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Medical Assistant

Associate's Degree

Medical Assistant - Respiratory Care

Fast Facts

National annual wage range:
$22,870 to $45,310*
Tuition and fees:
$26,495 to $28,929
Program length:
77 weeks

If you love working with people but need your career to go further, consider Brightwood College’s Medical Assistant associate degree program. In this program, which is designed to help students develop into well-rounded members of health care teams, you could earn your associate degree in less than two years.

With hands-on training, the associate degree for medical assistants at Brightwood College offers a direct path to a new career in as little as 77 weeks.

If you have already earned a medical assistant diploma or certificate, and want additional skills that could help you advance further in your career, our Medical Assistant Associate’s degree program may be a good choice. (Military veterans with qualifying education benefits may be eligible to enroll in this program without having earned a diploma or certificate.)

A Medical Assistant Program Focusing on Diverse Skills

Earning a Medical Assistant associate’s degree could help you advance in the health care field by giving you the opportunity to build on the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired in a Medical Assistant diploma program and in the workplace. This higher credential could lead to higher pay, advancement or leadership positions.

The Medical Assistant associate’s degree program at Brightwood College is designed to help you become a well-rounded member of a health care team by enhancing your management and human resources skills, knowledge of electronic medical records, office/administrative skills and more. The computer technology and word processing facets of the curriculum, for instance, could increase your potential for job placement.

Career-Focused Curriculum

The demand for medical assistants is high – with a national, projected growth of 23% – but the health care industry is competitive. That means you may need additional education and training to help you stand out. This program offers a comprehensive set of medical assistant courses that includes hands-on training in both administrative and clinical responsibilities, taught by faculty members who have professional experience in their fields.

In this associate’s degree program, you will have an opportunity to build upon the knowledge and skills you have gained in your Medical Assistant diploma/certificate program. The medical assistant degree curriculum includes courses focusing on:

  • Oral and written, communication
  • Ethical behavior
  • Cultural awareness
  • Health data management
  • Electronic medical records systems
  • Medical office operation
  • Human resource management
  • Health services delivery systems
  • Health care legal issues
  • Improved and enhanced clinical competencies

The Medical Assistant associate degree program also works with students to develop interpersonal communication and the professional attitude that’s necessary to succeed in today’s medical world.

Job Opportunities for Medical Assistant Degree Holders

Students completing the Medical Assistant associate’s degree program may seek positions in a doctor's office or other medical facility as a medical assistant, clinical laboratory aide, blood bank donor unit assistant, front office assistant manager, or back office laboratory assistant. Other positions may be attainable depending on your work experience, location and other factors. Read more about what makes a great medical assistant.

Optional Medical Assistant Certification

Certification or licensure can provide an additional credential for obtaining employment in the field. In some instances, certification or licensure may be required for employment in certain locations. Eligible graduates of our medical assistant program one or more of the following certification exams:

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

Certification and licensure examinations vary by location. Please see your campus catalog to determine which may be available to graduates from your location.

Inside a Medical Assistant’s Job

What does a medical assistant do?

Brightwood College Medical Assistant classes help prepare students for a wide range of medical careers. Medical assistants can work in doctors’ offices, laboratories, blood banks, hospitals and more.

What are the job description and duties of a medical assistant?

Medical assistants typically do the following:

  • Record patients’ personal information and medical histories
  • Take and measure vital signs
  • Help physicians with patient examinations
  • Administer injections or medications as directed by the physician and as permitted by state law
  • Schedule patient appointments
  • Prepare blood samples for laboratory tests
  • Enter medical information into patients’ records
  • Uphold patient confidentiality and HIPPA rights

How Much Does a Medical Assistant Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, medical assistants earn a median of $31,540 per year. The lowest ten percent earned less than $22,870 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $45,310.2Opportunities for medical assistants are expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. Earning a medical assistant’s degree could be a personally and professionally rewarding decision.

Read more about a medical assistant’s salary.

Start a Medical Assistant Associate’s Degree Program Today

If you’re looking for a career where you can help people feel better, consider Brightwood College’s associate degree program for medical assistants. Take the first step toward an exciting new career. Find out more about a career as a medical assistant today!

Admissions Requirement: Students must have completed a medical assistant diploma program or equivalent to enroll in this program. Please see the campus catalog for details.

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. Brightwood College does not guarantee employment or career advancement.

*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Medical Assistants, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm (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 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 https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm (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.

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