Medical Assistant Schools and Careers in South Carolina

South Carolina is in the midst of a massive growth in the healthcare industry, making it an excellent state in which to become a medical assistant. South Carolina has much to offer residents, including beaches, gorgeous parks, golf courses, and lively city centers. The state is home to over 4.5 million people and Columbia boasts a large number of large hospitals and medical facilities. If you are ready to become a medical assistant in South Carolina and need help paying for training, there are several resources available to you including the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship and the LIFE Scholarship. In addition, the state is home to many excellent training programs, many of which are accredited, that offer training at all levels from certificate to associate’s degree.

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South Carolina’s Employment Environment

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s 2010 report, South Carolina ranks in the lower-mid range for employment of medical assistants and in the upper-mid range for medical assistant salaries. The average salary of a North Carolina medical assistant is around $29,050 but this number can vary greatly depending upon location, training, experience, and credentials. As such, it is a good idea to pass the American Association of Medical Assistants’ certification examination. Many employers require this certification for employees, and others will give preference to applicants who have this credential.

Medical Assisting in South Carolina – The Future

The healthcare field in South Carolina is expected to grow by around 22% in the coming years, meaning that there is great employment potential for medical assistants in the state. Even with an abundance of positions, there will be competition for the best jobs. As such, it is a good idea to get the best education possible, take the certification examination, and obtain any additional certifications for which the applicant is eligible.

Medical Assistant Schools in South Carolina

ECPI University

  • Program Link: Medical Assisting program
  • Description: ECPI University has campuses in Raleigh, Greensboro, and Charlotte that offer a medical assisting associate’s degree. ECPI has a long history of providing quality education. The university supports students every step of the way with a full range of student services including everything from financial aid assistance to job placement services. Students who choose this program will receive all of the knowledge and skills needed to work in both patient care and front office operations in physician’s offices and other healthcare facilities.
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
  • Programs:  Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting
  • Average Program Length: 17 months
  • Tuition:  $25,500
  • Clinical Experience: Externship
  • Job Placement Rate: 70% – 84%
  • Fun Fact: Students graduating from this program are eligible to take the examinations to become Certified Medical Assistants, Registered Medical Assistants, EKG Technicians, and Certified Phlebotomy Technicians.

Virginia College

  • Program Link: Medical Assistant program; Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting
  • Description: Students can get medical assistant training at Virginia College in Greensville, Charlotte, Columbia, and Florence. Depending upon the campus, students may choose from certificate, diploma, and associate’s degree programs. All programs include clinical and administrative elements as well as externship experience. Students who choose Virginia College benefit from excellent student support, flexible scheduling, and small class sizes. Because the programs are ABHES accredited, students who graduate from these programs are eligible to sit for the certification examination offered through the AAMA.
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
  • Programs:  certificate; diploma; associate’s degree
  • Average Program Length: certificate/diploma – 55 weeks; degree – 88 weeks
  • Tuition:  certificate/diploma – $22,500; degree – $36,000
  • Clinical Experience:  Externship
  • Job Placement Rate: certificate/diploma – 72%; degree – 64%
  • Fun Fact: Virginia College has no hidden fees.

Aiken Technical College

  • Program Link: Medical Assistant program
  • Description:  Aiken Technical College is located in Graniteville and offers a certificate in medical assisting that costs less than six thousand dollars. Students who attend Aiken may be eligible for financial assistance through the Community Foundation and will benefit from small class sizes, student support services, and a well-rounded curriculum. The school prepares students to perform administrative and clinical tasks and includes an externship that lets students practice skills in a real-world healthcare environment.
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Programs:  certificate
  • Average Program Length: four semesters
  • Tuition:  $5,857
  • Clinical Experience:  Externship
  • Job Placement Rate: 69%
  • Fun Fact: Aiken College has been offering higher education for over 30 years.

Forrest College

  • Program Link: Medical Assistant program; Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting
  • Description: Forrest College in Anderson offers students the choice of earning a diploma in clinical or administrative assisting or an associate’s degree as a general medical assistant. The programs fully prepare students for entry-level careers in medical assisting and the clinical diploma and associate’s degree programs provide students with hands-on experience through an externship. Students who complete these programs are qualified to sit for the related certification examinations.
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Programs:  diplomas; associate’s degree
  • Average Program Length: diplomas – less than one year; degree – two years
  • Tuition:  clinical diploma – $12,862.50; administrative diploma – $16,112.50; degree – $23,442.00
  • Clinical Experience:  Externship (clinical diploma and degree only)
  • Job Placement Rate: clinical diploma – not available; administrative diploma – 100%; degree – 86%
  • Fun Fact: Student services at Forrest College include child care services.