Medical assisting is a great career for anyone who wants to work in healthcare. Medical assistants have meaningful jobs, usually work regular business hours, and earn a decent salary.
You can become a medical assistant right after graduating high school or earning your GED, but most employers prefer to work with medical assistants who have completed a certification program and passed their exam.
So, are there 4-week medical assistant programs?
Based on our experience and research, we believe the answer is no. Most reputable medical assisting programs take at least 4 months to complete, though there are some 6-week programs available.
For example, our Online Medical Assistant Course here at Stepful takes 4 months to complete, leaving plenty of time to learn the necessary skills and prepare for your certification exam.
If you want to become a medical assistant in less than 4 months, you will have to start working right away without a certification.
Do 4-Week Medical Assistant Training Programs Exist?
There are not any accelerated medical assisting programs that take just 4 weeks to complete that we’ve come across during our time in the industry. Medical assisting programs go over a lot of content and teach many skills, so there is typically no way to get it all done in only one month.
If you want to get your medical assistant certification but need to start working right away, you may be able to find an employer willing to let you work as a medical assistant while working towards your certification.
Average Length of Medical Assistant Programs
Medical assisting programs generally take anywhere from 4 months to 2 years to complete. This all depends on the type of program you choose, whether you want to earn a certificate or degree, and whether you attend a part-time or full-time program.
Medical assisting program options include:
- Online program: 4 months to 1 year
- Trade school: 6 months to 1 year
- Community college (certificate): 6 months to 1 year
- Associate degree: 2 years
Shortest Medical Assistant Training Program Currently Available
The shortest medical assistant training program available take around 6 weeks to complete.
These aren’t necessarily the best options, however, and are often self-paced programs, meaning you would really have to work hard to cram around 6 months’ of material into 6 weeks.
Stepful has an Online Medical Assistant Training Program that takes a much more realistic 4 months to complete. This gives sufficient time to thoroughly learn all of the material and complete an in-person externship to get you real-life experience.
Are Accelerated Medical Assistant Programs a Good Idea?
Accelerated programs seem like a good idea, but may not always be the right choice. Most accelerated programs are self-paced, and can only be done quickly if you are highly motivated, incredibly organized, and have no other demands during the time you are working on your education.
Shorter programs may not give you enough opportunity to learn and practice your skills. Having a little more time to study and understand the information will help you feel more confident and prepared when you enter the workforce.
In addition, short programs may not adequately prepare you for your certification exam. Even if you complete an entire course, you will not be awarded your medical assisting certification until you have passed your exam. Retaking your certification exam can be both time-consuming and expensive.
How to Become a Medical Assistant in Under 4 Weeks
It is possible to start working as a medical assistant in less than four weeks, as long as you already have a high school diploma or GED. Most states do not require medical assistants to be certified, meaning you might be able to get hired as a medical assistant with no experience or certification.
If you choose to start working without a certification, you should look for medical assistant jobs with on-the-job training. During on-the-job training, you will have to work hard to learn quickly, and you may have to commit some extra time outside of your working hour practicing your skills.
While most offices and clinics prefer to hire certified medical assistants, they do not necessarily prioritize medical assistants with an associate degree. The certificate is what is most important, not the degree.
How Stepful Can Help You Become a Medical Assistant in Just 4 Months
Stepful’s Medical Assistant Training Program is a 4-month long program that prepares you for a successful career in medical assisting. Our program gives you the knowledge you need to become a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA).
Another great thing about the program is that you can choose between morning and evening classes. It also includes an in-person externship, job placement support, and a 100% job placement guarantee.
Timeline of Becoming a Medical Assistant
Here is a general timeline for becoming a medical assistant. Keep in mind that the actual time it will take may vary depending on the program you enroll in.
- Earn your high school diploma or GED (4 years). This is the minimum requirement for becoming a medical assistant. You will need to satisfy this in order to enroll in a program.
- Register for a medical assistant training program or school (1 day). Make sure that you have all the needed paperwork and that you pay all the necessary fees.
- Take the program (4 months to 2 years). Work hard and study hard so that you can successfully complete the program. Putting in the work early will help you immensely in your future career as a medical assistant. You may also participate in an externship, where you can gain real-world job experience.
- Start your job search (1 month). Once you finish your program, it is time to start looking for a job!
If you’ve already earned your high school diploma or GED, the total time it will take to become a medical assistant is about 4 months to 2 years.
FAQs on Becoming a Medical Assistant in the Shortest Time Possible
Do 4-week medical assistant training programs exist?
There are no 4-week medical assisting training programs based on our research. If you want to start working as a medical assistant in under 4 weeks, you will have to begin working without a certification.
Is a 4-week medical assistant program a good idea?
A 4-week medical assisting program does not allow for enough time to cover all of the material you will need to know to pass a medical assisting certification exam. Most programs require a variety of medical assistant courses that can be difficult to juggle in a 4-week time period.
Is it possible to become a medical assistant in 6 weeks?
Yes, it is possible to become a certified medical assistant in only 6 weeks, though you’ll have to study nearly full time or more to do so.
Are there free medical assistant programs?
No. We have not come across any free medical assistant programs in our research. The cheapest medical assistant programs start at around $1,200.
What is the shortest possible time to become a medical assistant?
Since most states do not require certification, you can become a medical assistant as soon as you have a high school diploma or GED. Medical assistants are in high demand, and it shouldn’t take long to find a job and start working as a medical assistant, even without special training or experience.
Can I become a medical assistant online?
You can complete most of your certified medical assistant training online. However, it is good to look for a program that offers externship opportunities, so that you can get some real, hands-on experience working with patients. Online options also tend to be the cheapest medical assistant programs.
How long does it take to get a medical assistant certification?
Getting a medical assisting certification can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 2 years.