Medical Assistant Schools in Utah: What to Consider When Choosing an MA Program
If you want to become a medical assistant, there are a number of excellent training programs in Utah to choose from. But with many options to consider and varying program costs, lengths, and formats, it can difficult to know how to choose the school that’s right for you. Luckily, we’re here to help!
At Ameritech College of Healthcare, we believe that it’s important for prospective students to understand the differences between program types before enrolling, so that you can get the most out of your time and financial investment. To help guide you through the process, we’ve assembled a list of the top nine considerations to keep in mind when looking at medical assistant schools in Utah. We’ve even included a simple, at-a-glance chart at the end to help you directly compare MA programs in the state. Ultimately, we hope this post provides you with the information you need to make the best choice for your schedule, budget, and learning style.
Related Resource: Why Should I Become a Medical Assistant?
When researching medical assistant schools in Utah, one of the most important factors to consider is whether the program is accredited and what body they’re accredited by. This can have a huge impact on the quality of education that you receive, what financial aid you qualify for, and what credits you can transfer if you choose to change schools or pursue an advanced degree. It can even affect your career prospects after graduation, as many medical facilities will only hire MAs with a degree from an accredited program.
If the program is accredited, you should also consider what organization supplied the accreditation, as not all accrediting bodies are equally reputable. The best MA schools have been accredited by a nationally-recognized accrediting agency. In Ameritech’s case, our MA program is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
Your school’s accreditation also determines if you’re eligible to sit for the Medical Assistant Certification exam, which many healthcare employers prefer for newly hired MAs. To be eligible, you’ll need to graduate from a program that is accredited by ABHES (like Ameritech’s program) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). While certification is not a legal requirement for medical assistants, it can definitely improve your employment options post-graduation.
Additionally, certain types of financial aid are only available to students enrolled in accredited programs. Plus, if you decide to transfer to another school, course credits earned at accredited institutions are much more likely to transfer over—meaning you can pick up where you left off in your studies, instead of having to start over.
2) Degree Type
You can start a career as a medical assistant either by earning a certificate or diploma, or by getting an Associate’s Degree. Since either option meets the requirements for becoming a medical assistant, the primary factor to consider is how long you want to be in school. If you obtain a diploma or a certificate, you can generally complete your MA program in 9-12 months vs. an Associate’s Degree which will likely take 18-24 months. Longer programs also generally cost a bit more than shorter programs.
At Ameritech, our MA program is designed to give students the training and resources they need to begin careers as competent medical assistants in the shortest amount of time possible. Our students can earn their medical assistant diplomas and get certified in as little as 12 months—helping you start your career faster.
Related Resource: How to Become a Medical Assistant in 3 Steps
3) Program Format
Medical assistant programs are typically structured in one of three formats: on-campus programs, online programs, or hybrid programs that offer a combination of both in-person and remote learning.
Online programs offer flexibility and the option to study from home, so they can be convenient for students with busy schedules. However, online programs require students to be extremely disciplined and self-motivated, and they don’t offer the experiential learning that you’ll get in an in-person, classroom environment. This is important to consider, as before you start a job as a medical assistant, you’ll need to be proficient in using all of the medical technology and equipment required to excel on-the-job. You may find that in-person programs that train you to use this equipment in a hands-on, real-world environment may offer better preparation than an online, simulated environment—helping you be more confident and job-ready when you enter the field.
In addition to being able to interact with essential medical equipment in-person, on-campus programs also offer students one-on-one attention from the instructor, the chance to collaborate with other students, and opportunities to develop professional networks. At Ameritech, we believe that a hands-on, on-campus program provides students with the best medical assistant training possible. At our Provo campus, we have a classroom set up to exactly replicate a doctor’s office, giving our students the opportunity to practice in an actual real-world environment. In our experience, this type of experiential learning is the best way to prepare students to enter the field as prepared, certified medical assistants upon graduation.
4) Tuition Costs
The cost of medical assistant schools in Utah can vary widely, so it’s important to do your research. When considering total costs, make sure to factor in the cost of tuition, books, school supplies, and living expenses into your projections. And while you may be able to work at another job during your MA program, keep in mind that it can be difficult to earn additional income once your coursework is complete, as practicums are typically scheduled during working hours.
