Online Medical Assistant Programs

Medical assisting is a burgeoning field in the United States. Due to the rising population of elderly Americans, technological advancements in the field, and anticipated growth in the number of U.S. healthcare facilities, positions for medical assistants are projected to increase by 23% over the next decade.

Medical assistants provide both clinical and administrative support in hospitals, physician’s offices, and other healthcare facilities. Successful medical assistants should be able to communicate clearly with patients, support doctors, multitask, and stay calm in stressful situations. Students who complete online medical assistant programs are fully equipped with the skills needed to excel in the field.

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Ali Roscoe Medical Assistant

“I believe there are numerous advantages to taking classes online. First and foremost, I think the flexibility and making your own schedule is a plus.”

Online Medical Assistant Degree Overview

Degree Avg Degree Cost Avg Loan Default Rate Time Commitment Early Career Pay Mid-Career Pay Unemployment Rate
Associate $16,539 16.2% 1+ years $29,600 $34,400 4%
Whether you are new to the field, or looking to advance in your current career, you should weigh the costs and time of getting a new degree against its benefits. There is no one-size-fits-all degree. The best choice for you will depend on your current educational background, financial standing, employment history, and area of interest. For instance, those with no experience may want to consider an associate degree, due to its shorter time commitment and lower cost. If finances are tight for you, then you should prioritize the student loan debt and default categories, as you will want to choose a degree that offers you the best chance of improving your financial standing with minimal risk. If your employer or someone else is paying for your education, then you might want to consider the degree that will offer you the highest salary. All salary information is sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and/or PayScale

Students enrolled in online medical assistant programs typically graduate in one or two years. Graduates from medical assistant programs online can expect to find a variety job opportunities immediately after school. An associate degree will enhance your career options, and because medical assistant programs online are not offered at a higher degree level, this is the right degree for professionals entering the field.

Online Medical Assistant Degrees

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Online Associate’s Degree in Medical Assistant

Students who earn an associate degree through an online medical assistant program will benefit from increased job opportunities, eligibility for certifications, and higher salaries. Medical assistant programs thoroughly prepare students for careers as clinical medical assistants, administrative medical assistants, specialized medical assistants, and pharmacy technicians. The BLS projects that positions in the field will grow by 23% over the next decade, making this a great time to pursue a medical assistant online program.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Office Systems and Procedures, Pharmacology, and Law and Ethics in Medicine

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Medical Administrative Assisting, Medical Assisting, Health Information Technology, and Pharmacy Technician

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Clinical Medical Assistants, Administrative Medical Assistants, Specialized Medical Assistants, and Pharmacy Technicians

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $29,960

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    23% growth from 2014 to 2024

Online Medical Assistant Programs
For the 2016 rankings, OnlineColleges.net has greatly refined its approach to evaluating schools and their respective programs. Our innovative method of assessing schools is what makes our rankings so distinctly authoritative. On the surface, every ranking we produce employs a basic formula: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. This final score determines where a school ends up in our rankings. Of course, there's a lot more than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about our process.

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Medical Assistant Associate’s Degree Rankings

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Rank School Name School Logo City Cost Address & Contact Info School Links Acclaim for Online Programs School Description
1

Olney Central College

Olney$$$$$305 N West Street
Olney, IL 62450
(618) 393-2982

Olney Central College offers online medical assistant programs. The program prepares graduates for positions in a wide variety of healthcare facilities, including hospitals, clinics, insurance companies and health-oriented nonprofits. As part of the 68-credit graduation requirement, students participate in two internships that allow them to put classroom theory into practice.

Delivered through Entrata, online courses provide training in reception duties, transcription writing and medical records maintenance, among other topics. Distance learners with prior education or experience in keyboarding may be eligible to waive beginning and intermediate courses in this subject and substitute electives instead. An advanced keyboarding course is required of all students.

