Best Medical Assistant Programs in Florida – 2023
Written By: Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH
A career as a medical assistant in Florida offers you a great opportunity to customize your career. You might choose to work in a fast-paced, exciting environment like a trauma center or a more laid-back environment like a private practice doctor’s or specialist’s office. To start your career, you will need a certificate, diploma, or associate degree. Below, you will learn more about the best medical assistant programs in Florida, which will allow you to make better and more informed decisions about your career.
Things to Keep in Mind While Selecting a Medical Assistant School in the State of FL
When choosing a medical assistant school in FL, it is important that you keep a few different things in mind. Though certification is not necessary in Florida, and though there are technically no educational requirements, a good education and certification can help improve your overall employability. It is important to choose a program that is known for providing an excellent education that thoroughly prepares you for your career. You should also be certain that the school you choose offers affordability, a program length that fits your needs, and the ability to take courses around your current job, if necessary. These things will all improve your odds of successful program completion and help you earn a higher salary once you graduate.
Medical Assistant Program Length & Cost in Florida
The length and cost of Florida medical assistant programs can vary a great deal. For example, a certificate or diploma program may only last eight months and cost as little as $1,570; conversely, an associate degree program takes an average of two years to complete and can cost up to $48,800. Florida employers – including doctors, clinics, hospitals, and others – prefer hiring MAs who have associate degrees as the more thorough education often leads to better patient outcomes.
| Type of Program|| Length|| Cost|
| Certificate / Diploma||6 – 15 Months||$1,570 - $30,220|
| Associate Degree||2 Years||$5,750 - $48,800|
WHAT ARE THE BEST MEDICAL ASSISTANT PROGRAMS IN FLORIDA?
(Based on our Ranking Methodology, below are the 10 best Medical Assistant programs in Florida. The list includes both campus-based and online programs.)
1) Florida Career College, Houston, Orlando, Boynton Beach, Jacksonville, Hialeah, Tampa, Lauderdale Lakes, Margate, Miami, Pembroke Pines & West Palm Beach
By offering the medical assistant technician program at eleven campuses across the state, Florida Career College provides you with a convinienet option to choose a campus closer to home.
This 11-month long program prepares you to effectively assist physicians, doctors, or other healthcare professionals in providing impeccable patient care. In addition to this, you will master front & back office procedures, which will open-up your employment opportunities as a medical office assistant or chiropractic assistant. As a part of the overall curriculum, you will also study subjects such as electrocardiography, sonography, and phlebotomy, which will further widen your job prospects. You will participate in a 180-hour clinical externship at local healthcare clinics, where you can polish your clinical and clerical skills acquired during the classroom and laboratory learning sessions.
Orange Technical College offers a career-centered medical assisting curriculum that includes five Occupational Completion Points (OCP). These points are a set of occupational skills and performance competencies, designed to meet the requirements of employers in the state of Florida. Moreover, these OCPs also allow you to complete the program faster and enter the workforce with seamless ease.
Comprising a total of 1300 hours, this full-time MA program requires dedicated studies of 29 hours a week (Monday through Friday). You will learn about pharmaceutical principles, administrative office procedures, and diagnostic procedures, among others. You will also undergo 200 hours of clinical practicum, where you get a chance to hone your skills in a real-world environment. You can complete the coursework in about 14 months, and upon graduation, you will be eligible to sit for CMA and RMA exams administered by AAMA and AMT respectively.
Atlantic Technical College inculcates professionalism as well as human values among its students to prepare them to become competent and compassionate medical assistants.
This 12-month medical assistant program in FL will train you to effectively perform clinical and clerical procedures in a physician’s office. The 1300 clock hour curriculum is designed as per the industry standards and covers basic to advanced level medical assisting courses, including medical terminology, microscopy, infection control methods, phlebotomy procedures, medical errors, x-ray procedures, and a 200-hour practicum for hands-on clinical experience.
At Southern Technical College, to ensure students are employment-ready, the MA curriculum is designed in consultation with experts from renowned medical organizations and businesses in the region. This medical assistant school in Florida is equipped with modern facilities such as interactive classrooms and latest lab equipment.
