Medical Assisting Programs
Online and On Campus

Ranked #6 Best Health Care Support Job for 2020 according to U.S. News & World Report

If you have the personality to put patients at ease and the skills to provide office support, you could have a great future as a medical assistant.  Go back to school to earn your medical assistant training in as little as 10 months with our diploma program - or earn your associate degree in  as little as 16-20 months.

You'll be trained to be a vital part of day-to-day work at healthcare facilities and doctors' offices.

Program highlights:

  • Online classes + hands-on clinical labs & externship
  • Program length: 10-20 months
  • Pathways designed to support your career goals
  • Diploma: a quick route to begin your career
  • Associate degree: supports further growth & can act as a stepping stone to a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management
  • Flexibility: choose full or part-time options
  • Prepare to earn industry certifications


Classes start March 2.
Learn more today!

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Requirements to become a medical assistant depend on the specific roles and responsibilities of the job you apply for and the prerequisites of the state in which you practice.


While most states do not set requirements for medical assisting school, it is very rare to be hired with no formal training or schooling. Applicants holding a diploma or degree have the best chance to earn the job they want. Keep in mind state requirements can vary and there may be specialized training required to perform certain medical assisting tasks.


Some states do not require a certification to practice medical assisting, but it’s a good idea to sit for either the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) or Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam to get certified and earn an edge on the job market even if it isn’t a requirement. Graduates with a degree or diploma are eligible to sit for these exams.


Requirements for the job can be different depending on where you will work in a medical facility: in the front office, back office or laboratory environment. What ties it all together is your attention to detail, professionalism and caring. Learn more about what a medical assistant does from someone who’s done it for 20+ years.

Earning your diploma or degree and getting certified are the best steps you can take to become qualified for the position you want and become a medical assistant. Herzing University is here to help you start your new career and succeed!


There are two requirements to complete the medical assisting program outside of regular classes:

  1. Clinical labs. Two terms prior to the externship, you will be required to take two clinical courses. Most coursework will be completed online, but you will also be required to meet with a proctor at a healthcare facility (possibly a Herzing campus) to demonstrate mastery in medical assisting skills.

    Prior to your labs you will need to take and pass a Student Readiness Training (SRT) proctorship. You must complete a Basic Life Support (BLS) CPR class from the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross as part of the requirement.
  2. Externship. You will complete 180 hours at a medical clinic or doctor’s office in an eight-week period during your final term—Monday-Friday during daytime hours. Depending on the requirements of your externship site, expect about 25-40 hours per week. Herzing’s clinical coordinator can assist you in your search, but it will be your responsibility to locate and secure a proctor and externship site in your geographic area during your Student Readiness Training Seminar (SRT).

Finding a proctor for your clinicals

Herzing’s Proctor Prep SRT seminar provides guidance on how to search and secure a proctor to assist in your clinical courses. This course is usually scheduled two terms before the first clinical course. In order to succeed, you’ll need to be in frequent communication with the SRT instructor.

You will have access to a clinical coordinator who will assist in your search, but ultimately it is your responsibility to secure proctorship.

Contact us and we can provide answers to any further questions you have about the clinical/externship component of the medical assisting program.

Ready to take the Next Step?

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As a medical assistant graduate of Herzing University, you'll be provided with the skills and capabilities needed to work in a private medical practice, public clinic, nursing home, and critical care facility as well as at a hospital and immediate care facility.  Explore the path that best suits your career goals.

Medical Assisting Services Program Curriculum

Associate Degree in Medical Assisting Services6016
Diploma in Medical Assisting Services4212
Diploma in Medical Assisting3410
*Average number of months for students to complete program attending  full-time; Akron's Associate Degree can be completed in as little as 20 months.

