The average salary for a medical assistant in the state of Washington is significantly higher than in most other states. That comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reports an impressive figure of $35,000. Here are the top 10 medical assistant schools in Washington.
Medical Assistant Schools in Seattle
North Seattle College
North Seattle College’s Medical Assistant program is known for its variety of options. Students may choose from a number of certificates within the program, including Medical Office Administration or Clinical Lab Assistant. Students may also opt to load their curricula with general education courses, in pursuit of the Associate of Applied Science in Allied Health Services.
The program is fully accredited, and externships may take place at a number of local medical facilities including the University of Washington Medical Clinics, Seattle Children’s Hospital, and more.
Seattle Vocational Institute
The Medical Assistant Certificate Program at SVI covers 5 quarters and leads to certification in CPR. The program is fully accredited and graduates can sit for the National Examination for Certified Medical Assistant. Once that’s achieved, they may sit for the Washington State level certification, which is required for work in this field.
Courses cover topics such as electronic medical records, patient care, finances, coding, medical terminology, keyboarding and customer service. This program stresses the front office duties of a medical assistant.
The Seattle Vocational Institute Medical Assistant Certificate Program is accredited by the (CAAHEP) in Clearwater, FL.
Renton Technical College
Renton is 12 miles south of Seattle and offers an extensive department of Health Care programs. Included are two Allied Health Career options: Medical Assistant and Medical Assistant-Phlebotomy.
The Medical Assistant program lasts only 4 quarters, setting a new record for speedy graduation. The Associate of Applied Science Degree in Medical Assistant is only 6 quarters itself (92) credits. The programs are accredited by CAAHEP in Clearwater, FL.
Graduates are qualified to sit for the required state certification exam and the national Registered Medical Assistant Exam. To gain entry to the programs, applicants must take the COMPASS test and pass a nationwide criminal background check.
Medical Assistant Schools in Spokane
Carrington has a branch in Spokane which offers both Medical Assisting and Medical Billing and Coding programs. The Medical Assisting program can be completed in 9 months and covers both administrative and clinical coursework. There is an externship too.
Upon graduation, Carrington students are prepared to sit for the national RMA exam. Although the Spokane campus Medical Assisting program is not accredited, Carrington College itself holds institutional accreditation with ACCJC/WASC, which is an accrediting body recognized by the US Department of Education.
Spokane Community College
The community college system in Spokane is quite robust, and they offer 7 different ways to study medical assisting. Choose to pursue a certificate or go further to get your AAS, both available for the Medical Assistant major. There is also a Medical Office Billing and Coding Specialist certificate, a Medical Office Receptionist certificate, and a Medical Office Specialist degree and a Medical Transcription degree (both AAS). SCC also has a full-blown nursing program as well as pre-med, should students wish to aim even higher.
The Medical Assistant degree and certificate program is accredited by the CAAHEP. Students must have proven computer and English skills for admission to either program, and they must maintain a 2.0 or better before continuing on to subsequent semesters during their course of study.
The AAS degree covers 7 quarters and 112-114 credits. Of note is the requirement that students take accounting, adolescent developmental psychology, and general psychology as well as the normal run of coursework. Also required is Composition II and a sociology course. This is a very well-rounded degree. It’s arranged so that all the requirements for the certificate are taken first, and then the liberal arts afterwards for the degree. This gives students time to decide whether they want to go for the whole degree.
Medical Assistant Schools in Tacoma
Clover Park Technical College
Just 10 miles southwest of Tacoma lies the town of Lakewood, where Clover Park has a campus. Their Medical Assistant program can be completed in 5 quarters and covers billing as well as patient interviewing, medical law, coding, and medical terminology.
As you can see, Clover Park’s program is for students who prefer the front office duties to the back office/lab duties of medical assisting. However, they do take back office diagnostic procedure courses, so they will be graduating with a well-rounded background. Upon graduation, they can sit for the AAMA exam. There is a day program and an evening program as well.
The Tacoma branch of Everest College offers a total of three different Medical Assistant programs: Medical Administrative Assistant, Medical Assistant, and Medical Insurance Billing and Coding.
The Medical Assistant program is a diploma program covering all the basics: lab procedures to patient communication. There are also courses covering bookkeeping and medical insurance. This program is also offered in Everest’s Everett campus.
Pima Medical Institute
Thirty miles southwest of Tacoma you will find a branch of Pima Medical Institute in Olympia. This branch offers the certificate in Medical Assistant (as well as one in Medical Administrative Assistant) but not an Associate Degree (although there is one in Health Care Administration).
Pima’s certificate program stands out because it can be completed in as little as 9 months. Students learn exam techniques, coding & billing, surgical procedures and medical office lab procedures. Surgery techniques is not something that’s covered in every medical assistant certificate program so students who are drawn to the back office duties of medical assisting will want to consider Pima’s program.
Medical Assistant Schools in Vancouver
With a campus on Vancouver as well as several other cities in the state, Everest offers several programs for anyone interested in Medical Assisting. Choose from an Associate Degree or a Diploma, and choose Billing & Coding or Medical Administrative Assistant programs. Everest is accredited by ABHES as well as CAAHEP.
The Vancouver, WA campus of Charter College has a Medical Assistant Certificate program as well as a Medical Office Administrative Assistant Certificate program.
The Medical Assistant program is offered as a fast-track 10-month curriculum with an 180-hour externship. That’s 20 hours more than the typical externship in most other programs, by the way. Classes are offered in a convenient ongoing rotation, starting every five weeks. Tuition for the program is around $23,000 and there is a higher than average job placement rate for graduates of this program. Charter College also has branches in other Washington cities, including Pasco, Yakima, Lynwood, Lacey, and several others.
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