need to work as a medical assistant.
Often, a certificate program can be quite fast-paced. You’ll move quickly through the curriculum, generally completing your studies in a year or less. You will need to spend several hours a week studying and completing field experience hours.
The major benefit of a certificate is that you’ll be able to graduate and enter the job market more quickly. Usually, a certificate is also less expensive than a formal degree. However, the classes that you take might not be eligible for course credit or transferring if you decide to continue your education later on.
The average pay for a certified medical assistant is about $16 per hour (or $29,000 per year).
Associate degrees are best for students who wish to spend a little more time on their studies. The average associate degree in medical assisting will last about 24 months, while the average certificate is less than a year (sometimes just nine months).
Earn an associate degree, and you’ll have the potential to earn a slightly higher salary (up to $35,773, on average). However, you will also pay more to get an associate degree, too.
There are several benefits to earning this kind of degree in medical assisting. You’ll be able to pursue various specializations - like clinical medical assisting or administrative medical assisting - if you have interests in a particular niche of medical assisting. Plus, you’ll take general liberal arts classes, like writing and basic math, to help broaden your horizons as well.
Finally, if you earn an associate degree in medical assisting, your credits will almost always transfer to another school if you decide to continue your education (or change plans) later on.
7 Best Online Schools for Medical Assistants
1. Herzing University
Herzing University is located in Milwaukee, WI - but its online campus is worth mentioning too. This online school offers distance learners the opportunity to earn a high-quality associate degree in Medical Assisting Services.
You’ll develop all of the skills you need to care for patients in a variety of healthcare settings. With an acceptance rate of 100%, you’re sure to love the diverse classes and hands-on coursework this program offers. You’ll take classes on topics like insurance claims, ethics, and healthcare systems and operations.
Tuition is affordable, starting at just $550 per credit hour for part-time study. Choose to study full-time, and you’ll enjoy tuition discounts of more than $200 per credit hour - plus, you’ll graduate much faster, too!
2. Minnesota State Community and Technical College
Minnesota State Community and Technical College offers a dynamic online medical assistant program. The goal of this program is to help you develop the skills you’ll need for a bright future as a medical administrative or office assistant. You’ll learn everything from billing to record-keeping and other generalized office functions.
This program is unique because it also prepares learners for specialized administrative roles. You’ll learn leadership skills and valuable medical terminology, preparing you for work in medical clinics, hospitals, doctor’s offices, and more.
The program is highly affordable, with a total net price of just over $10,000. Many students receive financial aid for online study, too.
3. Independence University
Located in Salt Lake City, UT, Independence University has one of the best online programs in medical assisting. This program is unique, offered as an associate degree in occupational studies. You aren’t only limited to work as a medical assistant - you could also seek employment as a medical coder, pharmacy technician, or other type of healthcare worker after graduating from this hands-on program.
While enrolled, you’ll take classes like Psychology of Motivation and Principles of Drug Administration. Approximately 91 credit hours are required but you’ll be a belt to complete your studies in less than two years. The program has an impressive 100% graduation rate and offers credit for prior life experiences, too.
The support services for students studying online at Independence University are second to none. You’ll get free tutoring services if you request them along with one-on-one mentoring. All online learners also receive a laptop or tablet when they enroll! With tuition that will cost you less than $20,000 to complete the entire program and financial aid granted to nearly 80% of all students, this degree is one of the best around.
4. Weber State University
Weber State University, located in Ogden, UT, offers one of the best online schools for medical assistants. The online certificate program will prepare you to become a Clinical Laboratory Assistant and will enable you to work at a local laboratory.
You’ll partner up with a professional mentor who will supervise your work and guide you as you build expertise in this field. You will take classes like Core Clinical Laboratory Skills and build your hands-on skills in a variety of areas.
Tuition starts at just $6,840, and many students receive some form of financial aid.
5. University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
By majoring in health science at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, you’ll be able to enter directly into a career as a medical assistant. However, you can also continue your studies to earn a full-fledged bachelor’s degree. You’ll take up to 120 credits for a full four-year degree.
While enrolled, you’ll be able to build your skills by taking classes in subjects like health economics and medical terminology. You can also work directly with a medical facility or local agency to gain valuable hands-on experience.
Tuition starts at less than $7,000 for a full degree. This program does not have competitive admissions, either with more than 80% of all applicants admitted.
6. Keiser University
Keiser University offers a 60-credit associate degree in medical assisting. This program covers all the basics of medical assisting, including medical office management, medical law, ethics, and pharmacology. After completing this program, you’ll be able to sit for the certification exam as a registered medical assistant - that’s because the degree includes an externship and field experience hours.
With a more than 90% job placement rate, Keiser offers some of the best outcomes for students. Located in Fort Lauderdale, FL, the school helps students find rewarding careers within just six months of completing their studies. You’ll get extensive support on your pathway to a better career, including mock interviews, resume critiques, and more.
To be eligible for admission, you just need to have graduated from high school or passed the GED. You do not need to submit letters of recommendation or standardized test scores, which can make this degree a smart choice for students who are returning to school later in their lives.
The program is affordable, with tuition charged at the same rate regardless of residency. Significant scholarships and financial aid are available, too, including military discounts through the Yellow Ribbon Program.
7. Bellevue University
Bellevue University, located in Bellevue, Nebraska, offers a medical assisting program that can be used as a pathway toward a full bachelor’s degree in health science. It’s also a great choice if you want to enter directly into a career as a medical or clinical laboratory technologist.
While enrolled, you’ll take up to 41 credit hours in core classes like Medical Terminology. You can earn credit for past experiences and have access to all kinds of support services, too, including career counseling and placement services. If you’re new to online learning, you’ll even get 24/7 technical assistance via the Service Desk, too.
To be eligible for admission, you must have a high school diploma. Tuition is incredibly low, starting at just $4,611. Many students qualify for merit- and need-based financial aid, too.
Tips for Finding the Best Online School for Medical Assistants Programs
The major benefit of online programs in medical assisting is that they tend to work better if you have a jam-packed schedule. Since you won’t have to commute to classes every day - and can instead work on your coursework on your own time - you will be able to complete your studies when it’s convenient for you.
Therefore, an online degree is perfect for someone with other commitments, like children to care for or a full-time job to report to.
However, when you’re looking at online programs, you need to make sure the one you select checks off a few boxes. It should be affordable with options available for scholarships or other financial aid.
Look for a degree or certificate program that offers relevant classes that will enable you to meet your goals. If your state has licensing or examination requirements, you will want to look into those as well.
The ultimate goal in your search for the best online school for medical assistants should be to find one that meshes well with your personality, lifestyle, and budget - with a little luck and research, you’ll be on your way to a better career in no time.