Online Medical Assistant Programs

Medical assisting is a burgeoning field in the United States. Due to the rising population of elderly Americans, technological advancements in the field, and anticipated growth in the number of U.S. healthcare facilities, positions for medical assistants are projected to increase by 23% over the next decade.

Medical assistants provide both clinical and administrative support in hospitals, physician’s offices, and other healthcare facilities. Successful medical assistants should be able to communicate clearly with patients, support doctors, multitask, and stay calm in stressful situations. Students who complete online medical assistant programs are fully equipped with the skills needed to excel in the field.

Meet our expert

Ali RoscoeRead More

Ali Roscoe Medical Assistant

“I believe there are numerous advantages to taking classes online. First and foremost, I think the flexibility and making your own schedule is a plus.”

Jump to a Section


Online Medical Assistant Degree Overview

Degree Avg Degree Cost Avg Loan Default Rate Time Commitment Early Career Pay Mid-Career Pay Unemployment Rate
Associate $16,539 16.2% 1+ years $29,600 $34,400 4%
Whether you are new to the field, or looking to advance in your current career, you should weigh the costs and time of getting a new degree against its benefits. There is no one-size-fits-all degree. The best choice for you will depend on your current educational background, financial standing, employment history, and area of interest. For instance, those with no experience may want to consider an associate degree, due to its shorter time commitment and lower cost. If finances are tight for you, then you should prioritize the student loan debt and default categories, as you will want to choose a degree that offers you the best chance of improving your financial standing with minimal risk. If your employer or someone else is paying for your education, then you might want to consider the degree that will offer you the highest salary. All salary information is sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and/or PayScale

Students enrolled in online medical assistant programs typically graduate in one or two years. Graduates from medical assistant programs online can expect to find a variety job opportunities immediately after school. An associate degree will enhance your career options, and because medical assistant programs online are not offered at a higher degree level, this is the right degree for professionals entering the field.

Online Medical Assistant Degrees


Online Associate’s Degree in Medical Assistant

Students who earn an associate degree through an online medical assistant program will benefit from increased job opportunities, eligibility for certifications, and higher salaries. Medical assistant programs thoroughly prepare students for careers as clinical medical assistants, administrative medical assistants, specialized medical assistants, and pharmacy technicians. The BLS projects that positions in the field will grow by 23% over the next decade, making this a great time to pursue a medical assistant online program.


    Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Office Systems and Procedures, Pharmacology, and Law and Ethics in Medicine


    Medical Administrative Assisting, Medical Assisting, Health Information Technology, and Pharmacy Technician


    Clinical Medical Assistants, Administrative Medical Assistants, Specialized Medical Assistants, and Pharmacy Technicians




    23% growth from 2014 to 2024

Medical Assistant
Get Seal
For the 2016 rankings, has greatly refined its approach to evaluating schools and their respective programs. Our innovative method of assessing schools is what makes our rankings so distinctly authoritative. On the surface, every ranking we produce employs a basic formula: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. This final score determines where a school ends up in our rankings. Of course, there's a lot more than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about our process.

Medical Assistant Associate’s Degree Rankings

Rank School Name School Logo City Cost Address & Contact Info School Links Acclaim for Online Programs School Description
1Keiser University - Ft LauderdaleFort Lauderdale$$$$$1500 NW 49th St
Fort Lauderdale, FL
() -

Keiser is a private university that is a member of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida. Keiser University’s main campus is in Ft. Lauderdale. It has satellite campuses in Florida, abroad, and online. The school’s online branch, called Keiser University eCampus, offers associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees, all of which can be completed fully online. The online associate of science in medical assisting is considered a terminal degree that prepares graduates to assist physicians with examinations, injections, laboratory tests, and electrocardiograms.

This is among the best online medical assistant programs. The online coursework prepares students to take the Registered Medical Assistant credentialing examination given by American Medical Technologists. Course subjects include anatomy, medical ethics, and laboratory best practices. Keiser’s online medical assistant programs produces competent and knowledgeable graduates who exceed expectations in the healthcare industry.

2Minnesota West Community and Technical CollegeGranite Falls$$$$$1593 11th Ave
Granite Falls, MN 56241
(800) 658-2330

Minnesota West is a community and technical college with five campuses in southwestern Minnesota and an online campus. The school has been operating for more than 75 years, and Minnesota West Online continues its tradition of providing flexible and affordable options to students. Online students benefit from student advising and an online help desk.

