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Medical Assisting Associate Degrees: Best Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

David Torrealba - November 19, 2021


Being a medical assistant requires responsibility and discipline to save lives. To be a professional in this career, you must complete various training processes to eventually get your license. Among other education courses, the best medical assistant program is an associate degree.

In a Medical Assisting Associate Degree, you will learn how to carry out administrative duties and clerical duties in a health care facility and work on a healthcare team. This guide will point you towards the best schools that offer medical assisting associate degrees and can help you become a certified medical assistant .

What Is Medical Assistance?

A medical assistant is a professional who is in charge of clinical duties at a healthcare facility and falls under the supervision of a doctor. This specialist performs administrative tasks, such as making medical appointments, organizing clinical records, and collecting insurance information.

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Regarding medical tasks, the medical assistant is qualified for checking vital signs and preparing patients for examinations. They should be prepared for many medical office procedures. Even though this position is not as intense as other medical career options, medical assistants still need extensive education to get the job done.

What Is a Medical Assisting Associate Degree?

An Associate Degree in Medical Assisting is an academic degree awarded by community colleges over two years. These institutions teach students about medical care, auxiliary health techniques, clinical skills, and drug administration. You can get hands-on experience and become eligible for certification exams.

This degree is a good option for people who want to start a career in the health industry but don’t want to become doctors. Studying medical assistance at a community college allows for a flexible schedule and can even be done remotely. You can learn medical assistant skills and administrative procedures online.

Medical Assisting Associate Degree Requirements

To pursue a medical assistant associate degree, you typically must have at least a high school diploma or a GED. Some schools may require you to have a minimum GPA or SAT score. Because an associate degree is a low-level degree , you don’t need any postsecondary education to apply.

The main requirements you need for a successful career are basic knowledge of the human body and a passion for a career in healthcare. You will get a quality education anywhere if you’re motivated and ready to learn new things. If you’re confident in your career choice, you will thrive in this medical degree.

How Much Does a Medical Assisting Associate Degree Cost?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average cost for a two-year institution is $3,621 per year, including tuition and required fees. The cost depends on several factors, including whether your school is a public or private institution and whether you attend in person or through online courses.

In general, a medical assistant degree is more affordable than other options, especially because it is an associate degree. You can learn the same clinical job skills through a streamlined, efficient college program that costs less than a bachelor’s. Later on, you can also transfer credits to a bachelor’s and save money.

Medical Assisting Associate Degree Financing Options: How to Pay for Your Medical Assisting Associate Degree

Medical assistance students often have financial aid options available to them to pay for their degrees. There are scholarships, grants, loans, and federal work-study programs available. The method depends on the policy of each community college. You should check the financial section of your school’s website to see what programs it offers.

Best Medical Assistant Associate Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Allan Hancock College Associate Degree in Nursing Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
Bakersfield College Associate Degree in Nursing Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
Bryant & Stratton College Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting Middle States Commission on Higher Education
California Career College Associate Degree in Nursing Board of Vocational Nursing and Board of Registered Nursing
Central Alabama Community College Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting Technology Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting Higher Learning Commission
Felician University Associate of Applied Science, Occupational Therapy Assistant Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Fox College Associate of Applied Science, Physical Therapist Assistant Higher Learning Commission
Monroe College Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Remington College Associate Degree in Medical Assisting Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

Best Colleges for Medical Assistance: Top Medical Assisting Associate Degree Programs

In the United States, you can find many community colleges that offer medical education programs. With an Associate Degree in Medical Assisting, you can look for work immediately upon graduating. You will have excellent opportunities in the healthcare job market if you have one of the associate degrees below.

Associate Degree in Nursing | Allan Hancock College

This institution is based in Santa Maria, California. Allan Hancock is a community college that offers an Associate Degree in Nursing and trains students in inpatient care, body structures, and the basics of healthcare. You can use the knowledge that you gain in this program to become a registered nurse or a medical assistant.

Associate Degree in Nursing | Bakersfield College

This program is another great choice if you want to learn basic medical practices. Students study the auxiliary techniques of medicine, administration of medications, and diagnostic procedures. This community college is based in Bakersfield, California, and the tuition is $7,737 per year.

Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting | Bryant & Stratton College

This institution is based in Albany, New York, and it has the perfect program for anyone who wants to enter medical assisting. The Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting has a liberal arts component in addition to medical and clinical coursework. You will get a well-rounded education in medical procedures.

Associate Degree in Nursing | California Career College

In Canoga Park, California, California Career College offers a few different healthcare programs. It trains specialists in nursing care for medical offices and health centers across the country, and its specialized programs teach top-notch courses. You can also access events and student services to help you meet other prospective medical assistants and nurses.

Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting Technology | Central Alabama Community College

At Central Alabama Community College (CACC), you can enroll in an associate degree specialized in the administration of health services and medical activities. This option turns you into a professional with knowledge of technology and data management tools. During the program, you will have the support of doctors and teachers with real-world experience.

Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting | The Christ College of Nursing & Health Sciences

If you want to study at a more conservative university, you can choose The Christ College. This school is special for learning about health sciences, medical assisting services, nursing, and more. The medical assisting pathway uses current resources to learn about first aid and professional practices at The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Associate of Applied Science, Occupational Therapy Assistant | Felician University

At Felician University, you can sign up for the 20-month associate degree and study occupational therapy. You will learn alongside specialists in real situations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), occupational therapy assistant jobs will grow in number by 34 percent between 2020 and 2030, which makes this a promising career.

Associate of Applied Science, Physical Therapist Assistant | Fox College

Fox College is a school located in Chicago, Illinois. In this institution, you can join the physical therapist assistant program, which combines theoretical concepts like anatomy and human sciences with real-world activities. After completing the program, you will obtain an associate degree validated by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.

Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting | Monroe College

Monroe College is a school founded in the Bronx, New York. It offers a hybrid program in medical assisting where you can learn on-site and online. The program lasts four semesters and includes a special concentration in clinical laboratory procedures, which is a great skill to have if you want to become a medical assistant.

Associate Degree in Medical Assisting | Remington College

At Remington College, you can join an excellent medical assisting program with on-campus hands-on training and online training courses. If you do not live in Garland, you can attend the program at the Dallas, Fort Worth, Greenspoint, Lafayette, Memphis, or Shreveport locations. The program lasts 24 months.

Best Online Medical Assistant Associate Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
American National University Associate Degree in Medical Assisting Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
Arkansas State University Associate of Applied Science in Nursing Higher Learning Commission
Care Hope College Associate of Science in Nursing Commission for Independent Education
Dakota College Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting Higher Learning Commission
Henry Ford College Associate of Applied Science in Nursing Higher Learning Commission
Herzing University Associate of Science in Medical Assisting Services Higher Learning Commission
North Central Missouri College Associate of Applied Science in Nursing Higher Learning Commission
Point University Associate of Science in Medical Assisting Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
State Fair Community College Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting Higher Learning Commission
Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences Associate in Occupational Studies, Surgical Technologist Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

Best Colleges for Medical Assistance: Top Online Medical Assistant Associate Degree Programs

It is possible to learn logistics and management of medical processes from the comfort of your home. These courses will train you in assisting doctors in terms of diagnosis, treatment, and consultation of patients. The medical assisting and nursing programs below will help you learn everything you need to know in a fully or mostly online format.

Associate Degree in Medical Assisting | American National University

This Associate Degree in Medical Assisting is 100 percent online and created by American National University. This school is certified by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. You will have resources to work and participate in laboratory practices from home and learn about medical and health services management.

Associate of Applied Science in Nursing | Arkansas State University

This 66-credit program teaches you all the resources you need to be a professional nurse. At Arkansas State University, you can enroll in one of the best online degree programs to learn about topics such as mental health, microbiology, medical management, and first aid. You can also access mock job interviews and career support.

Associate of Science in Nursing | Care Hope College

At Care Hope College, you can join the Associate of Science in Nursing to receive your medical license. It is a two-year program available both at the Boynton Beach, California campus and the online platform. This degree can be useful for your career path thanks to the hands-on training program and experienced professional teachers.

Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting | Dakota College

This community college is based in Bottineau, North Dakota. You will learn the basic medicinal practices under the supervision of a medical professional. You will also learn about laboratory procedures and law and ethics in healthcare. Earning this degree online will make you eligible to become a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA).

Associate of Applied Science in Nursing | Henry Ford College

Henry Ford College (HFC) is an institute located in Detroit, Michigan. This college offers an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing, in which you learn all the qualities of a professional medical assistant or nurse. This degree lasts two years and is available online and on-site. The school manages high-quality standards to teach basic care, first aid, and health management.

Associate of Science in Medical Assisting Services | Herzing University

If you want to access a hybrid program, take a look at this option from Herzing University. You will participate in laboratory practices in Casselberry, Florida as well as distance classes from anywhere in the country. With this 20-month alternative, you can receive an associate degree to enter more advanced degree levels.

Associate of Applied Science in Nursing | North Central Missouri College

The nursing program at North Central Missouri College is an interesting alternative if you want to learn nursing and medical assisting skills from home. This associate degree offers financial aid and many advanced resources to become a professional in this field. Some of the subjects covered include nursing mental health, pharmacology, and adult nursing.

Associate of Science in Medical Assisting | Point University

Point University is a Christian liberal arts school based in West Point, Georgia, but you can access an online program to get an Associate Degree in Medical Assisting. This two-year degree costs $410 per credit and teaches you how to work to become a clerical and medical billing expert, medical administrative assistant, or medical clinic receptionist.

Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting | State Fair Community College

State Fair Community College is an institution located in Sedalia, Missouri. This online program covers clinical procedures and duties, critical thinking skills, and administrative functions in a healthcare environment. The tuition is $6,000 per year, which makes it much more affordable than higher degree programs.

Associate in Occupational Studies, Surgical Technologist | Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences

This school, located in New York, teaches you the proper tech skills for medical assisting. If you want to participate in surgeries and medical situations, then this associate degree is for you. The Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences teaches you the resources used during surgeries, medical treatments, therapies, and much more.

