Choosing the Right Training Program For a Medical Assistant Career

Posted On March 23,2022

If you’re interested in becoming a medical assistant but aren’t sure where to begin, it might feel a bit overwhelming. The first and most important step in your journey is finding the right training program. The right training program can put you on the path to becoming a successful medical assistant. Not all medical assisting programs are the same, which is why it’s so important to choose your training program carefully.

Young medical assistant wearing pink scrubs.

Program Length

If you’ve decided you want a career in the medical field but are worried that healthcare careers require extensive training and time, then becoming a medical assistant is an excellent choice. While training for some medical professions does take several years of higher education, becoming a medical assistant is relatively short compared to other healthcare careers. Many programs are designed to be completed in less than two years, with some programs even offering completion in one year or less. Medical assisting is an appealing option for students who don’t have a lot of time or resources to commit to several years of education and training and need to jumpstart their new career quickly. 


To become a certified medical assistant, you need to enroll in a medical assisting program accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Only those graduating from an accredited program are eligible to sit for the CMA exam issued by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Without accreditation, you won’t have the ability to become certified which will greatly limit job opportunities available to you. 

Accreditation is extremely important when it comes to choosing a medical assisting program and should be top priority. While certification may not be required in some states, most employers and healthcare facilities prefer hiring certified candidates. Certification can increase your marketability, provide higher pay and benefits, more job stability, greater opportunities for advancement, and much more. 

Flexible Schedule Options 

Many students have family or work schedules to accommodate, so it’s important to find out the program logistics so you can plan accordingly, such as: 

  • What times would you need to attend classes? Day or night? 
  • Are you looking for a full or part-time program? 
  • Online learning, in-person, or both? 

If you need an alternative schedule, rest assured there are many schools looking to accommodate busy students by offering flexible schedule options. 

Financial Aid 

Continuing your education is a financial commitment, so another benefit of choosing an accredited medical assistant program is they may offer access to federal financial aid to help offset the cost. If you’re in need of financial assistance, make sure to ask about accreditation and what types of financial aid or tuition assistance is available. 


Finally, it’s important to determine whether the program is a good fit for you. Does it fit into your lifestyle? Keep in mind that most medical assistant programs require hundreds of hours of classroom education, lab instruction, and on-site training that can add up to about 1,000 hours. To be successful in your program, it’s critical to ensure you can commit to such a schedule before enrolling. 

How Can I Find Out More? 

If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a medical assistant, contact Athena Career Academy. We offer an accredited program with flexible class options. New classes begin on a regular basis, and there’s no wait list.  Get on the Fast track to becoming a Medical Assistant