Given that it can be challenging to earn an income while you are attending school, it is well-worth your time to find a program with affordable tuition that you can complete in as short a time as possible, so you can begin a paid career faster. At Ameritech, we are proud to offer one of the most affordable private MA programs in Utah. We also provide financial aid solutions customized to meet our students’ needs. We even recently introduced a scholarship that was specifically created to help underwrite the education of qualifying MA students.
5) Financial Aid Options
While researching the costs of different medical assistant schools in Utah, it’s also important to explore what financial aid options your prospective school has to offer. Most MA programs have a financial aid department to help students and prospective students navigate the different aid options available. Before you decide on a specific MA program, be sure to meet with the school’s financial aid representative to find out what types of scholarships, grants, and loans are available to you. If you’re considering more than one school, we recommend setting up financial aid appointments at each one, so you can make an informed comparison and arrive at the best decision for your financial situation.
It can greatly benefit you to enroll in a school that participates in the Federal Student Aid program, since the U.S. government is the largest source of student financial aid. Most accredited schools, including Ameritech, accept federal financial aid. To determine the amount of financial aid you are eligible for, you can start by completing the Free Application Form for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It’s best to apply early and you can send your results to up to six schools if you’re still undecided.
While certification is not always required to start work as a medical assistant, becoming certified can greatly improve your job prospects upon graduation. Many healthcare employers in Utah consider certification a benchmark of your knowledge and skills, and sometimes offer higher pay to Certified Medical Assistants.
If you attend an accredited MA program, you will be eligible to take the Medical Assistant (NCMA) Certification, which is administered by the National Center for Competency Testing. Be sure to find out what kind of certification assistance your MA program offers. Some schools include the cost of the certification exam in their tuition, while others don’t. Additionally, some medical assistant schools include an exam preparation course as part of their program, which can save you from having to enroll in an expensive exam prep course outside of school.
At Ameritech, we prepare our MA students for the Medical Assistant Certification and include the exam costs in our tuition fees. We provide exam prep at no additional cost, and we also prepare our students to take additional specialty certification exams—including immunization training, phlebotomy certification, and training in HIPPA compliance among others.
Related Resource: What is Medical Assistant (NCMA) Certification?
On-the-job training through an externship provides a valuable learning and networking opportunity for MA students, helping you gain crucial experience and potentially, a path towards gainful employment if the facility decides to hire you full-time after your externship is complete. For this reason, we recommending finding out if the MA schools that you’re considering offer externship placement.
In an externship, you’ll get a chance to apply what you learned in the classroom in a real-world healthcare setting, while building contacts with other medical professionals who can become valuable references and even help you get a job. Beyond that, the American Association of Medical Assistants and the American Medical Technologists both require medical assistants to complete an externship before they can become eligible for certification.
At Ameritech, our medical assistant program includes an externship, and we also help our students get certified before beginning their externship. That means our students can start performing the actual job duties of an MA during their externship, instead of being limited to training through observation-only.
Related Resource: Meet Your Coworkers: Medical Assistant Edition
8) Job Placement Assistance
If you think you’d benefit from help finding a job after you complete your MA training, check to see what kind of job placement assistance your prospective schools offer. Job placement assistance can help give MA graduates the competitive edge they need to successfully embark upon their careers in the healthcare field.
It’s also worthwhile to ask the school’s admissions counselor if they can provide the program’s current job placement rate, which will tell you what percentage of medical assistant students were able to find work after graduation. Seek out schools with at least an 80% job placement rate, which indicates that a school has a good reputation in the local healthcare community and, of course, that their graduates are more likely to find work.
In our case, Ameritech offers job placement assistance to all of our graduates. In fact, our MA program boasts an 89% job placement rate, which means Ameritech grads are in demand and get hired—in Utah and beyond.
