Medical Assistant

Diploma/Certificate - 48 Credit Hr.

Medical Assistant

Fast Facts

Program length:
Less than a year
Credit Hours:
48
Certifications eligible:
RMA and CPT
Median salary:
$31,910*
Median hourly pay:
$15.34
Tuition and fees:
$16,180 - $19,276

Train for a Rewarding Career as a Medical Assistant

Complete our Medical Assistant program in as little as a year.

Today’s healthcare field depends on people like you to provide support and care for others. If you are a natural-born caretaker, have a passion for helping others or enjoy administrative duties, our Medical Assistant program could be the place for you to turn your gifts into a new career.

This 48-credit hour Medical Assistant training program can be completed in as little as 12 months, allowing you to reach your goals and pursue a career in less time than you may think.

A Medical Assistant Program Designed to Build Practical Skills

It takes care, compassion and a learned set of skills to work in the medical field. Our medical assistant training teaches you professionalism and teamwork and is designed to prepare you for exam room and behind-the-scenes procedures. You will learn how to successfully communicate in patient and physician interactions. 

In addition, our Medical Assistant certificate/diploma program prepares you with the clinical and administrative skills necessary to effectively aid other healthcare professionals. Providing clinical support is an important part of a medical assistant's job description. 

Receive a medical assistant education that prepares you for the real-world.

You will receive hands-on training in labs that simulate real-world work environments and use the equipment found in healthcare facilities. Our program can prepare you to:

  • Assist with exam room procedures
  • Take vital signs and medical histories
  • Perform routine laboratory procedures
  • Administer medications and immunizations

Another key part of medical assisting is the ability to carry out administrative functions and procedures. We help train you to support others through task-oriented work such as answering phones and scheduling appointments.

Through hands-on labs and an externship, Virginia College prepared Laura with the skills and experience to be confident in her job as a medical assistant.

Medical Assisting Training That Goes Beyond the Classroom

We prepare our students to be an integral part of the medical field, which is why you will complete an externship in a physician’s office, clinic or healthcare facility under the supervision of a physician, nurse or health services professional.

Strengthen your clinical and administrative medical assistant skills with on-the-job experience.

The 11-week medical assistant externship is a unique opportunity to gain first-hand experience working in a medical office or clinic. Not only will you put the skills you’ve learned in class to practical use, you’ll also gain valuable on-the-job experience that can give you a competitive advantage in the job market.

The Virginia College support network goes beyond helping you secure an externship. We’ll also help you prepare for the job search process. Our Career Services team will review your resume, coach you on interview techniques and help you begin your job search.

Preparing for Medical Assistant Certification

Certification may not be required to work as a medical assistant, but earning a medical assistant certification can underscore the quality of your training to employers.

Eligible graduates of our medical assistant program may take one or both of the following certification exams:

  • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
  • Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT)

For medical assistants who are looking for additional training, we also offer a Medical Assistant associate's degree program.

Inside a Medical Assistant’s Job

Medical assistants are essential to the healthcare system. They work alongside other medical professionals to administer patient care, ensure accurate recordkeeping and perform other clinical and administrative tasks. Typically, they are the first people that patients see, so they can set the tone for the whole facility.

What are medical assistants and what do they do?

Medical assistants work in a variety of healthcare settings including primary care offices, urgent care centers and hospitals. A medical assistant’s job can vary from day to day depending on the current needs of the practice or facility. Strong communication skills and compassion go a long way in this job because medical assistants often work with the public.

What kind of work does a medical assistant perform in a typical workday?

A career in the medical field can offer a great deal of personal satisfaction and security. Medical assistant employment is projected to grow 23 percent through 2024, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.*

Medical Assistant Job Description and Duties

In many medical practices, medical assistants are involved in many aspects of the operation, from the front desk to the exam room to following up with patients. Job duties often include but are not limited to the following:

  • 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
  • Following-up with patients
  • Accessing and inputting data into electronic health records
  • Sterilizing and maintaining equipment
  • Filing paperwork and updating patient records

Salary and Hourly Pay for Medical Assistants

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, medical assistants earn an average of $31,910 per year, or$15.34 an hour.* A medical assistant's position, education and location may affect how much they make. Becoming a medical assistant could be a personally and financially fulfilling decision.

Learn more about how much medical assistants can make.

Get Started Today

Just think: in as little as 12 months, you could be on your way to a new career in medical assisting. Take the first step by completing the Request More Information form or giving us a call to learn more.

Available at the following locations:

* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016–2017 Edition, Medical Assistants, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm (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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