8 Ways to Become a Medical Assistant

Becoming a medical assistant can be a great career choice for those who are interested in healthcare and want to make a difference in the lives of others.


Complete a certificate or diploma program

This is the most common way to become a medical assistant. Certificate or diploma programs usually take around 9-12 months to complete and provide students with the basic knowledge and skills required to work as a medical assistant.


Complete an Associate’s degree program

Associate’s degree programs in medical assisting typically take 2 years to complete and provide students with a more comprehensive education in medical assisting. An associate’s degree can also provide a pathway to other healthcare careers, such as nursing or healthcare administration.


Get on-the-job training

Some employers offer on-the-job training for medical assistants. This can be a good way to gain practical experience while earning a salary. However, on-the-job training may not provide as comprehensive an education as a formal training program.


Complete a medical assistant apprenticeship

Apprenticeships are structured training programs that combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction. Apprenticeships can provide a more comprehensive education than on-the-job training alone and can help students gain valuable work experience.


Get work experience in another healthcare role

Some medical assistants begin their career in another healthcare role, such as nursing assistant or medical receptionist, and then transition into medical assisting. This can be a good way to gain valuable healthcare experience and develop transferable skills.


Pursue a career change

Some people choose to become medical assistants as a career change. For example, individuals who have experience in customer service or administrative roles may find that their skills are transferable to medical assisting.


Attend a vocational or technical school

Attending a vocational or technical school that offers medical assisting programs is a popular option for those looking to become medical assistants. These schools typically offer shorter programs, ranging from 9 months to 2 years, and can provide hands-on training and experience in a clinical setting.


Military training

Military personnel who have experience as medical assistants in the military can use their training to become civilian medical assistants. Military training can be valuable in gaining work experience and developing skills that are applicable to civilian healthcare settings.

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