9) School Reputation & Satisfaction Ratings
Attending a medical assistant school in Utah with a solid reputation can dramatically increase the value of your education. That’s because reputable schools are much more likely to provide you with the skills you need to become a competent MA and ensure that you are job-ready from day one. in fact, many graduates are hired on the basis of their school’s reputation, as much as their own merits.
But, how can you measure a school’s reputation? In addition to accreditation status and job placement rates, student retention and graduation rates are good measures of a school’s standing. In addition, student and employer satisfaction rates tend to be a reliable indicator of the quality of a school’s education.
As one of the top healthcare colleges in Utah, Ameritech is home to one of the longest running and fastest medical assisting programs in the state. We are proud of our high satisfaction rates—with our medical assisting students giving us a 99.8% satisfaction rating, and employers in Utah’s healthcare community giving us a 100% satisfaction rating.
Compare Medical Assistant Schools in Utah At-a-Glance
To help you find the medical assistant school that best meets your needs, we’ve put together this handy chart comparing the top MA programs in Utah.
Note: Click the green plus symbol to expand each row and view additional information.
|School Name||Degree Type||Exam Preparation||Accreditation||Program Length||Tuition Costs||Program Type||Admission Requirements||Job Placement|
Rate for MA Graduates
Salary for MA Graduates
|Ameritech College of Healthcare (Draper and Provo)||Diploma||Exam prep included for|
the following exams:
• Phlebotomy Tech
• EKG Tech
• CLIA exams
Certifications received prior to externship, so you can perform all job duties required vs.
learning through observation only.
$13,865 for tuition & fees + $531 for books & supplies. Also Includes NCMA certification exam costs and all exam prep.)
|On-Campus||High School Diploma, GED, or equivalent. Plus, complete and receive a score of 13 or higher on the Wonderlic SLE exam.||89%||$37,300/ year|
|Eagle Gate College (Murray)||Diploma||No exam prep included in|
program, but graduates are eligible to sit for:
• NCMA exam
Exam costs are not included in tuition. Exam prep may require additional study and/or
|$15,910 (Does not include costs of books & supplies or the additional costs of certification exams or exam prep).||Hybrid:|
On-Campus & Online
|High School Diploma, GED, or equivalent. Background check required. Students must also take an Online Readiness Assessment and complete Online Orientation before starting the program.||76%||No data provided|
|Provo College||Diploma||No exam prep included in program, but graduates are eligible to sit for:|
• NCMA exam
Exam costs are not included in tuition. Exam prep may require
additional study and/or costs.
|$15,910 (Does not include costs of books & supplies or the additional costs of certification exams and exam prep).||Hybrid:|
On-Campus & Online
|High School Diploma, GED, or equivalent. Background check required. Students must also take an Online Readiness Assessment and complete Online Orientation before starting the program.||90%||$20,900/ year|
(Salt Lake City)
|Diploma or Associate Degree||Graduates are eligible to sit for:|
• Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) exam (administered by AMT)
Certification review is included in the program, but students are
responsible for the additional certification exam costs.
|ACCSC||Diploma: 42 weeks Associate: 72 weeks||Diploma:|
(Includes $18,274 for tuition & fees+ $924 for books & supplies. Does not include costs of certification exams or exam prep).
$30,433 (Includes $27,715 for tuition & fees + $2,718 for books & supplies. Does not include costs of certification exams or exam prep).
On-Campus & Online
|High School Diploma, GED, or equivalent. Students must pass the Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam (SLE) with a minimum score of 13 for the Diploma program and 16 for the Associate's program.||Diploma:|
|Stevens Henager College (Murray and Provo locations)||Associate Degree||No exam prep included in program, but graduates are eligible to sit for:|
• NCCT exam
Additional certifications and licenses (including the CMA exam) may require additional study, training, costs, and clinical experience.
|ACCSC||20 months||$42,630 (Does not include costs of certification exams or exam prep).||Hybrid:|
On-Campus & Online
|High School Diploma, GED, or equivalent. Must pass Computer Literacy Assessment (CLA) with a score of 14 or higher and complete online orientation prior to starting program.||Murray:|
Average for all campuses: 69%
|Salt Lake Community College||Associate Degree||Exam prep included for the following exams:|
• Licensed Radiologic Practical Technician
It's unclear if exam costs are included with the program, so they may be an additional cost for the student.