2

Wright Career College

Overland Park$$$$$10700 Metcalf Ave
Overland Park, KS 66210-1616
(913) 385-7700

Wright Career College offers an online AAS in Medical Assisting. The degree focuses on providing a broad education in both the clinical and clerical skills necessary for a successful career in either area of medical assisting. The 42-credit curriculum includes classes in office management, anatomy, nutrition and a medical assisting externship.

Students access online courses through the exclusive WCC CampusPortal. The school provides a range of student services to distance learners including: academic advising, tutoring, optional field placements and career counseling. Additionally, Wright offers live support through an online chat feature and individual blogs dedicated to healthcare, technology, nursing and other areas related to medical assisting.

3

Keiser University

Fort Lauderdale$$$$$1500 NW 49th St
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
(954) 776-4456

The online Associate of Science in Medical Assisting program at Keiser University prioritizes clinical skills needed on the job, including taking vital signs, performing ECGs and administering venipuncture. The degree also provides general skills in administrative medical assistant duties, such as appointment scheduling, records maintenance and insurance claim filing.

Distance learners complete the online medical assistant programs assignments through the Blackboard platform. Courses in the 60-hour program may be completed entirely online except for the required externship. Graduates of this program are prepared to take the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credentialing exam or to pursue their choice of entry-level employment in the field.

4

Minnesota State Community and Technical College

Fergus Falls$$$$$1414 College Way
Fergus Falls, MN 56537-1000
(218) 736-1500

Minnesota State Community and Technical College offers a 60-credit, online Medical Administrative Assistant AAS. Online medical assistant degrees instill students with knowledge in medical billing and coding, office management, business and medical communications, medical terminology and medical office procedures. The curriculum blends technical experience and liberal arts standards, which allows graduates to pursue entry-level employment or further their educations.

Online courses are powered by D2L Brightspace, and students access assignments, discussion boards and exams by logging into their eCampus accounts. M State's online programs are as rigorous and held to the same standards as the traditional degrees. Online learners can access their courses at any time of the day, though they must meet all weekly deadlines and due dates.

5

Colorado Mountain College

Glenwood Springs$$$$$802 Grand Ave.
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601-0233
(800) 621-8559

Colorado Mountain College's Medical Assistant AAS is a hybrid program comprised of general education, core and elective courses. Some of the online medical assistant degrees are completed entirely online, but students may be required to visit one of CMC's campuses. The program prepares students for a variety of tasks that are required as part of an administrative medical assistant's job, including data-processing, record-keeping, business etiquette and communication skills. Students participate in a medical assistant internship as part of the curriculum.

Online students can access assignments and connect with other distance learners through Canvas. This LMS provides virtual coursework as well as student services and support. CMC manages a wealth of resources designed to support each student holistically, including academic advising, tutoring, personal counseling, career planning and community outreach opportunities.

6

Alexandria Technical & Community College

Alexandria$$$$$1601 Jefferson Streeet
Alexandria, MN 56308
(320) 762-0221

Alexandria Technical and Community College offers an online AAS in Medical Administrative Specialist program focused on building medical assisting skills in the advent of major innovations in medical records technology. The program spans four semesters of coursework, covering topics that include: Human Anatomy & Physiology; Medical Transcription; Keyboarding/Word Processing Skills; and Medical Office Management. An additional fifth semester is dedicated to an internship experience.

Courses are hosted on the D2L Brightspace LMS and accessed through ATC's student portal, which was designed to provide convenient virtual learning with personal and academic support for those enrolled in medical assistant programs online. Graduates of ATCC's online medical assistant programs are prepared for a career as medical assistants in a wide-variety of settings or to apply for certification through the National Healthcareer Association.

7

Northland Community & Technical College

Thief River Falls$$$$$1101 Hwy One East
Thief River Falls, MN 56701
(218) 683-8800

Northland Community and Technical College offers a 60-credit Medical Administrative Assistant AAS completely online. The coursework includes an introduction to health information management and general medical office procedures; students who have prior education in such topics may be eligible to transfer credits upon admission into the program.

