Online Medical Assistant Schools

Why Should I Become a Medical Assistant?

It's no secret that the healthcare industry is growing. As states rushed to keep up with federal standards and requirements, you may find that the job outlook for healthcare professionals continues to improve. Completing your training and getting certified now may give you the chance to build a solid career in a rewarding industry.

Another benefit of training in a medical assisting specialty area is the diversity of training options. Some programs focus on patient care, while others prepare you for administrative positions. There are some online medical assistant programs that concentrate on careers in specific areas, such as a pharmacy, a surgical wing, or a dental office.

Below is a list of the schools we were able to find that offer Medical Assisting programs either completely online, or with minimal visits to campus required. When you request information from the schools below, make sure to check whether you will be required to come to campus at all, and if so, how often.

Benefits of Accredited Online Medical Programs

Many people like yourself have a lots of questions about becoming a medical assistant. And with good reason. When you get to the salary and job outlook section below, you should understand why so many people are flocking to healthcare careers. There are many options for people with all types of personalities, skills and passions. You can also find several options for training, including accredited medical assistant programs online.

Whether you want to earn your associate's in medical assisting from home or find out about online healthcare certificate programs that can be completed in a shorter timeline, we can help you explore your options. You will definitely want to compare several choices to determine the best online medical assistant schools for you to choose from.

Although they may be less common than campus programs, you can sometimes find options for accredited medical assistant programs online. You will likely have to complete your clinical training at a local facility, even if you take some classes online. By the time you reach that point in your program, you should have a solid foundation in subjects such as anatomy and physiology, computer basics, medical terminology, first aid, billing and coding, and other important administrative and clinical topics.

If you are ready to find certified medical assistant online programs in your area, use the search tools on this page to get started.

Or keep reading to learn more about the benefits of taking medical assistant classes online in pursuit of your certification.

The Online Medical Assistant Program Experience

When you compare online schools that accept financial aid, and accredited online healthcare degrees offered to students in your state, it's the experience that matters. The thought of going 100% online might be appealing, but a blended program with flexible campus requirements is probably your best option in this field– if you have campus programs to choose from. The growth of 100% online MA programs, with in-person clinical requirements has stemmed from the overall need for workers with these skills.

Of course, if you are looking at an administrative med assistant role, or a billing and coding certificate, this is a different story. You shouldn't have to complete any clinical time for these certificates.

Before filling out any applications, you will want to review the medical assistant course requirements. If you are enrolling in an online program, make sure you have a computer that meets the software standards and will be compatible with all aspects of the curriculum execution. For instance, if you watch a lot of online video lectures or tutorials, you don't want to struggle with a slow computer or weak Internet signal. You may also have to participate in live discussions, so making sure that video plugins, microphones and webcams work is essential.

Another aspect of online medical assistant programs that may come into play is proctored exams, where you show up to a testing center at an appointed time. This will prove that your hands-on skills and knowledge match where your online curriculum says you should be.

If you take a diploma or associate's medical assisting program, you will likely take a broad spectrum of courses geared towards certification. As we will discuss in the next section, the top online medical assistant programs should help you transition from the online classroom, through the exam process, and hopefully guide you into a career opportunity.

Online Medical Assistant Courses Typically Include:

  • Law and ethics
  • Pharmacology
  • Coding
  • Transcription
  • Clinical procedures
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Medical terminology
  • Externship

How Long Are Medical Assistant Programs?

Earning an associate's degree will take up to two years. Maybe a little shorter if you take an accelerated program, or longer if you go part-time. Diploma and certificate programs are shorter, ranging around 12 months to complete.

When you consider the length and type of medical assistant program that is right for you, also think about your long-term goals. If you already know that healthcare is your lifelong passion, then maybe you should consider an associate's instead of a diploma. Or, if you want to see how you like this field, and just get working as quickly as possible, a diploma program might sound pretty good.

How much do MA certificates, diplomas and associate's education programs cost?

Medical assistant course cost can vary from school to school. You should expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 or more, depending on the program.

Covering the cost of certified medical assistant online programs…

You should be able to find several online programs that offer students opportunities to take advantage of federal financial aid, as well as private loans. If you are a member of the military, you should ask about special programs that help veterans of our armed forces integrate into healthcare jobs through scholarships for training.

Are you ready to compare medical assistant classes online?

After you read the remaining sections, take a moment to review online schools that accept financial aid, and accredited online healthcare degrees.

Can Online Medical Assistant Programs Lead to Certification?

One way to determine the best online medical assistant schools for you is to consider certification. You will want to choose a program that will prepare you for medical assistant certification. Fortunately, there are several options for students in most states to consider.

