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Medical Assistant

Associate’s Degree

Medical Assistant

Fast Facts

Median salary:
Tuition and fees:
$32,260 - $38,452
Program length:
24 months

Start Earning Your Medical Assistant Associate’s Degree

Train for a medical assistant career in as little as 24 months.

Earning a Medical Assistant degree could lead to a rewarding career and a brighter future for you and your family. Now is a great time to pursue a degree in the medical field. There is an increasing demand for healthcare support workers, specifically medical assistants. With employment rates projected to rise 23 percent through 2024, medical assisting presents opportunities for career and job growth.*

If you are interested in the wellbeing of others, medical assisting could be the right career for you. The Virginia College Medical Assistant associate’s degree program could prepare you for an exciting new career in this growing field. Our program is designed to help you become a key team member and vital resource in a variety of healthcare settings. In as little as 24 months of training, you can graduate career-ready.

How to Become a Medical Assistant

Our Medical Assistant associate’s degree program offers comprehensive training that is designed to help you learn the clinical and administrative skills needed for medical assistant jobs. You will receive hands-on training in labs that simulate real-world work environments and utilize the same equipment found in healthcare facilities. Learn to assist with exam room procedures, take vital signs and medical histories and properly administer medications.

You’ll also train in the areas of medical office administration. The ability to handle administrative duties is an important responsibility in medical assisting. Our classes can help you learn how to schedule appointments, keep medical records and fill out insurance claims.

Through hands-on labs and an externship, Virginia College helped Laura gain the skills and on-the-job experience to feel confident going into her medical assistant career.

Our medical assistant courses help you gain practical skills.

As a career-focused training program, our courses are centered on building the confidence and competencies you need in the real world. Our instructors strive to help you refine and improve your medical assistant skills. Upon successful completion of the program, you should be able to:

  • Take vital signs and medical histories
  • Perform routine lab procedures
  • Sterilize and maintain instruments
  • Administer medications
  • Use computer technology
  • Facilitate administrative operations
  • Provide emergency care including CPR
  • Administer electrocardiograms
  • Perform venipuncture
  • Utilize aseptic techniques
  • Apply Universal Standard Precautions

Professionalism is important for medical assistants because they work directly with patients. At Virginia College, we teach you the importance of punctuality, dress code, etiquette and the other skills you need to succeed in medical environments. These important skills, along with the completion of your medical assistant’s degree, can help you stand out to potential employers.

Gain Valuable Medical Assistant Training with an Externship

The most effective medical assistant training you can receive is through real-world experience supported by foundational classroom knowledge. That is why our medical assistant students are required to complete an 11-week externship in a physician’s office, clinical setting or related healthcare facility. You will be placed under the supervision of a physician or other healthcare professional who will guide you through the process.

An externship allows you to test and improve your skills in a real-world environment. Your 11-week externship is a true hands-on experience where you can gain valuable on-the-job experience that can help give you a competitive advantage in the job market.

Go a Step Further by Becoming a Certified Medical Assistant

Graduates of our Medical Assistant associate’s degree program may be eligible to sit for one or more of the following certification exams:

  • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
  • Registered Phlebotomy Technician (RPT)

Although certification may not be required to work as a medical assistant, it can highlight the quality of your training to potential employers.

We’ll Help You Start Your Career in Medical Assisting

At Virginia College, we go beyond getting you ready for a career. Our Career Development department will review your resume, assist you with interview techniques, discuss career choices and even help you start your job search. We maintain relationships with a number of medical employers, which can be helpful for graduates. Our door is always open, even after you graduate.

Medical Assistant Job Description

Medical assistants serve as essential team members in doctor’s offices, urgent care centers and other healthcare facilities. Empathy and attention to detail are often desirable traits in these workers because they frequently serve patients and perform administrative tasks. In many practices, medical assistants are involved in many areas of operations, both behind the desk and in the exam room.

What is a typical workday like for a medical assistant?

Day-to-day responsibilities can vary depending on the needs of the workplace, but can include:

  • Greeting patients
  • Prepping patients for exams
  • Taking vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature, weight and pulse
  • Performing routine lab duties such as drawing blood
  • Administering injections
  • Assisting physicians with wound care and suturing
  • Supporting physician during exams
  • Accessing and inputting data into electronic health records
  • Updating insurance information
  • Sterilizing and maintaining equipment
  • Filing paperwork and updating patient records

How much does a medical assistant make?

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, medical assistants earn an average of $31,910 per year or $15.34 an hour. Opportunities for medical assistants are expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations.* Earning a medical assistant’s degree could be a personally and professionally rewarding decision.

Start earning your Medical Assistant degree.

Take the first step toward a rewarding career as a medical assistant. Fill out our request information form to learn how you can become a part of this exciting field.

Available at the following locations:

* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016–2017 Edition, Medical Assistants, (accessed March 2016). Expected growth rate through the year 2024. National long-term projections and salary averages may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual growth or any particular salary.

Note: The College makes no representation, promise or guarantee that completion of this program either assures passage of any certification examination or acceptance by any state board. Prospective and current students, as well as graduates, are responsible for researching and understanding all examination, registration or licensure requirements in any state in which they seek to become registered, licensed or employed.

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