Online medical assistant programs prepare graduates to perform the required clinical and clerical duties. Course subjects include biology, anatomy, psychology, healthcare finance, pharmacology, and more. Graduates of the Minnesota West medical assistant program are eligible to earn medical assistant certification online through the American Association of Medical Assistant's Certification Exam. The program requires students to earn at least 60 credits. The medical assistant diploma track requires 44 credits. The school has an 89% graduate job placement rate and CMA exam pass rate. A “C” grade must be earned in all major courses.

3Thomas Edison State UniversityTrenton$$$$$111 W State St
Trenton, NJ 08608
(888) 442-8372

Thomas Edison State is a public university located in Trenton, New Jersey. The school is named after famous New Jersey inventor, Thomas Edison, and it produces graduates that are as inquisitive and original in their fields as the school’s namesake. The school offers several degrees through its College Degrees for Adults programs that can be completed entirely online. The online associate of science in applied science and technology degree in medical imaging is for students who are interested in the radiology side of medical assisting.

This program’s focus on medical imaging makes it stand out. Students must already be registered as radiographers in their states. Course subjects include the physics of radiation, ethics, and information literacy. Students are required to earn at least 60 credits. The degree is meant for mid-career adults who seek further development. Students must fulfill general education requirements.

4Colorado Mountain CollegeGlenwood Springs$$$$$802 Grand Ave.
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601-0233
(800) 621-8559

Colorado Mountain consists of 11 community college branches in the state and an online branch. The college has associate programs and two bachelor’s degree programs. Online courses are delivered to students using a web communication platform and interactive, real-time online video. The online associate of applied science degree in medical assistance challenges students in online classrooms and in required clinical settings, giving them the knowledge and hands-on experience they need.

The coursework exposes students to the medical terminology, anatomy essentials, healthcare ethics, and pharmacology specifics. Students must earn at least 60 credits. Graduates can continue their education and complete the bachelor of applied science degree from CMC. Colorado Mountain also offers a medical assistant certification online. General education requirements include English composition, general psychology, and communication in healthcare. This includes electives in the arts and humanities, science, and social sciences.

5Minnesota State Community and Technical CollegeFergus Falls$$$$$1414 College Way
Fergus Falls, MN 56537-1000
(218) 736-1500

Minnesota State serves Minnesota students, and students abroad through its several brick-and-mortar locations across Minnesota and its eCampus. The school currently has 25 online degrees. Students receive online tutoring services and access to a comprehensive electronic library. The online medical assistant AAS program at M State is for students who are interested in clerical and leadership roles in medical offices.

In this medical assistant online program, students learn about healthcare ethics, medical billing, health insurance processing, medical office management skills, and medical terminology. Students are required to earn at least 60 credits. This includes 51 credits from required courses and nine from electives. Courses include lifespan development, medical terminology, college writing, medical office management, and more. Graduates find career opportunities working for medical clinics, hospitals, insurance companies, and dental clinics. Depending on your score on the Accuplacer, developmental courses may be required.

6Dakota College at BottineauBottineau$$$$$105 Simrall Blvd
Bottineau, ND 58318-1198
(701) 228-2277

Dakota College is a two-year public college located in Bottineau, North Dakota. DCB focuses on providing associate degrees in the medical, horticulture, forestry, and wildlife fields. It delivers several degree programs online to help working and non-traditional students achieve their educational goals. Small class sizes and affordable tuition make the online offerings at DCB stand out. The online medical assistant AAS degree at DCB combines online classes and field-work in a clinical setting to prepare graduates for fast-paced roles in the medical field.

The curriculum teaches students how to work with patient records, measure vital signs, help doctors with exams, give patients injections, and assist with lab tests. Graduates of the medical assisting program are prepared for careers in the healthcare field. Graduates are also eligible to sit for the Registered Medical Assistant exam. A medical assisting diploma is available that prepares students for work in outpatient clinics, surgical centers, chiropractors offices, and more.

7Barton County Community CollegeGreat Bend$$$$$245 NE 30th Road
Great Bend, KS 67530
(620) 792-2701

Barton County is a community college located in Great Bend, Kansas. It primarily serves students in the surrounding areas in addition to online. BARTonline offers constant access to courses, low tuition prices, and technology support. Barton County has 33 online degrees that can be completed asynchronously. The online medical assistant certification online gives students the skills they need to excel in one of the fasting growing fields in healthcare.

