Search Medical Assistant Programs in IA

The first step is to evaluate the available programs in the state. Picking the right course itself brings you considerably closer to a fruitful MA career ahead.

Enter your zip code and search for medical assistant programs near you. ‘Enrollment information’ will provide details of different courses available in Iowa.

Medical Assistant Programs Cost and Duration in Iowa

The state offers diploma courses that extend for an average of 10 months to 1 year. At the same time, MA associate programs last for 2 years. The average program cost is approx $10,000-$18,000 in Iowa.

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15 Best Medical Assistant Schools in Iowa for 2020

Not only the program but picking the ideal school is also absolutely crucial. From school fees to the faculty, from student satisfaction rankings to certification options, make sure to evaluate all factors in depth before confirming your school of choice. Moreover, the amount of contrasting information available on the internet can cause further confusion than guidance. Thus, here is a final list of the 15 top medical assistant schools in Iowa for you to evaluate.

Cost $9,376
Type Public
Student-faculty Ratio 15:1
Recent Retention Rate 65%
Financial Aid Yes
Placement Services Yes
Counseling Services Yes
Accreditation Body caahep.org
RANKING SCORE

86.95

The college has a one-year diploma course for those interested in the health sector. The program gears you as an MA with cross-functional training across varied skill sets. The school boasts of a clinical simulation lab where students get hands down interaction with most up-to-date equipment. Apt computer training is also rendered. The program has its coursework plus a practicum. Most importantly, the internship provides a valuable opportunity to achieve on-the-job-training quite early in your career. Practical insights into the actual ambulatory settings are provided, preparing students for what’s going to come their way. According to the 2019 Annual Report Form (ARF), this program has a certification exam passage rate of 100% for graduates (2018). The program also showed a 100% job placement rate (2018).

Number of CoursesDiploma
CampusSpencer, IA
Cost $9,688
Type Public
Student-faculty Ratio 19:1
Recent Retention Rate 71%
Financial Aid Yes
Placement Services Yes
Counseling Services Yes
Accreditation Body caahep.org
RANKING SCORE

86.85

The program rewards a MA Diploma in 11 months (43-46 hours). As a prerequisite, the student has to meet the score on the ACCUPLACER exam (250 or above in reading and writing). Credits from relevant computer studies and general courses may be transferable for the program. A 75% (C grade) or higher is required for credit transfer. Moreover, the MA program at Marshalltown Community College has recently gone through a re-accreditation renewal process valid until 2027. You can also study further for an AA (Associate of Arts) degree where the course elective credits can be transferred for speedier graduation.

Number of CoursesDiploma
CampusMarshalltown, IA
Cost $8,993
Type Public
Student-faculty Ratio 18:1
Recent Retention Rate 52%
Financial Aid Yes
Placement Services Yes
Counseling Services Yes
Accreditation Body caahep.org
RANKING SCORE

86.60

The MA program at the Iowa Western Community College is accredited by the CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs) as recommended by MAERB (Medical Assistant Education Review Board). The course rewards a diploma in 10 months. Modules are arranged across three domains – cognitive (enhances knowledge), psychomotor (hones the skills required), and affective (inducing the apt behavior). The course has ranked higher than national averages on student and employer satisfaction, graduation, and job placement rates across the past five years, as per the most recent reports submitted to the MAERB.

Number of CoursesCertificate, Diploma
CampusCouncil Bluffs, IA
Cost $3,750
Type Public
Student-faculty Ratio 17:1
Recent Retention Rate 48%
Financial Aid Yes
Placement Services Yes
Counseling Services Yes
Accreditation Body caahep.org
RANKING SCORE

86.50

The MA program in this school offers a diploma course extending over two semesters of theoretical learning and lab practicals. Post this, students attend 210 hours, 30-day practicum. It’s good to note that 93% of students from the school who had taken the certification exams in the past five years passed and hold the esteemed credentials. The MA course at Iowa Central Community College usually begins in autumn and finishes off in the summer of next year. For those wanting to study further, continuing with an AAS degree in MA is possible. For this, the student is required to complete additional 13-hour credits of coursework and extra 6 hours credit of elective classes.

