How Long Does It Take to Become a Medical Assistant?

Discover how long it takes to become a medical assistant the steps involved in training, and what you can do to speed up the process.

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It takes about 10 weeks to complete a medical assistant training program, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, many community colleges and other schools offer programs that last longer, from several months to a year. You can also find accelerated programs that take as little as six weeks to complete.

What is a medical assistant?

Medical assistants are allied health professionals responsible for various clinical and administrative tasks in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities. They perform a variety of duties including but not limited to taking patient medical histories, scheduling appointments, handling correspondence, billing and coding insurance forms, preparing patients for examination, taking vitals signs, and giving injections. Many Medical Assistants also perform basic laboratory tests and assist physicians with minor surgical procedures.

Most medical assistants have at least a high school diploma or equivalent, although some positions may require postsecondary education or formal training. Many community colleges offer certificate and diploma programs specifically for medical assistants, which can take anywhere from several months to a year to complete. Some medical assistants choose to earn an associate degree in medical assisting, which typically takes two years to complete.

Duties of a medical assistant

Medical assistants are multi-skilled health professionals specifically trained to work in outpatient facilities such as medical offices and clinics. Their duties vary greatly, but most are responsible for both administrative tasks, such as answering phones and scheduling appointments, as well as clinical tasks, such as taking medical histories and recording vital signs.

Most medical assistants have completed a postsecondary education program of either one or two years. Many programs offer both classroom and practical training, and some may even offer an externship opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the field. Once they have completed their education, medical assistants must pass a credentialing exam to earn their certification. Some states also have licensure requirements for medical assistants.

Education and training requirements

Education and training requirements
Medical assistants can be trained on the job, but most complete formal education programs. Approximately 60 percent of medical assistants have postsecondary certificates, while 33 percent have completed at least some college, according to the bureau.

There are more than 600 medical assisting programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Most of these are diploma or certificate programs that last from 1 to 2 years, although some schools offer associate’s degree programs that take up to 3 years to complete.

Prospective medical assistants should look for formal training programs that have been accredited by either CAAHEP or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).


There are several ways to become a medical assistant but most involve completing a postsecondary education program and obtaining certification. Below is an overview of the steps you’ll need to take to become a certified medical assistant.

The first step is to complete an accredited medical assistant program. These programs typically last between three and six months and can be found at community colleges, technical schools, and vocational schools. Once you’ve completed your training, you’ll then need to pass the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

Once you’ve passed the CMA exam, you’ll be a certified medical assistant and will be able to find employment in a variety of healthcare settings, including doctor’s offices, clinics, and hospitals.


While the median salary for medical assistants is about $33,000 per year, hourly wages range from $10 to $20. Pay will vary based on experience, education, training, certification, and geographic location. Those who have completed a formal training program and are certified will usually earn the highest salaries.

Job outlook

The job outlook for medical assistants is very good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the occupation will grow by 23 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due in large part to an aging population and the resulting increase in demand for healthcare services.

Pros and cons of being a medical assistant

The role of a medical assistant is both challenging and rewarding. As a medical assistant, you will be responsible for providing both clinical and administrative support to healthcare professionals. This can often be a demanding job, but it can also be very rewarding.

One of the main advantages of being a medical assistant is that it is a very versatile role. You will have the opportunity to work in a variety of different settings, including hospitals, GP surgeries, and clinics. This means that you will be able to gain experience in many different areas of healthcare.

Another advantage of being a medical assistant is that it can be a very rewarding job. You will be helping to care for patients and make their lives better. This can be a very fulfilling experience.

However, there are also some disadvantages to being a medical assistant. One of the main drawbacks is that it can be a very challenging and demanding role. There will be times when you will have to work long hours and deal with difficult patients. This can sometimes be stressful and tough to cope with.

Overall, being a medical assistant has both advantages and disadvantages. It is important to weigh up these factors before deciding whether or not it is the right career for you.

Is a medical assistant career right for you?

Medical assistants are in high demand. They play a vital role in the healthcare industry, providing support to doctors and nurses and performing a variety of administrative and clinical tasks.

If you’re thinking about a career as a medical assistant, you probably have questions about what the job entails and how long it will take to complete training. Here’s what you need to know.

What Does a Medical Assistant Do?
The duties of a medical assistant vary depending on the type of healthcare facility in which they work. In general, medical assistants perform both administrative and clinical tasks. Examples of administrative tasks include scheduling appointments, handling patient billing, and completing insurance forms. Clinical tasks might involve taking patient medical histories, preparing them for examination, and assisting the doctor during the exam.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Medical Assistant?
The length of time it takes to become a medical assistant varies depending on the type of program you choose. Some schools offer certificate programs that can be completed in as little as six months, while others offer two-year associate degree programs. The best way to determine how long it will take you to complete training is to consult with your chosen school’s admissions department.


The medical field is always in high demand, and medical assistants play an important role in keeping things running smoothly. If you’re interested in a career in healthcare, you may be wondering how long it takes to become a medical assistant.

There are many schools that offer medical assistant programs, but not all of them are accredited. It’s important to make sure that the school you choose is accredited, as this will ensure that the program meets certain standards.

length of programs:
Most medical assistant programs can be completed in about a year, though some may take longer. If you’re attending school full-time, you can expect to finish your program within a year.
– Some schools offer accelerated programs that can be completed in as little as six months.
– If you’re attending school part-time, it may take longer to finish your program.

After completing a medical assistant program, you will need to be certified. The certification process usually takes a few weeks and involves passing an exam. Once you are certified, you will be able to begin working as a medical assistant.

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