This medical assistant online program is comprehensive in terms of coursework. Students learn about lab techniques, phlebotomy, managing records, patient care, and administering medication. Learners must earn 68 credits to graduate. Students are also required to complete an internship in an ambulatory healthcare setting. Fifty percent of the program is taken on campus in the evenings. Qualified graduates may be eligible to sit for the Medical Assistant Certification online exams.

8Alexandria Technical & Community CollegeAlexandria$$$$$1601 Jefferson Streeet
Alexandria, MN 56308
(320) 762-0221

Alexandria Tech is a two-year college located in Alexandria, Minnesota. The school is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. The school has 12, completely online, two-year degrees. Online services include an online advocate who helps you plan your academic goals and provides extensive technical support options. The online medical administrative specialist AAS is recognized by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), and the degree qualifies graduates to take the NHA Certification Exam.

Course subjects include electronic health records, medical reception, pathology, pharmacology, interpersonal communication, medical scribing, and medical office management. Students must earn at least 60 credits to graduate. Learners can expect to spend about 20 hours a week in class, including a six-hour internship. Alexandria’s curriculum makes it one of the best online medical assistant programs. Graduates are prepared for work in clinical and clerical roles. Students can apply for scholarships online.

9Olney Central CollegeOlney$$$$$305 N West Street
Olney, IL 62450
(618) 393-2982

Olney Central is a community college located in Olney, Illinois. The school offers two-year degree programs and certificates through on-campus and online classes. The school also offers bachelor’s degrees online through a partnership with Franklin University. Olney Central belongs to the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges System and works with other colleges in the system to provide students with four completely online associate degrees. One of those programs is the medical office assistant AAS program.

The program prepares students to find careers at physician offices, clinics, insurance companies, and other healthcare organizations. Coursework includes medical record management, medical transcription, anatomy, psychology, statistics, and database management. Students are required to earn 68 credits to graduate. Some transfer credits are accepted. Students lacking keyboard proficiency will be placed in appropriately-leveled courses. The program is designed to be completed in 64-weeks.

10Northland Community & Technical CollegeThief River Falls$$$$$1101 Hwy One East
Thief River Falls, MN 56701
(218) 683-8800

Northland is a two-year college with campuses in East Grand Forks and Thief River Falls, Minnesota. The school is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. Northland offers 21 degrees in business, health and human services, liberal arts, and manufacturing. The school’s online programs are vetted using a faculty-centered, peer review quality testing system. The medical administrative assistant AAS teaches students the skills they need to excel as medical administrative assistants.

Course topics like medical records management, medical terminology, pharmacology, medical ethics, and medical office management provide Northland students with practical knowledge. Students must earn at least 60 credits. The school recommends that students take elective courses in public speaking and interpersonal communications. Graduates may be eligible for medical assistant certification online, which can also boost their career prospects. Students are prepared to work in hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, government agencies, dental offices, and more.

11Rochester Community and Technical CollegeRochester$$$$$851 30th Ave SE
Rochester, MN 55904-4999
(507) 285-7210

Rochester is a two-year college located in Rochester, Minnesota. The school was founded in 1915 and is Minnesota’s oldest community college. The college partners with Winona State University to give students the opportunity to transfer to a four-year program; credits are easily transferred between schools. The online opportunities facilitated by RCTC are based in the latest online pedagogy technology. A number of degree programs can be completed entirely online, and online students benefit from advising, access to library materials, and career services.

The medical administrative assistant AAS degree emphasizes preparing students to work in challenging roles with healthcare documentation. Course subjects include human relations in organizations, computer business applications, and pathophysiology. Students must earn at least 60 credits to graduate. Rochester also offers a 22 credit healthcare documentation specialist certificate and a 38 credit medical administrative assistant diploma.

12Guilford Technical Community CollegeJamestown$$$$$601 High Point Rd.
Jamestown, NC 27282
(336) 334-4822

Guilford is a public, two-year college based in Jamestown, North Carolina. The eDegree division at GTCC creates opportunities for students to complete their degree work for select programs online. Benefits of the eDegree program include priority registration status and tailored academic and career support services. The online AAS in medical assisting technology program is a limited enrollment program with a 95% career placement rate.

Graduates can take many medical assistant certification online exams, including the American Association of Medical Assistants Certification exam, which GTCC graduates have a 100% pass rate on. Coursework includes anatomy, medical ethics, exam room procedures, laboratory procedures, drug therapy, and general psychology. Students are required to earn at least 68 credits to graduate. This includes one elective course in art, critical thinking, cultural studies, human culture, and music. Learners must earn a satisfactory score on the Compass test.

