Medical Assistant Trade Schools and Vocational Schools in the U.S.

Students interested in medical assistant careers should select programs that offer both intensive in-class instruction as well as clinical hands-on training with local hospitals and medical centers.

How to Select a Medical Assistant School

Medical assistants are in charge of both administrative and clerical duties as well as patient-oriented clinical tasks. Through such tasks as taking patients' medical histories, scheduling appointments and answering phones, medical assistants ensure a medical facility is run effectively.

Consider the following when looking for medical assistant schools:

  • Medical assistant schools should offer comprehensive courses that cover medical terminology, clinical laboratory procedures, medical ethics and medical transcription.
  • Students should check that their school offers a variety of potential work environments, to better acquire a more diverse range of patients, treatment modalities and experience with illnesses or injuries.

Program Overviews


A medical assisting diploma typically takes about one year to complete and includes courses in clinical procedures, phlebotomy, lab techniques and pharmacology. These diverse courses prepare students for the duties of a medical assistant and for required clinical internships. Students who live in states with applicable laws will be eligible to take the national certification exam.


A certificate program takes two or three semesters to complete. Students learn how to complete various medical procedures and how to process and manage data. Like other programs, all students must complete a clinical practicum. Some programs may include a review class for the certification exam.

Associate of Applied Science

These 2-year degree programs include general education classes like psychology, history and speech as well as core classes in patient care, hematology, electrocardiography and basic surgical assisting. Students may also learn how to interact with patients and assist with clerical work. Associate's degree programs also include clinical practice and prepare students for national certification by way of passing a national board exam.

10 Schools with Medical Assistant Programs

College/UniversityInstitution Type
PIMA Medical Institute 2-year, Private
Everest College 2-year, Private
Carrington College 2-year, Private
Central Oregon Community College 2-year, Public
San Francisco State University 4-year, Public
City College of San Francisco 2-year, Public
Portland Community College 2-year, Public
Bunker Hill Community College 2-year, Public
Virginia College 4-year, Private
San Diego Mesa College 2-year, Public

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