The Best Medical Assistant Programs in Massachusetts

September 21, 2021 , Modified on May 27, 2022 · 6 Min Read

Medical assistants can work in the fast-growing healthcare field without a degree. Learn about medical assistant programs in Massachusetts and how to apply and pay for your education.

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The Best Medical Assistant Programs in Massachusetts
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Demand for medical assistants remains high. This guide explores how to apply and pay for a medical assistant program and outlines the top medical assistant programs Massachusetts schools offer.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best medical assistant programs in Massachusetts, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including: academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

Keep reading to learn more about the best medical assistant programs in Massachusetts, or go straight to our list of the best medical assistant programs in Massachusetts.

What Can You Do as a Medical Assistant?

Medical assistants have both administrative and clinical responsibilities. In larger organizations like hospitals, they typically specialize in one or the other, while in smaller medical offices, they may perform both roles.

Administrative medical assistant tasks include helping with electronic health records, scheduling appointments, and insurance and billing. Clinical medical assistants also work with electronic health records, but they generally focus on adding to medical histories and test results. They maintain supplies and equipment, draw blood, and prepare samples to send for analysis.

Medical assistants must be detail-oriented, good with insurance and electronic health record software software, and excellent communicators with clinical staff and patients. They must understand and follow all rules related to patient privacy and information security.

What To Look For in a Medical Assistant Program

There are many different programs, including associate degree programs and certificate options. The right one depends on your needs, budget, and timeframe.

Most programs require a high school diploma and include open admissions. You do not need a minimum GPA to get in, but there may be prerequisites.

Certificate programs take less time, but an associate degree with a specialization in medical assisting is the best preparation for other healthcare jobs. Many medical assistants programs in Massachusetts offer certificate-to-degree programs.

Learners complete clinical experience, sometimes called an externship, as part of the program. This develops clinical skills, such as drawing blood and taking vital signs.

Massachusetts does not require medical assistants to graduate from an accredited program. However, you can only take the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) certification examination if you graduated from, or are completing a program accredited by, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Other organizations also accredit programs and offer certification, but AAMA is one of the biggest ones.

Medical assistant programs in Massachusetts vary significantly in length, depending on whether it's an associate degree or a certificate program. Prepare to invest 9-24 months into your education.

The NCLEX-RN pass rate is a good indicator of the school's overall quality and local reputation. Certification pass rates are another valuable metric.

The graduation or completion rate tells you how satisfied and successful students are in the program, an important factor in considering medical assistant programs in Massachusetts.

Featured Online Healthcare Programs

Applying to a Medical Assistant Program in Massachusetts

Most medical assistant programs in Massachusetts offer open admissions, but they do require a high school or GED diploma. If you were born outside the U.S., you may need to pass an English language fluency examination, such as the TOEFL, or otherwise demonstrate you can read, write, and speak in English.

High school diploma or GED certificate; completed application; attend an information session

Most programs do not require a minimum GPA.

Current immunizations; clear criminal background check

Why Is Medical Assistant Program Accreditation Important?

Accreditation is the process of evaluating a program to ensure its graduates are prepared to practice safely. Even though you do not need accreditation to work in Massachusetts as a medical assistant, it is still vital to program quality.

  • Only graduates of accredited programs are eligible for AAMA certification. Many employers require or strongly prefer certified candidates.
  • Because it assesses quality, accreditation protects you, your future employers, and your future patients.
  • Most accredited programs don't accept transfer credits from non-accredited programs.
  • With the variety of accredited medical assistant programs in Massachusetts, there's no need to risk your time and money on an unaccredited program.

Paying for Medical Assistant Programs in Massachusetts

While most medical assistant programs are affordable compared to other healthcare education, especially if you qualify for in-state tuition, it's still a major investment. Consider program tuition and fees, the length of the program, whether you can work while studying, and other expenses, such as books and travel needs.

You may be eligible for some of the same scholarships and grants as nurses, or for other kinds of financial aid. If you currently work for a healthcare organization, they may have tuition reimbursement programs, especially for students earning their first degree.

Learn More About the Best Medical Assistant Programs and Schools in Massachusetts

  1. Bunker Hill Community College
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Bunker Hill Community College offers a highly comprehensive curriculum for their medical assistant certificate program. Students will learn about clinical skills, practice principles and office procedures. Additionally, students are encouraged to take a number of elective courses, including one in human growth development or health employment issues. During the program, students will take part in various hands-on learning opportunities in practicum classes. Graduates are expected to have all the necessary skills to make sure they are able to provide clinical treatment to patients, perform EKGs and phlebotomy, and more. Furthermore, there is a strong focus on the administrative duties within a medical center, including computer skills and office management skills.

