10 Best Medical Assistant Degrees Online in 6 Weeks [2024 Guide]

Ready to start your journey?

If you’re eager to find work in a healthcare setting, then you might be asking, “Can I get a medical assistant degree online in 6 weeks?”

Best Medical Assistant Degrees Online in 6 Weeks

You’ll be glad to know that training for a career as a medical assistant can be completed quickly. Depending on how much time you’re willing to invest in your education, you could choose medical assisting or a related line of work.

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Read on to discover how to become a medical assistant fast and learn what’s involved in this career.

Medical Assistant Degree Online in 6 Weeks

student taking Medical Assistant Degree Online

Medical assisting is a field that you can enter relatively quickly. While there are no degree programs that can be completed in 6 weeks, you may be able to complete a medical assistant training certificate program in 2 to 3 months. Some programs are closer to 12 months long.

Select the program that most interests you to jump to that section of the guide:

By the end of your program, you’ll have a college certificate in hand and may be ready for national certification exams. Alternatively, you could choose a quick program in a related allied health area. Perhaps you’ll decide to stick with being a phlebotomist or a nursing assistant. If not, the healthcare and anatomy lessons learned in another program could serve as a strong foundation for your medical assistant coursework.

Clinical Medical Assistant Programs

Clinical Medical Assistants receiving instructions from a doctor

A program by this name will likely prepare you to earn the National Healthcareer Association’s Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) credential.

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The lessons will address medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and patient care. During the 5 to 12 months of your program, you’ll also learn how to use health records software. As a CCMA, you may be a prime candidate for medical assistant jobs in hospitals and physician’s offices.

Dental Assistant Programs

Dental Assistant preparing a patient for tooth extraction

You can become a key staff member in a dental office with a certificate in dental assisting. In your classes, you’ll learn about the anatomy of the teeth, gums, and jaw. You will study medications, procedures, and treatments used for oral care.

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It may take you 3 months to 1 year, plus internship time, to prepare for a career in dental assisting. The majority of people with this job work in dentist’s offices.

Medical Administrative Assistant Programs

Medical Administrative Assistant answering patient's questions

To prepare for working as a medical secretary or administrative assistant, you’ll study the human body, medications, diseases, and treatments.

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Your courses will also cover office practices and software programs, especially those designed for maintaining electronic health records. Your studies could take up to 12 months. With this certificate, you may be ready to work in the front office of a healthcare facility, such as a doctor’s office.

Medical Assisting Level 1 Programs

administrative assistant working in a hospital

A Level 1 program can help prepare you for entry-level medical assisting jobs as well as certification from a national organization.

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Over the course of 1 year or less, you can study anatomy, physiology, disease, and medication. You will probably have clinical experiences as well. Your medical assistant certificate program could help prepare you to be part of the team in a hospital or a doctor’s office.

Nursing Assistant Programs

Nursing Assistant checking a patient

In just 1 month to 3 months, you could complete the training for working as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).

Nursing assistant programs cover concepts related to anatomy and patient care. You might learn how to clean patients, collect lab specimens, and keep skin healthy.

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CNAs often work alongside registered nurses (RNs) in hospitals, long-term care homes, rehabilitation programs, and skilled nursing facilities.

Ophthalmic Medical Assisting Programs

Ophthalmic Medical Assistant checking patient's vision

When you choose a career in ophthalmic medical assisting, you can help improve people’s ability to clearly see the world around them.

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You’ll study human anatomy, especially the structure and function of the eye. The curriculum will also cover vision aids, visual impairments, surgical procedures for the eye, and ocular medications. Within 4 to 8 months, you could be assisting an optometrist or an ophthalmologist or working as an optician.

Pharmacy Technician Programs

Pharmacy Technician checking the medicines inventory

A certified pharmacy technician must understand how medications make a difference in the body. Studying for this career also requires learning about dosing, dispensing, and maintaining patient privacy. The curriculum may include lessons in pharmacy math, customer service, and health promotion as well.

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Pharm tech programs often last between 4 to 8 months. With this certificate, technicians can look for work in retail or hospital pharmacies.

Phlebotomy Programs

Phlebotomist extracting patient's blood

Phlebotomists collect medical samples, particularly blood samples, from patients. Learning how to do this job involves studying the tools and procedures used for venous and capillary blood draws. Storing and transporting lab samples will be covered as well.

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You may spend 2 to 3 months in a phlebotomy certificate program. Afterward, you might work in a hospital or another healthcare facility. You could also apply for a job in a lab.