Online assignments are accessible through D2L Brightspace, the same one-stop student portal for technical support, video demos and a searchable online assistance database. Students who take a full-time courseload can complete their AAS in four semesters. Online students use Respondus LockDown Browser when they take exams and quizzes to ensure academic integrity.

8

Barton County Community College

Great Bend$$$$$245 NE 30th Road
Great Bend, KS 67530
(620) 792-2701

Barton County Community College offers an online AAS in Medical Administrative Technologist program. The degree is well-suited to students who are interested in a career in healthcare but not in providing clinical services. The program consists of 64 course credit hours and is designed to be completed in two years. The curriculum includes: Interpersonal Communication, Medical Terminology, Word Processing Applications and Anatomy & Physiology for the Pre-Hospital Provider. The credits earned in this program are not eligible for transfer elsewhere.

Distance learners can access assignments through BARTOnline and receive support through the myBarton portal. Academic support services include advising, tutoring and library searches; additionally, students can pursue technical help through BCCC's live chat option and Online Services department.

9

Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical

Winona$$$$$1250 Homer Rd
Winona, MN 55987
(507) 453-2700

The online Medical Administrative Secretary Associate of Applied Science degree is offered through Southeast Technical's division of medical support careers. Coursework consists of general education and technical requirements totaling 60 course credit hours. Students attending medical assistant programs online receive comprehensive training in a variety of liberal arts and science competencies, and graduates are prepared to execute administrative duties including keyboarding, medical transcription and word-processing in a medical assistant position.

Students pursing one of the available online medical assistant degrees can access assignments through D2L Brightspace. Numerous learning resources for online students are available through the Learning Resource Center and virtual student portal, including personalized tutoring services, fully integrated tech support and more. Students new to the learning management system can familiarize themselves with the platform by logging in as a guest and taking a tour.

10

Rochester Community and Technical College

Rochester$$$$$851 30th Ave SE
Rochester, MN 55904-4999
(507) 285-7210

Rochester Community and Technical College offers multiple online program options through its healthcare documentation and medical administrative assistant division, including a 60-credit AAS in Medical Administrative Assisting and a 38-credit Medical Administrative Assistant diploma. The programs stress development of general skills needed in a medical office, including understanding medical terminology, medical records transcription and technology training.

Distance learners may enroll in courses part-time or full-time, and they may take select courses in the summer term to complete the degree in an accelerated format. Curriculum is delivered through D2L, and students are encouraged to take advantage of the many resources for academic and technical development available in the student services sub-site.

11

Guilford Technical Community College

Jamestown$$$$$601 High Point Rd.
Jamestown, NC 27282
(336) 334-4822

Guilford Technical Community College offers an online AAS in Medical Office Administration designed to prepare graduates for clerical office assisting in a medical- or healthcare-oriented environment. Curriculum explores topics including keyboarding, word processing and medical billing and coding procedures. Online students must complete a prerequisite course in introductory distance learning prior to entry into the program. Students complete 66-68 total course credits, depending on their electives and prior learning in this subject.

Courses for medical assistant programs online are delivered through Moodle, and online students have access to services such as online advising and assessment, career services and customized counseling options. Graduates are prepared to apply for the Microsoft Office user specialist exams in a range of programs and software they may use on-the-job in this field.

12

Dakota College at Bottineau

Bottineau$$$$$105 Simrall Blvd
Bottineau, ND 58318-1198
(701) 228-2277

Dakota College at Bottineau offers an online Medical Assistant AAS, providing broad coursework in both clinical and administrative duties required of professional medical assistants in the field. The AAS curriculum covers 65 credit hours in courses that include: Medical Transcription, Business Math and Computer Applications in Healthcare. Online program advisors are available specifically in this discipline.

