Best 12 Medical Assistant Programs in California in 2021

April 13, 2021 | Staff Writers

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With the increased demand of healthcare workers the demand for Medical Assistant Programs has also increased.  The following is a list of the top Medical Assistant Programs in California.  The matrix used in ranking these programs includes the following pieces of information; the cost of the program, the faculty to student ratio, whether the program is offered online or not, and what certifications or degree levels can be earned.  

1. San Joaquin Valley College

San Joaquin Valley College offers a comprehensive Medical Assisting program across multiple campuses and online.  Students can choose to either earn a certificate of completion or an associate degree in Medical Assisting.  Students of this program will learn a blend of both medical skills and administrative skills, such as drawing blood and maintaining patient records.  This blended education prepares students for back office duties within the clinic as well as front office administrative duties such as coding patients bills for insurance companies.  Graduates find employment in a variety of settings within the healthcare field.     

At A Glance

  • Location: Visalia, California
  • Tuition: Varies and depends on location or online and independent circumstances
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 19 to 1
  • Time Commitment: 9 to 15 months
  • Online: Yes

2. UEI College

UEI College is a vocational training school with multiple locations throughout California including Fresno, L.A. Chula Vista, Encino, Bakersfield, and many more.  The Medical Assistant program is available at 16 locations throughout California.  Students can complete the program in 10 months through both online courses and in person courses.  A sampling of courses include anatomy and physiology, medical management, clinical medical assisting, and pharmacology to name a few.  Students will also complete an externship as part of their education to ensure they gain the hands-on skills needed to be prepared for employment as a member of the healthcare team. 

At A Glance

  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Tuition: Varies due to independent circumstances
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 20 to 1
  • Time Commitment: 10 months
  • Online: Yes

3. Platt College

Platt College operates three campuses; one in Riverside, one in Alhambra, and the last one in Ontario.  The Medical Assisting program prepares students to become an integrated part of the medical team in both clinical and administrative roles.  Students will learn how to properly take vital signs, read diagnostic charts, perform basic lab procedures, update and  maintain records of patients, and more.  This well-rounded program prepares graduates to have the knowledge and skill set to gain entry level employment within healthcare settings such as doctors offices, optometrist offices, and more.  Graduates are also eligible to earn their national certification in Medical Assisting form the National Center for Competency Testing.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Riverside, California
  • Tuition: Varies depending on location and personal circumstances
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 14 to 1 
  • Time Commitment: 15 months
  • Online: No

4. Carrington College

Carrington College is  a private for-profit institution that provides vocational training in many areas of the medical field, including Medical Assisting.  With ten locations across California, students are able to attend courses in person to learn the skill necessary for this certification.  The Medical Assistant certification program requires 9 months of courses, while students seeking to earn an associate degree in Medical Assisting will take 16 month to complete.  Students learn both clinical skills such as diagnostic testing and assisting with routine care of patients as well as administrative skills in updating records and maintaining supplies.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Sacramento, California
  • Tuition: Varies and is dependent on location and student aid offered
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 15 to 1
  • Time Commitment: 9 to 16 months

5. American Career College

American Career College provides an accredited Medical Assistant Program that prepares students to begin successful careers within the healthcare industry without years of school.  American Career College offers an accelerated program that allows students to complete it in as little as 9 months.  A blended format is available where students can begin immediately to take courses online and complete the program on campus, in person at one of the three campuses.  They will learn skills of taking vital signs, keeping correct records, and preparing patients for exams are among some of the skills they learn.  Most students find full-time employment upon graduation.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Irvine, California
  • Tuition: Varies from campus and online
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 37 to 1
  • Time Commitment: 9 months
  • Online: Yes

6. Long Beach City College

Long Beach City College offers an associate degree in Medical Assisting with opportunities to earn various certificates to expand employment opportunities.  Students will learn how to perform the wide range of clinical and administrative duties to be an effective Medical Assistant.  These duties include taking vital signs, proper record keeping and more.  The Medical Assistants often work directly with patients so effective communication skills are also necessary.  Other certificates available include Emergency Medical Technician, Phlebotomy, and Medical Insurance Billing.  These certificates will help students gain more specific employment and increase salary.   