Number of CoursesDiploma, Associate's Degree
CampusFort Dodge, IA
Cost $8,316
Type Public
Student-faculty Ratio 13:1
Recent Retention Rate 61%
Financial Aid Yes
Placement Services Yes
Counseling Services Yes
Accreditation Body caahep.org
RANKING SCORE

86.45

The MA diploma at this school also makes you eligible to sit for the CMA examination. The ACCUPLACER test is usually required to be taken by all applicants. On the CLASSIC variant of the test, students need to score a minimum of 70 on reading and 250 on the NEXT GENERATION. The program begins in the fall and is accredited by CAAHEP. The practicum at the end of the course has to be completed by all students. The 6-week externship (40 hrs per week) is unpaid for. On-campus classes are held during the rest of the course, which includes lab sessions.

Number of CoursesDiploma
CampusCalmar, IA / Peosta, IA
Cost $10,156
Type Public
Student-faculty Ratio 18:1
Recent Retention Rate 68%
Financial Aid Yes
Placement Services Yes
Counseling Services Yes
Accreditation Body caahep.org
RANKING SCORE

86.30

This community college trains you across distinct healthcare functions. The program shall also train you across third-party reimbursements, billing procedures, and scheduling. Accredited by the CAAHEP, a vital feature of the program is its state-of-the-art patient simulator lab. Here, you shall have the opportunity to learn hands-on reaction to different patient scenarios in a controlled setting. Moreover, the school has recently started its evening program (5 PM classes Monday through Thursday every week).

Number of CoursesDiploma
CampusWaterloo, IA
Cost $5,812
Type Public
Student-faculty Ratio 19:1
Recent Retention Rate 63%
Financial Aid Yes
Placement Services Yes
Counseling Services Yes
Accreditation Body hlcommission.org
RANKING SCORE

86.05

The MA program at Eastern Iowa Community College focuses on both administrative and clinical skills training. This course makes you eligible for the medical certification exam from the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). The degree rewarded at the end of the course is an MA diploma. Expect an internship placement with a local physician at the end of the program. The new MA course is based at Eastern Iowa Community College’s SCC’s Urban Campus encompasses more than 7,000 square feet area with the most advanced technology inclusions. Evening sessions or online classes may be arranged if required by a student.

Number of CoursesDiploma
CampusClinton, IA / Muscatine, IA / Bettendorf, IA
Cost $17,637
Type Private
Student-faculty Ratio 8:1
Recent Retention Rate 74%
Financial Aid Yes
Placement Services Yes
Counseling Services Yes
Accreditation Body caahep.org
RANKING SCORE

86.00

The MA program here is accredited to enable you to take the CMA exam. However, the program is currently undergoing a revision and re-approval. Thus, check with the college directly for alterations. The online class format covers clinical practices in ambulatory care environments. The college has coveted healthcare partners who provide great practicum opportunities to the students. The modules instructed range around MA administrative procedures, anatomy and physiology, and clinical procedures.

Number of CoursesCertificate, Associate's Degree
CampusDes Moines, IA
Cost $9,620
Type Public
Student-faculty Ratio 14:1
Recent Retention Rate 57%
Financial Aid Yes
Placement Services Yes
Counseling Services Yes
Accreditation Body caahep.org
RANKING SCORE

85.75

The MA program at the Indian Hills Community College starts during fall and extends for up to 12 months. The course is divided into four terms, and the degree achieved on completion is a diploma by SCC. As the program is shared with the Southeastern Community College, students are ultimately enrolled in and completing the program in both IHCC and SCC. In the summer, students get the opportunity of practicing in a physician’s office to enrich themselves further. Passing the course makes the students eligible to sit for the CMA exam by the AAMA.

Number of CoursesDiploma
CampusOttumwa, IA
Cost $9,639
Type Public
Student-faculty Ratio 19:1
Recent Retention Rate 62%
Financial Aid Yes
Placement Services Yes
Counseling Services Yes
Accreditation Body caahep.org
RANKING SCORE

85.50

This MA program is a one-year-long undertaking and has accreditation since 1972. Statistics hold that around 94% of graduates from this program sit for the CMA exam and around 92% pass in the first attempt. There are three semesters to the program. The school also offers classes on a part-time basis for those having other obligations that don’t allow them to involve full-time. MA AAS can also be pursued by students wanting to take their education further. This associate degree in MA lasts for a couple of years, i.e., four semesters. One key feature of Kirkwood is that it boasts of providing more scholarships than any other community college in IA. Thus, if you seek financial aid, this college should be considered.

