Best Medical Assistant Programs in New Jersey | 2024

Prepare for entry-level healthcare roles with the best Medical Assistant programs in New Jersey. Programs

Updated   Published
Article fact-checked by our Editorial Team.

Discover the best Medical Assistant programs in New Jersey, including detailed information about their prerequisites, requirements, salary expectations after graduation, and more. Whether you'd like to apply to a program today or just generally curious about the role, you've come to the right place.

What Is a Medical Assistant Program in New Jersey?

Medical Assistant programs in New Jersey combine both theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary for performing various clinical and administrative tasks within medical settings. The goal is to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of medical terminology, patient care, laboratory techniques, and healthcare administration, enabling them to support doctors and nurses in providing patient care.

Medical Assistant Clinical Training

Clinical training is a critical component of Medical Assistant programs. Here's what to expect:

  • Patient Care: Students learn how to assist with patient examinations, take vital signs (such as blood pressure, pulse, and temperature), and prepare patients for procedures.
  • Phlebotomy: Training often includes drawing blood, handling and processing specimens, and understanding basic lab safety and procedures.
  • EKG Administration: Students may learn to perform electrocardiograms (EKGs), including placing leads and understanding basic EKG readings.
  • Medication Administration: This includes training on the proper administration of medication, understanding dosages, and managing medication schedules.
  • Medical Procedures: Hands-on practice with common medical procedures, such as injections, wound care, and assisting with minor surgeries.
  • Clinical Laboratory Skills: Students gain experience in basic laboratory techniques, including using laboratory equipment and performing tests such as urinalysis and blood counts.
  • Infection Control: Training in proper sterilization techniques, disposal of biohazard materials, and maintaining a clean and safe clinical environment.

Medical Assistant Coursework

The coursework for Medical Assistant programs covers a wide range of subjects to prepare students for both the clinical and administrative aspects of the role. Here's a list of what to expect:

  • Medical Terminology: Understanding the language of medicine, including terms related to anatomy, physiology, and pathology.
  • Anatomy and Physiology: Basic knowledge of the human body and its systems, crucial for understanding medical procedures and patient care.
  • Clinical Procedures: Detailed study of the procedures medical assistants are expected to perform, including diagnostic tests and patient preparation.
  • Pharmacology: Basics of pharmacology, including understanding prescriptions, medication interactions, and administration techniques.
  • Medical Law and Ethics: An overview of the legal and ethical considerations in healthcare, including patient confidentiality and professional conduct.
  • Medical Billing and Coding: Training in the administrative aspects of healthcare, including insurance processing, coding of diagnoses and procedures, and managing patient records.
  • Healthcare Administration: Skills for managing the front office, scheduling appointments, and providing patient communication and support.
  • First Aid and CPR: Certification in first aid and CPR, essential for emergencies in a medical setting.

Best Medical Assistant Programs in New Jersey - Online & On-Campus

The following schools have been selected based on allnurses' methodology of surveying our readers to understand what they value most, with the addition of graduation rates, student-faculty ratio, price, mode, duration, and admission rates of hundreds of the most prominent nursing schools in the United States.

1. Berkeley College

Berkeley College offers a comprehensive Medical Assistant program designed to prepare students for a healthcare career, focusing on both administrative and clinical skills. Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), the program ensures students are on the right path toward a successful career as a medical assistant. With hands-on training from experienced healthcare professionals, students develop the necessary knowledge and skills to work in various healthcare settings.

Program Highlights:

  • Program Options: Offers both a Medical Assistant Certificate and an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Medical Assisting.
  • Duration: The Certificate program can be completed in 45 weeks, and the Associate's degree program in as little as 60 weeks.
  • Curriculum: Covers a wide range of areas including medical office administration, medical terminology, pharmacology, human diseases, and clinical procedures like EKG, venipuncture, and specimen collection.
  • Practical Experience: Includes hands-on learning in on-site medical laboratories and a faculty-monitored practicum, providing valuable work experience.

