When considering the costs associated with attending a medical assisting program it’s important to understand the available educational options and career opportunities. Students should think about the varied duties a medical assistant performs in doctor’s offices, hospitals and healthcare facilities.
These duties include clerical and clinical tasks. A medical assistant will commonly assist with charting medical histories, taking vital signs, assisting with patient care and exams. A medical assistant’s skills will often align with the specialty of the physician with whom they are working.
The job outlook in this field is very promising. The Unites States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts growth of 29% for medical assistants, which is much faster than the average growth rate for all occupations of 7% . The BLS attributes this growth to the aging baby boomer population increasing demand for medical care, some of which will be performed by medical assistants to offset the burden on doctors .
If this sounds like a career you might be interested in, it is important to understand the cost of medical assisting programs.
Overview of Medical Assisting Programs
Medical assisting programs are offered at a variety of higher education institutions. The costs of these programs will vary depending on length, type of training, and regional differences. Among the institutions that offer medical assistant training are trade/vocational schools and community colleges.
Coursework at these institutions can include introduction to billing, coding, and office management, body systems, phlebotomy and injections, life span care, and ethics. Externships are usually required and included in the cost of tuition.
Cost Breakdown of Medical Assisting Programs
The cost of medical assisting programs will vary depending on which educational institution is chosen:
Trade School: Vocational and trade schools may offer flexible schedules and unique student services. These programs may be shorter in length allowing for quicker entry into the workforce, and will likely require only the coursework necessary to become a medical assistant. Unless the program also provides certification, students will need to complete that process after graduation. One-year certificate programs through a community college average cost can range from $2,500-$10,000 .
Community College: At community college students can earn an Associate’s Degree in medical assisting. These programs are typically longer in length and may require full-time enrollment to finish degree work in two years, and could include general education coursework. There is often an online option, plus a required externship. According to a 2019 report, the majority of students in the U.S. pay between $6,000 and $15,000* in tuition per year for both public and private two-year schools. .
*These tuition ranges do not include room and board, books and supplies, transportation or other expenses and fees.
Some community colleges also offer diploma or certification programs in medical assisting. These are typically less expensive and shorter in duration.
Certification exams may be offered as a part of a medical assisting program and included in the cost of tuition or they may need to be taken off campus for an additional cost.
For example, in the Delta Technical College (Delta Tech) Medical Assisting Program, students will be prepared to take the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) and National Medical Assistant (NCMA) Certification Exam, which are offered on campus and included in the total cost for Delta Tech’s Medical Assisting Program.
How Do You Pay For Medical Assisting School?
Financial aid is available to qualifying students attending vocational and trade schools.
- Federal Grants
- Federal Low-Interest Student Loans
- GI Bill Assistance
- The Workforce Investment Act (WIA)
Begin Your Path to Become a Medical Assistant
The Financial Aid Office at Delta Tech is available to assist with important paperwork and answer any questions about tuition and fees. If you have questions about Delta Tech programs, please contact the Admissions Team.
Sources: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm#tab-1  https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm#tab-6  https://education.costhelper.com/medical-assistant-school.html  https://www.valuepenguin.com/student-loans/average-cost-of-college