Become a Medical Assistant

If you have a passion for helping people and would enjoy working in the medical field, then a career in medical assisting could be a good fit for you. At Swedish Institute, we offer both a certificate and associate degree in our Medical Assistant program.

As our nation’s aging population grows, so does the need for healthcare medical assistants. In fact, medical assisting is expected to rise 16% from 2021-2031, faster than other occupations’ growth rate.* Medical assisting is a great way to have a healthcare career dedicated to helping patients, and you can work in various medical settings.

Fast Facts

  • State of New York annual
    average = $42,100**

  • National mean annual wage = $38,190**

  • Medical Assistant Program Length†
    12 Month (day or evening certificate program)
    18 Months (day degree program)
    21 Months (day or evening degree program)

  • Sample Clinical Medial Assistant Certificate Program Schedule

  • Sample Clinical and Administrative Medical Assistant Degree Program Schedule

Three Medical Assistant Students - Swedish Institute - New York, NY

What to Expect in the Clinical Medical Assistant Program

The Medical Assistant Program at Swedish Institute provides hands-on training and practical experience to enter the in-demand medical assisting career. We designed our program to give students the knowledge and skills to provide basic care to patients in doctor’s offices and other medical facilities. Through Medical Assistant training, you will learn to perform clinical and office tasks such as taking vitals. At Swedish Institute, we offer two different programs to choose from, the Medical Assistant Certificate Program (12-month course sequence) and the Medical Assistant Degree Program (18-month course sequence)

Regardless of which Medical Assistant program you decide to complete, our training will prepare you for a wide range of career opportunities so you can confidently enter the workforce.

Medical Assistant Certificate Program

Our Clinical Medical Assistant Certificate program is a 48.5-quarter-credit program available in a 4-quarter (12-month) course sequence. Swedish Institute’s Medical Assistant School classes are offered in the evening to accommodate students who work during the day. This program teaches you to perform clinical and office tasks such as taking vitals. The medical assistant training includes a 200-hour off-site externship in an outpatient/ambulatory setting in your final quarter, where you will gain real-world medical assisting exposure.

Clinical Medical Assistant program graduates receive a certificate that the New York State Board of Regents authorizes. Swedish Institute’s Clinical Medical Assistant Graduates who decide to further their education will be eligible to enroll in our Clinical and Administrative Medical Assistant degree program.

Medical Assistant Degree Program

Our Clinical and Administrative Medical Assistant Degree program is a 90-quarter-credit program available in a 6-quarter (18-month) course sequence and a 7-quarter (21-month) course sequence. We offer Medical Assistant classes during the day and evening, and scheduling varies each quarter. Through medical assistant training, you will gain an understanding of how to perform clinical and office tasks, such as taking vital signs, reading lab results, phlebotomy/hematology techniques, 12-lead electrocardiography (ECG), basic pharmacology, patient care, and medical record-keeping.

You will also gain valuable real-world experience before graduation from the Medical Assistant program through a 200-hour off-site externship in an outpatient/ambulatory setting in your final quarter.

Clinical and Administrative Medical Assistant Program graduates receive an Associate in Occupational Studies degree (AOS) authorized by the New York State Board of Regents.

Swedish Institute’s Clinical and Administrative Medical Assistant Graduates are eligible to sit for the Registered Medical Assistant Certification examination (RMA) provided by the American Medical Technologists (AMT).


Does Swedish Institute’s Medical Assistant Program offer a flexible schedule?

Yes! Our Medical Assistant program is available in a variety of schedule options. We offer both day and evening schedules for our 21-month CAMA associate degree program. Our 12-month Medical Assistant Certificate program is offered during the evening. We also use a hybrid learning approach – in the classroom and online. Through Swedish Institute’s iPad program, every student receives an iPad that assists with virtual learning, communicates with classmates and instructors, and provides access to course materials no matter where you are.

Learn more about our Personal Protection Policy.

Medical Assistant Student - Swedish Institute - New York, NY

What does a
Medical Assistant do?

Medical assistants play a vital role in any healthcare team as they work alongside and support doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. Medical assistants are often the first people to see the patients, so their demeanor, attitude and professionalism help set the tone for the patient experience.

Job duties of a medical assistant often include, but are not limited to:

  • Recording patient history and personal information
  • Taking and measuring vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature, weight and pulse
  • Performing routine lab duties such as drawing blood
  • Perform EKG and other point-of-care testing (POCT) such as blood sugar finger sticks
  • Supporting physician during exams
  • Helping explain physician instructions
  • Following-up with patients

Medical Assistant Career Opportunities

With training from Swedish Institute’s Medical Assistant Program, you will be prepared to pursue entry-level jobs with titles such as:

Medical Assistant Training Icon - Swedish Institute - New York, NY

Medical Assistant

Clinical Medical Assistant Icon - Swedish Institute - New York, NY

Clinical Medical Assistant

Clinical Laboratory Aide Icon - Swedish Institute - New York, NY

Clinical Laboratory Aide

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Blood Bank Donor Unit Assistant

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Front Office Assistant

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Back Office Laboratory Assistant

Medical Assistant Salary Opportunities

According to the September 2021 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the annual average wage for Medical Assistants in the State of New York is $42,100 per year.* Salary will vary based on experience, location of employment, and the specific job title and duties being performed.

†Applies to full-time students only.

*Employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 16 percent from 2021 to 2031, which is faster than average for all occupations. Growth will occur for a number of reasons. (site visited 9.15.22) Source: Occupational Employment Statistics Query System with a release date of September 2022.

** National Data Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, and Occupational Outlook Handbook (site visited 9.15.22) National long-term projections and salary averages may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual growth or any particular salary. Swedish Institute does not guarantee employment or career advancement. Swedish Institute cannot guarantee a student’s eligibility either to take any exam or become certified, registered, or licensed.

Swedish Institute’s programs are registered by the New York State Education Department. Accredited by ACCSC. Employment is not guaranteed. For important information on program costs, completion and placement rates, median debt incurred, etc., please visit our consumer information page.