13Minnesota State College - Southeast TechnicalWinona$$$$$1250 Homer Rd
Winona, MN 55987
(507) 453-2700

Minnesota State is a technical college with a campus in Red Wing and Winona, Minnesota. The college is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. MSC-Southeast offers programs that are completed fully online. Online degrees include accounting, administrative support careers, computer science, early childhood education, and medical support careers. One of the standout medical support careers offerings is the medical administrative assistant AAS program.

The MSC-Southeast medical assistant online program is an affordable option for students seeking an asynchronous program. Students are required to complete at least 60 credits to graduate, this includes general education and technical requirements. Coursework includes medical machine transcription, anatomy, pathology, pharmacology, medical ethics, and business communications. Graduates are prepared to take various certifications in the field and find jobs at a variety of healthcare organizations and insurance companies.

14Kirtland Community CollegeRoscommon$$$$$10775 N Saint Helen Road
Roscommon, MI 48653
(989) 275-5000

Kirtland is a public, two-year college located in Roscommon, Michigan. The online degree programs in business and healthcare can be completed asynchronously. Kirtland’s online medical assistant AAS is one of the best online medical assistant programs. Students are taught about medical records, medical coding, and the clerical side of medicine. They also learn how to assist with lab work and record patient medical histories.

The courses teach students the essentials of medical billing and coding, data entry, and how to assist in the clinic. Students must complete at least 63 credits. Learners partake in patient care simulations and supervised clinical practices. Graduates are prepared for work in physician’s offices, clinics, and hospitals. They are also prepared to take the American Medical Technologist and Phlebotomy Technician exam. Ideal candidates for this program are self-motivated, patient, and inquisitive about the healthcare field.

Online Medical Assistant Choose Your Career

Average Medical Assistant Salaries


Medical Records Technician

Salary: $35,900
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
15% 29,000 Bachelor's RHIT / AHIMA recommended, not required

Medical records technicians manage medical documents, lab and exam results, and more. They record data, review and track patients’ records and results, use classification software for reimbursement and data analysis, and maintain clinical databases. Medical records technicians must be analytical, ethical, and well-versed in medical terminology to ensure compliance with security and privacy regulations. Medical records are becoming increasingly digital, and medical records technicians must have strong computer skills and feel comfortable using electronic health records software. Most employers require medical records technicians to have some specialized postsecondary training. Although not required, the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credential from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is recommended.

Pharmacy Technician

Salary: $29,810
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
9% 372,500 High School Diploma or Equivalent PTCE Exam

Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists by receiving prescription requests, counting tablets, labeling bottles, pricing and filling the prescriptions, and organizing inventory. Administrative duties include maintaining patient profiles, preparing insurance claim forms, answering phones, and operating cash registers. Technicians must learn about the medication they handle, and know the side effects of each prescription. Pharmacy technicians must also be able to maintain confidentiality, and be precise when handling and discussing medication. Certification is required by some states and employers. Completing a medical assistant online associate degree or certificate program will help pharmacy technicians prepare for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) or National Healthcareer Association (NHA) certification.

Clinical Medical Assistant

Salary: $30,631
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
23% 591,300 High School Diploma or Equivalent None

Clinical medical assistants prepare patients for exams, take vitals, check medical histories, sterilize medical instruments, instruct patients on home care practices, complete minor treatments and basic lab tests, and occasionally support physicians during appointments. In smaller practices, clinical medical assistants may also help with administrative duties, such as scheduling appointments and lab work, making follow-up calls, and filing records. Clinical medical assistants must be able to multitask and communicate clearly. They should also understand basic medical terminology and procedures. Although a high school diploma is the minimum requirement for this career in some states, many employers look for certification and formal training, such as an online medical assistant program.

Administrative Medical Assistant

Salary: $29,960
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
23% 591,300 Certificate Various certifications available, not required

Administrative medical assistants manage the front desk at healthcare facilities. They manage medical records, schedule appointments or lab tests, make insurance claims, code medical information, and more. When working with patients, administrative medical assistants provide friendly and professional customer service. They should have strong written and oral communication skills, must know how to use a computer and basic programs, and be familiar with basic medical terminology. Students can develop all of these abilities in online medical assistant programs.

