California offers many job opportunities for medical assistants. As a progressive health state, Californians are often health-conscious and may utilize a variety of modern health services, and alternative health services, like chiropractic and naturopathic health care. This presents the opportunity for medical assistants to seek employment in a variety of traditional and non-traditional work settings. California has well-written laws surrounding medical assisting practice, which serve as good guidelines for MA education in California.
If you’re thinking of going to medical assisting school in California, be sure to take your time and visit multiple schools. Ask questions and see which school feels right for you. With many options to choose from, you’re sure to find just the right school.
Because medical assisting is not a licensed profession, earning certification in the field is important for showing competency. In order to sit for certification exams, you must graduate from a medical assisting program that is accredited. Accreditation shows that the college has met strict standards for instructional excellence.
California offers many private scholarships and grants for health care education. Be sure to inquire at each school you interview, about scholarship or grant money that may be available.
Let’s take a look at accredited medical assisting schools in California:
- Valley College of Medical Careers
Valley College of Medical Careers, located in Mountain View, CA, offers a 32-week diploma in medical assisting. MA students learn a combination of both front office and clinical skills. Professional testing through the National Allied Health Professionals (NAHP) organization is required for this program. Graduates may choose to sit for other medical assisting certifying exams if they wish. Cost of program is approximately $14,000.
- California Regional Occupational Center
California Regional Occupational Center is located in Torrance, CA, offers a one year certificate in medical assisting. The program consists of standard medical assisting instruction in both clinical and administrative skills. Students are required to complete a 160-hour medical externship before graduation. Students who successfully complete the course are also able to sit for the certified medical assistant exam (CMA) through the American Association of Medical Assistants.
- Pasadena City College
Pasadena City College, in Pasadena, CA, offers a certificate in medical assisting. Students are recommended to take several elective courses before entering the core program, in order to complete the course in a timely manner. An 8-week externship is required during the program. Graduates are eligible to sit for the certified medical assistant exam through the AAMA.
- Orange Coast College
Orange Coast College is located in Costa Mesa, CA. The medical assisting program at Orange Coast College offers a certificate, which can usually be completed in three semesters. Prerequisites may be required prior to starting the core program. The program consists of core clinical and administrative classes. Graduates are eligible to sit for the CMA exam through the AAMA.
- Modesto Junior College
Modesto Junior College is located in Modesto, CA. This school offers an 8-month diploma is medical assisting. Students at Modesto receive transferable college credits and often go on to earn an Associate degree in medical assisting, or go on to nursing, according to the college. Students study both clinical and administrative medical assisting and may sit for certification exams upon graduation.
- American Career College
American Career College has locations in Anaheim and Los Angeles, California. This accredited medical assisting program offers a diploma to graduates. Students may take day classes, night classes or a combination of both. Students taking night classes usually finish the course in 50 weeks. The college also offers an accelerated program in which students can complete the course in about 20 weeks.
- Anthem College
Anthem College is located in Sacramento, CA. A diploma in medical assisting is offered, with the potential for both in-class and online instructions. Students are prepared for careers in clinical medical assisting or as an administrative MA or medical receptionist. The program takes about one year to complete and students are eligible for certification upon graduation.
- Chabot College
Chabot College is located in Hayward, CA. This college offers a certificate in medical assisting. Graduates are able to sit for the certification exam via the AAMA. Students study both foundation and core courses in administrative and clinical medical assisting. Some courses may have prerequisites. Overall, the program takes about four semesters to complete.