What’s the Average Medical Assisting Associate Degree Salary?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for medical assistants is $36,930. The BLS also reports that the average hourly wage for a medical assistant is $17.75. This makes medical assisting a great entry-level career for people who want to grow in the industry.

Top Medical Assisting Associate Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

 Three medical assistants smiling with hearts Medical Assisting Associate Degrees: Best Programs, Jobs, and Salaries
These jobs are the top choices for entry-level medical positions.
Medical Assisting Associate Degree Jobs Average Salary
Clinical and Administrative Medical Assistant $42,984
Call Center Triage Medical Assistant $34,588
Medical Records Coordinator $34,033
Medical Back Office Assistant $31,641
Entry-Level Medical Assistant $27,539

Best Medical Assistant Associate Degree Jobs Explained

Clinical and Administrative Medical Assistant

  • Average Salary: $42,984
  • Job Outlook: 18% *
  • Number of Jobs: 720,900
  • Highest-Paying States: Alaska, Washington, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Minnesota


In this job, you will have to assist the doctor in the treatment and care processes. You must also perform administrative tasks, such as answering incoming calls for inquiries or emergencies. The main quality you must have for this medical job is knowing how to work under pressure, especially in outpatient care centers.

Medical Records Coordinator

  • Average Salary : $34,033
  • Job Outlook : 18%*
  • Number of Jobs : 720,900
  • Highest-Paying States : Alaska, Washington, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Minnesota

In this position, you will have the function of registering medical records, managing patient lists, and organizing the chief doctor’s consultations. The administrative role of this task is essential to guarantee that operations run smoothly at your clinic. You will be performing both clinical and administrative tasks.

Call Center Triage Medical Assistant

  • Average Salary : $34,588
  • Job Outlook : 18%*
  • Number of Jobs : 720,900
  • Highest-Paying States : Alaska, Washington, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Minnesota


When working in a medical call center, you must serve clients and patients looking for information about consultations, health insurance, treatments, and other health matters over the phone. Your knowledge in the healthcare field must be solid, and you need to have exceptional interpersonal skills .

Medical Back Office Assistant

  • Average Salary : $31,641
  • Job Outlook : 18%*
  • Number of Jobs : 720,900
  • Highest-Paying States : Alaska, Washington, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Minnesota


In this job, you must use information technology tools with precision. Your role will be to use the best messaging, data organization, and management applications to streamline the administrative processes of surgeries, consultations, and medical records. You can work from home in this job, which makes it a great choice for anyone who enjoys remote work.

Entry-Level Medical Assistant

  • Average Salary : $27,539
  • Job Outlook : 18%*
  • Number of Jobs : 720,900
  • Highest-Paying States : Alaska, Washington, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Minnesota


As an entry-level medical assistant, you will be in charge of administrative tasks such as coordinating consultations, appointments, histories, surgeries, and insurance. You will also assist doctors during different treatments and emergencies. If you want to enter medical assisting, this job is the place to start.

*Job growth statistics, number of jobs, and highest-paying states have been sourced from BLS information on medical assistants.

Benefits of a Medical Assistant Associate Degree

  • You can build your career quickly. At a community college, you can earn an associate degree in as little as 18 months and start working in the field. This is much faster than a bachelor’s degree or other technical program.
  • There is high potential for career growth . The better you perform your duties and the more experience you gain, the more career opportunities you will have. In the medical field, there is lots of room to move up.
  • You can save money. As a community college student, you will save thousands of dollars on tuition compared to attending a four-year institution. Many students also live at home while they learn, which saves extra money as well.
  • The job outlook is strong . The job market for those with a medical assistant associate degree is very broad and is projected to grow by 18 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means that medical assisting is a steady job.
  • You can get on-the-job training . Once you enter the job market, you will have the opportunity to receive training and education. You will receive guidance from assistants and medical staff during the onboarding process.

Should You Get an Associate Degree in Medical Assisting?

Yes, you should get an Associate Degree in Medical Assisting. Investing time and money to further your career will always be a good decision. While you may start your career as a medical assistant, your job opportunities will increase as you gain professional experience. This is why getting a medical assisting associate degree is a great way to start your career.

Medical Assistant Associate Degree FAQ


How long will it take to become a medical assistant?

You could start working as a medical assistant in two years with an associate degree. If you can find a medical office that offers you on-the-job training, you can start working right away.


What’s the difference between a medical assistant (MA), registered medical assistant (RMA), and a certified medical assistant (CMA)?

The difference is that a medical assistant has earned an Associate Degree in Medical Assisting or has worked as an assistant before. Registered and certified medical assistants have been certified by an organization to work as a medical assistant. There is no qualitative difference between the titles.


How can I find a good online medical assistance program?

To find a good online medical assistance program with high standards, you must research the curricula of different educational institutions. A good source to check is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs.


How much will it cost to become a medical assistant?

It will cost you between $3,500 and $15,000 per year to earn an Associate Degree in Medical Assisting. This depends on where and how you decide to study.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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David Torrealba

About the author: David is an experienced content writer whose previous work experience includes social services, SEO writing, and journalism. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Social Communication and Print Journalism from Universidad del Zulia.

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