2. Lincoln Technical Institute

Lincoln Technical Institute's Medical Assistant program, offered at their Iselin, NJ campus, is designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge required for a successful career in the medical assisting field. With a projected 24% job growth for medical assistants between 2020 and 2030 in New Jersey, the program aims to prepare students for the increasing demand in this in-demand career field. Students receive hands-on experience with medical equipment such as EKG machines, injection simulators, autoclaves, and lung function tests, among others.

Program Highlights:

  • Hands-on Experience: Training includes working with EKG machines, injection simulators, autoclaves, lung function tests, and more.
  • Comprehensive Curriculum: Classes cover anatomy and physiology, health administration, pharmacology, and more.
  • Realistic Practice: Utilizes Doctor's Office Classrooms (DOCs) to simulate professional healthcare offices and offers experience with simulation manikins.
  • Digital Technology Exposure: Students learn to use relevant hardware, software, and word processing tools.
  • Clinical Internship: A 180-hour clinical internship provides valuable real-world experience before graduation.

3. Eastwick College

Eastwick College offers a Medical Assisting program that serves as an entry point into the healthcare career, blending administrative duties with hands-on medical procedures. The program is available across multiple campuses, including Ramsey, Hackensack, and Nutley, providing a comprehensive education that prepares students for both the clinical and administrative sides of medical assisting. Graduates are eligible for certifications in RMA, CPT, NCICS, and CET, with the opportunity to transfer earned credits towards an associate degree at Eastwick College.

Program Highlights:

  • Certifications: Eligibility for RMA, CPT, NCICS, and CET certifications upon graduation.
  • Flexible Education Path: Credits can be transferred towards an associate degree, allowing graduates to further their education.
  • Comprehensive Training: Includes recording medical histories, vital signs, assisting physicians, preparing patients for examination, and more.
  • Skills Acquired: Students learn patient care, vital signs measurement, scheduling, appointment setting, injections, CPR, EKG, electronic medical records, and medical terminology.

4. American Institute

The Medical Assisting Program at American Institute, available in both New Jersey and Connecticut, prepares students for a dynamic career in healthcare settings, focusing on both administrative and clinical tasks. Medical assistants are essential in ensuring the smooth operation of the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and other health practitioners. The program emphasizes the versatility required in the medical assisting profession, where duties can vary significantly depending on the practice's size, location, and specialty.

Program Highlights:

  • Versatile Training: Students learn a wide range of administrative and clinical tasks, including taking medical histories, recording vital signs, preparing patients for examination, and assisting physicians during exams.
  • Clinical Duties: The curriculum covers essential clinical duties such as collecting and preparing laboratory specimens, performing basic laboratory tests, sterilizing medical instruments, and more, adhering to state law variations.
  • Administrative Skills: In addition to clinical skills, students are trained in administrative tasks like arranging examining room instruments, purchasing supplies, maintaining neat and clean waiting and examining rooms, and managing patient records.

5. Raritan Valley Community College

Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) offers a Medical Assistant Certificate program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB). This program prepares students for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) Exam by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) exam offered by American Medical Technologists, highlighting its strong focus on both administrative and clinical tasks in the medical field.

Program Highlights:

  • Comprehensive Curriculum: Includes courses in English Composition, Administrative Medical Assistant Principles, Human Biology, Medical Terminology, Clinical Medical Assistant Principles, Phlebotomy Theory and Lab, Pharmacology, Pathophysiology, and a Professional Practicum.
  • Professional Practicum: A 6-credit professional practicum provides hands-on experience in the medical assisting field, preparing students for real-world administrative and clinical environments.
  • Total Credits: 36 credits, encompassing a broad range of subjects that equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge for a career as a medical assistant.

6. American Institute of Medical Sciences & Education

The Medical Assistant Program at the American Institute of Medical Sciences & Education in New Jersey is a comprehensive certificate training program designed to prepare students for entry-level employment in a variety of healthcare settings, including outpatient clinics, physicians' offices, imaging centers, and more. The program is delivered through a hybrid/blended learning environment, combining online and in-person instruction, and includes a mandatory 195-hour clinical internship to provide practical training in a real work environment.

