Medical Assistant Programs and Schools in Missouri

According to the Missouri Hospital Association, Missouri is similar to many other states in the nation that are struggling to recruit and retain a highly qualified healthcare workforce in a competitive labor market. Healthcare is one of the fastest growing job sectors in Missouri, and the demand for both skilled and unskilled workers remains high. A high turnover rate among the state’s healthcare workforce, along with an improving economy and the gradual exit of older workers, has created an environment rich in opportunities.

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Expanded access to healthcare coverage and an aging population of retirees in the state are also factors that contribute to making healthcare the fastest growing job sector in Missouri and why there is still a shortage of qualified healthcare professionals here.

As is common in most of the country, medical assistants in Missouri are not licensed and no laws addressing their scope of practice exist. In the absence of licensing laws at the state level, many employers look to educational background, national certification and experience when hiring medical assistants:

Missouri’s Medical Assisting Employment Environment

According to the Missouri Division of Workforce Development, medical assistants earn an average salary of $29,480, ranking them in the top one-third in the nation among medical support professionals.

A 2016 report by the Missouri Hospital Association reveals 977 certified and 768 non-certified medical assistants working in Missouri. But what’s most telling is the number of positions that went unfilled during this time: 97; that’s a vacancy rate of 4 percent for non-certified medical assistants and a 6.2 percent vacancy rate for certified medical assistants.

An employee-driven labor market in Missouri has spurred many hospitals and other healthcare providers to find new and creative ways to recruit and retain the best workers. Career fairs, focused training programs, and sign-on bonuses are just a few of the ways qualified medical professionals are being wooed by hospitals and other healthcare providers.

For example, in 2017, CoxHealth in Springfield targeted medical assistants and other healthcare support professionals with a hiring fair, while officials at the University of Missouri Healthcare and Boone Hospital offered up new incentives for medical professionals to work and stay within the MU Healthcare system, such as a student loan debt repayment plan.

Completing an Accredited Program to Prepare for a Future in Medical Assisting

A strong job market and a promising outlook for the profession are just two reasons why now may be a prime time to begin exploring education opportunities in medical assisting:

Midwest Technical Institute

  • Program Link:  Medical Assisting Program
  • Description: Program prepares graduates to work in either a clinical or office capacity, where they can assist in EKG, X-ray procedures, first aid and phlebotomy. Graduates can also perform clinical proce­dures, prepare patients for physical exams, and assist physicians with other exams.
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Programs: certificate
  • Average Program Length: 9 months
  • Tuition:  $14,725
  • Clinical Experience: Externship (225 hours)
  • Job Placement Rate: 68%-81% (depending on the campus)
  • Fun Fact:  Four campuses accommodate students across the state: Springfield, East Peoria, Quad Cities, and Springfield

Midwest Institute

Wellspring School of Allied Health

  • Program Link:  Medical Assisting Certificate
  • Description: Kansas City program features classes just 2.5 days per week; a low student/instructor ratio, our program maximizes personal attention and success
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
  • Programs: certificate
  • Average Program Length: 10 months
  • Tuition:  $16,200
  • Clinical Experience: Externship
  • Job Placement Rate: 87%
  • Fun Fact:  Students may apply for federal loans, grants, and scholarships to defray the cost of the program.

National American University

  • Program Link:  Associate of Applied Science Program
  • Description: Greater Kansas City (Independence) location utilizes a combination of lecture and laboratory sessions to prepare students for entry-level positions in ambulatory healthcare settings.
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
  • Programs: associate
  • Average Program Length: 10 months
  • Tuition:  $40,000
  • Clinical Experience: Practicum following completion of all required coursework
  • Job Placement Rate: N/A