Number of CoursesDiploma
CampusCedar Rapids, Iowa
Cost $8,596
Type Public
Student-faculty Ratio 19:1
Recent Retention Rate 60%
Financial Aid Yes
Placement Services Yes
Counseling Services Yes
Accreditation Body caahep.org
RANKING SCORE

85.30

The full-time MA course at the DMASS lasts for a year. Specific modules you will train in during the course include diagnostic radiography, human body – health and diseases, med lab procedures, and introduction to psychology. Part-time classes are also possible (2 years for course completion). However, please note that the school doesn’t operate online sessions or evening classes. Students, on completion, are eligible to take the CMA. In fact, aspirants can also opt for the State of Iowa Limited Radiography Permit post-graduation.

Number of CoursesDiploma
CampusAnkeny, IA
Cost $10,109
Type Public
Student-faculty Ratio 16:1
Recent Retention Rate 61%
Financial Aid Yes
Placement Services Yes
Counseling Services Yes
Accreditation Body caahep.org
RANKING SCORE

85.25

It’s good to note that the Western Iowa Tech had a 100% job placement for its 2018 batch. A total of 88.89% of students sitting for national certification programs have successfully passed over the last five years. Admission to the MA program involves meeting one of these four essential prerequisites: ACT score (at least 19) or an associate degree (or higher) or high school transcript (GPA 2.0 and above) plus completion of 1-year high school science equivalent (grade C or better) or a completed BIO 163 and HSC 114 (grade C or better).

Number of CoursesDiploma
CampusSioux City, IA
Cost $7,989
Type Public
Student-faculty Ratio 22:1
Recent Retention Rate 63%
Financial Aid Yes
Placement Services Yes
Counseling Services Yes
Accreditation Body caahep.org
RANKING SCORE

84.85

One of the most coveted community colleges in the state, the NIACC’s MA program takes only ten and a half months to complete. The key feature of the course is the real-to-life environment rendered to the students in the form of the health simulation labs. This setting is attempted to replicate an actual hospital. The program is accredited by the CAAHEP.  Prerequisites for admission into the course include a minimum of 35 wpm keyboarding skills. The course has its pre-admission test that students have to pass. Basic Life Support certification is a must.

Number of CoursesDiploma
CampusMason City, IA
Cost $15,990
Type Private
Student-faculty Ratio 11:1
Recent Retention Rate 67%
Financial Aid Yes
Placement Services Yes
Counseling Services Yes
Accreditation Body abhes.org
RANKING SCORE

84.15

With presence across 41 locations, Ross College offers both a medical assistant diploma and an associate degree in medical assisting. In Iowa, the school is in the Quad Cities. The diploma course extends for 30 weeks. An evening degree (36 weeks long) is also available for students. There is also a 6-week externship at the end of the course wherein students get into the field. The medical assistant Associate of Applied Science degree is only for students who have already completed the MA diploma course. Specialized skills, such as managing electronic medical records, are introduced into the curriculum.

Number of CoursesCertificate, Associate's Degree
CampusQuad Cities, IA
Cost $13,220
Type Private
Student-faculty Ratio 10:1
Recent Retention Rate N/A
Financial Aid Yes
Placement Services Yes
Counseling Services Yes
Accreditation Body caahep.org
RANKING SCORE

72.80

In IA, Hamilton Technical College is present at Quad Cities. The school recognizes the growing demand for MAs and trains them across both administrative and clinical areas. The diploma course classes usually extend from Monday through Thursday. The day batches are from 8:10 to 1:00 PM, and night sessions are held from 5:30 PM to 10:30 PM. The total program is a 40-week undertaking with an externship at the end. The school is an authorized certification site for the NCCT. People looking to waive off tuition fees can apply for their financial aid opportunities. Graduates from the program will have a wide range of job opportunities. They could choose to work as MAs, ECG technicians, office managers, phlebotomists, dialysis technicians, and more as per the school.

Number of CoursesDiploma
CampusDavenport, IA

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Medical Assistant Degree Finder in Iowa

Another critical aspect to consider while evaluating your options is the degree in question. A valuable degree, when rewarded to the student, enhances employability and market standing immensely. Search for the best MA degrees in Iowa.

Training and Certification Requirements for Iowa Medical Assistants

As per Iowa’s state legislature, medical assistants do not require national certification to practice in IA. Neither does the medical board ask for any formal MA education to work as assistants in the state. However, please note that in today’s competitive market, employers actively seek a coveted MA certification. Thus, to maximize your gains, it is imperative to achieve these accreditations.

The most recognized of these certifications are the American Medical Association (AMA)’s Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) and Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) certifications.