At A Glance

  • Location: Long Beach, California
  • Tuition: $46 Per Unit (Resident)
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 28 to 1
  • Time Commitment: 2 years
  • Online: No

7. Chabot College

The expected growth rate for medical assistants has continued to grow with the demand of healthcare workers, Chabot College provides two paths for students to enter entry level positions as medical assistants.  Students can either earn their medical assistant certification or an associate degree in medical assisting.  The AS does require  more courses and time but it also allows for advanced degrees later on should a student choose to continue their education.  Students will learn both medical assistant skills in the clinical arena as well as administrative skills.  Coursework will also include keeping accurate electronic health records.   

At A Glance

  • Location: Hayward, California
  • Tuition: $1,144 (Resident)  $7,192 (Non-Resident)
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 26 to 1
  • Time Commitment: 9 months to 2 years
  • Online: No

8. Downey Adult School

The Medical Assistant Program at Downey Adult School is a comprehensive program that prepares students with the training and qualifications to be a member of the healthcare team.  Students will learn anatomy and physiology, standards and ethics, hot to take vital signs, administer injections, draw blood, bandaging, record keeping, and so much more.  Courses will include lectures, labs, and externships.  It is through this delivery method that students will gain not only the knowledge but also the skills necessary for them to be qualified for their role as medical assistant in physicians offices,  hospitals, and more.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Downey, California
  • Tuition: $3,999 Entire Program
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 30 to 1
  • Time Commitment: 9 months
  • Online: No

9. Cabrillo College

In Santa Cruz, the healthcare industry is the second largest employer and Cabrillo College offers quality healthcare programs to help students on their career path in this growing industry.  At Cabrillo College students can earn a certificate in medical assisting in as little as three semesters, close to 9 months. Students will learn the clinical and administrative duties required in today’s evolving healthcare field, from keeping accurate records to checking vital signs of patients. Students also have the opportunity to be certified in phlebotomy to increase their employment opportunities as well as salary.   

At A Glance

  • Location: Aptos, California
  • Tuition: $1,104 (Resident)
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 21 to 1
  • Time Commitment: 9 months
  • Online: No

10. North-West College Glendale

The Medical Assistant program offered through North-West College is available at eight campuses throughout California as well as online.  With the healthcare industry growing the need for trained medical assistants has grown with it, now is a great time to start a career in this field.  Students will learn the administrative duties of the job, like making appointments and keeping accurate records as well as the clinical duties of the job. The clinical duties often require a knowledge of preparing and handling medical equipment, handling lab specimens etc.  Graduates are prepared for entry level positions at doctor’s offices, hospitals, long term care facilities, and more.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Glendale, California
  • Tuition: $11,858
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 34 to 1
  • Time Commitment: 10 months
  • Online: Yes

11. Concorde Career College

With four campuses to serve students, Concorde Career College offers a comprehensive Medical Assistant program that prepares students for entry level positions.  Students learn how to competently perform clinical and administrative tasks in physicians offices, hospitals and other healthcare settings.  Students will learn how to take vital signs, keep patient records,  and interact with patients during procedures.  This program provides hands-on classes and externships to ensure students gain the necessary skills to confidently perform their responsibilities upon graduation.    

At A Glance

  • Location: Garden Grove, California
  • Tuition: Varies depending on financial aid and location
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 35 to 1
  • Time Commitment: 9 months
  • Online: No

12. Mayfield College

As the need for more healthcare workers increases so has the need for trained medical assistants,  Mayfield College is preparing the next generation of Medical Assistants with the latest technology available for their field.  Students in the medical assisting program will learn through hands-on experience how to utilize the latest medical equipment.  Participants are instructed through lectures and clinical experiences to learn both the clinical and administrative duties they may be required to perform in their career.  Each student will receive on the job training through an externship with a partnering company prior to graduation.   

At A Glance

  • Location: Palm Springs, California
  • Tuition: $13,079
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 20 to 1
  • Time Commitment: 1 year
  • Online: No

Points Methodology

  • Cost: Under $5K   Points: 5
  • Between $5K and $8K  Points:  3
  • Above $8K  Points:  1
  • Faculty to Student Ratio:  Under 10 to 1 Points: 5
  • Between 10 and 20 to 1 Points: 3
  • Above 20 to 1  Points 1
  • Courses offered online and on campus:  3 Extra Points
  • Certificate and AS offered:  1 Extra Point
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