Pennsylvania Accredited Medical Assistant Schools and Programs
The numbers paint a bright picture – according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 24,000 medical assistants working in Pennsylvania, and the annual mean wage exceeds $30,000. The even better news is that the job outlook is exploding with potential for prospective medical assistant candidates. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs in this sector will increase by 31% through 2020. The growing baby-boomer generation will continue to fuel this demand.
There are over 12.6 million people in Pennsylvania. The largest urban centers are Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Scranton; however; many opportunities for medical assistants exist in smaller cities and suburbs throughout the state.
To take advantage of the opportunities available for medical assistants, you will need to receive training and education. This will help provide you with the necessary skill set to be gainfully employed in this expanding market. When investigating potential schools, confirm they are accredited and keep an eye out for any financial assistance packages.
List of Accredited Pennsylvania Medical Assistant Programs
1. Community College of Philadelphia
Campus Location: Philadelphia
Students at the Community College of Pennsylvania can take a variety of courses that lead to an associate of applied science degree in medical assisting. Entry-level requirements include a basic math and English course, and while enrolled in the program, students must maintain above a 2.25 grade point average. The program takes about two years to complete. The training includes courses in physiology, anatomy, laboratory procedures and curriculum concerning other administrative duties. Successful graduates are eligible to sit for the certified medical assistant examination. A job-related externship during the second year of the program is also available for students.
2. Pittsburgh Technical College
Campus Location: Oakdale
Students at Pittsburgh Technical College can earn a medical assistant diploma, which takes about a year to complete, or a two-year associate of applied science degree in medical assisting. Both programs provide students with the necessary tools to become a professional medical assistant. The programs at the school are convenient for working adults – offering a combination of classroom instruction and online courses. They offer flexible day and evening courses. The instruction includes medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, disease procedures, computer applications and medical coding. Students also participate in an internship that allows them to gain experience working in a healthcare environment. Additionally, there is a full-time career services department that assists successful alumni with job placement.
3. Westmoreland Community College
Campus Location: Bend
Westmoreland Community College offers a medical assistant program, which takes most full-time students about one year to complete. Students looking to gain a broader education can participate in the associate degree program by taking an additional eight classes. This is a typical two-year program. Graduates of both educational tracks are eligible to take the national AAMA certification exam.
4. Harrisburg Area Community College
Campus Location: Harrisburg
Harrisburg Area Community College is a publicly funded community college that offers a Medical Assistant Credit Certificate Program at its campuses in Harrisburg and Gettysburg. The program, which is made up of 37 credit hours, meets during evening hours and can be completed in 20 weeks (14 weeks of in-class meetings and lectures and 6 weeks of a clinical externship). The clinical externship portion of the program, arranged by the college at local healthcare facility, consists of 240 contact hours and can be completed during daytime business hours on Monday through Friday. In 2016, the program boasted a 100 percent graduation rate, a 100 percent CMA exam pass rate, a 100 percent job placement rate, and an 81 percent five-year average for job placement. Students planning to enroll in the program can expect to pay approximately $11,474.
5. Bucks County Community College
Location: Bucks County
Bucks County Community College is a public, two-year community college that offers a 38-credit hour Medical Assistant Credit Certificate Program that can be completed in as little as three semesters. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will be able to perform basic administrative and clinical medical assisting tasks like maintaining accounting records, scheduling appointments, drawing blood, performing diagnostic testing, and more. In addition to in-class lectures and lab skills practice, students will carry out a clinical externship at a local healthcare facility to finish up their medical assistant educational training.
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