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Medical Assistant



Career training designed for you.

Think you’re too busy to go back to school? We can help. Find out more.

Two medical assistants.

Fast Facts

National annual wage range:
$22,870 to $45,3101
Tuition and fees:
Program length:
36 weeks

Train for a Rewarding Career as a Medical Assistant

Complete our Medical Assistant program in as little as 9 months. National certification exams can be taken upon completion of the program. Professional certification tells potential employers you meet industry standards — making you an attractive candidate.

Today’s healthcare field depends on people like you to provide support and care for others. If you like taking care of others and can take on administrative duties, our Medical Assistant program could be the place for you to turn your interests into a new career.

You can start and finish our Medical Assistant training program in as little as 9 months, sending you down a new career path in less than a year.

In the Medical Assistant diploma/certificate program, you will:

  • Get hands-on training from instructors with real-world experience
  • Take one class at a time, allowing you to focus on one subject before moving on to the next
  • Know your entire schedule from the start so it’s easy to plan around school
  • Gain actual work experience through an externship (Read our related post: Why is an Externship Important?)
Karri, Student

When I started here I was nervous because I’ve never enjoyed school. I’m a hands-on learner, so being able to see it hands-on and actually doing it shows me that it was all worth it. I think these are the best grades I’ve ever had. It feels great.

Karri, Student

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 can prepare you to work in exam rooms and with behind-the-scenes processes, including paperwork and other administrative work. After your training is completed, you’ll have opportunity to learn the skills to aid healthcare professionals with clinical support. And, you can learn how to speak and interact with patients, nurses and doctors.

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
Lena, Graduate

My program director reminded me to be a good role model for my kids. She encouraged me to not give up, to keep moving. And that’s exactly what I did. The job is very rewarding, and I know that I make a difference in people’s lives. It’s a true blessing. Virginia College really changed my life.

Lena, Graduate

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. Looking for a similar career that doesn’t involve patient care? Try our Medical Office Specialist diploma/certificate.

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

As a medical assistant school, our program is designed to prepare our students to be a key part of the medical community. Your medical assisting training is based on more than just classroom learning — you’ll complete an externship in a physician’s office, clinic or healthcare facility under the supervision of a physician, nurse or health services professional. Plus, once you complete your medical assistant training, your program director will have information on optional professional certification, which can help tell potential employers you meet industry standards.

Strengthen Your Clinical and Administrative Medical Assistant Skills with On-the-Job Experience

The 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. Read our related post on tips to turn your externship into a job.

Download Infographic: Medical Assistant Career Outlook

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 Development department will review your resume, coach you on interview techniques and help you begin your job search.

Laura, Graduate

I always knew that I wanted a career in the medical field. The Medical Assistant program taught us everything we needed to know.

Laura, Graduate

Optional 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 be able to sit for one or more of the following certification exams:

  • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), sponsored by the American Medical Technologists (AMT)
  • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam, sponsored by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA)

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.

Nicole, Graduate

I decided to go with medical assisting because I have a passion for helping people. My instructor Mrs. Eason was one of my biggest cheerleaders. She pushed me. Mrs. Eason made sure I understood all the lectures, and if I didn’t, she took the time to work with me.

Nicole, Graduate

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.

A career in the medical field can offer a great deal of personal satisfaction and job security. Medical assistant employment is projected to grow 23 percent through 2024, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.1 Read our related post for interviewing tips before you start the job search. 

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
Tia, Graduate

My mom always told me that I should work in the medical field. After she passed, I enrolled in Virginia College and I was determined to finish because I knew that’s what she wanted. Two weeks after my externship, I was hired. I know it’s what I was meant to do.

Tia, Graduate

Salary and Hourly Pay for Medical Assistants

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the national annual wage range for medical assistants is between $22,870 and $45,310 per year.2 Individual salaries will vary based on experience, location of employment, and the specific job title and duties being performed.

From our blog: Learn more about how much medical assistants can make.

Get Started Today

Just think: in as little as 9 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:

1 Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Medical Assistants, on the Internet at (visited October 19, 2017). National long-term projections and salary averages may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth or any particular salary.

2 The median annual wage for medical assistants was $31,540 in May 2016. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $22,870, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $45,310. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Medical Assistants, on the Internet at (visited October 19, 2017). National long-term projections and salary averages may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth or any particular salary.

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. Virginia College does not guarantee employment or career advancement.

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