What Does a Medical Assistant Do?

medical assistant administering injection to a patient

Medical assistants work alongside doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. They provide essential support during office visits and procedures. Medical assistants are able to handle both clerical and clinical duties.

A medical assistant’s job responsibilities may include:

  • Administering injections
  • Answering phones
  • Assisting with tests and treatments
  • Collecting blood or other lab specimens
  • Inquiring about patients’ medical histories
  • Providing patient education
  • Recording vitals
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Situating patients in exam rooms

The duties of a medical assistant can vary from state to state. For example, only some states allow medical assistants to administer vaccinations. The allowed responsibilities may also vary between certified and non-certified medical assistants.

What Is a Medical Assistant?

medical assistant taking care of a patient

A medical assistant is an allied health professional. People in this role help other healthcare providers give patients excellent care.

Medical assistants often perform clinical duties, such as recording medical histories and taking blood samples. They also do clerical work, such as greeting patients and booking appointments. A medical assistant is often, but not always, a certified professional. Those who have completed a training program and have passed a certification exam may be eligible for more widespread employment opportunities.

Medical assistants are not nurses or doctors. Rather, they serve in a distinct and important capacity on healthcare teams.

How to Choose the Fastest Medical Assistant Program Online

student researching for quick medical assistant programs

In your search for quick medical assistant programs, you’ll likely come across a variety of options. Some quick online college degrees will be more promising than others. The following considerations can help you narrow down your choices:

  • Certification alignment. Many programs tailor their curriculum to a particular national certification board’s requirements. If certification from a certain organization is important to you, then you can choose your school accordingly.
  • Cost. It’s beneficial to look not only at the price of tuition but also at how much financial aid you can get.
  • Pacing. You may be able to finish a self-paced program more quickly than one that prescribes a set length of time for each course.
  • Practical experiences. Hands-on practice can help you become a competent medical assistant. You might look into how real-world experiences are built into a program and how many hours are required.
  • Regional accreditation. Courses from colleges that are approved by a regional accrediting agency are typically easier to transfer among institutions.

Hopefully, with careful consideration, you’ll discover a program that’s the right fit for you!

Accelerated Medical Assistant Programs Accreditation

Accelerated Medical Assistant Programs Accreditation

When you’re preparing for allied health training, it’s strategic to prioritize the value of a regionally accredited college. Whether you choose to study medical assisting or enroll in 1 year post bacc programs for medical school, there are many benefits to opting for an accredited school.

Healthcare-related classes from regionally accredited colleges may be transferable. For example, the courses for a different certificate program may count toward your medical assistant training. Your classes in medical assisting may put you on the path toward becoming a nurse.

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Additionally, you may find that it’s easier to meet national certification requirements or qualify for a good job with accredited studies.

Medical Assistant Licensure and Certifications

medical assistant taking licensure program online

Most states do not have a licensure program for medical assistants, and certification is usually optional. Despite the lack of state requirements, many employers strongly prefer certified personnel. Multiple certification options are available.

Initial certifications include:

  • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA (AAMA))
  • Clinical Medical Assistant Certification (CMAC)
  • National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA)

Specialty credentials include:

  • Certified EKG Technician (CET)
  • Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS)
  • Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT)

Adding specialized certifications to your resume could help make you a more well-rounded job candidate who’s prepared for the modern healthcare workforce.

What Can You Do with a Short Medical Assistant Training?

Medical Assistant guiding a patient

Professionals who complete short medical assistant programs may be ready to get certified and work as medical assistants.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most medical assistants work in doctor’s offices. Some work in hospitals or outpatient treatment facilities. Typically, medical assistants earn between $30,390 and $51,710 annually. Related 6 week programs could help qualify you to work in a variety of other allied health roles.

Depending on your program, you might find work as a phlebotomist, an EKG technician, or a medical records specialist. Dental assistant and pharmacy technician are other similar careers to consider.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Medical Assistant?

medical assistant asking help from a doctor

Technically, it’s not always necessary to receive formal training to become a medical assistant. Some high school graduates directly enter the workforce and get on-the-job training.

Most employers, though, prefer to hire certified medical assistants. To get certified, you’re required to complete some schooling. Some of the shortest medical assistant programs may be completed in 10 weeks or less. Most take several months, and others last up to 1 year.

Any previous allied health coursework may help you get through your medical assistant training more quickly than normal. Full-time college enrollment is another factor that can speed up your studies.

Is a Medical Assistant Training Online Worth It?

medical assistants taking training online

Yes, a medical assistant training online is worth it for many students. Fast medical assistant programs can help you launch a career in the in-demand world of healthcare.