Coursework, delivered through Moodle, is supported by numerous student resources in Campus Connection that are dedicated to online learning, including virtual tutoring services, an online library database and a mobile app for distance learners. Additionally, online DCB students may request to attend the graduation ceremony alongside on-campus students.

13

Kirtland Community College

Roscommon$$$$$10775 N Saint Helen Road
Roscommon, MI 48653
(989) 275-5000

Kirtland Community College offers an online AAS in Health Information Technology. Medical assistant online degrees encompass 63 course credit hours exploring the essentials of medical terminology, diagnostic coding, electronic health records and more. Coursework is designed to follow the standards set by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), and accreditation is pending for this program.

Online courses and student services such as academic advising, job bulletin boards and an online writing lab, are accessible through Canvas and Kirtland's single sign-on feature. The online program can be completed in two years if the student is enrolled full-time.

Online Medical Assistant Choose Your Career

Average Medical Assistant Salaries

$35,900
$29,810
$30,631
$29,960

Medical Records Technician

Salary: $35,900
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
15% 29,000 Bachelor's RHIT / AHIMA recommended, not required

Medical records technicians manage medical documents, lab and exam results, and more. They record data, review and track patients’ records and results, use classification software for reimbursement and data analysis, and maintain clinical databases. Medical records technicians must be analytical, ethical, and well-versed in medical terminology to ensure compliance with security and privacy regulations. Medical records are becoming increasingly digital, and medical records technicians must have strong computer skills and feel comfortable using electronic health records software. Most employers require medical records technicians to have some specialized postsecondary training. Although not required, the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credential from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is recommended.

Pharmacy Technician

Salary: $29,810
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
9% 372,500 High School Diploma or Equivalent PTCE Exam

Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists by receiving prescription requests, counting tablets, labeling bottles, pricing and filling the prescriptions, and organizing inventory. Administrative duties include maintaining patient profiles, preparing insurance claim forms, answering phones, and operating cash registers. Technicians must learn about the medication they handle, and know the side effects of each prescription. Pharmacy technicians must also be able to maintain confidentiality, and be precise when handling and discussing medication. Certification is required by some states and employers. Completing a medical assistant online associate degree or certificate program will help pharmacy technicians prepare for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) or National Healthcareer Association (NHA) certification.

Clinical Medical Assistant

Salary: $30,631
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
23% 591,300 High School Diploma or Equivalent None

Clinical medical assistants prepare patients for exams, take vitals, check medical histories, sterilize medical instruments, instruct patients on home care practices, complete minor treatments and basic lab tests, and occasionally support physicians during appointments. In smaller practices, clinical medical assistants may also help with administrative duties, such as scheduling appointments and lab work, making follow-up calls, and filing records. Clinical medical assistants must be able to multitask and communicate clearly. They should also understand basic medical terminology and procedures. Although a high school diploma is the minimum requirement for this career in some states, many employers look for certification and formal training, such as an online medical assistant program.

Administrative Medical Assistant

Salary: $29,960
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
23% 591,300 Certificate Various certifications available, not required

Administrative medical assistants manage the front desk at healthcare facilities. They manage medical records, schedule appointments or lab tests, make insurance claims, code medical information, and more. When working with patients, administrative medical assistants provide friendly and professional customer service. They should have strong written and oral communication skills, must know how to use a computer and basic programs, and be familiar with basic medical terminology. Students can develop all of these abilities in online medical assistant programs.

Online Medical Assistant Degree in Action

Ali Roscoe Medical Assistant

Ali Roscoe is a Utilization Manager at Drake Counseling Services, a chemical dependency and mental health treatment facility. She complete insurance benefits and authorization for treatment for all five facilities. Ali also serves as an Adolescent Case Manager and helps them them achieve their goals.

Why did you choose to complete your program online?

I first started out going to college on-campus, however, I was given a great job opportunity. I then chose to complete my degrees online to better fit my schedule, as I work full-time during the day. It was my only option at the time and I was honestly quite nervous as to what it would entail, but I don't know if I would ever go back on-campus for education again.

