Colorado offers an incredible mixture of natural beauty, quiet locales and bustling metro areas. In 2009, US News reported Colorado Springs as one of the best places to work, and retire, in the nation. If you’re thinking about a medical assisting career and long-term career planning, you have good reason to consider Colorado. Not only does the state have a multitude of healthcare centers across the state, it also has a variety of medical assisting schools. The salary for a medical assistant in Colorado is about $32,000 per year.
Top Cities for Medical Assistant Jobs in Colorado:
· Colorado Springs
These cities have bustling healthcare centers that frequently have employment openings for medical professionals. Luckily, there are medical assisting schools nearby that can help you get the training you need to work as a healthcare professional.
Choosing the right medical assisting school is important. Remember to interview more than one school, and bring a list of questions with you to find out more about each school. Consider things like location, cost of the program and graduation rates. Also, be sure that the school you choose offers an accredited medical assistant program. Choosing a non-accredited program means you won’t be able to sit for the medical assistant certification examination (CMA) through the American Association of Medical Assistants. Only graduates of accredited programs may take this coveted exam.
Let’s take a look at accredited medical assisting programs in Colorado:
· Anthem College
Anthem College is located in Aurora, Colorado. This college offers both a diploma and an Associate of Applied Science degree in medical assisting. The programs may be completed in about one year and two years respectively. Students learn a variety of administrative and clinical skills, and must complete an externship prior to graduation. Graduates are eligible to take the AAMA CMA exam. Cost of the program is about $15,000 for a diploma, and $28,000 for an AAS degree.
· Arapaho Community College
Arapaho Community College is located in Littleton, Colorado. It offers a 2-term certificate of medical assisting, which can usually be completed in one year. This program is focused on building skills directly related to work in a medical office, like computer training, medical insurance and billing and clinical skills, like taking vital signs. Students are not required to take non-medical electives to complete this program. Graduates may sit for a certification exam upon graduation. Program costs are about $9,000.
· Front Range Community College
Front Range Community College is located in Longmont, Colorado and offers a certificate in medical assisting which combines clinical and administrative assisting. The college also offers certificates in medical administrative assisting and medical clinical assisting, for student who wish to do one or the other, but not both. The certificate program is about one year long, depending on whether pre-requisites must be taken or not. Some requirements must be met before you can enter the MA program here, so be sure to meet with a Front Range counselor to find out more about admissions.
· Community College of Denver
Located in Denver, Colorado, the Community College of Denver offers a 9-month certificate in medical assisting. Students with no prior healthcare experience are suggested to take pre-requisites in anatomy and physiology, and medical terminology before starting the program. The comprehensive program prepares students for entry-level jobs in clinical or administrative medical assisting. Students may sit for certification upon graduation.
· Red Rocks Community College
Red Rocks Community College offers both an Associate of Applied Science degree and certificate of medical assisting. Red Rocks offers in-depth curriculum for both MA degrees; however, Associate students are required to take electives and additional credit hours to round out their education. All students of the medical assistant program are required to complete an externship at a healthcare facility before graduation. Red Rocks states that may of their students become employed by the facility where they completed their externship, and overall, the college states an 86% job placement rate. Red Rocks requires certain qualifications for admission; be sure to visit with a Red Rocks representative to learn more. Graduates are allowed to sit for the certification exam through the AAMA.
· Pima Medical Institute
Pima Medical Institute has locations in Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado. This school offers a 34 credit certificate of medical assisting. The course combines general education classes, like computer basics and math, with core medical assisting courses. Graduates may sit for the CMA exam through the AAMA. The medical assisting program through Pima costs about $11,000 and takes about 9 months to complete.