|CAAHEP||1 year + 1 additional semester required for prerequisite courses||In-State:|
$8,030 (includes $5,355 for tuition & fees +
$2,520 for books and supplies + $40 application fee and $115 additional class fees)
$17,010 for tuition & fees + $2,520 for books and supplies + $40 application fee and $115 additional class fees)
Certification exam costs may not be included and could result in additional costs.
|Hybrid: On- Campus & Online||High School Diploma, GED, or equivalent. Students must complete placement exam or submit current SAT/ACT test scores, if MATH and ENGL course work have not been transferred to SLCC.|
Before starting the MA program, students must also complete the following prerequisite courses
with a C grade or better. •
• ENGL 1010 English* (EN) (3)
• MA 1100 Medical Terminology (3)
• MA 1420 Clinical Pathology I (3)
• MA 1011 Applied Math for Medical Assistants** (QS) (3) *ENGL 1010, Introduction to Writing: C grade or better OR AP English Credit OR CLEP English. ** OR MATH 1010 or higher
|85.71% (five-year average)||$28,900/ year|
|Ogden-Weber Technical College||Certificate||Exam prep not included in curriculum, but students are eligible to sit for the CMA exam due to CAAHEP accreditation.|
Exam and exam prep costs not included in tuition.
|CAAHEP||14 months||$5,078 (Includes|
$3,663 for tuition & fees
+ $1,415 for books & supplies. Does not include costs of certification exams or exam prep.)
|On-Campus||High school diploma, GED, or equivalent, plus the following academic testing requirements:|
Reading Test (taken within the past three years):
Accuplacer Next Generation: 248 (minimum score) Accuplacer:
72 (minimum score) TABE:
12.9 (minimum score)
Taken in the past five years:
22 (minimum score) SAT English:
520 (minimum score)
English 1010 with a C grade or better, Associates Degree or higher, certificate completion from Ogden- Weber Technical College in an equivalent level.
|No data provided.||$20,500/ year|
|Tooele Applied Technology College||Certificate||Exam prep included for:|
• NCCT Medical Assistant Exam
Exam costs not included in tuition.
Additional certifications and licenses (including the CMA exam) may require additional study, training, costs, and clinical experience.
|COE||39 weeks||$2,911 (Includes|
$2,275 for tuition & fees
+ $636 for books and supplies. Does not include costs of certification exams.)
|On-Campus||Completion of Medical Office Laboratory Technician course required prior to starting MA program.|
Math & English Levels: Academic assessment required using Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE), unless a transcript is provided showing successful completion of an Associate's degree or higher. Must achieve TABE score of 8th Grade in Math
and 11th Grade in Reading Comprehension.
|No data provided.||$14.70/ hour|
|Bridgerland Applied Technology College||Certificate||Exam prep included for:|
Eligible to sit for CMA exam after receiving certificate. Exam prep not included in curriculum.
|CAAHEP||10 months (at 30 hours per week)|
Note: MA courses are only available M-F from 8:30 am- 3:30 pm. No evening classes are offered.
$2,202 for tuition & fees
+ $1,941 for books and supplies)
|On-Campus||Students must take a Career Ready Assessment prior to enrolling and achieve the following scores or better: Reading: Level 5 Locating Information: Level 5 Math: Level 5|
Students must also complete the Medical Terminology course (MEDA 1105) with a
grade of 80% or higher prior to enrollment. Drug Doses course highly encouraged.
$11-$14/ hour in Logan
With its great job prospects, fantastic benefits, and solid earning potential, medical assisting is a solid choice for people looking to enter the healthcare industry. Luckily, there are many excellent medical assistant schools in Utah that can put you on that career path. But because MA programs can vary greatly in terms of cost, length, quality, and more, it’s important to do your research in order to find the MA school that’s the best fit for you.
With an experienced faculty of working healthcare professionals and a fully accredited curriculum, Ameritech College of Healthcare provides MA students with hands-on experience, a quality education, and access to a career path with fantastic growth potential.