Associate Degree in Medical Assisting Services

This program, offered through the Herzing Akron campus and online at all campuses with the exception of Herzing Minneapolis, adds the general education courses that are required for an associate degree to the diploma program’s curriculum, which will give you greater advancement opportunities.  View Program Course Sheet

Diploma in Medical Assisting Services

Available at Herzing Akron Campus, this program could be a first step in becoming a medical assistant. Herzing's Diploma in Medical Assisting Services program provides the basic capabilities needed for entry-level positions in both doctor’s offices and hospitals View Program Course Sheet

Diploma in Medical Assisting

Herzing's Diploma in Medical Assisting program is fully online and could be your pathway toward a rewarding healthcare career. You'll be able to access, review and complete your studies from practically anywhere, and you will have easy access to your instructors, advisers and student cohort through chat, phone and other resources when you need it most.  View Program Course Sheet

What certification/licensure does this program prepare you for?

Registered Medical Assistant

Graduates of Herzing's Medical Assisting Services programs may be eligible to take the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) exam offered by American Medical Technologists.

Certified Clinical Medical Assistant

Graduates of Medical Assisting Services program may be eligible to take the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) certification offered by the National Healthcareer Association.

Advancing Your Education

When greater career options are calling you, Herzing University is here to help you advance your education. You can move from medical assisting into leadership or management positions in healthcare by earning a bachelor's degree in healthcare management.



The online medical assisting program (both diploma & degree) feature three main components:

  1. Online classes. Much of the coursework can be completed in the online component of the program.
  2. Clinical labs. You will be required to complete two clinical courses and meet with a proctor outside of class to ensure you are mastering key medical assisting skills.
  3. Externship. Over an eight-week period during your final term you will be required to complete 180 hours of hands-on experience in a medical clinic or healthcare facility. We can guide you in your search, but it is your responsibility to find and secure an externship site.

Our goal is to fully prepare you to thrive in your new career. The clinical and externship hands-on component of the program is crucial to helping you get the experience you need to become a medical assistant right out of school.


How long it takes depends on what level of education you pursue. Partner with Herzing University and you can expect a range of 10 months–2 years to get your education, get certified and start looking for a medical assistant position, depending on whether you choose a diploma or degree program.

The following timelines are based on full-time status:

  • Associate degree: 16-20 months
  • Diploma – online program: 10 months
  • Diploma – Akron campus: 12 months

After earning your degree or diploma, we recommend becoming certified as a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) or Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) even if it isn’t required in your state. With a diploma/degree and a certification, you’ll be positioned well for your first job.


Students in the online program will take the RMA exam during their review course – which is a requirement to pass. Herzing will pay for the exam once.

Certification is not always required, but job duties may be limited in certain states if you don’t get certified.

Even if you aren’t legally required to be certified, many employers will require certification and it will make you available for more job opportunities, better pay and greater chance for advancement.

Sitting for and passing either the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) exam or Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam may open many more doors to start your career as a medical assistant.


According to 2018 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical assistants earn an average salary of $34,540 per year ($16.61 per hour). As you earn more experience and gain more skills, your earning opportunity will improve.

The BLS also projects growing demand for medical assistants in coming years, predicting a 23% change in employment from 2018-2028. It’s a good time to get your foot in the door and work towards your new career.

Discover how much a medical assistant makes by state.


A career in medical assisting involves a diverse array of roles and responsibilities. Depending on the practice you work for and department you are in, your normal everyday tasks can vary widely.

Potential tasks include (but not limited to):

  • Answering the phone and greeting patients
  • Informing physicians about patient concerns
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Gather patient information: contact info, insurance info, etc.
  • Measuring patient vital signs
  • Taking blood pressure, pulse and respirations
  • Setting up exam rooms for procedures
  • Visual and hearing tests
  • Drawing blood
  • Pregnancy tests
  • Making patients comfortable during an appointment

No matter what’s required in your day-to-day experience on the job, what ties everything together is your professionalism, care for patients and attention to detail. Your resourcefulness will make you a valuable resource in a fast-paced healthcare environment.

Read more about what a medical assistant does and what you can expect after getting a job in the field.


