With the economic situation such as it is, people are looking for jobs that have a bit of job security, or for jobs for which there tend to be a lot of positions available so that it is less likely they will end up without a job for any length of time. One job that fits these requirements is that of a medical assistant. Depending on how soon you want to get started working in the field, there are a number of different options available for medical assistant training programs.
How To Choose A Medical Assistant Training Program
When choosing a medical assistant training program, you want to be sure that it is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. There are a total of 569 accredited programs at this time, including programs in 47 different states. For those without an accredited program located near them, there are also three accredited online programs (located at Kaplan University in Davenport, IA; Spencerian College in Louisville, KY; and Mountain State University in Beckley, WV) so everyone has a program available to them.
For those who want to get started quickly in their new career field, there are 198 diploma programs and 167 certificate programs available. These medical assistant training programs usually last about one year, so they are among the shortest programs available. However, you will get more experience and have a better foundation for your career (and possibly more job opportunities) if you stick it out and attend one of the longer training programs.
There are 265 associates degree programs that are accredited. These programs are usually about two years long, and you leave with a college degree which could give you more options in the job market and possibly more pay.
Medical Assistant Requirements
Any medical assistant training program will require you to have at least a high school degree. Most programs include at least some time spent working in a medical office as an internship during your course of study so that you can get a better idea of what the job will be like and so you can get some practice performing the basic skills required of a person with this position. It is a really good idea to make sure that whichever program you choose includes some on the job training such as this because it is very useful to have. Once you have completed your training, it is also advisable to get certified by the American Association of Medical Assistants or one of the other organizations which provides this service as it will make it easier to find jobs.