Business
Apr 6, 2022

How Long Does a Medical Assisting Program Last?

A medical assistant is a type of allied health professional who does both clinical and administrative work. Medical assistants assist in the smooth and efficient operation of a medical facility, such as a physician's office. These allied health professionals have a promising job outlook. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that medical assistant job growth will be as high as 19 percent through 2029, compared to the average 4 percent growth rate for all occupations.

If you're thinking about becoming a medical assistant, you might be wondering how long it takes. 

The Length of the Medical Assisting Program

Although the exact time can vary, most aspiring medical assistants complete their postsecondary education in nine months to two years. To become a medical assistant, you must first graduate from or from a GED program, then complete medical assistant training and obtain certification. The vast majority of medical assistants complete a postsecondary medical assisting training program, but some people choose to enter the field through on-the-job training. 

Employers, on the other hand, typically prefer candidates who have completed a medical assisting program. Vocational schools, community colleges, and universities all offer medical assistant training programs. Students can easily earn a diploma, a certificate, or an associate's degree. As previously stated, the length of these educational paths varies. Learn more about the program lengths associated with each path by reading on:

GED/High School

Although there are no formal educational requirements for medical assistants in most states, a high school diploma or GED certificate is usually required for both postsecondary education and on-the-job training. Students in high school who want to work in medicine should take biology, chemistry, and anatomy classes. Business and computer classes are also likely to be beneficial. High school takes about four years to finish, and getting a GED certificate takes about three months.

Education after High School

Medical assistant programs are available at vocational schools, community colleges, and universities. These formal training programs usually include both classroom training and hands-on practice. Clinical procedures, office administration, first aid, and instrument care are all taught to students. Depending on the path you take, these programs can last anywhere from nine months to two years.

What are the working hours of a medical assistant?

According to recent BLS data, the majority of medical assistants work full-time. Because some medical facilities are open 24 hours a day, certified medical assistants can work evenings, weekends, and holidays. When determining hours and scheduling, the work environment is an important factor to consider. The vast majority of medical assistants work in physicians' offices during standard clinical hours. 

If you have any questions about becoming a medical assistant, contact Stepful today and become a certified clinical assistant. 

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