Medical Assisting Programs

Enrolling in the School of Health Sciences and earning your degree or diploma in medical assisting are the first big steps you should take before you can register for the credentialing exams accredited by the NCCA and become a credentialed medical assistant.

Harrison College is committed to supporting you while you take these steps toward improving your career and your life. If you are compassionate, have solid interpersonal communication skills, follow policies well and pay attention to detail, one of these programs may be right for you.

You will not only have in-class learning opportunities, but you also will be able to enhance your skills in a physician’s office or ambulatory care facility during an externship, known in the industry as a “clinical practicum”. Harrison’s medical assisting programs have been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) since 1996, and we are one of two distance learning CAAHEP-accredited medical assisting programs in the nation. CAAHEP is the largest programmatic accreditor in the health sciences field. In collaboration with its Committees on Accreditation, CAAHEP reviews and accredits more than 2,000 educational programs in 28 health sciences occupations.

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About Medical Assisting

Medical assistants work in both the front and the back of the office, and typical duties include assisting physicians in minor surgeries, performing laboratory tests, assessing vital signs, administering medication, operating an electrocardiogram (ECG) machine and performing other therapeutic methods prescribed by physicians.

Medical assisting is one of the newest and fastest growing healthcare occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the career has an annual growth rate of more than 31 percent.

Learn more about medical assisting by downloading our Medical Assisting Program sheet.

Program Locations

Why Earn Your Medical Assisting Degree or Diploma?

Harrison currently offers a diploma and an associate degree in medical assisting, which prepares students for entry-level positions in the medical field. The degree requires students to complete 90 credit hours, while the diploma can be attained in a shorter period of time — just 62 credit hours. Because the program is accredited by CAAHEP—you will be eligible to take medical assisting certification exams after completing the program, which further empowers you to find a competitive job.

What Are Some Factors You Should Consider?

Area of Specialization

Medical assisting salaries vary considerably according to the medical field in which you specialize and the diploma or degree that you hold. However, according to a recent survey by the American Association of Medical Assistants, 94 percent of full-time employed medical assistants receive a benefit package from their employer. In addition, the average credentialed medical assistant earns more than those not credentialed.


Our medical assisting programs allow graduates to potentially gain higher wages than high school graduates who have moved into the same position based on only on-the-job training or tenure.

Geographical Considerations

The top five paying states for medical assistants are–in order of rank–Alaska, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Washington and Hawaii. The lowest paying states are not identified.

Above information courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Salary & Employment

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average wage for medical assistants in May 2012 was $29,370. Employment is projected to grow 29 percent from 2012 to 2022.

The medical assisting career field has been around since 1956 but job growth in this sector has risen rapidly since 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Physician offices are looking to hire more cross-trained medical assistants who can perform both front- and back-office work, making medical assisting an in-demand field. As a CAAHEP-accredited medical assisting program, Harrison is committed to providing the means for you to earn a degree that leads to a career, not just a job.

Career Certification

With the rise in demand for medical assistants, various organizations have attempted to standardize competency in the medical assisting career. Harrison College graduates of the Medical Assisting program are eligible to be certified by one of four organizations listed below, with 75% of graduates selecting and passing one of these certification exams. Certification preference sometimes varies by region and practice.

Graduate and Employer Satisfaction

Harrison College is proud to present the five-year weighted average for graduate satisfaction and employer satisfaction with the Medical Assisting program. The survey outcomes for the campuses listed below are based on the most recent Annual Report submitted to the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).  The five year weighted averages for each campus well exceed the 80% threshold.

Five Year Average Graduate Satisfaction Employer Satisfaction
Campus >=80% Threshold >=80% Threshold
Anderson, IN 100% 100%
Columbus, IN 100% 100%
Columbus, OH 100% 100%
Evansville, IN 100% 100%
Fort Wayne, IN 100% 100%
Indianapolis-Downtown 100% 100%
Indianapolis-East 98% 100%
Lafayette, IN 100% 98%
Online 100% 100%
Terre Haute, IN 100% 100%

View potential medical assisting diploma and degree job titles.

Gainful Employment Information - Diploma Program

Gainful Employment Information - Associate Degree Program

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"Harrison has a welcoming atmosphere. Everyone here makes you feel like this is where you need to be." JaQuita, Medical Assisting
JaQuita, Medical Assisting