Here's the way it works:

Look for programs that will prepare you to take the Medical Assistant certification exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). This is the nationally recognized organization that ensures medical assistants enter the workforce with the highest level of skills possible.

Before you can qualify to take their exam and receive certification, you will need to meet the requirements outlined on this page of their website. One of the main requirements is completing a program that is properly accredited. You must also complete an unpaid internship to qualify as well. One tip they give on the AAMA website is to each ask school you speak what percent of their graduates pass the exam.

You can take your exam within 30 days of completing your practicum training. At the time you submit your application, you will pay a nonrefundable $125 fee. All the steps are carefully laid out on their site.

Earning your certification and becoming a member of AAMA can be an essential part of your success as a medical assistant. Not only do most employers require certification nowadays, but also many online programs are accredited and set students up for certification.

What about medical assistant certification renewal?

First of all, you can't let your certification expire, or you will have to sit for the exam again. Plus, you will have to pay a $50 fee to have your certification renewed. Once you earn your certification, it is good for 60 months from the last day of the month it was issued.

If you recertify on time, you will have to complete continuing education credits in the following areas:

  • 10 administrative
  • 10 clinical
  • 10 general
  • 30 can be any combination of the above

This makes a total of 60 CEU's you must complete every 60 months.

Other types of online healthcare programs…

While you are looking at your options, it can't hurt to look at other types of online healthcare degrees, like respiratory therapy or dental assistant type programs that have similar roles, duties, and career prospects as medical assistants in many cases. You can also consider adding certifications to enhance your employable skills. For instance, why not consider ultrasound tech training, after you get a year or two of experience under your belt?

The bottom line: When you learn at a campus or online, medical careers can be within reach – as long as you choose the right program.

Medical Assistant Salary & Job Outlook

One of the most widely discussed topics among economists, and others who analyze the jobs picture, is how strong the healthcare industry is, and how positive the long-term outlook is for this sector. There are many reasons for this, such as innovations in technology, which create jobs and new roles in the industry.

More than anything, the reason is simple: The aging population is growing. We need skilled medical assistants to fill countless roles in all kinds of healthcare settings. These professionals are taking on more responsibilities than ever; which means the need to become certified after your training is more critical than ever.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has a wealth of accurate information about medical assistant training and careers. According to their most recent data, medical assistants can expect to earn a salary around $30,000 in most roles (2017). Of course, the salary level you will earn is determined by where you live and what facilities are in your area, and what online medical doctor degree or medical assistant program you complete.

Another bright spot for future medical assistants is the rapid growth this occupational field is experiencing. The current growth rate for all jobs in the U.S. is expected to be 7% through 2024. However, for medical assistants, that number is 23% (BLS, 2017).

And if you plan on moving into nursing after you get your feet wet, you can feel secure in your long-term plans. The outlook for nursing careers in the same time period is 16%, which is also much higher than the national average (BLS, 2017).

The BLS also gives us some good career outlook figures in other important areas to weigh into consideration. For instance, they break down the percentage of medical assistants that work in different healthcare environments.

Out of 2.8 million MA jobs held in 2014, here is how they broke down by setting…

  • Offices of physicians – 59%
  • Hospitals; state, local, and private – 15%
  • Offices of other health practitioners – 10%
  • Outpatient care centers – 7%

The BLS also has a lot of great insight into state area data that can tell us a lot about the outlook for MA's across the country (BLS, 2017).

The top 5 states with highest medical assisting employment levels are:

  • California
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York

If you look at the maps that they provide, you can see how your state compares. A lot of this goes back to the topic of population size. California is obviously a much bigger state than Wyoming, for instance. So there will be a need for MA's who have completed campus or online healthcare associates degrees, depending on the size and age demographics of each population.

Employment levels also don't always equate to the highest salary levels.

States with the highest medical assistant annual mean wage (BLS, 2017):

  • District of Columbia - $39,780
  • Alaska - $38,800
  • Massachusetts - $38,090
  • Washington - $36,400
  • Minnesota - $36,200


Ready to compare online medical assistant certification programs?

The best way to answer your questions from here is to contact the accredited medical assistant programs online that accept students from your area.

Online Medical Assistant Schools and Programs:

Featured Online Schools:

Online programs may not be available in all areas


Argosy University


Ashford University Online
San Joaquin Valley College - Online


Porter and Chester Institute


Fortis College
South University Online


American Intercontinental University Online
Baker College Online


Central Christian College of Kansas


Dakota County Technical College
Rasmussen College Online


St. Louis College of Health Careers

New Mexico

Rasmussen College Online


Lorain County Community College


Community Care College


Penn Foster College
Sanford-Brown Institute

South Dakota

Presentation College


Tennessee Technology Center at Knoxville


Vista College Online


ECPI University
Skyline College


Herzing University