The college offers a 10-month diploma and an 18-month associate degree in medical assisting. Classes of both programs run three times a day during mornings, afternoons and evenings and can be scheduled as per your convenience. In the diploma program, you will broadly learn about the core med assisting subjects such as med terminology, and administrative and clinical procedures, whereas the associate degree includes complete coursework of the diploma program as well as general education courses. Both programs provide you with hands-on training experience.
If you aspire to become a medical assistant in FL, Southeastern College currently offers three different programs to complete your MA education. The most distinctive offering of the college is its bilingual program which eliminates the language barriers for Spanish students.
This 36.5-credit program covers clinical and clerical aspects of the medical assisting profession. Fulltime students can complete this 1070-clock-hour curriculum in about eight months, whereas part-time students can complete it in 14 months.
This 60.5-credit hour program consists 24 credits of general education courses and 36.5 credits of major med assisting courses (similar to diploma program). The 1304 clock hour coursework can be completed in 16 months by full-time students whereas part-time students can complete it in 22 months.
Bilingual Medical Assistance diploma:
This course is exclusively for the students who speak Spanish as their first language. The 36.5-credit curriculum comprises a total of 920 clock hours of studies. Day students can complete the course in 32 weeks, while evening students will take 56 weeks to complete it.
*Graduates of any of the three programs will be eligible to take six certifications exams – CCMA, CET, CPT, CMAA, CEHRS, and CPCT – administered by NHA, and you can also sit for the CMA and RMA exams administered by AAMA and AMT respectively.
6) Florida Technical College, Cutler Bay, Deland, Kissimmee, Lakeland, Orlando & Pembroke Pines
Florida Technical College provides med assisting education at its six campuses located across Florida. Apart from traditional on-campus training, FTC also offers a blended program option, providing working professionals the liberty to schedule their studies and manage work simultaneously. Currently, the college offers two MA programs –
This 44-week medical assistant technician program trains you for a prosperous career in a variety of medical settings. Its 46.5-credit-hour curriculum comprises of clinical and administrative procedures along with a 160-hour clinical practicum. Graduates can take the NCMA and RMA exams.
Associate of Science Degree:
This 72-week curiculum includes entire coursework of the MA diploma program, additionally, to earn the associate you will need to opt for any one of the three med assisting tracks – basic machine operator, cardiology, or wellness & nutrition.
With campuses spread across Florida, Keiser University provides you with the flexibility of completing your medical assisting education closer to home. Keiser currently offers two types of associate degree programs -
Medical Assisting, A.S.:
This 60.5-credit-hour course is rigorous in nature and comprises 24 credits of general education and 36.5 credits of med assisting core courses. You will be required to earn a grade ‘C’ or better in the clinical and laboratory procedures to qualify for the externship. Depending upon your location, this program is available in on-campus as well as in blended format.
On-campus and Hybrid:
Clearwater, Fort Myers, Melbourne, New Port Richey, Orlando, Port St. Lucie, and Sarasota
On-campus: Daytona Beach, Jacksonville, Miami, Pembroke Pines, Tallahassee, Tampa, and West Palm Beach.
Medical Assisting Science, A.S.
This 60 credit-hour course is divided into 24 credits for general education, 20 credits for med assisting common core courses, and 16 credits for clinical courses. The coursework is delivered via different formats based on the location you choose –
Online & on-campus:
Fort Lauderdale Online Division
Fort Myers, and Orlando
Lakeland, and Naples
Backed with modern classrooms, latest lab equipment, and dedicated faculty, Sheridan Technical College prepares medical assisting students for a bright career in the challenging healthcare sector.
The college offers a 43-week MA certificate course which is delivered in a blended format. The front office reception and administrative skills you will gain through this course include welcoming patients, answering calls, scheduling patient appointments, basic bookkeeping, preparing & maintaining medical records, and accurately filing patient insurance claims. The clinical part of the curriculum will train you in preparing patients for examinations & treatment procedures, taking vital stats of patients, performing EKGs & venipuncture, and collecting samples, among others. Upon completion of this 1,300-hour coursework, you will be eligible to take the CCMA and RMA exams.