What have you found to be advantageous in taking classes online?

I believe there are numerous advantages to taking classes online. First and foremost, I think the flexibility and making your own schedule is a plus. Particularly in my online classes, we have due-dates weekly and I'm able to finish the assignments within that week on my own time. We are also given the option to work ahead if we should have an event the following week. Secondly, I've grown to like learning and completing homework within my own living environment.

Being able to take your course work with you, wherever you go, is a huge advantage to me. I go on vacation at least twice a year and have numerous work meeting events out of town that I have to attend. I also find it a lot easier to stay on task while working on homework or studying in my comfort zone. I was easily distracted while in the classroom setting and had troubles at times obtaining information. Another huge plus is that I don't have to drive to campus everyday and it's saves me a lot of time, money, and gas.

What were some of the drawbacks of completing an online program?

I struggle with time management at times and fitting school, work and a social/family life into my schedule. It can be very challenging at times and very stressful, but it always seems to play out eventually.

Do you think your experience in taking online classes has helped you in your career?

The healthcare field is changing frequently and I feel as though my online classes have prepared me every step of the way for my current job position.

Online Medical Assistant Professional Requirements

The Certified Medical Assistant Exam

The Certified Medical Assistant Exam (CMA) is a credential awarded through the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Recent and upcoming graduates from an accredited medical assisting program, including online medical assistant programs, can take the CMA for $125. Non-recent graduates can take the exam for $250 (or $300 for those whose certification has expired). The CMA tests general medical, administrative, and clinical knowledge through 200 multiple-choice questions delivered across four 40-minute segments.

Is it required?

Not required in most states, but preferred by many employers

How long will it take?

The exam consists of four 40-minute segments

National Certified Medical Assistant Exam

The National Certified Medical Assistant Exam (NCMA) enables medical assistants to obtain certification through the National Certification Career Association (NCCA). Eligible candidates are current students or graduates from a medical assisting program (including online medical assistant programs), people with two years of verifiable full-time experience as a medical assistant, and those who completed training in medical assisting in the U.S. Military (as long as the education or work experience occurred within the last five years). The test is $90 for students, graduates within the last six months, and those with military training. For other candidates, the test costs $135. The exam tests clinical and administrative knowledge with sections on pharmacology, phlebotomy, medical procedures, general office procedures, and law and ethics. There are 15 unscored pretest items and 150 scored items.

Is it required?

Not required in most states, but preferred by many employers

How long will it take?

Three hours

Registered Medical Assistant Exam

This certification from the American Medical Technologists demonstrates competency and skills to employers. Those eligible for the RMA include recent or upcoming graduates from an accredited medical assisting program — including a medical assistant certification online — or a formal medical services training program of the United States Armed Forces. Other eligible candidates include those employed as a medical assistant for a minimum of five out of the last seven years, instructors from accredited medical assisting programs, or anybody that has passed another certification organization’s general medical assistant exam. The cost is $120. The RMA consists of 210 multiple-choice questions covering three sections: general medical assisting knowledge, administrative medical assisting, and clinical medical assisting.

Is it required?

Not required in most states, but preferred by many employers

How long will it take?

Two hours and 30 minutes

Certified Clinical Medical Assistant Exam

The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant Exam (CCMA) is a certification from the National Healthcareer Association, intended for clinical medical assistants. To be eligible, candidates must have completed a training program in clinical medical assisting (such as an online medical assistant program) within the last five years, or have at least one year of work experience within the field during the last three years. The exam costs $149, although many schools choose to include the cost of the exam as a part of your tuition. The six main sections of the CCMA test patient care, communication, office administration, medical law and ethics, phlebotomy, and EKG monitoring. The exam includes 20 pretest questions and 150 main questions.

Is it required?

Not required in most states, but preferred by many employers

How long will it take?

Two hours and 50 minutes