As a whole, the healthcare sector is growing. For medical assistants, in particular, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 14% job growth rate over the next ten years. Medical assisting can be a meaningful career, and you can know that you are making a difference in people’s health.

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As the population ages and more people require frequent medical care, your commitment to your community’s well-being may become even more important.

Universities Offering 6 Weeks Medical Training Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer 6 weeks medical programs online or in a hybrid format.

California State University – Long Beach

California State University Long Beach campus

California State University – Long Beach offers a Clinical Medical Assistant Certificate. The program requires 140 hours of lectures, ten labs, and an externship. All courses are online, but labs are completed on campus. The program is 14 weeks long and offered each semester. Lectures are during the evenings and weekends.

California State University – Long Beach is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Coastal Pines Technical College

Coastal Pines Technical College campus

Coastal Pines Technical College offers several training options for those pursuing careers in medicine, including careers as medical assistants, veterinary assistants, and admin assistants. Courses may be taken in a 6 week format or in self-paced, 6 month blocks. The programs may be completed in 1 year.

Coastal Pines Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Florida Tech

Florida Tech campus

Florida Tech offers a Registered Behavioral Technician training program. It is fully online and requires approximately 40 hours to complete. A score of 80% is required on the comprehensive exam at the end of the online course to complete the training. The program is self-paced and can be started at any time.

Florida Tech is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Lehman College

Lehman College campus

Lehman College offers a Clinical Medical Assistant Certification program. Most courses are online, but some are taken in a hybrid format. A 100 hour internship is also required. Some courses can be completed in a day, while others are several weeks long.

Lehman College is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

National Louis University

National Louis University campus

National Louis University’s Accelerate U program offers a Medical Assistant training pathway. All coursework is online, but labs must be completed on campus on Saturdays. An externship is also required. The program can potentially be completed in 7 months. The curriculum consists of 30 credits of courses that may be transferred to a bachelor’s degree.

NLU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Nebraska Methodist College

Nebraska Methodist College campus

Nebraska Methodist College offers several certificate programs in the medical field, including Medical Assistant training. Programs are either fully online or in a hybrid format. The medical assistant program may be finished in 12 months. New cohorts start each August. Other programs have courses that are 5 to 16 weeks long and are offered up to four times per year.

NMC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Savannah Technical College

Savannah Technical College campus

Savannah Technical College offers several healthcare and medical certificates and training programs, including Medical Administrative Assistant and Medical Billing and Coding. All courses are fully online. Some have online instruction and asynchronous coursework with due dates, while others are self-paced. Some programs may be completed in only 6 weeks.

Savannah Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

State College of Florida – Manatee – Sarasota

State College of Florida Manatee Sarasota campus

The State College of Florida – Manatee-Sarasota offers a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant training program. It is fully online and offers exam preparation for certification through the NHA. Students may be eligible for a certification voucher. Courses are 6 weeks long. Other certifications may be added, including EKG Technician and Phlebotomy Technician.

State College of Florida – Manatee-Sarasota is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Tidewater Community College

Tidewater Community College campus

Tidewater Community College offers several healthcare training and certification programs, including Clinical Medical Assistant, Medical Billing and Coding, and EKG Assistant. Students move through the program with a cohort. Courses meet online during evening hours two or three times per week. Some courses are in an accelerated format.

Tidewater Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Texas – San Antonio

University of Texas San Antonio

The University of Texas – San Antonio offers a fully online Registered Behavior Technician Certification program. It can typically be completed in 5 weeks. Courses meet once per week, and each session is 2 hours long. Coursework and video modules must also be completed.

The University of Texas at San Antonio is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Getting Your Medical Assistant Certification Online

student taking Medical Assistant Certification Online

You may find yourself ready for a steady, respected career. Perhaps you’re interested in launching that career as soon as possible.

If medical assisting seems like the right field for you, you may hope to enter it by completing a 6 week medical assistant program online. In general, it takes more than 6 weeks to finish a medical assisting program, but you can typically accomplish the goal in under 1 year. If you’re fully committed to obtaining certification in 6 weeks, then you might consider a related allied health field instead.

Whichever career path you choose, you can explore online programs from accredited schools for your accelerated healthcare training.

Ready to start your journey?
Joy is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy & Foreign Policy at Liberty University and holds a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management from Amberton University, as well as a Bachelor's in Business Administration from Columbia College. With over 20 years of experience navigating online degrees and courses, Joy's focus is helping non-traditional students find accelerated degree options and credit for prior learning opportunities.