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Medical Assisting in Iowa

Since it was acquired as part of the Louisiana Purchase, Iowa has been one of the nation’s leading agricultural producers. The state is home to many giants in the agriculture industry, making it home to many who work in the industry. The state provides a great opportunity for medical assistants and ranks in the average and above range for both employment opportunities and earnings. The state has several schools to choose from, many of which are accredited. Interested students may also be able to get scholarships and other assistance through the Iowa Society of Medical Assistants.

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Iowa’s Medical Assisting Employment Environment

Medical Assistants in Iowa earn around $14 an hour and have ample opportunity for employment. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that Iowa employs as many as 6,000 medical assistants across the state with new positions opening regularly.

Iowa’s Medical Assisting Job Outlook

Medical assistants in Iowa enjoy a very bright future, since the field is expected to show tremendous growth over the next decade. Even though the demand is expected to increase, it is very important to get a quality education. Employers are showing a growing preference for hiring well-educated medical assistants as well as those who have credentials such as CMA or RMA.

List of Medical Assisting Programs in Iowa

Vatterott College

  • Program Link: Medical Assisting Diploma program; Associate of Science in Medical Assisting
  • Description: Located in Des Moines, Vatterott College provides a diploma program as well as associate’s degree programs in medical assisting with an emphasis in office management or radio tech. This school offers morning, afternoon, and evening classes to fit your schedule and needs. Students may have access to scholarships to help cover the cost of tuition and have the benefit of many support services that help them to succeed and to find employment after they graduate. Because of the school’s accreditation, graduates of the program can take the Certified Medical Assistant examination.
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
  • Programs: diploma; Associate of Science degree
  • Average Program Length: diploma – less than one year; A.S. – two years
  • Tuition:  diploma – $16,484; A.S. – $28,336
  • Clinical Experience: Externship
  • Job Placement Rate: certificate – not available; degree – 87%
  • Fun Fact: Student-teacher ratios are 30:1 in classrooms and 20:1 in laboratories.

Des Moines Area Community College

  • Program Link: Medical Assistant certificate program
  • Description: Des Moines Area Community College offers a certificate program in medical assistant that prepares student to work as general medical assistants. The program includes all of the training necessary to assist physicians with direct patient care as well as to perform the administrative duties involved in a medical front office. The program culminates with an externship in a working healthcare facility and prepares students to take the Certified Medical Assistant examination.
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Programs:  certificate
  • Average Program Length: less than one year
  • Tuition:  $8,876 (including books and supplies)
  • Clinical Experience: externship
  • Job Placement Rate: not available
  • Fun Fact: Students have access to food services and fitness facilities.

Ellsworth Community College

  • Program Link: Medical Assistant diploma program
  • Description: Ellsworth Community College provides a medical assistant diploma program that includes clinical and administrative medical assisting as well as a hands-on externship experience. When students graduate from this program, they have all of the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in a variety of medical offices, clinics, and other facilities. Ellsworth offers students a variety of recreational and healthcare facilities as well as job placement and student support services.
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Programs: diploma
  • Average Program Length: less than one year
  • Tuition:  $6,624
  • Clinical Experience:  Externship
  • Job Placement Rate: 66%
  • Fun Fact: Students at Ellsworth are prepared to take the Certified Medical Assistant examination after graduation.

Iowa Central Community College

  • Program Link: Medical assistant diploma program; Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting
  • Description:  Iowa Central Community College has campuses in Fort Dodge, Storm City, and Webster City that offer diploma and Associate of Applied Science degrees in medical assisting. The diploma program runs for 11 consecutive months and is followed by an eight-week summer externship to provide hands-on training and experience. After graduating, students can take the CMA examination and may then apply to the associate of applied science program. This program includes an additional 19 credit hours of coursework.
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Programs:  diploma; A.A.S.
  • Average Program Length: diploma – 11 months ; A.A.S. – 22 months
  • Tuition:  diploma – $8,701; A.A.S. – $12,860
  • Clinical Experience:  externship
  • Job Placement Rate: diploma – 52%; A.A.S. – 65%
  • Fun Fact: Students who are considering this college can schedule a campus visit to learn more.

Kirkwood Community College

  • Program Link: Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting
  • Description: Kirkwood Community College offers low tuition rates and over 60% of students at the school receive financial aid. The associate’s degree in medical assisting can be earned in as little as three semesters of full-time study and includes every aspect of medical assisting in the administrative and clinical areas. Students who complete this program are eligible to take the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) examination. In addition, Kirkwood offers multiple student services to help students succeed in school and find employment upon graduation.
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Programs:  Associate of Applied Science
  • Average Program Length: three semesters
  • Tuition:  $2,370 per semester
  • Clinical Experience:  Externship
  • Job Placement Rate: 67%
  • Fun Fact: Kirkwood has some of the lowest tuition rates in the state of Iowa.