If you love to hike, camp, or fish among majestic mountains and deep forests, you may be drawn to Washington, one of the most beautiful states in the Pacific Northwest. A large percentage of the state’s residents live in the Seattle metropolitan area, a center of technological development and culture along the Puget Sound. After graduating from a medical assistant school in Washington, you’ll find promising career opportunities in some of the state’s large cities:
In addition to offering stunning scenery and a wealth of cultural attractions, Washington is one of the highest-paying states for medical assistants, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. When it comes to non-metropolitan areas, Central Washington has been recognized as one of the highest-paying regions in the country for this profession. As you plan your career, think about whether a certificate, diploma, or associate degree in medical assisting best fits your career goals.
Compare nationally-accredited medical assistant schools in Washington as you prepare to enter this challenging field.
1. Carrington College
If you’re passionate about helping others and you’re fascinated by the health sciences, Carrington College’s Certificate in Medical Assisting program could be the fastest way to jump-start your new career. At Carrington, you’ll learn how to be a successful medical assistant through a combination of classroom teaching, clinical coursework, and a hands-on externship. Many students finish the program, which is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools, within nine months. After earning your certificate, you will be eligible to take the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam or the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) examination.
2. Clover Park Technical College
Educating students since 1942, Clover Park Technical College maintains a tradition of excellence in teaching. The college’s Medical Assisting Program (MAP) leads to a Certificate of Completion and prepares graduates to take the CMA exam. Although many Washington employers don’t require certification, having the CMA credential can open up more professional doors. Clover Park’s certificate program in medical assisting is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. The MAP takes approximately 15 months to complete.
3. North Seattle Community College
Location: Seattle (Northgate Area)
North Seattle Community College (NSCC) has a self-paced, modular program that leads to a Certificate in Medical Assisting. In addition to its standard certification option, NSCC offers several short certificate programs for students who want to supplement their education or for working medical assistants who want to advance professionally. In this fully accredited program, students can begin taking modular courses during any given quarter and can take as many courses as their schedules allow. Traditional classroom instruction is enhanced with online instruction to provide even more flexibility.
4. Renton Technical College
At Renton Technical College, students can complete a Certificate or an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Medical Assisting. To earn certification, students will learn essential clinical skills like phlebotomy, EKG technology, specimen processing, patient examination, and assistance with minor surgical procedures. Students also learn front-office skills like billing and medical information management. Completing the certificate program is a prerequisite for advancing to the associate degree track. The goals of these accredited programs include passing the National Medical Certification Exam with a score over 80%.
5. South Puget Sound Community College
Weighing the benefits of a certificate versus an associate degree is one of the important steps in your search for an accredited medical assistant school. At South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC), you can take your education in either direction. The Certificate of Completion in Medical Assisting is awarded to SPSCC students who finish the basic curriculum in clinical and administrative medical assisting courses. A 200-hour field experience is required to give you “real world” experience in this challenging profession. The average completion time for the certificate program is 12 months. The Associate in Applied Science Degree is awarded to students who complete additional general education credits.
6. Yakima Valley Community College
The Yakima Valley Community College (YVCC) Medical Assisting program can lead to a certificate or an associate degree. Both tracks are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Full-time students can finish the certificate program in four quarters of study. By taking an additional 28 credits, students can graduate with an associate degree. YVCC students prepare themselves to work in a fast-paced medical environment by participating in clinical simulations through the school’s Allied Health Laboratory. They then hone their psychomotor skills with clinical experiences in doctor’s offices and clinics in the Yakima area. Online classes and part-time study options may appeal to students who need a flexible academic schedule.