Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting: Degree Overview

Research Associate of Applied Science degree programs that can prepare you to become a medical or clinical assistant. Learn about course requirements, career information, and continuing education opportunities to make an informed decision about your education.

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Essential Information

A medical or clinical assistant Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program is ideal for individuals who are interested in working under the supervision of physicians in clinics, hospitals, or medical offices. Students typically spend the first year of this two-year program developing clerical skills. The second year they learn medical terminology and management skills while also completing clinical education. In addition to courses and clinical rotations, students may also participate in cooperative education to gain hands-on training in a medical setting. A high school diploma or its equivalent is required for admission.

Course Topics

Students learn to perform a variety of duties, including receptionist duties, medical coding, bookkeeping, medical record keeping, and obtaining/recording vital signs. Graduates should be able to demonstrate problem solving skills, professionalism, and proficiency in performing patient-related clinical duties and laboratory procedures. Course topics may include:

  • Health information systems
  • Filing and records management
  • Pharmacology
  • Medical terminology
  • Basic electrocardiography
  • Medical ethics and law
  • Human anatomy and physiology

Popular Career Options

Medical or clinical assistants are trained to perform many duties within a medical setting. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), physicians' offices employed the highest number of medical or clinical assistants in May 2012 (www.bls.gov). Some popular career titles for this occupation include:

  • Medical assistant
  • Administrative medical assistant
  • Clinical medical assistant
  • Ophthalmic medical assistant
  • Podiatric medical assistant

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Employment growth of 31% is projected for medical assistants over the 2010-2020 period, reports the BLS. Most medical assistants in May 2012 earned salaries between $21,080 and $41,570 annually, and the median wage was $29,370.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates of medical or clinical AAS programs may seek employment immediately after graduation or may pursue further studies. Some may enroll in further training or bachelor's degree programs to become nurses, teachers or other healthcare professionals.

Medical assistants are not required to have certification, but many choose to do so to demonstrate their knowledge of the required medical standards for the profession. Certification may also lead to better job opportunities. Certification can be obtained through the American Medical Technologists (AMT) and the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

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Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (16)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your classroom preference?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Florida (2 campuses)
    • Minnesota (2 campuses)
    • New York (1)
    • Texas (3)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    Do you prefer online or campus based learning?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Kentucky (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Eastern Kentucky University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
        • Medical or Clinical Assistant
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Montana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at The University of Montana include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
        • Medical or Clinical Assistant
        • Pharmacy Technician
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Nursing Professions
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Kentucky (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Sullivan University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
        • Medical or Clinical Assistant
  • School locations:
    • Utah (3 campuses)
    Areas of study you may find at Stevens-Henager College include:
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
        • Medical or Clinical Assistant
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
  • School locations:
    • Alaska (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Alaska include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Massage and Related Therapeutic Professions
      • Medical Assisting
        • Medical or Clinical Assistant
        • Pharmacy Technician
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • Arkansas (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Arkansas Tech University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
        • Medical or Clinical Assistant
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Nursing Professions
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Georgia (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Georgia Perimeter College include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical Assisting
        • Medical or Clinical Assistant
      • Nursing Professions

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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