Close up view of two doctors standing with their arms crossed on chest ready to work. Health care, medical and teamwork concept.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Medical Assistant?

Close up view of two doctors standing with their arms crossed on chest ready to work. Health care, medical and teamwork concept.

It’s a question that comes up a lot: how long does it take to become a medical assistant? If you’ve been wondering, read on. We have your answers here.

You’ve looked at your options and decided to become a Medical Assistant.

Smart move!

How long does it take to become a medical assistant, you ask? We’ll answer that important question in a moment.

First, let’s take a quick look at the benefits of becoming a Medical Assistant.

Reasons to become a Medical Assistant

Helping others

A reward in itself, you will experience this benefit on a daily basis.

Avoid stagnation

You will have many exciting options and meet a wide variety of people.

Stability and earning potential

In May of 2015, the average salary for a Medical Assistant was $30,590. And this figure is always rising!

Demand is HIGH!

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, MAs have one of the highest growth rates of any occupation, at 23% from 2014-2024. That’s amazing!

In the Cincinnati area (including Northern Kentucky) there is a massive need for Medical Assistants.

Just between two cities, Cincinnati and Florence, there were almost 6000 job openings as of the writing of this article.

You could have one of them!

Maybe you’re wondering, how do I make this happen? And how long does it take to become a medical assistant? Good questions!

The Path to Success

Compared to other jobs in the medical field, becoming a Medical Assistant has one of the most straightforward and shortest paths.

Let’s take a look at how to make it happen…

To Train or Not To Train

Becoming a Medical Assistant does not require any kind of training or degree.

You could try your hand at finding on the job training. But if you were a doctor, would you want to put in the time to train someone? Probably not.

Most employers prefer a candidate who has appropriate training to begin.

How long does it take to become a medical assistant?

This question can be answered by looking at the 3 different paths available…

Medical Assistant Training

Depending on your goals, there are a couple educational paths to becoming a Medical Assistant. Each has its benefits, as well as a different length of training required.

What you Need

Most schools offering MA training require a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Already have a high school diploma? Great! You’re ready to take the next step.

If you don’t, you will need to pass the GED Test. This may add a little extra time to your journey, depending on how long it takes you to prepare for and pass the test.

What’s Right for Me: Diploma or Degree?

There are two programs that can get you what you need. The majority of professionals working as Medical Assistants have completed one of these two options:

  • Diploma: approximately 9 months to 1 year
  • Associates Degree: approximately 18 months to 2 years

Ask yourself these questions to help decide what’s best for you. How long do I want to take before hitting the job market? What are my salary and advancement options?

Diploma

In as little as one year, you can earn a diploma and get to work. That’s pretty awesome!

Associates Degree

While this requires up to 2 years to complete, having a degree will open up your options.

Generally, higher salaries are given to MA’s with a degree.

It is also more likely you will be able to advance, moving into managerial and supervisorial positions.

OPTIONAL BUT IMPORTANT: CERTIFICATION

Having certification is also optional, but very beneficial.

Many employers require having a CMA (Certified Medical Assistant) or offer more opportunities to those with certification.

Offered three times a year, the certification may add a little extra time to your path.

 

Becoming a Medical Assistant can be a great way to achieve personal and financial stability and success.

As one of the fastest growing and most sought after occupations in the medical industry, you are practically guaranteed a bright future.

Don’t wait a minute longer. Get started now!

Posted on: January 23, 2017