One of the hottest careers out there right now is a medical assistant. If a person is looking to go back to school, it would be easy to see why being a medical assistant would be appealing. There is always a demand for jobs. Also, the idea of specializing in a concentrated field of your choice is basically the American dream. One can be a dental assistant, a pharmacy technician, work in massage therapy, or one of any other countless choices. There are road blocks, however. Starting a career as a medical assistant obviously costs money.
Can it be affordable for the average American?
Well, first it is important to decide the depth into which you are going to submerge yourself in your program.
There are essentially two choices. The longer route would be to enroll in an Associate degree program. Typically, an Associate degree will take 24 months to earn. Also an AAS degree will be a great way to springboard to a Bachelor’s should the opportunity present itself in the future.
Certificate programs, on the other hand, are done quicker. On average, a certificate in your field of choice can be earned within one year. Also, there are less liberal art classes required for a certificate program. It is more concentrated so students really only focus on the classes in their chosen field of study. Determining whether or not a certificate program or an earning an Associate’s diploma is better for any one individual is unique and dependent on a wide range of variables.
One must determine how much time they can devote to classes and schoolwork, what the local job market is like, and how much they can afford to spend. Cost plays a huge part in determining whether or not further education can be completed.
Generally, a certificate program is cheaper than earning a diploma in an ASS program. A medical certificate can be earned at a local community college or even taken online. If you are looking for a certificate, expect to spend somewhere between $1,200 or $4,500. This will not always include the price of other miscellaneous costs.
These include text books (cheap textbooks), supplies, miscellaneous fees, even room and board. An associate’s degree as a medical assistant will typically cost you more. While there are some schools that offer two year programs as low as $1,700, there are other programs that will cost you far over $10,000.
As a reiteration, that doesn’t include the cost of other miscellaneous fees and textbooks. That alone can range from $2,000-$5,000. Also, there is a significant difference between most in state tuition costs and out-of-state tuition costs. If you are attending an out of state community college, expect to pay up to 4x the in-state-tuition price.
That can be a noteworthy difference in a financial burden, and should play a notable part in anyone’s educate decision. On cost alone, it would seem that getting a certificate would be the logical choice. There are cons to a certificate program.
It is not always seamless when trying to rollover course credit towards a higher degree program. With an associate diploma as a medical assistant, most of the classes for which credit is earned will count towards a bachelor’s degree should you decide to further your education.
This includes liberal arts classes which are typically not required for a certificate program. Depending not the area that you live, employers might prefer a diploma as opposed to a certificate, while other employers might not care. An associate’s degree as a medical assistant puts anyone in a position to make their resume stand out, as well as provide a good platform to advance their degree in the future. If you are deciding between a diploma and a certificate, independent research is definitely required.
Determine the field of study you would like to explore.
Determine the amount of time you can invest in any particular program.
Determine the wants and needs of businesses in your area.
No matter what the choice is, research the opportunities that are out there and make sure to find the best one that is tailored to your individual needs. One can expect to spend a couple-thousand dollars on any degree. There will likely be hidden costs that act as a multiplier to the up-front tuition costs. It must be thought of as an investment, though. Find out what you would like to take away from a career as a medical assistant before you determine what to put into it. Everyone’s needs are different, but it is difficult to find a career with less stability than a medical assistant.
It is tough to make a wrong choice in that regard. So while it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how much a certificate, diploma or associates program might specifically cost, you will find that taking a class or two as a medical assistant does have investment value for your future.