Program Highlights:

  • Duration: 10 months, Monday through Thursday, 4:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
  • Hybrid Learning: A combination of online and in-person instruction, with most laboratory classes and practical training held on campus or at a clinical site.
  • Clinical Internship: A 195-hour clinical internship at one of the numerous healthcare facilities throughout New Jersey and surrounding areas.
  • Curriculum: Covers medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, ethics of healthcare, patient care, HIPAA, medical billing, and an introduction to medical imaging technology.

7. Bergen Community College

Bergen Community College offers a comprehensive Medical Office Assistant program designed to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge for careers in medical administration and clinical support. The program focuses on training students in various medical office assistant techniques and procedures, preparing them for licensure examinations and work in the field.

Program Highlights:

  • Mission: To train students in medical office assistant techniques and procedures, preparing them for the Certified Medical Assistant examination by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).
  • Degree: Health Professions Associate of Applied Science degree (A.A.S.) in medical office assistant, providing the coursework and training needed to enter the field.
  • Transfer Opportunities: Students may consider transfer opportunities into other allied health and science majors, with guidance available from faculty and Advising Transfer Services.

8. Fortis Institute

With campuses located around the country, including New Jersey, Fortis provides in-depth training to aspiring medical assistants, enabling them to confidently seek entry-level employment in medical offices or clinics.

Program Highlights:

  • Versatile Role Training: Medical assistants at Fortis are trained to provide a wide range of services, from front desk support to clinical tasks such as injections and blood draws, making them versatile professionals in the healthcare field.
  • Experienced Instructors: Fortis prides itself on having instructors who bring real-life skills into the classroom, offering students insights into the day-to-day challenges and opportunities within the medical assisting field.
  • Comprehensive Curriculum: The curriculum is designed to go beyond theory, offering hands-on practice in both classroom and lab settings to prepare students for the evolving challenges they will face on the job.
  • Impact Focused: Graduates are equipped to have a positive impact on their local communities by providing compassionate patient care and ensuring smooth administrative processes in healthcare settings.
  • Wide Range of Healthcare Locations: Training prepares students for employment in various healthcare settings, including clinics, physicians' offices, inpatient and outpatient facilities, and residential care facilities.

9. ASI Career Institute

ASI Career Institute offers a Medical Assistant training program designed to prepare students for a career as a skilled allied health professional in the highly in-demand job market. The program aims to provide comprehensive exposure to all aspects of medical assisting, including phlebotomy, EKG, patient care, anatomy & physiology, and medical terminology.

Program Highlights:

  • Comprehensive Curriculum: The curriculum covers a wide range of topics essential for medical assistants, including anatomy & physiology, medical terminology, law and ethics, clinical and applied phlebotomy, clinical and applied EKG, and more.
  • Practical Experience: Students gain practical, real-world experience in drawing blood, performing EKGs, and recording vital signs, preparing them for the challenges they will face in their careers.
  • Focus on Compliance and Safety: The program includes training on HIPAA compliance, asepsis and infection control, and cardiac arrhythmias, ensuring students understand the importance of safety and privacy in healthcare settings.
  • Program Prerequisites: Applicants are required to have a High School Diploma or GED.
  • Program Hours: The program consists of 200 hours of training, providing a thorough foundation in medical assisting skills.

10. Warren County Community College

Warren County Community College offers a Medical Assisting program designed to prepare students for an exciting and diverse career in healthcare. This non-credit certificate program is notable for its comprehensive approach, preparing students to meet both the administrative and clinical needs of a medical facility.

