Medical Assistant Programs

A Medical Assistant degree program aims to prepares graduates to provide safe, efficient, and compassionate patient care. Graduates typically work with doctors, dentists, or other healthcare workers.

Medical Assistant Program Courses

Courses that are part of a Medical Assistant program may include:

Introduction to Medical Assisting & Procedures

This course usually presents basic procedures for assisting the physician with patient exams. It also should include an introduction to medical assisting, certification requirements, and an orientation to the laboratory. Additionally, it may cover theory and techniques that a medical assistant can use. 

Human Diseases

This course aims to include basic information about common medical conditions, diseases, and the disease process. Within this, the course may focus on documentation of symptoms, patient assessment, and case management. It might even include diagnostic tests and treatment. Along with that, it should cover client teaching and ways to validate a patient's understanding of their disease and treatment.

Medical Billing & Coding

The course aims to teaches you how to process insurance forms for commercial insurance carriers. It should include basic theory and coding principles for medical insurance claims. The might course focus on appropriate terminology as well as accuracy of information from the office medical record. The second half of the course may move into insurance problem solving.

Clinical Procedures

This medical assistant program course may present advanced theory and techniques that the medical assistant can use. The course might focuses on technique and procedural skills. Through this course, students may also learn how to assist with minor surgical procedures and technical diagnostic procedures.


When looking at accreditation for a medical assisting program, you may want to consider two specifically. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Or, the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Earning a diploma from an accredited programs is something you should consider. Accredited programs have to abide by the standards of quality set by the accrediting agency and are regularly reviewed.

Post Graduate Licensing & Certification

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some employers may want certified medical assistants. There is a variety of certifications available. One of the common certs is is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA). Certification may be earned through several different agencies.

Possible Careers

Earning a Medical Assistant Diploma may offer varied career paths for the graduate including pursuing a career as a dental assistant or a phlebotomist. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, below is some information tied to these careers.

Medical Assistant 

  • Typical Entry Level Edu: Post secondary nondegree award
  • Median annual salary: $34,800 (2019)
  • Projected growth: 23% (much faster than average)
  • Number of jobs: 686,600 (2018)

What does a Medical Assistant do?

Medical assistants typically work in either an administrative or clinical capacity. Administrative medical assistants schedule patient appointments and talk with patients. They may also fill out insurance forms and code patients’ medical information. Alternatively, clinical medical assistants may work in the lab or perform basic health care. This might include drawing blood or removing stitches.

Job title: Dental Assistant

  • Typical Entry Level Edu: Post secondary nondegree award
  • Median annual salary: $40,080 (2019)
  • Projected growth: 11% (much faster than average)
  • Number of jobs: 346,000 (2018)

What does a Dental Assistant do?

Dental assistants provide patient care, keep records, and schedule appointments in a dental office. They also assist dentists during procedures or work in the lab. Additionally, they work with patients on hygiene and preparing them for procedures. Finally, they may also work with patients on billing.


  • Typical Entry Level Edu: Post secondary nondegree award
  • Median annual salary: $35,510 (2019)
  • Projected growth: 23% (much faster than average)
  • Number of jobs: 128,300 (2018)

What does a Phlebotomist do?

Phlebotomists draw blood from patients. They may do this for blood tests, research, transfusions, or donations. Then, they enter the information into databases. They also interact with patients to create a comfortable and safe environment. Furthermore, they also keep their work area uniquely clean.

Physical Therapist Assistant

  • Typical Entry Level Edu: Associate’s degree and certification
  • Median annual salary: $58,790 (2018)
  • Projected growth: 27% (much faster than average)
  • Number of jobs: 98,400 (2018)

What does a Physical Therapist Assistant do?

Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) work with physical therapists. They care for patients who are recovering from injuries and illnesses. To do this, they observe patients during therapy and, of course, help patients with exercises. Lastly, they may use massage, stretching, or even special equipment to help treat patients.

*This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer or guarantee of employment and that may help prepare students to meet the certification requirements of the field they choose to study. Students should check with the appropriate certifying body to make sure the program they apply to will help meet any certification requirements. Students should also consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution's specific program curriculum.


Colleges with Medical Assistant Programs

Source for school statistics and data is the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.