Best Program for Medical Assisting in Florida 2017
To be considered for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria:
- Accredited at the institutional level
- Private nonprofit or public school
- Minimum of 1 associate degree or certificate program in medical assisting
Schools were then scored on factors such as:
- Cost & Financial Aid
- Number and variety of program offerings
- Student-teacher ratios
- Placement and support services offered
- Academic/Career counseling services
- Employment services
- Loan default rates
These factors were assembled for each school and rated using a peer-based-value (PBV) calculation. PBV compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or similar) qualitative score and cost. PBV denotes the overall value or "bang for your buck" of a college or degree program.
There’s a great need for quality health care professionals in Florida to help take care of the aging population. A great foot in the door is a career in medical assisting, which requires a degree or certificate. Upon graduation, medical assistants work in a variety of heath care facilities, helping physicians ensure the best quality of care for patients. With the wide range of degree programs available in the state, we started your homework for you, looking at some of the biggest factors that go into a quality program—career counseling, tuition rates, student-to-faculty ratio and the number of programs available. Check out the top medical assisting program for 2017 below.
|School Title||Net Price||Financial Aid||Total Programs||Student-Teacher ratio||Ranking Score||School Description||Additional Benefits:||Placement Services||Counseling Services||Credit for Experience|
|City College-Altamonte Springs||
AID % 16%
|Ranking SCORE 86.73||
College students interested in pursuing a career as a medical assistant after graduation may be interested in pursuing the associate of science degree in medical assisting offered at City College in Altamonte Springs. This program puts students through comprehensive theoretical and applied learning opportunities that foster skills that are sought-after by employers in the medical field. City College offers many of its courses in a distance format, allowing student workers, students with family obligations, and even out-of-state students to benefit from a City College education. Students may further prepare for future careers by meeting with one of City College’s highly trained career counselors.
|Additional Benefits:||Placement ServicesYes||Counseling ServicesYes||Credit for ExperienceYes|
Locate Florida Medical Assisting Schools
There are numerous schools and programs for medical assistants in the Sunshine State. To narrow down the options, we provide this handy search tool. Students can search for the certificate or associate degree program that suits their needs and budget.
Florida Medical Assisting Certification & Training
Florida statutes define a medical assistant as a skilled professional who is able to assist in medical practices and procedures under a physician's direct supervision and responsibility. The medical assistant in Florida assists in management of patient care, performs clinical and administrative duties, and may also perform supervisory and managerial functions. The statute states, "Competence in the field also requires that a medical assistant adhere to ethical and legal standards of professional practice, recognize and respond to emergencies, and demonstrate professional characteristics."
Though certification is not expressly required in the state of Florida, medical assistants are encouraged to seek certification, and the state does point out which certifications are recognized. In addition, a competitive job market means that employers will often look for the person with the highest credentials, and having certification can improve the chances of getting hired.
Certification is available and encouraged. Florida state law recognizes two particular certifications, as listed below:
|Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)||American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)|
|Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)||American Medical Technologists (AMT)|
There is no requirement for education or training for medical assistants in the state of Florida. However, medical assistants are encouraged to become certified. In order to become certified, they must graduate from an approved training program.
Medical assistants in Florida are given a great deal of responsibility, with a list of potential tasks spelled out by statutes. However, nurses and physicians cannot delegate anything to medical assistants that might fall under the auspices of the practice of medicine. For instance, prescribing medication would be outside the scope of medical assistants in most states, including Florida.
Florida Medical Assistant Salaries
Medical assistants in Florida tend to make slightly less than the national median wage; however, MAs with more experience and higher credentials might see better pay rates. Here's how the numbers stack up in comparison to the national wage.
Source: BLS, 2014
City and Metropolitan Area Salaries in Florida
The salary for a medical assistant in Florida can vary widely from one area to another. The following chart focuses on the wage percentiles for various metropolitan areas, as well as the breakdown of hourly median wage for each area.
|Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL||$27,420||$31,220||$35,840||$15.25|
|Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL||$25,800||$28,080||$30,530||$13.79|
|Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL||$22,600||$26,650||$29,910||$12.88|
|Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, FL Metropol||$26,400||$30,210||$35,350||$14.90|
|Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL||$24,370||$27,350||$30,330||$13.33|
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL||$25,960||$30,700||$35,690||$14.93|
|Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL Metropolitan Division||$23,760||$29,050||$35,020||$14.42|
|Naples-Marco Island, FL||$29,680||$33,850||$37,610||$16.41|
|North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, FL||$27,290||$31,390||$35,500||$15.02|
|Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL||$24,170||$27,380||$30,410||$13.20|
|Palm Coast FL||$23,860||$27,620||$31,650||$13.40|
|Panama City-Lynn Haven-Panama City Beach, FL||$24,520||$27,420||$30,260||$13.24|
|Port St. Lucie, FL||$26,090||$29,330||$34,520||$14.59|
|Punta Gorda, FL||$23,460||$27,120||$30,410||$13.13|
|Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL||$25,910||$29,590||$34,770||$14.70|
|Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL||$25,690||$28,680||$33,030||$14.22|
|West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, FL Metropolitan||$28,630||$32,930||$36,510||$15.73|
|Northwest Florida nonmetropolitan area||$20,600||$24,310||$29,680||$12.26|
|Northeast Florida nonmetropolitan area||$21,610||$24,290||$28,770||$12.21|
|South Florida nonmetropolitan area||$22,170||$27,570||$32,860||$13.12|
Source: BLS, 2014
Medical Assisting Employment Trends in Florida
Medical assistants are in high demand across the country, and Florida is no exception. The rate of employment for medical assistants in the state is expected to be slightly higher than the national average between 2012 and 2022. The following chart offers more details.
Medical Assistant Estimated Employment Growth 2012-2022
*Source: Projections Central, 2012-2022
Medical Assisting Schools in Florida Spotlight
Florida is home to numerous schools poised to meet the demand for medical assistants. These three spotlight schools illustrate the various opportunities for aspiring students in the Sunshine State.
With small classes, students receive optimal support from faculty. The final semester consists of hands-on training in local healthcare facilities.
The medical assisting vocational certificate takes 10 months to complete and is comprised of classroom, laboratory and real-world instruction. Classes are taught by those who practiced as certified medical assistants.
First Coast Technical College
The medical assisting program prepares graduates for a career in a wide variety of healthcare realms, including hospitals, blood labs, doctor's offices and outpatient facilities.
The certificate program consists of 1,300 hours of instruction and prepares students to become Certified Medical Assistants after completing the program.
Florida Medical Assistant Resources
Besides proffering the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) designation, the AAMA also provides resources to students to help study for the CMA exam and ways to advance their professional career.
The AMT offers one of the most popular medical assistant certification with the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA).
An affiliate of the AAMA, the Florida Society of Medical Assistants works to raise awareness of the medical assisting profession and improve its standing within the healthcare profession.
Florida's laws explicitly define what a medical assistant is, as well as outline the scope of a medical assistant's duties.