Program Highlights:

  • Accreditation: The program is accredited as a 1 + 1 program, offering two pathways for students: a career track (non-credit) certification or an Associate in Applied Science Degree (A.A.S.) in Medical Assisting.
  • Comprehensive Curriculum: The 760-hour program includes courses in Anatomy/Physiology/Pathology, Medical Terminology, Pharmacology & Medication Administration, Psychology & Therapeutic Communications, Medical Office Laboratory, Clinical Assisting, Healthcare Law & Ethics, Insurance/Coding/Managed Care, Computerized Office Procedures, and a Clinical Externship Practicum.
  • Clinical Externship: A significant component of the program is the 160-hour clinical externship, allowing students to gain supervised, practical experience in an outpatient setting.
  • Admission Requirements: Applicants must be at least 18 years old, hold a High School Diploma or equivalent, pass a criminal history background check, and complete a personal interview with the program director.
  • Cost: The total cost of the program is $5,949 for tuition and fees, plus a $140 Cengage Unlimited Subscription for textbooks.

New Jersey Medical Assistant Prerequisites & Requirements

Pursuing a career as a medical assistant in New Jersey involves fulfilling certain prerequisites and requirements. These are designed to ensure that candidates are well-prepared for the comprehensive training provided by the programs and are capable of successfully entering the healthcare field upon completion.

Prerequisites of Medical Assistant Programs in New Jersey

  • High School Diploma or GED: Applicants must have completed high school or have a General Educational Development (GED) certificate. This is a fundamental requirement for entry into most post-secondary education programs.
  • Minimum Age Requirement: Most programs require applicants to be at least 18 years old by the time they complete the program.
  • Health and Immunization Records: Candidates may need to provide up-to-date immunization records, including vaccinations for Hepatitis B, MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella), and Varicella (Chickenpox), among others. This ensures the safety of both students and patients during clinical training.
  • Criminal Background Check: A clean criminal background check is often required to ensure the safety of patients and to comply with healthcare facility policies where students will perform their clinical externships.
  • Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification: Some programs may require or recommend that applicants have a current Basic Life Support certification, which includes CPR training, especially for healthcare providers.

Requirements of Medical Assistant Programs in New Jersey

  • Completion of Coursework: Students must complete all required coursework, which covers both administrative and clinical aspects of medical assisting. This includes classes in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, clinical procedures, pharmacology, and medical law and ethics.
  • Clinical Externship: A key requirement of most programs is the completion of a clinical externship. This provides hands-on experience in a healthcare setting, allowing students to apply what they've learned in a real-world environment.
  • Certification Exam: While not always a requirement of the program itself, obtaining certification as a Medical Assistant (e.g., Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)) is highly recommended and often pursued by graduates. Some programs are designed specifically to prepare students for these certification exams.
  • Technical Skills: Students must demonstrate proficiency in various technical skills, such as taking vital signs, administering injections, performing EKGs, and using medical software.
  • Soft Skills: Effective communication, professionalism, and ethical behavior are required for the successful completion of the program and future employment. Students must demonstrate these skills throughout their training and externship.

Medical Assistant Salary Expectations in New Jersey

According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for Medical Assistants in the state is $38,720, or $18.40 per hour. This is lower than the average for New Jersey, which is $42,030.

Employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 14 percent from 2022 to 2032, which is much faster than the average for other occupations.

While these figures are directional, it's important to consider the various factors that affect salary expectations, such as geography, years of experience, employer, level of education, and more.

The top-paying states include:

  • Washington: $50,350
  • District of Columbia: $50,020
  • Alaska: $49,400
  • California: $47,850
  • Minnesota: $47,330

Are Medical Assistant Programs in New Jersey Worth It?

Deciding whether a Medical Assistant program in New Jersey is worth it requires considering its various advantages and disadvantages.