Online Medical Assistant Degree in Action

Ali Roscoe Medical Assistant

Ali Roscoe is a Utilization Manager at Drake Counseling Services, a chemical dependency and mental health treatment facility. She complete insurance benefits and authorization for treatment for all five facilities. Ali also serves as an Adolescent Case Manager and helps them achieve their goals.

Why did you choose to complete your program online?

I first started out going to college on-campus, however, I was given a great job opportunity. I then chose to complete my degrees online to better fit my schedule, as I work full-time during the day. It was my only option at the time and I was honestly quite nervous as to what it would entail, but I don't know if I would ever go back on-campus for education again.

What have you found to be advantageous in taking classes online?

I believe there are numerous advantages to taking classes online. First and foremost, I think the flexibility and making your own schedule is a plus. Particularly in my online classes, we have due-dates weekly and I'm able to finish the assignments within that week on my own time. We are also given the option to work ahead if we should have an event the following week. Secondly, I've grown to like learning and completing homework within my own living environment. Being able to take your course work with you, wherever you go, is a huge advantage to me. I go on vacation at least twice a year and have numerous work meeting events out of town that I have to attend. I also find it a lot easier to stay on task while working on homework or studying in my comfort zone. I was easily distracted while in the classroom setting and had troubles at times obtaining information. Another huge plus is that I don't have to drive to campus everyday and it's saves me a lot of time, money, and gas.

What were some of the drawbacks of completing an online program?

I struggle with time management at times and fitting school, work and a social/family life into my schedule. It can be very challenging at times and very stressful, but it always seems to play out eventually.

Do you think your experience in taking online classes has helped you in your career?

The healthcare field is changing frequently and I feel as though my online classes have prepared me every step of the way for my current job position.

Online Medical Assistant Professional Requirements

The Certified Medical Assistant Exam

The Certified Medical Assistant Exam (CMA) is a credential awarded through the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Recent and upcoming graduates from an accredited medical assisting program, including online medical assistant programs, can take the CMA for $125. Non-recent graduates can take the exam for $250 (or $300 for those whose certification has expired). The CMA tests general medical, administrative, and clinical knowledge through 200 multiple-choice questions delivered across four 40-minute segments.

Is it required?

Not required in most states, but preferred by many employers

How long will it take?

The exam consists of four 40-minute segments

National Certified Medical Assistant Exam

The National Certified Medical Assistant Exam (NCMA) enables medical assistants to obtain certification through the National Certification Career Association (NCCA). Eligible candidates are current students or graduates from a medical assisting program (including online medical assistant programs), people with two years of verifiable full-time experience as a medical assistant, and those who completed training in medical assisting in the U.S. Military (as long as the education or work experience occurred within the last five years). The test is $90 for students, graduates within the last six months, and those with military training. For other candidates, the test costs $135. The exam tests clinical and administrative knowledge with sections on pharmacology, phlebotomy, medical procedures, general office procedures, and law and ethics. There are 15 unscored pretest items and 150 scored items.

Is it required?

Not required in most states, but preferred by many employers

How long will it take?

Three hours

Registered Medical Assistant Exam

This certification from the American Medical Technologists demonstrates competency and skills to employers. Those eligible for the RMA include recent or upcoming graduates from an accredited medical assisting program — including a medical assistant certification online — or a formal medical services training program of the United States Armed Forces. Other eligible candidates include those employed as a medical assistant for a minimum of five out of the last seven years, instructors from accredited medical assisting programs, or anybody that has passed another certification organization’s general medical assistant exam. The cost is $120. The RMA consists of 210 multiple-choice questions covering three sections: general medical assisting knowledge, administrative medical assisting, and clinical medical assisting.

Is it required?

Not required in most states, but preferred by many employers

How long will it take?

Two hours and 30 minutes

Certified Clinical Medical Assistant Exam

The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant Exam (CCMA) is a certification from the National Healthcareer Association, intended for clinical medical assistants. To be eligible, candidates must have completed a training program in clinical medical assisting (such as an online medical assistant program) within the last five years, or have at least one year of work experience within the field during the last three years. The exam costs $149, although many schools choose to include the cost of the exam as a part of your tuition. The six main sections of the CCMA test patient care, communication, office administration, medical law and ethics, phlebotomy, and EKG monitoring. The exam includes 20 pretest questions and 150 main questions.

Is it required?

Not required in most states, but preferred by many employers

How long will it take?

Two hours and 50 minutes