    • Campus: Boston, Massachusetts
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation: NEASC
    • Tuition: $141 per credit hour for residents and $347 for non residents
    • Minimum time commitment: 25 credit hours
    • Online availability: No
    • Degree requirements: High school or GED, attendance at information session, health insurance
    • Programs: Medical assistant certificate program
    • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

  2. Cape Cod Community College
    Location

    West Barstable, MA

    At Cape Cod Community College, students can take part in an accredited, highly esteemed medical assistant certificate program. This was one of the first to have been designed specifically for CMA (certified medical assistant) certification. The curriculum includes subjects, such as anatomy, psychology and physiology, as well as administrative tasks, such as office communication, medical terminology and office procedures. Finally, students will learn about first aid. To complete the program, students must take part in 160 hours of clinical work, which is arranged through the school.

    1. Campus: West Barstable, Massachusetts
    2. Type: Public
    3. Accreditation: CAAHEP
    4. Tuition: $169 per credit hour for residents and $375 for non residents
    5. Minimum time commitment: 29 credit hours
    6. Online availability: No
    7. Degree requirements: High school or GED, attendance at information session, immunization records, placement test
    8. Programs: Medical assisting certificate program
    9. School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

  3. Fisher College
    Location

    Boston, MA

    At Fisher College, students can take part in a medical assistant certificate and in an associate’s degree program. The college is located in a very safe, historical part of Boston. The curriculum for both programs includes subjects, such as medical terminology, pharmacology, anatomy and physiology, medical office administrative practices, and medical insurance billing. Those who choose the associate’s degree will also have to take courses like medical record transcription, medical laws and ethics and more. Additionally, to complete the associate’s degree, an internship has to be undergone. This is why the associate’s degree is much longer in length.

    • Campus: Boston, Massachusetts
    • Type: Private
    • Accreditation: NEASC
    • Tuition: $27,265
    • Minimum time commitment: 36 credit hours for certificate and 63 credit hours for associate’s degree
    • Online availability: No
    • Degree requirements: High school or GED
    • Programs: Certificate and Associate’s degree
    • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

  4. Massasoit Community College
    Location

    Brockton, Canton and Middleborough, MA

    At Massaoit Community College, students can take part in a medical assistant certificate program. The program is fully accredited by CAAHEP, which means that students can become certified medical assistants after they complete the course. Some of the topics covered in the curriculum are anatomy, medical office management, physiology, medical terminology, laboratory procedures, medical ethics and medical law. In addition, students are required to complete an externship to graduate from the program.

    • Campus: Brockton, Canton and Middleborough, Massachusetts
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation: CAAHEP
    • Tuition: $9,240 per year
    • Minimum time commitment: 38 credit hour
    • Online availability: No
    • Degree requirements: High school or GED
    • Programs: Medical assistant certificate
    • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

  5. Middlesex Community College
    Location

    Bedford and Lowell, MA

    The medical assisting certificate program offered by Middlesex Community College takes 29 credit hours to complete. Additionally, they offer an associate’s degree in science, which takes between 60 and 62 credit hours to complete, depending on which elective courses students choose. Both programs are CAAHEP accredited, meaning students can become certified medical assistants. The curriculum covers such topics as basic clinical skills, medical terminology, medical transcription and administrative medical assisting. The curriculum for the associate’s degree also includes general education. To complete either program, students must take part in an externship.

    • Campus: Bedford and Lowell, Massachusetts
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation: CAAHEP
    • Tuition: Varies depending on circumstances
    • Minimum time commitment: 29 credit hour for certificate and 60-62 credit hours for associate’s degree
    • Online availability: No
    • Degree requirements: High school or GED
    • Programs: Medical assisting certificate program, medical assisting associate’s degree
    • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Assistant Programs


How do I become a medical assistant in Massachusetts?

The best way to become a medical assistant is to take a certificate course or earn an associate degree in nursing with a specialization in medical assistant training. Be sure the program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) so you can take the national certification examination.

How long does it take to become a medical assistant in Massachusetts?

You can complete a certificate course in roughly two semesters, less than one year. Earning an associate degree with a specialization in medical assistant work can take up to two years, but if you have already taken prerequisite courses, you can finish faster.

Do medical assistants have to be certified in Massachusetts?

It is not legally required, but many employers strongly prefer certified medical assistants. This ensures that their staff has the skills, knowledge, and understanding of legal and ethical issues to provide quality outcomes for patients.

What is a medical assistant salary in Massachusetts?

Nationally, the average salary for medical assistants is $38,190. In Massachusetts, the mean annual salary is $44,200, making it the fifth-highest paying state for medical assistants, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, Massachusetts also has a higher cost of living.


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