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5 Steps to Becoming a Medical Assistant


Step 2. Get Into School

Most medical assistants go to school for two years – usually at a community college or vocational school. Whether you are just starting out, or thinking of changing your career, you will need to get the right education to pursue a job as a medical assistant. Luckily, medical assistants programs are both abundant and flexible. No matter your situation, you can find a school to suit your schedule.

Find the Right School

Postsecondary medical assisting programs are offered in vocational-technical high schools, postsecondary vocational schools, and community and junior colleges. Programs usually last either 1 year and result in a certificate or diploma, or 2 years and result in an associate degree. Courses cover anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology, as well as typing, transcription, recordkeeping, accounting, and insurance processing. Students learn laboratory techniques, clinical and diagnostic procedures, pharmaceutical principles, the administration of medications, and first aid. They study office practices, patient relations, medical law, and ethics. There are various organizations that accredit medical assisting programs. Accredited programs often include an internship that provides practical experience in physicians’ offices, hospitals, or other health care facilities.


You will need a GED or high school diploma in order to apply to community college or vocational-technical school. You can search for schools with medical assistant programs using

Finance Your Education

Even though community colleges and vocational schools are more affordable than a four-year university, you may still want to have help paying for your education. Check out these articles to get you started:

How to Score a Loan for College

5 Top Hospitals That Will Pay for Your Education

AllHealthcare Scholarship Finder

Step 3. Survive Your Classes and Graduate >>

AllHealthcare School Finder

Save time in your search for a degree program. Use AllHealthcare's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.