5 Best California Medical Assistant Programs & Training Options

Working as a medical assistant in California is a fantastic career option. It is known that the field of health care is growing tremendously in this state, as it is across the country, which means there are plenty of job opportunities. All training programs are overseen by the State Medical Board of California. This means that programs have to be approved by this board, which has the responsibility of guaranteeing that they meet certain requirements and practice regulations. The Board has explained that medical assistants are unlicensed but their education allows them to assist and support a range of medical procedures in various health care clinics. However, they can only do so under full supervision of another, licensed practitioner. This could be a physician, a nurse practitioner, a midwife, a surgeon, a physician’s assistant, a podiatrist, and so on. See also 45+ nursing schools in California with entry-level programs.

There are dozens of schools in California that offer medical assistant programs. This means that searching for the right program for you may be somewhat overwhelming. It is very important that you take the time to contact the schools that are of interest to you in order to find out what they offer and whether that fits with your own personal requirements. Looking into accreditation is particularly important, as most employers will only hire people that have a nationally recognized certification. The state of California itself does not require medical assistants to have a formal license but some employers may still require it.

During your medical assistant training, you will usually learn about human anatomy, medical terminology, health care ethics and interpersonal communication. Furthermore, there will also be a strong focus on administrative duties. And if you choose a specialized program, the curriculum will include courses on the exact field you are interested in. For instance, you could have classes in dental assisting, coding and billing, ultrasound procedures, patient care and more. There are many possibilities to choose from and this means that the time it will take for you to graduate and the cost involved in this will vary greatly. Generally, diplomas will take around a year to complete, whereas associate’s degrees take around two years.

Medical assistants in California earn an average of $15.71 per hour, which is above the national average. Demand is very strong, which means that it is very likely that you will find employment once you have graduated. Some of the places you could find work in include doctors’ offices, clinics, community health centers, and nursing homes. Your role is incredibly important because you will be charged with various tasks that make the work of physicians easier to complete. Additionally, as a medical assistant, you will work not just with physicians but with patients as well. Hence, it is very important that you are a people person with excellent communication skills.

Below are the 5 best California medical assistant programs & training options. Take your time to look at the differences between them and make sure you request further information from each of these schools and more before you sign up to their courses.

1. UEI College

UEI (United Education Institute) College offers a medical assistant program that ensures students learn how to focus on details. It is a program suitable for those who already have a great deal of people skills. This college understands how fast the field of medicine is growing and that medical assistants are now essential for a range of different tasks, being the heart of many clinics and medical offices. Their role is to prepare patients for procedures and exams, handling their questions and educating them, as well as providing assistance to nurses and physicians and generally running the offices.

Those who enroll in the medical assisting diploma program at UEI could begin working just eight months after starting the program. They will be able to work directly with people, ensure their medical records are in order and be at the forefront of all the different aspects in medical offices. They will learn how to take vital signs, how to collect specimens, how to instruct and educate patients in various practices relating to their health, how to collect medical histories, how to explain procedures and processes to patients, how to prepare equipment and examination rooms, and how to assist doctors during procedures and exams.

• Campus: Anaheim, Bakersfield, Chula Vista, El Monte, Encino, Fresno, Gardena, Huntington Park, Ontario, Riverside, San Marcos, Santa Cruz, and Stockton
• Type: Private, for profit
• Accreditation: ACCET, ACCSC
• Tuition: Varies depending on circumstances
• Minimum time commitment: 8 months
• Online availability: No
• Program requirements: Varies depending on individual student
• Programs: Medical Assistant Diploma
• School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

2. Platt College

Platt College was founded in 1979. The goal of its leaders has always been to make sure that education is a foundation of professional and personal growth. They want to ensure that all students are able to learn in a supportive environment where they can grow personally, academically and socially. They believe that their role is absolutely vital in the classroom itself, as well as in the full academic experience of a student. Hence, the quality of the teachers is perfectly blended in with excellence. This means that the needs of students are served including the needs of the employers who will hire them after graduation.

• Campus: Alhambra, Ontario and Riverside
• Type: Private
• Accreditation: ACCSC
• Tuition: Varies depending on location, chosen program and personal circumstances. Financial aid is available.
• Minimum time commitment: 15 months
• Online availability: No
• Program requirements: High School or GED
• Programs: Medical Administrative Specialist Associate’s degree and diploma
• School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

3. Kaplan College

Kaplan College is part of a greater organization, the Kaplan Higher Education campuses. The college has a presence in eight different states. It caters to traditional students as well as working adults and offers some 40 different diplomas and associate’s degrees with highly flexible schedules. The associate’s degree in medical assisting and the diploma in medical assisting are two highly respected programs. On completion of the diploma, students can choose to take the Certified Medical Assistant programs.

• Campus: Bakersfield, Chula Vista, Fresno, Modesto, North County, North Hollywood, Palm Springs, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, and Vista
• Type: Private
• Accreditation: ABHES, CAAHEP
• Tuition: Varies depending on personal circumstances. Financial aid is available.
• Minimum time commitment: One year
• Online availability: No
• Program requirements: High School or GED
• Programs: Medical assistant diploma
• School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

4. Heald College

Heald College has a hands-on program to prepare students to become medical assistants. The college is committed to giving a personal approach to each of its students. As such, classes are very small and they have a range of support systems, including work groups, that students can access to help them succeed in their future careers. Graduates of the college can use the career services assistance that Heald provides, and they can use this for the rest of their lives. The college is always searching for employment opportunities so that graduates are better able to get a job. Additionally, they offer a range of financial aid programs for those who qualify.

• Campus: Concord, Fresno, Hayward, Modesto, Rancho Cordova, Roseville, Salinas, San Francisco, San Jose, and Stockton
• Type: Private career college
• Accreditation: CAAHEP
• Tuition: Varies depending on chosen program and personal circumstances. Financial aid is available.
• Minimum time commitment: One or two years
• Online availability: No
• Program requirements: High School or GED, entrance exam, recommendation from the admissions advisor
• Programs: Medical Assisting Program – Associate’s degree and diploma
• School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

5. Everest College

At Everest College, the faculty understands how important the role of a medical assistant is. This is why the program they offer is one of the most popular in their course catalog. During the program, students will learn about patient care, the human body, laboratory procedures, CPR and a range of clerical and administrative tasks that are required in order to run a medical office properly. Additionally, students can choose to specialize in areas such as urgent care centers or emergency rooms. Once students have completed their coursework, they will need to take part in a 100 hour, unpaid externship that the school helps to organize.

• Campus: Alhambra, Anaheim, City Of Industry, Gardena, Long Beach, Ontario, Reseda, San Bernardino, San Francisco, Santa Ana, Torrance, and Los Angeles
• Type: Private, for profit
• Accreditation: BHES, CAAHEP
• Tuition: Varies depending on personal circumstances
• Minimum time commitment: One year
• Online availability: No
• Program requirements: Career placement test
• Programs: Medical Administrative Assistant Diploma, Medical Assistant Diploma
• School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid