12 Free Medical Assistant Certification Programs (Online/On-Campus)-2023

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A flexible free medical assistant online certification is ideal for students and professionals whose career goal is healthcare field but unable to afford the higher cost of training programs.

There is a booming industry of medical assistants certification program providers at a high cost, depriving deserving aspirants who cannot afford them of a fair opportunity. For these candidates, a free training program is best for entering the healthcare field.

Trained medical assistants have become an integral part of healthcare setups and play an indisputable role in patient care and clinic functioning.

This article provides information about free medical assistant certification programs online, on campus, or in hybrid forms, connecting candidates with career opportunities.

What It Takes To Be A Medical Assistant

Most MA programs require a High School Diploma, GED, HSET, or TASC with a minimum cumulative GPA to enrol.

Medical Assistant programs can be comprehensive or cover a particular aspect (like Phlebotomy, Administrative, Clinical Assistant, etc.) and range from accelerated a week program to two years accordingly. It allows you to learn at your convenience/pace.

MAs perform various tasks under supervision. Training programs prepare you for these tasks.

While most states do not require MAs to be certified, Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs) from accredited programs with National registration get better career, growth, and earning opportunities.

Most programs are job-oriented and prepare you to apply for jobs as MAs, post which you can appear for certification exams held by the NHA.

Also, read FAQ.

How to Become A Medical Assistant For Free

The following institutes/colleges offer tuition-free medical assistant programs (online/otherwise) which you can attend to embark on your MA career for free or attend as a refresher course to keep yourself updated.

1. New York City College of Technology

The college offers a free medical assistant program in New York to NY residents above 18 years of age who:

  • Are US citizens/refugees/asylees with a High School Diploma, GEC, HSE, or TASC.
  • Come from moderate to low-income groups.
  • Are Fluent in English (intermediate to advanced levels), as the training is in English (the principal communication language in most work environments).
  • Provide proof of COVID Vaccination.

The two-semester programs start twice a year. Fall (Aug) and Spring (Feb). Classes are held on weekdays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and cover topics like medical terminology, EKG, phlebotomy, clinical procedures, etc.

2. Lifespan Health System

Their free medical assistant program aims to assist the underemployed/unemployed Rhode Islanders above 18 years. Students can appear for national certification exams upon successful completion.

The program includes 720 hours of on-campus training and 120 hours of internship. Besides an AHA basic life support certification, it offers workshops, and networking opportunities to improve employability upon completion.

Students learn to assist in medical procedures, understand and apply medical, administrative, and clinical skills (like clinical testing, electronic charting, basic pharmacology, first aid, etc.), and follow HIPAA regulations besides obtaining CPR certification.

Interested applicants need to attend a free seminar before enrolling.

3. Suny Bronx Educational Opportunity Center

This 16-week free medical assistant training in the Bronx includes an internship.

Besides medical, administrative, and clinical practices/procedures, it covers CPR/First aid, EKG, phlebotomy, etc. Students learn ICD-9 and CPT coding, and the legal/ethical liabilities of the profession.

Training is on weekdays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Applicants can apply online or personally (Mon and Wed, 08:30 am to 11:00 am, excluding public holidays).

Besides the medical assistant program, they also offer free Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) or PCT (Patient Care Technician) programs.

Programs are open to applicants who:

  • Are NY residents (for a minimum of twelve months) or living in transitional/special housing.
  • Have a High School diploma (transcript, graduation, equivalent diploma, or a translated foreign diploma)
  • Have 32 or fewer college credits.
  • Fulfill the income eligibility criteria meant to support needy people.
  • Complete the TABE test with a score of Reading 10.0 and Math 7.0.
  • Clear the counselor interview and receive the relevant director’s approval.
  • Are ready for training, job, and digitally literate.

4. Louisiana Workforce Commission

They offer the River Parishes (St. James, St. John, and St. Charles parishes) a tuition-free 20-week medical assistant program covering classroom and practical training.

Applicants must hold a High School diploma and clear a drug and criminal background screening to enrol.

Ochsner Health Systems (a partner in this program) interviews successful students fulfilling the required criteria and hires almost 75% of graduates, which is an advantage!

Besides, Ochsner Health Systems also offers additional training programs to employee MAs to further enhance their career prospects.

5. Bay Area Medical Academy

The Free Medical Assisting with Phlebotomy Program is for students who:

  • Reside in Saratoga, San Francisco, San Jose, Campbell, Gilroy, San Martin, Los Altos Hill, Monte Sereno, Los Gatos, Morgan Hill, Costa Contra County, and Alameda County.
  • Have a High School Diploma/GED (higher degree/4-year degree students are ineligible).
  • Are unemployed, underemployed, or receive unemployment benefit insurance.
  • Are authorized to work in the US.
  • Qualify to receive financial aid for the program through Federal Student Aid and Federal Pell Grants.

6. St. Louis Community College

They offer non-Federal financial funding to applicants selected for the medical assistant program.
The 23-30 weeks hybrid program offers medical assistant online classes from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm and practical training in medical offices at their locations/timings.

Applying students need to:

  • Enrol with the Missouri Family Care Safety Registry.
  • Pass health and workplace readiness assessments.
  • Clear criminal background, drug screening, and physical tests.
  • Provide proof of immunization, etc.
  • Have a desktop, laptop, or computer with the required specifications.

7. Alison Medical Assistant Certification Course

Their program offers free medical assistant certification online through several training modules covering various topics.

Aspirants can learn at their own pace and certify to embark on a medical assistant career.

These modules can also help you confirm if MA is a career for you, if you are unsure. Besides, MAs can also attempt them for a free medical assistant refresher course online.

8. STCC Medical Assistant Program

The Springfield Technical Community College offers a free one-year medical assistant program to candidates who:

  • Reside in Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties.
  • Are unemployed/underemployed.
  • Provide proof of High School transcript, GED/HSET, and Immunizations (including Flu, Hepatitis B, and Chickenpox vaccines).
  • Are not criminal/sexual offenders as per CORI/SORI.

Potential employers may demand proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

9 . Quinsigamond Community College

The free medical administrative assistant program by the QCCCenter for Workforce Development (Worcester) prepares students to work as Medical Administrative Assistants (MAA) in any healthcare facility.

Besides medical terminology and administrative terminology, students learn interpersonal communication, legal compliance with HIPAA, medical records management, diagnostic and procedural coding, managing medical emergencies, etc.

The program offers free textbooks, MS Office training, online simulation software, and CMAA certification test fees to successful students to appear in national certification exams.

10. Community College of Rhode Island

The college offers a free medical assistant program (to eligible candidates) with employment assistance.

The 16-week hybrid training covers 12 online and classroom sessions plus a 4-week externship (including hiring opportunities) with Thundermist at Wakefield, West Warwick, or Woonsocket facilities.

Eligible students must be COVID-19 vaccinated. They consider exceptions due to health reasons.

11. Jacksonville Administrative Medical Assistant Program

The 6-week program offers a free medical administrative assistant certification program online.

Eligibility criteria:

  • High School diploma/GED holder.
  • 18 years or more.
  • Underemployed/unemployed.
  • Pass a background check and drug screening.
  • US work authorization.
  • A smartphone/other devices to attend online classes.
  • Pass a video interview followed by an admission review by a counselor.

Selected students receive a weekly stipend of $115 and technology assistance if needed.

12. Jewish Vocational Service (JVS)

They offer a 14-week free Medical Assistant Refresher course covering online and offline training plus an externship with any San Francisco clinic (including Kaiser Permanente). The program includes interview preparation and employment assistance.


  • San Francisco residents who are 18 years or older.
  • Having low income or unemployed.
  • High School diploma/equivalent education.
  • Graduation from any approved medical assistant program.
  • Should provide immunization (including COVID-19 vaccination) and current medical exam records.
  • Must pass criminal background and drug screening tests.

Free Self-learning Programs Online (Bonus)

Here is a bonus for young aspirants who can learn and familiarize themselves with related topics using free online modules related to Medical Assistant Programs. It can accelerate their learning in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it easy to become a MA?

If you are interested in the healthcare profession and love to help/interact with people, this is for you. Depending on your interest, you can work in a patient-facing environment (clinical/clerical) or laboratory/backend work.

It may involve a little effort but can prove very rewarding considering the demand for MAs. It is a smart way to enter the healthcare field without a license at a minimum cost. You can work with and learn from physicians, nurses, dentists, optometrists, or podiatrists in any healthcare setup, including outpatient settings. That is a lot of choices!

You can start working after completing a free online medical assistant course training. Learn various topics at your pace while you earn. The profession also provides work-life balance.

How much does it cost to become a MA?

The cost of becoming an MA varies drastically depending on the type of course ( diploma, degree, certificate), duration, level of training (comprehensive or a particular topic only, including internship or just online, etc.), institutes offering them (accredited or otherwise), etc. You may get placement assistance after the program.

It can cost anywhere from $1500 to $20000, with payment plans (in most cases), without aid/scholarship.

This article has 12 free medical assistant programs for eligible candidates. You may need to pay for national certification exams. Since most states do not mandate certification, you can take your time to earn and certify later. Most employers also encourage MAs to get certified and offer support/increments before/after certification.

Institutes that charge you for MA courses also offer full/partial scholarships/financial aid to needy/academically brilliant candidates. They may cover your certification exam fees.

How much does a Medical Assistant Earn?

The average hourly earnings of MAs vary according to their training level, national certification, registration, years of experience, State/facility-wise, and their performances.

According to the BLS statistics, MAs earn $17.88/per hour on average. You can also check expected earnings from job sites from current surveys across the US (state/employer-wise).

Do I qualify for Financial aid?

Federal student aid includes FAFSA and Federal Pell Grants provided by the US government. Non-federal is by private organizations, trusts, or institutions for underprivileged students.

If an approved institute accepts your application, they will share their code for you to apply for Federal aid if eligible. In non-Federal setups, the decision lies with a committee/authority.

Aid and free program seats are fewer than the number of applicants. Do not delay your application for free medical assistant programs if you fulfill other parameters.

Free medical assistant programs are generally unavailable to degree/4-year course holders or economically sound applicants.

Do free medical assistant programs provide books and other study materials?

Free medical assistant programs may be online, on-campus, or hybrid.

They may provide free textbooks, videos, or other support materials to help students learn/revise (like handouts, pdfs, etc.). There are no rules. Course providers provide every support to deliver the program effectively and help you succeed.

You can always take notes. Externships are on-site with medical facilities and provide practical training.

It is best to inquire with the course providers regarding providing training materials if their websites do not specify.

Final Thoughts

We hope the article answers all your queries about free medical assistant certification programs. Feel free to ask questions (if any) or share your experiences. We would be glad to respond and await your experiences.

All the best for your MA career!

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Written by : Casey Gardner

Casey Gardner is both a healthcare support professional and an accomplished content creator.  She has been working as a certified health care professional with marketable skills as a physician assistant,  and a qualified medical assistant for last two decades. She has dedicated her nursing career to produce over hundreds of content pieces since 2001, and her work has been published both online as well as offline.


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