How long are medical assistant programs? Here is the average duration of most MA courses.

Before you can grow into an MA, you’ll have to get the proper academic instruction.

Several studies are open for people who desire to delve into this field. But the question is, How long does it take to become a medical assistant?

How long is the medical assistant course? Continue reading to find the answers you seek.

Medical Assistant Training Program Length

Medical assisting is a perfect career for those who love a fast-paced environment.

They’ll get the chance to help people who require daily clinical care. They support clinical workers in multiple settings, such as outpatient centers, hospitals, and physician offices.

Who is a Medical Assistant?

This is an allied health expert who handles both clinical and admin duties. They typically work under the supervision of doctors to provide various healthcare services to patients.

One of them is to prepare an examination room and take patients to their appointments. They also take vital signs, collect and handle lab specimens, and sterilize equipment & instruments.

Moreover, clinical aids may verify prescriptions, administer medications & injections, provide patient education, and take medical histories.

They perform admin duties such as processing insurance payments, updating patients’ medical records, coding medical details for billing purposes, and more.

Let’s look at the average length of the medical assistant program.

How Long Does It Take to Be a MA

If you’re considering becoming an MA, consider the time commitment. Several educational and training options are available.

They include diplomas, associate degrees, online certification courses, and bachelor’s degrees. Each has its duration, depending on your choice of institution.

You’ll cover essential topics such as clinical medicine and admin administration. Some diploma programs dedicate their time to helping you earn your certification.

How long does a medical assistant program take?

Allow us to review these academic qualifications against their duration respectively.

  • How Long Are Diploma Programs in Medical Assisting?

Diploma courses in this field are the gateway to entering the medical industry without committing too much time. These programs can be taken at vocational centers and colleges.

You’ll cover ethics, transcription, clinical procedures, and terminology courses.

Having finished your diploma studies, you can be eligible to take the CMA certification. This document will showcase your competency to potential employers.

However, you must ensure that your diploma study is fully certified by AAMA. Most employers across the country recognize certificates approved by this organization.

Most diploma programs in medical assisting can be as short as 6–12 months. They focus exclusively on preparing learners for the tasks of MAs.

  • How Long Does an Associate Degree in Medical Assisting Take?

Acquiring this certificate is another easy way to venture into the medical industry. As stated earlier, finishing an associate degree in this field takes around two years.

While studying, you’ll cover internships and clinical practice as part of the curriculum. They will provide you with hands-on experience in the field and prepare you for your desired role.

For candidates whose school doesn’t offer specific clinical courses, an associate degree in health science or health admin may be acceptable.

It will add to your resume and encourage employers to provide on-the-job training.

As for associate degree programs, they typically last for two years when offered full-time. Such a credential is obtained from a certified university or college.

  • Length of Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Assisting

Although a high school diploma and hands-on experiences are enough to make you an MA, having a bachelor’s degree will open you to advanced opportunities.

The study curriculum covers CPR, anatomy, medical terminology, sample processing, and medication admin. When you’re done, you can obtain the voluntary certification offered by AAMA and NHA.

Bachelor’s and master’s degrees will be ideal for those looking for advanced roles in the industry.

Most undergrad degree courses take roughly four years to finish. The master’s courses take an average of two years. All these certificates can be obtained from certified universities.

The Fastest Way to Become a Medical Assistant

Finishing a clinical assisting program in less than two months is possible. You can enroll and obtain this certificate in six weeks of self-paced and accelerated programs.

But it will require a lot of focus and organization. Candidates without tremendous discipline and fantastic study habits cannot complete such programs.

How many years it takes to be a medical assistant depends on the training program you enroll in.

Internet-Based Programs for Medical Assistants

You can also complete your academic requirements online. Several courses in the field are delivered via the Internet to applicants looking for flexible studies.

Most of these programs are cheap, convenient, and easy to use to acquire skills to compete in the labor market. You can finish a medical assisting program within 4–9 months, depending on your entry mode.

However, you have to verify your program’s credibility. Some need to be certified by the relevant authority and will not be recognized by potential employers.

Also, ensure your program has all it takes to enable you to succeed in the industry.

Online programs are usually for those with the knowledge and skills required to enter the field. You can upgrade into professional roles like registered nurses, doctors, allied health experts, and more.

Certification for Medical Aids

After completing your academic requirements, the next step is to seek professional attestation. A certification in this field showcases your skills and knowledge to potential employers.

However, you must meet specific conditions before obtaining it. One of them is to write and pass the CMA professional exams.

The test comprises 200 questions on various healthcare delivery and assistance topics. The subject areas include psychology, professionalism, communication, medical terminology, risk management, clinical ethics, and more.

Some certifications you can acquire include CCMA, CMA, and CAN. These credentials are provided by certifying bodies such as AAMA and NHA.

Having obtained one of these qualifications, you’ll be required to renew it after a specified period.

While continuing your document, certain conditions must also be satisfied. They include paying the renewal fee and finishing some hours of continued education.

Cost of Finishing a Medical Assisting Program

Learning about the cost implications of becoming an MA would be best. It will help you make informed financial decisions.

However, it would be best to consider factors such as program choice, location, and institution type when committing to academic and certification prerequisites.

Most diploma programs cost between $8,000 and $10,000, while associate degrees range from $10,000 to $30,000. Online studies cost between $1,500 and $4,000.


Here we have discussed medical assistant training length.

Becoming a medical assistant takes a little time. You can finish the academic requirements within 4-6 months if you hold a high school diploma and are pursuing certificate courses.

For those who go for associate and bachelor’s degree studies, you’ll spend anywhere from 2 to 4 years of full-time studies.