Pros of Medical Assistant Programs in New Jersey

  1. Growing Demand: The healthcare industry is expanding, and with it, the demand for medical assistants. New Jersey, with its dense population and numerous healthcare facilities, offers a robust job market for medical assistants.
  2. Short Duration of Training: Compared to other healthcare professions, medical assistant programs are relatively short, often taking about a year to complete. This allows for quicker entry into the workforce.
  3. Diverse Work Environment: Medical assistants have the flexibility to work in various settings, including hospitals, clinics, and specialized medical offices, providing a range of experiences and learning opportunities.
  4. Foundation for Further Healthcare Careers: For those considering advancing their career in healthcare, becoming a medical assistant can provide a solid foundation and practical experience that is beneficial for further education and specialized roles.
  5. Competitive Salaries and Benefits: Medical assistants in New Jersey can expect competitive salaries and benefits, reflecting the state's cost of living and demand for healthcare professionals.

Cons of Medical Assistant Programs in New Jersey

  1. Cost of Education: The cost of completing a medical assistant program can be high, especially for private institutions. Prospective students should consider the return on investment and explore financial aid options.
  2. Physical and Emotional Demands: The role of a medical assistant can be physically and emotionally demanding, with long hours and the need to handle stressful situations, including dealing with sick or distressed patients.
  3. Limited Scope of Practice: Medical assistants have a defined scope of practice, which might limit those looking for more autonomy in patient care. This could be a drawback for individuals aiming for more clinical responsibilities.
  4. Job Competition: While there is a demand for medical assistants, certain areas may have a saturated job market, leading to increased competition for positions, especially for new graduates.
  5. Continuing Education Requirements: To maintain certification and stay updated with the latest healthcare practices, medical assistants may need to pursue continuing education, which can be an additional time and financial commitment.

Ultimately, Medical Assistant Programs in New Jersey offer valuable opportunities for those interested in entering the healthcare field. However, it's important to weigh the pros and cons based on personal circumstances, career aspirations, and financial considerations to determine if it's the right path for you.

Importance of Picking an Accredited Medical Assistant Program in New Jersey

Choosing an accredited Medical Assistant program in New Jersey is crucial for several reasons:

  • Quality Education: Accreditation ensures the program meets high standards for curriculum, faculty, and student resources, providing a quality education that prepares students for the workforce.
  • Certification Eligibility: Graduates from accredited programs are eligible to sit for national certification exams, such as the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam, which is often required by employers.
  • Employment Opportunities: Employers prefer hiring graduates from accredited programs, recognizing their comprehensive training and readiness for the medical assisting role.
  • Transfer Credits: Credits from an accredited program are more likely to be accepted by other institutions if you decide to pursue further education.

The primary accrediting bodies for Medical Assistant programs are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

Medical Assistant Programs Near Me

Discover the best Medical Assistant programs in the following states:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I work in the medical field while enrolled in a Medical Assistant program?

Many students choose to work part-time in the medical field while enrolled in a Medical Assistant program. This can provide valuable real-world experience and help reinforce the skills learned in the classroom. Some programs may even offer evening classes to accommodate students who work full-time.

Are there Medical Assistant programs that offer evening classes?

Several Medical Assistant programs in New Jersey offer evening classes to accommodate students who have daytime commitments such as work or family. This flexibility allows students to pursue their education without having to give up their current employment or other responsibilities.

How do I demonstrate competency after completing a Medical Assistant training program?

Upon completing a Medical Assistant training program, competency is typically demonstrated through passing a certification exam, such as the one offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Successfully passing this exam awards you the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential, which is widely recognized by employers.

Can I work in a physician's office without any prior experience, just with my certification?

Many graduates of Medical Assistant programs begin their careers in physicians' offices without prior work experience in the medical field. Employers often value the comprehensive training and certification (e.g., CMA) that new graduates bring, as it demonstrates a foundational level of knowledge and competency in medical assisting tasks, including managing medical records.

What are the options for enrollment in Medical Assistant programs? Can I study part-time?

Medical Assistant programs typically offer flexible enrollment options, including full-time and part-time study paths. Part-time programs are designed to accommodate students who may have other commitments, allowing them to progress through the program at a slower pace. This flexibility ensures that a wider range of students can pursue medical assistant training, regardless of their current life and work situations.

Editorial Team / Admin

allnurses specializes in Official allnurses account.

107 Articles   375 Posts