To be eligible for the CMA graduating from an MA course that has CAAHEP or ABHES accreditation is mandatory. The CMA exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions to be completed in 160 minutes. Take the test in any of the Prometric testing centers across Iowa and pass the exam to gain CMA recognition.

Prerequisites for an RMA certification include graduating from 720 hours of an accredited MA course (160 hours of externship). You’re also qualified if you’ve undergone medical training by the US army or are a high school graduate with 5 plus years of medical assistant work.

Other vital certifications that your courses in IA may enable you to take include the Medical Assistant (NCMA) sponsored by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), the National Association of Health Professionals (NAHP)’s Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant (NRCMA) certification, and NHA’s (National Healthcareer Association) Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) certification.

To advance your credentials further, opt for value-adding degrees such as medical sciences and medical administration.

Average Medical Assistant Salaries in Iowa

According to indeed.com, the average base salary per hour for certified medical assistants in Iowa is $16.25, as of June 13, 2020. It is higher than the national average estimate of $15.50 per hour.

According to the wage estimates of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as of May 2019, the mean annual salary for IA’s medical assistants was $35,880, and the mean hourly wage was $17.25.

PercentileAnnual Salary (IA)Annual Salary (National)
10%$27,130$25,820
25%$30,980$29,460
50%$35,610$34,800
75%$40,190$40,270
90%$47,210$48,720

Source: BLS (as of May 2019)

The table above depicts that the annual pay of MAs in IA was more than the national average figure at all percentiles.

Average Salaries of MA in Some Major Cities of IA

CityHourly Salary (indeed.com, as of Jun 12, 2020)Annual Salary (salary.com, as of May 28, 2020)
Des Moines$16.25$ 34,751
Sioux City$15.39$29,887
Cedar Rapids$16.10$34,083
Davenport$15.10$33,928
Iowa City$25.25$33,803
Waterloo$14.99$32,474

Across major IA cities, hourly pay of MAs was between $14.99 and $25.25, while the annual salaries were between $29,887 and $34,751.

Average Salaries of MAs in some Metropolitan Areas of IA

Metropolitan AreaHourly SalaryAnnual Salary
Iowa City, IA$20.20$42,010
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA$18.21$37,870
Cedar Rapids, IA$18.28$38,030
Sioux City , IA-NE-SD, IA$17.06$35,480
Waterloo Cedar falls ,IA$16.11$33, 510
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL$15.79$32,850

Source: BLS (as of May 2019)

Iowa City was the highest paying metropolitan area for MAs in IA, with the average hourly wage amounting to $20.20 and an annual average salary amounting to $42,010. In contrast, Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL was the lowest paying metro area with $15.79 hourly and 32,850 yearly wages.

Employment Outlook for Medical Assistants in Iowa - 2020

The total number of medical assistants employed in IA was 4,970 as of May 2019, according to the BLS. The employment per 1000 jobs was 3.20.

The below table features the largest employing industries of medical assistants in Iowa.

Employing IndustryEmployment
Ambulatory Health Care Services3,290
Offices of Physicians2,340
Hospitals1,000
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals960
Offices of Other Health Practitioners720

Source: BLS (as of May 2019)

Future Growth for Iowa Medical Assistants 2016-2026

The healthcare industry is amongst the most secure career streams to embark on. Till there are patients needing help, medical professionals (including MAs) will always be in demand. Due to an increase in electronic monitoring needs and enhanced self-awareness about wellness and one’s health, MAs in Iowa are also being increasingly sought out. The jobs are only bound to grow, and the Iowa Society of Medical Assistants gets plenty of vacancies from employers to fill in regularly.

Estimated Employment Growth for Medical Assistants – IA

Projected Employment Growth in 10 YearsAnnual Projected JobsGrowth %
Iowa4,420 (2016)5,610 (2026)65027%
National686,600 (2018)841,500 (2028)99,70023%

Source: careeronestop.org

The projections for Iowa, as shown in the table above, are even higher than the countrywide growth statistics. Employment of MAs across the state is estimated to grow by a whopping 27% in the 10 years of 2016-2026. With such an incredible growth projected for MAs, their employability in the state is bound to be secure and booming.

Even short term projection data indicates a percentage increase in the number of jobs available for medical assistants in IA. From 4,640 jobs in 2019 to 4,770 jobs in 2021, the number of MA vacancies in the state are deemed to grow by 2.8% from 2019 to 2021. As Iowa and its cities develop further, the construction of more hospitals and medical offices will be in focus.