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California Medical Assistant Schools

There are few states as diverse as California. This wonderful state has some of the most amazing coastlines in the world as well as bustling cities and quiet, beautiful countryside. California is also one of the states that offers the greatest opportunity, especially for medical assistants. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks California as the number one state for employment of medical assistants. In addition, medical assistants in California earn some of the highest salaries for the profession in the entire country, with an average salary of between $32,400 and $39,610 per year. Considering these statistics, there is little doubt that this is one of the best states in which to become a medical assistant.

The first step to becoming a medical assistant in California is to get the necessary education and training. It is preferable to complete a program that is accredited through the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). However, there are other quality schools that have alternative accreditation that can fully prepare you for a career as a medical assistant.

CNI College

  • Accreditation: ABHES
  • Tuition: $13,800
  • Program: Diploma
  • Located in Orange, CNI College offers students an ABHES-accredited medical assisting diploma program that can be completed in only 11 months of full-time study. The program is competency-based, which means it provides ample hands-on opportunities to complement the classroom instruction. In addition, the program includes a 160-hour externship to help students transition from the classroom to the work environment. Students who graduate from this program are fully prepared to work in both administrative and clinical medical assisting environments and are eligible to take the Certified Medical Assistant examination upon graduation.

Medical Allied Career Center

  • Accreditation: ABHES
  • Tuition: $2,350
  • Program: Certificate
  • Medical Allied Career Center, located in Santa Fe Springs, offers a medical assisting certificate program at a relatively low price. The program can be completed in 30 weeks of full-time study and prepares students to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant examination after graduation. MACC’s medical assistant program includes both clinical and administrative training as well as externship experience. MACC offers exceptional student support services, modern facilities, and a wide range of instructional materials and resources including textbooks, DVDs, and an extensive collection of reference books in the school library.

Valley College of Medical Careers

  • Accreditation: ABHES
  • Tuition: $13,950
  • Program: Certificate
  • Located in West Hills, Valley College of Medical Careers has a 39-week medical assisting certificate program that is ABHES-accredited. Students at Valley College of Medical Careers receive classroom and real-world instruction that fully prepares them for the demands of working as a medical assistant in a modern healthcare office. The college offers job and externship placement services as well as other student resources and has a job placement rate for medical assistants of 75%.

WestMed College

  • Accreditation: ABHES
  • Tuition: $10,400
  • Program: Certificate
  • WestMed College has campuses in Chula Vista, Fresno, Merced, and San Jose, making it easily accessible to a large number of California students. WestMed’s 10-month medical assisting certificate program consists of seven classroom modules and an externship. After graduation, students are eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant examination. In addition to a quality education, WestMed offers students career advising and placement assistance, workshops and presentations, examination preparation, and other support to help ensure success and graduation.

Cabrillo College

  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Tuition: $46/credit hour
  • Program: Certificate, Associate’s degree
  • Cabrillo College, located in Aptos, provides students with a choice of earning a certificate or a degree in medical assisting. The associate’s degree program requires that students complete 60 credit hours of study and an externship. The certificate program includes 42 credit hours and an externship assignment. Students in both programs will be eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant examination after graduating. Students at Cabrillo have access to knowledgeable faculty, a beautiful campus, and a wide range of support services that include childcare and a learning communities center.

Carrington College

  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Tuition: $17,671 (certificate); $26,575 (degree)
  • Program: Certificate, Associate’s degree
  • Carrington College has campuses in Pomona, Citrus Heights, Pleasant Hill, San Jose, Sacramento, Stockton, and San Leandro, making it convenient for a large number of aspiring medical assistants in California. Students at Carrington can choose between a certificate or an associate’s degree in medical assisting. The certificate program takes approximately 36 weeks to complete and students can earn an associate’s degree in medical assisting in as little as 72 weeks. Each program is comprised of three segments: clinical, administrative, and externship, and both prepare students to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant examination.

Chabot College

  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Tuition: $3,468/semester
  • Program: Certificate, Associate’s degree
  • Chabot College in Hayward offers a two-semester certificate or an associate of arts degree in medical assisting. Both programs include administrative, clinical, and externship components and prepare students to take the Certified Medical Assistant examination. Cabot offers the most common student support services in addition to the ASPIRE program, which provides in-depth support to new students and the CARE program, which provides access to additional resources for students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Each session lasts 6-8 weeks and offers full college credits, allowing students to complete their educational programs at an accelerated pace.

Cosumnes River College

  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Tuition: $1,104 (certificate), $46/unit (degree)
  • Program: Certificate, Associate’s degree
  • Cosumnes River College, located in Sacramento offers a one-year certificate or a two-year associate’s degree in medical assisting. Spaces in both programs are limited and students are chosen in a lottery-based system for admission. Cosumnes offers a wide range of student support services including advising, counseling, special services, job placement, and much more. The staff at Cosumnes prides itself on doing whatever it takes to make sure students succeed.

East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Program and Technical Center

  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Tuition: $6,615
  • Program: Certificate
  • ESGVROPTC offers a certificate in medical assisting that includes 735 hours of classroom instruction and 210 hours of externship experience. Students who graduate from this program are eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant examination and will be fully prepared to complete the clinical and administrative duties of the job in a number of healthcare environments. Students in postsecondary programs at this school benefit from a large number of services including leadership experience, community service opportunities, advising and counseling, job placement, and student government participation.

Everest College

  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Tuition: $21,388
  • Program: Certificate
  • Everest College offers medical assistant training at its campuses in Alhambra, Anaheim, City of Industry, Gardena, Long Beach, Ontario, Ontario Metro, Reseda, San Bernardino, Santa Ana, Torrance, and West Lost Angeles. Everest’s medical assisting program includes both clinical and administrative training as well as hands-on experience through an externship. The program can be completed in 41 weeks and has a job placement rate of 85%. In addition to a full set of student support services, Everest offers students extra tutoring and assistance through Learning Centers to make sure all students have a chance to succeed.

Heald College

  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Tuition: $20,560 (certificate), $48,080 (degree)
  • Program: Diploma, Associate’s degree
  • Health College is convenient for many California students due to its campuses in Concord, Fresno, Hayward, Modesto, Rancho Cordova, Roseville, Salinas, San Francisco, San Jose, and Stockton. Students who choose Heald can select to earn a diploma or an associate’s degree in medical assisting, both of which are CAAHEP-accredited. Students at this school can earn a certificate in only 44 weeks or an associate’s degree in 88 weeks of full-time study. Heald has been in business for over 150 years and provides students with a high-quality education and excellent student support services.

Modesto Junior College

  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Tuition: $1,219
  • Program: Certificate
  • Modesto Junior College offers an 8-month medical assisting certificate program that includes both administrative and clinical training. Students at MJC enjoy modern facilities, competent staff, and hands-on experience through an externship. After graduation, students are eligible to take the examination to earn the Certified Medical Assistant credential. MJC provides students with everything they need to succeed, including an array of support services, access to resources, and the ability to participate in campus clubs, organizations, and activities.

Pasadena City College

  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Tuition: $46/unit
  • Program: Certificate
  • Pasadena City College has a certificate program in medical assisting that can be completed in one year of full-time study. The college has been in business since 1924 and serves around 30,000 students each semester. Aside from counseling, advising, financial aid, and career placement services, students at Pasadena City College benefit from access to several quality resource centers and labs as well as the opportunity to participate in a variety of clubs, organizations, and activities.
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