The MA curriculum at Daytona State College is designed as per high academic standards to prepare students for a successful career in the allied health field.
This three-semester MA program at Dayton begins each Fall in August. The coursework, consisting of 1300 contact hours, includes subjects such as intro to med assisting, med terminologies, anatomy, pharmacology, lab work, among others. The program also provides you with real-world exposure through a 240-hour clinical externship where you will have an opportunity to put your classroom learnings to practice. To graduate, you must complete all courses with grade ‘C’ or higher.
Committed to serving the healthcare community, Erwin Technical College has been producing quality medical assistants in the state of Florida. The college provides hi-tech learning solutions to prepare students for a competitive and demanding career in the medical field.
ETC offers a 15-month medical assistant program, where theory classes are delivered in a classroom setting while practical training is conducted at laboratories and clinical settings. Classes of this 1,300-clock hour coursework are held during the daytime and scheduled five days a week (Monday through Friday). In order to make the most out of this program and score better grades, the faculty recommends you to dedicate 5-15 hours a week for self-study. To tighten up your real-world skills, the curriculum also incorporates a 200-hour externship in a physician’s clinic or other healthcare setting.
VIEW OUR RANKING METHODOLOGY
Medical Assistant Career Information For Florida - 2023
How Many Medical Assistants are Currently Employed in FL?
Where do Medical Assistants Work in Florida?
MAs in Florida work in various settings and facilities.
• Doctors’ Offices
– In a doctor’s office, you will work daytime hours through the week with very few (if any) weekends, holidays, or late hours. Your duties will include a mix of clinical and clerical tasks, such as entering patient data into computers, taking vital signs, and preparing patients for in-office procedures.
– If you work as an MA in a hospital, you may work overnights, weekends, or holidays depending on your role. Employment in hospitals is especially diverse, as well. You might choose to work in an emergency room, or you might even choose to work in pediatrics or labor and delivery.
• Outpatient Care Centers
– Outpatient care centers like clinics are also big employers of MAs in Florida. They are typically open until early evening, and sometimes even on weekends. You will perform numerous general clinical and clerical tasks under the supervision of doctors and nurses.
• Chiropractors’ Offices
– If you choose to work in a chiropractor’s office, you can enjoy a very laid-back atmosphere with predictable hours, but your salary may not be as high as in other types of facilities or settings.
| Industry|| Number of Medical Assistants|
|Offices of Physicians ||33,270|
|Outpatient Care Centers ||5,490|
|Offices of Chiropractors ||33,270|
What is the Average Salary of a Medical Assistant in Florida?
The average medical assistant salary in Florida is $37,870 a year, which is about $18.21 an hour. There are several factors that will affect how much you earn. Of these, your experience is the biggest contributing factor. More experienced MAs – those who have worked in the field for 20 years or more – can earn well over $45,000 a year. On the other hand, recent graduates and entry level MAs earn an average of just over $30,000 a year. It is also important to note that you can earn a higher salary if you work in a more affluent area, work for a specialist, or work an overnight position that comes with a shift differential, which can be as much as an extra $2.00 an hour.
| Type|| Salary|
|(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)|
Salary Based on Years of Experience
| Years of Experience || Hourly || Monthly || Annual |
| Less than 1 year (Starting) || $14.70 || $2,550 || $30,570 |
| 1-4 years || $16.52 || $2,860 || $34,370 |
| 5-9 years || $17.75 || $3,080 || $36,930 |
| 10-19 years || $19.56 || $3,390 || $40,690 |
| 20 years or more || $21.86 || $3,790 || $45,460 |
|(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)|
Medical Assistant Average Salary Comparison: Florida vs. National
MAs in Florida earn $2,830 less than the national average, which is $37,870 per year. However, it is worth noting that this is the case across all professions in FL; the average annual salary of all the workers in Florida ranks 32nd in the country
| Florida|| National|| Difference|
| Number|| %|
|(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)|
Despite the lower salary, MAs across the state of Florida enjoy an incredibly bright job outlook. As of 2020, there were 57,100 MAs working in FL, but by 2030, there will be 74,140 – a difference of 17,040 representing 29.84% growth. There are numerous factors driving this incredible growth, but of these, the increased access to affordable healthcare is the biggest influence. More Floridians than ever before have access to health insurance, which means doctors’ offices, clinics, hospitals, and chiropractors have higher patient loads. Support roles like medical assisting are crucial to providing quality healthcare, and as a result, employment across this specific healthcare niche is expected to skyrocket.
