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Best Online Medical Assistant Certification Programs of 2021

Company Cost Duration Accreditation Type of MA
Herzing

BestOverall
About $12,600 8 months with 180-hour externship HLC CCMA
US Career Institute

Best Accelerated Program
About $1,200-$1,600 Self paced—can be completed in as little as 4 months DEAC CCMA
Penn Foster

Best for Registered Medical Assistant
About $1,100 60 credits, spread over 4 semesters plus externship DEAC RMA, CCMA
San Francisco State University

Best for Clinical Medical Assistant
About $2,600 Self paced—takes 2-4 months with a 160-hour externship WASC, WSCUC CCMA
texas state

Best for Specialty Certification
About $4,000 Less than 12 months SACSCOC CCMA, CEHRS
PurdueGlobal

Best for Nationally Certified Medical Assistant
About $21,000 Less than 1.5 years CAAHEP, DEAC NCMA, CCMA, CMA, RMA, CMAC


Guide for Choosing the Best Online Medical Assistant Certification Programs

Should You Get Your Medical Assistant Certification Online?

If you are looking to get started in the medical field, working as a medical assistant is a great way to get started quickly and help you figure out if this is a good career choice. Although many local community colleges offer a certificate in medical assisting, online programs are an excellent choice for those who want a more flexible schedule and prefer to study at their own pace; they’re great for those with other obligations like a job or family at home.

Many programs are relatively inexpensive and can open the door to many job opportunities upon completion. There are also many ways to advance your career, such as obtaining additional specialized certifications or getting a bachelor’s degree in a related field like nursing.

Comparing Online Medical Assistant Certification Programs

There are many factors to contemplate when choosing what medical assistant certification program to choose. When starting your search, consider:

Duration: Determine whether the length of the medical assistant program is a good fit for your lifestyle. Some programs can be completed in as little as two months, while others take up to two years. If you are hoping to study part-time or at your own pace, it may take you a little longer, but you can complete courses in your free time while continuing to work.

Accreditation: Some programs lack accreditation, which may be an issue when registering to take the CCMA exam. These programs may seem alluring as they are inexpensive and short in length, but choosing an online school with a reputable accreditation helps ensure you are getting a quality education and will be fully prepared to take the final exam, saving you time and money in the long run.

Cost: Cost varies dramatically depending on which school you choose. Some programs are as little as $1,200, while others are more than $20,000. Look for scholarships or financial aid opportunities to bring down the cost if needed.

Program Type: Most medical assistant programs are either a certificate or associate’s degree. Think about your future career aspirations to determine which is best. If you potentially want to go back to school to become a nurse or other healthcare professional, you may want to put in the time to get an associate’s degree so you can use those credits later. And check with your home state for specific requirements to work as a certified medical assistant.

Enrolling In an Online Medical Assistant Certification Program

You can apply for most online medical assistant programs online in as little as 10 minutes. Some programs require an interview, and you may have to wait until a specified date to get started if accepted. Many programs require a small deposit to hold your spot, and although some programs need you to pay in full, the majority of programs have some sort of payment plan or financial aid.


Frequently Asked Questions

What Do Online Medical Assistant Certification Programs Cover?

Medical assistant programs cover various topics including medical terminology, HIPAA law, anatomy and physiology, job duties, scope of practice, patient scheduling, telecommunications, and more. Many programs have a hands-on externship, so you can practice your skills and gain competence, and aim to prepare yourself for the certifying exam you choose.

Can I Advance My Career With Online Medical Assistant Certification Programs?

Medical assisting is a great way to advance your career and gain valuable experience in a healthcare setting. While certification requirements vary by location, earning a certification such as the CCMA will help you get hired and start working right away. Certified MAs also can pursue other career paths such as health coach, patient navigator, or patient care coordinator. You also can take different specialty certifications to help you stand out and give you a competitive edge when applying to other roles.

Are Online Medical Assistant Certification Programs Accredited?

Although some programs online are not accredited, all the programs mentioned on our list are accredited by a reputable accrediting agency. This is important as it ensures the program meets specific standards and that you are getting the education you need to excel in your career.


Methodology

We looked at 12 online medical assistant certification programs available in the US and compared them based on cost, duration, accreditation, and program objectives. We sought out accredited programs that are designed for students who want to sit for the CCMA exam.

We gave preference to programs that include an externship as hands-on experience is a great way to practice your skills and get feedback from professionals to help you become a better medical assistant. We also looked for programs that offer a voucher to sit for the CCMA exam, as we felt these programs best prepared students to excel and pass the exam on the first attempt.

Some programs are certificate programs, while others offer an associate’s degree or pathway to obtain your bachelor’s degree, which is helpful for those who are looking to further their education.

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