There are several educational options to become a Medical Assistant. Community colleges and technical schools offer Medical Assistant certification, diploma or an Associate Degree with many of these programs offered online. How to decide which is the best program? Best Medical Degrees has reviewed online programs and published reports on 20 Most Affordable Online Medical Assistant Certificate and Diploma Programs and 15 Best Online Medical Assistant Associate Degree Programs which will give you a place to start in your school search.
How Do I Know The Program Is A Quality One?
One of the best ways to determine the quality of a program is to check its accreditation status. Accreditation is offered to program which meets particular educational methods, structure and compliance with standard benchmarks. Accrediting agencies are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to approve educational programs. Accreditation may be offered through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) or Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
You may also want to choose a program which will allow you to sit for specific certification exams to achieve certification as a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) or Registered Medical Assistant (RMA).
What About Cost?
There are a couple of things to consider when considering the cost of a Medical Assistant program. First, is program length. Typically, certification and diploma programs may be achieved in less than 12 months. Associate Degree programs may last for 24 months. Secondly, Best Medical Degrees has found that tuition costs for a certification or diploma range between $1,500-$10,000 and above. Associate Degrees range between $3,000-$15,000. Many of these programs qualify for Financial Aid by filing a free, Federal Student Aid form. Additionally, many schools offer reduced tuition costs for active, or retired, military personnel.
While online programs are available to become a Medical Assistant, you should be certain that the program you choose is available for students from your state. It’s recommended you check with the school to determine that your studies are recognized by your state.
Online programs will typically offer coursework online; but, if you choose to follow a Clinical Medical Assistant program, you may be required to participate in an externship. Externships are non-paid positions working in a clinical setting under the supervision of a physician. Administrative Medical Assistant programs usually do not have extern requirements.
Will My Diploma or Associate Degree Indicate I Attended Online?
There was a time that online degree programs were viewed somewhat suspiciously; but, that is no longer the case. Online educational programs and degrees are widely accepted; and, provides the student with the ability to continue to work while advancing their education to advance their careers.
Whichever program you choose, accredited certification, diploma or Associate Degree, you’ll be preparing to enter a field which the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates to be growing at a rapid 29% between the years 2016-2026.