| Employment|| Employment Growth (2020-2030)|
| 2020|| 2030|| Number|| Percent|
Annual Job Openings
| New || Replacement|| Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)|
Metro Wise Employment & Salary Data
Like many other states across the nation, the area in which you work will also have a significant influence on your overall salary. Affluent areas and those that are common tourist locations tend to pay the most. The Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island area is the perfect example of this; MAs here earn a salary that is well above the state’s average at $40,450. On the other hand, MAs working in less affluent areas and areas that receive very little tourism activity earn far less than the state average. If you choose to work in Ocala, for example, you will earn only $34,220 a year on average.
It is also important to remember that areas with larger populations pay more than their less densely-populated counterparts. In the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area, you can earn an average of $39,010, but in Punta Gorda, but in The Villages, which is more sparsely populated and features fewer medical facilities, you will earn only $36,460.
| Metro || Employment || Average Salary |
| Hourly || Monthly || Annual |
| Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach || 16,600 || $18.75 || $3,250 || $39,010 |
| Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater || 9,340 || $18.15 || $3,150 || $37,750 |
| Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford || 7,650 || $17.85 || $3,090 || $37,130 |
| Jacksonville || 5,520 || $18.51 || $3,210 || $38,500 |
| Cape Coral-Fort Myers || 2,380 || $18.63 || $3,230 || $38,750 |
| North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton || 2,250 || $19.22 || $3,330 || $39,970 |
| Lakeland-Winter Haven || 1,670 || $17.07 || $2,960 || $35,500 |
| Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach || 1,410 || $17.01 || $2,950 || $35,380 |
| Tallahassee || 1,210 || $16.79 || $2,910 || $34,930 |
| Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville || 1,180 || $18.19 || $3,150 || $37,840 |
| Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent || 1,170 || $16.99 || $2,950 || $35,340 |
| Port St. Lucie || 1,120 || $18.10 || $3,140 || $37,640 |
| Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island || 1,020 || $19.45 || $3,370 || $40,450 |
| Ocala || 880 || $16.45 || $2,850 || $34,220 |
| Gainesville || 790 || $16.81 || $2,910 || $34,970 |
| Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin || 510 || $17.62 || $3,050 || $36,650 |
| Panama City || 440 || $16.97 || $2,940 || $35,300 |
| Punta Gorda || 430 || $17.53 || $3,040 || $36,460 |
| Sebastian-Vero Beach || 430 || $19.93 || $3,460 || $41,460 |
| The Villages || 420 || $17.32 || $3,000 || $36,020 |
| Homosassa Springs || 290 || $16.90 || $2,930 || $35,150 |
| Sebring || 270 || $16.57 || $2,870 || $34,470 |
Useful Medical Assistant Organizations & Associations in Florida
Florida Society of Medical Assistants
The Florida Society of Medical Assistants, or FSMA, provides everyone who chooses medical assisting as a profession with access to education, credential acknowledgement, certification, advocacy, and much, much more. It consists of several chapters spread across the state, and each chapter offers benefits for its local area. Members of the AAMA, or American Association of Medical Assistants
, can also access Florida-specific CEUs through the FSMA website.
Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH
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Pattie Trumble is a nurse who worked in both California and New York for many years as an emergency room nurse. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Associate Degree in Nursing from the Samuel Merritt Hospital School of Nursing. After 10 years of providing direct care, she went back to school and earned concurrent Master’s degrees in both public policy and public health from the University of California, Berkeley. Thereafter, she worked for various public health agencies in California at both the community and state levels providing economic and legislative analysis.