Medical Assisting Schools and Programs in Alaska

If you want to be a medical assistant in Alaska, you are making the choice to enter one of the most promising fields in the state. Alaska has a limited number of medical assistant training programs and a growing need for qualified professionals in this field. Fortunately, some of the programs available in Alaska use Blackboard to deliver course materials online. This can be a tremendous help to students living in any of the states abundant rural areas. Even though the coursework is online, students in these programs benefit from the same type of clinical experience offered through on-site programs. The online schools set up and monitor an externship at a location close to the student’s home, offering the needed experience without sacrificing convenience. If you intend to become registered or certified, make sure to choose a program that is accredited by the CAAHEP or the ABHES. In addition, aspiring medical assistants can find a wealth of valuable resources and scholarships through the Alaska Medical Assistants Society (AMAS).

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Alaska’s Medical Assisting Employment Environment

Alaska offers a prime environment for anyone wishing to enter the medical assisting field. Currently, the state ranks second in the nation in salary, with medical assistants earning an average of $36,400 a year, plus benefits. This salary varies only a minor amount among regions, with the Fairbanks region offering the lowest salary at $34,360 and the Southwest region offering the highest salary at $37,730 a year. In addition, Alaska has a high demand for qualified medical assistants, and this demand is expected to grow over coming years.

The Future of Medical Assisting in Alaska

The future of medical assisting in Alaska is bright and promising. According to the Labor Bureau, this industry is expected to grown by 42% by 2016, creating nearly 400 new positions across the state. Because there is a high demand among the state’s health employers for qualified medical assistants, most positions in the state offer very generous benefit packages including insurance, paid holidays and vacations, bonuses, and employee wellness centers, among others. Considering these facts, it is obvious that Alaska provides a ripe climate for anyone wishing to become a medical assistant.

If you want to become a medical assistant in Alaska, there has never been a better time to get your education and get started in this thriving career field. Alaska is already one of the top states in which to enter this profession, and the growing demand for well-trained medical assistants is sure to keep it at the top for many years to come.

Medical Assistant Programs and Schools in Alaska

University of Alaska – Fairbanks

  • Program Link: Certificate; Associate of Applied Science
  • Description: To apply to the UAF medical assisting program, you must submit your application with a $40 processing fee by the deadline. Transcripts are not required, but are recommended. In addition, any applicant to the certificate or degree programs must submit the results of the ACT Plus Writing, SAT, or ACCUPLACER test. English and composition test scores must be less than two years old and math scores must be less than a year old.
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Programs: Medical Assisting Certificate; A.A.S. in Medical Assisting
  • Average Program Length: Certificate – 30-42 credits; A.A.S. – 60-61 credits
  • Tuition:  $165/credit hour
  • Clinical Experience: externship
  • Job Placement Rate: Certificate – 85%; A.A.S. – 80%
  • Fun Fact: UAF has a low student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1.

University of Alaska – Anchorage

  • Program Link: Medical Assisting Associate’s Degree
  • Description: Students interested in this program must submit the application for admission and official transcripts. In addition, students must take the University of Alaska-Anchorage English and math placement tests and meet with a medical assisting advisor before registering.
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Programs:  Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting
  • Average Program Length: 60 credit hours
  • Tuition:  $165 per credit hour
  • Clinical Experience: Externship
  • Job Placement Rate: 80%
  • Fun Fact: UAA also offers a 40-credit CMA Exam Preparation course

Alaska Career College

  • Program Link: Diploma program
  • Description: Alaska Career College offers the training and skills you need to become a medical assistant at an affordable price and on a schedule that fits your needs. Upon completion of this program, students can become nationally certified and are ready to work in a wide variety of healthcare facilities in a range of positions. The training program includes the traditional coursework along with phlebotomy, hematology, specialty exams, basic life support, and more.
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
  • Programs:  Medical Assistant Diploma
  • Average Program Length: 8 to 14 months
  • Tuition:  $13,493
  • Clinical Experience:  Externship
  • Job Placement Rate: 79%
  • Fun Fact: Students at Alaska Career College can complete this program during day or evening classes to fit around existing employment and responsibilities.

Charter College

  • Program Link: Medical Assisting Diploma
  • Description:  Charter College offers its medical assisting program in Anchorage and Wasilla and prepares students for entry-level medical assistant careers in a variety of healthcare settings through a well-balanced curriculum and a challenging externship. The college was founded in 1985 to provide high-quality technical education to residents of the Alaska area and has since expanded to offer one of the widest selections of technical programs in the state.
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)
  • Programs:  Diploma in Medical Assisting
  • Average Program Length: 10 months
  • Tuition:  $42,000
  • Clinical Experience:  Externship
  • Job Placement Rate: 73%
  • Fun Fact: Charter College offers day, evening, and online classes in order to meet the scheduling needs of its diverse students.