Earn your Medical Assisting Certificate of Achievement and prepare for the National Healthcareer Association Clinical Medical Assistant Certificate (CCMA) exam.*
About the Program
What Will I Learn in the Medical Assisting Program?
Upon completion of the Medical Assisting program, graduates will be able to:
- Perform clerical functions, bookkeeping functions and process insurance claims within the medical office setting
- Conduct a variety of diagnostic tests using equipment, materials, and techniques within the scope of practice
- Perform and assist with routine patient procedures and care as they relate to a medical setting
- Maintain supplies and equipment as it relates to a medical setting
- Demonstrate the ability to apply critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and professionalism
Carrington College’s Medical Assisting program is available at a number of locations. To learn more about each location, explore their location pages.
Student Life at Carrington College
We know college is a big step. But education can be the first step in building a better future. Your instructors, administrators and fellow students are there to help if you ever hit a bump in the road along the way. Carrington College offers a lot of great student support services designed to help you succeed.
From scholarships and grants to loans, we will help you understand how to search and apply for financial aid.1
Tutoring and Study Groups
For help with schoolwork, your instructors and Student Success Center staff are often available for tutoring or you can join in an open student study group.
Externships, Clinical Rotations and Fieldwork
Most programs include an opportunity to learn in the real world before you even graduate! You’ll earn impressive experience that looks great on your resume.
After graduation, we’ll help you with your career search with everything from resume writing help to job search support to interview tips.
Program Specific Disclosures
Based on the most recent annual report submitted to the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP):
- Citrus Heights: 65.26% (2018)
- Pleasant Hill: 69.64% (2018)
- Portland: 81.93% (2018)
- Sacramento: 64.20% (2018)
- San Jose: 78.42% (2018)
- San Leandro: 68.53% (2018)
- Stockton: 74.38% (2018)
Medical Assistant Career Opportunities
Medical assistants aid doctors by performing basic clinical procedures and handling a variety of administrative duties. Between 2018 and 2028 the employment of medical assistants is expected to grow 23%, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.3
Medical assistants typically work full time. Some work weekends, evenings, or holidays to help cover shifts in facilities that remain open 24/7.
Cost & Financial Aid
Carrington College is committed to helping you achieve your education goals. Education is a major investment, but it’s an investment in your future. We participate in most financial assistance programs, both federal and state, as well as private financing. Each program has different requirements and application instructions. Student loans, grants, and scholarships are available to those who qualify.
For complete information on current tuition costs, please see the Academic Catalog.
The best way for us to understand your financial needs is to meet in person. Call (602) 492-1086 to set an appointment with our Student Finance Department so we can help you develop your personalized financial plan to achieve your educational goals.
Accreditation and Approvals
Carrington College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC/WASC), 10 Commercial Blvd., Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, 415 506 0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the US Department of Education. Additional information about accreditation, including the filing of complaints against member institutions, can be found at accjc.org.
The Medical Assisting certificate programs at the Boise, Mesa, Phoenix, Spokane and Tucson campuses are accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES), 7777 Leesburg Pike, Suite 314 N, Falls Church, VA 22043, 703 917 9503. The Bureau’s web address is: abhes.org.
The Medical Assisting certificate programs at the Citrus Heights, Pleasant Hill, Portland, Sacramento, San Jose, San Leandro and Stockton campuses are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (CAAHEP, 25400 US Highway 19 North, Suite 158, Clearwater, FL 33763, 727 210 2350, caahep.org).
For comprehensive information on Carrington’s accreditation and approvals, visit carrington.edu/accreditation.
Check Out Our Career Guide On Medical Assisting
If you’re interested in a career in medical offices that you can start fast, a Medical Assisting program may be right for you. Learn more about this exciting career.
Medical Assistant FAQ
How long does it take to become a medical assistant?
One of the benefits of becoming a medical assistant is that you can prepare to enter the working world much faster than other medical roles. You can complete a Medical Assisting program in as few as nine months for a certificate of achievement, or as few as 16 months for an associate degree.
What is the average cost of a medical assistant program?
The average cost of a medical assistant program will vary widely based on the institution at which you are enrolled, any financial aid you receive, and whether you seek a certificate or associate degree. To learn more about the cost of Carrington College’s Medical Assisting program, check out the Academic Catalog.
Do medical assistants need a degree?
You do not need a degree to work in medical assisting. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, although there are no formal educational requirements for becoming a medical assistant in most states, employers may prefer to hire assistants who have completed a training program. Carrington College offers a Medical Assisting certificate program that can be completed in as few as nine months.
Is a medical assistant higher than a CNA?
A certified nursing assistant (CNA) is an entry-level healthcare worker who helps nurses with patient care. A medical assistant, on the other hand, works with more members of a medical team and may also fulfil some clerical duties. It is hard to say if a medical assistant is higher than a CNA, as they are separate roles.
What classes do medical assistants take?
A sample of medical assisting classes at Carrington College includes:
MA Administration Theory 1—This course provides theory in the following areas: telephone techniques, oral communication, verbal follow-up, written follow-up, managing and maintaining the office, computers, appointments, records and filing, patient education, legal issues and biomedical ethics.
MA Clinical Applications 1—This course provides concepts and entry-level skill applications for the following procedures: vitals including height, weight and vision screening, aseptic hand washing, lab safety, microscopes, venipuncture, injections (parenteral medications), ABO/RH typing, capillary puncture, hemoglobin, hematocrit, glucose, urinalysis, audiometer and electrocardiography
What does a medical assistant do?
Medical assistants perform a number of clinical and administrative tasks in doctors’ offices, hospitals and care centers. Since medical assistants work in a variety of settings, duties can differ greatly depending on the care setting, size of the facility, and specialty of the physicians who work there.
Some medical assistant duties may include:3
- Record patient history and personal information
- Measure vital signs, such as blood pressure
- Help physicians with patient examinations
- Give patients injections or medications as directed by physicians and as permitted by state law
- Schedule patient appointments
- Prepare blood samples for laboratory tests
- Enter patient information into medical records
What is the difference between a medical assistant and a CNA?
A CNA provides basic care and helps patients with activities of daily living, including bathing, dressing, using the toilet, and helping them eat. 4 A medical assistant works with patients in both a clinical and clerical capacity. Some duties of a medical assistant may include recording patient history, taking vital signs, and scheduling appointments. The main distinction between CNAs and medical assistants is that medical assistants complete clerical work.
How much does a CMA make hourly?
The median annual wage for medical assistants was $34,800—$16.73 per hour—in May 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).5 The BLS does not track certified medical assistants (CMAs) specifically.
What kind of degree does a medical assistant get?
Aspiring medical assistants can choose from two degree tracks. For those who want to get into the working world faster, a certificate of achievement can be completed in as few as nine months. For those who want an associate degree, Carrington College offers a Medical Assisting AS degree that can be completed in as few as 16 months.
Is a medical assistant certificate worth it?
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if a medical assistant certificate is worth it. Medical assisting is a rewarding career in which you will be able to work with patients and healthcare professionals. According to the BLS, employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 19% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations,6 which may suggest it is a good career choice.
*The College does not guarantee students will successfully pass these exams or be certified or licensed as a result of completing the program.
**Associate degree is only available to CA residents
- Student loans, grants and scholarships are available to those who qualify.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical Assistants, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm (visited December 13, 2019). Data reflects a national projected percentage change in employment from 2018-2028 and may not reflect local economic conditions.