Because medical assistants can wear so many different hats there are many important skills needed to thrive in different healthcare environments:

  • Professionalism. In many positions you will need to handle customer service tasks, basic patient care and clearly communicate physician information to patients. Medical assistants must demonstrate professionalism and tact when interacting with patients.
  • Attention to detail. Medical assistants may gather patient contact or insurance information and keep medical records organized. You must be meticulous and highly detail oriented to succeed.
  • Compassion. Making patients comfortable and empathizing with their concerns is crucial ensuring patients are calm and collected for medical procedures.
  • Multi-tasking. Staying organized and measured in the face of quickly changing circumstances and a lengthy “to-do” list will make you indispensable to a healthcare team.

These are just a few key medical assistant skills that will help you excel in medical assisting and beyond to many other career opportunities in healthcare.


Beginning your career as a medical assistant is a great way to build a strong foundational education in healthcare, gain meaningful real-world experience and prepare yourself to continue growing professionally.

What is the next level after medical assistant? It depends on your strengths, preferences and overall career goals in healthcare.

Three fields in healthcare are popular landing spots for medical assistants looking to specialize or branch into a new career path:

  • Healthcare Management
  • Health Information Management
  • Nursing

Herzing University offers many degree and diploma programs for practicing medical assistants to take a leap and embark on a new career path.


With Herzing University, an affordable, career-focused education is within your reach. We are always striving to make college more affordable for everyone.

  • Student loans & secured loansLoans offer a way to pay for all or part of your tuition.
  • Scholarships. We offer a variety of scholarships based on academic achievement, financial need or community affiliations. Contact an admissions advisor about current scholarship opportunities by calling 1-800-596-0724 or request for information online.

You can find an estimate for grant and scholarship aid using the net price calculator, and find an estimate for tuition for the online medical assisting program using Herzing University’s tuition wizard.


Medical assisting career paths

Ranked #5 Best Health Care Support Jobs of 2018 by U.S. News & World Report

Medical assistants can choose employment that best suits their strengths. If you excel at administrative support duties or find that you do not enjoy working around blood, an administrative role could make use of your organizational skills. If you prefer to provide direct patient care, a clinical role would be the best path. This role could include collecting lab specimens, explaining medical procedures and medications to patients, and recording vital signs (duties vary according to state law). Or,  as a medical assistant you may wish to incorporate both clinical and administrative duties into your daily work routine and choose to work in a smaller office that requires a medical assistant who can perform both functions.

Earning your degree (or diploma) is the biggest step to become a medical assistant. Some states do not require a certification in order to practice medical assisting, but it’s a good idea to sit for either the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) or Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam to get certified and earn an edge on the job market even if it isn’t a requirement. Graduates with a degree or diploma are eligible to sit for these exams.

Work Environment

With a career as a medical assistant, you can typically expect a 40-hour work week with full benefits (such as 401(k), paid vacation, and medical/dental insurance), although part-time and weekend shifts are often available. About 73% of medical assistants build careers in general practice or specialty physicians’ offices while 12% work in hospitals.  The remainder are employed by other patient-care facilities such as long-term care homes and outpatient clinics.

Taking the next step in your career

Medical assistants can build a very strong foundation for a long career in healthcare. With experience, medical assistants may specialize and grow into leadership roles or related healthcare fields, including healthcare management, health information management or nursing. Learn more about potential career options for medical assistants.

Career as a Medical Assistant after Earning Degree or Diploma Online

Change Your Life with a Degree From Herzing

Program Finder

Medical Assisting Degree Programs

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Accreditation & Approvals

Herzing University - Akron Campus

The Diploma in Medical Assisting Services program at the Akron Campus of Herzing University, 1600 South Arlington, Akron, OH has a retention rate of 82.35% for the admission cohorts that entered in 2016. This rate is based on the Annual Report Form submitted to the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Cherryl R. Shields

I love my instructors and the staff at the Herzing University. Their help and encouragement is what helped me achieve my degree. At the age of 54, who knew that I had this kind of potential? Herzing did, my family and friends did, and finally I did after I saw what I could do. Herzing is the best, and I am possible!