How Much Does Medical Assistant Training Cost in California?

How Much Does Medical Assistant Training Cost in California?

There is a large amount of demand for certified medical assistants in California and the United States.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that medical assistant job demand will increase by 16% between 2021 and 2031[1], much faster than job growth for all industries. About 117,800 medical assistant jobs are predicted to be added in the US over this ten-year period.

Medical assistants perform a mixture of clinical and administrative tasks in their daily routine, including preparing patients for the physician, taking vitals, setting appointments, and managing medical records. Medical assistant schooling length can vary depending on the program and institution, but many people find it to be a rewarding career choice within the healthcare ecosystem.

Understanding the medical assistant training cost is crucial for those aspiring to join this in-demand profession. Since most medical facilities are looking for fully trained and certified medical assistants, there are training programs across the country. Hands-on clinical training and externships usually require students to choose programs in their local area, and one question students have is how much will it typically cost to become a medical assistant?

What is the Average Length and Cost of Medical Assistant Programs in California?

How much medical assistant training programs cost can vary by the depth and quality of training, length of program, type of training program (certificate, diploma, or Associate’s degree), and metro area where the program is offered.

"How much does it cost to take the CMA exam?" is a common question among individuals pursuing certification in the field. Some training programs in California do not list the cost on the public-facing website, and require you to submit an inquiry to get the numbers. Additionally, the cost of some programs may differ on a sliding scale based on the applicants salary, and financial aid supplements.

The real numbers of all medical assistant programs offered in California may be elusive, but these are ranges listed on other websites.

Cost of Medical Assistant Training Programs in California

Type of Program Type Length Cost
Certificate or Diploma 8 – 18 Months $2,170 - $41,830
Associate Degree 2 Years $7,960 - $67,570

(Source: )

Program Type Program Cost
Certificate $3,020 – $33,610
Diploma $4,660 – $41,300
2-yr Associate Degree $11,660 – $50,900


Cost of Medical Assistant Training Programs in Sacramento CA

Many of the medical assistant training programs do not list their information on the front-facing part of their websites. These are educational institutions that do list the cost of their medical assistant training programs for anyone to see.

Educational Institution Total Cost of Program Program Type
Charles A Jones Career and Education Center $7,381.00 Certificate
Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Sciences $7,910.00 Certificate
Gurnick Academy $14,480.00 Certificate
Campus, formerly known as MTI College $16,775.00 Certificate
Carrington College $20,758.50 Certificate

(Source: Websites of named educational facilities, retrieved Jan 24th, 2023)

Cost of Certification Exams for California Medical Assistants

There are different certifying bodies for medical assistants in California. These are the costs for taking each exam after completing a training program at an accredited educational institution.

Certification Exam Cost
Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) $125
Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) $120
Clinical Certified Medical Assistant (CCMA) $155
Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) $117
National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) $90
California Certified Medical Assistant $145

How Much Does it Cost to Take the Certified Medical Assistant Exam?

Exploring the medical assistant training cost includes factoring in expenses such as certification exams like the CMA. The Certified Medical Assistant exam costs $125 to take.

Paying for Medical Assistant Schooling or Training

Understanding how much it costs to take the CMA exam can help individuals plan financially for their medical assistant education. Whatever medical assistant training option you choose, you’ll have to find a way to pay for it. Even the least expensive options for medical assistant training require some planning and preparation.

Fortunately, there are many resources available for paying for your education:


Scholarships are not exclusive to those with the best grades or cabinets full of awards. Scholarships are available for people of all different backgrounds and situations if you spend the time looking. Many people have success finding multiple small scholarships to pay for their education.


A Pell Grant is money you can receive to put towards your education and you don’t have to pay it back.

Getting a Pell Grant requires you to fill out an application and be caught up on filing taxes. Until you turn 25, both your income and the income of your parent(s)/guardian(s) will be considered to determine your eligibility for financial aid.

When you apply, you will need to make sure that you or your parents have filed taxes for the previous year. You will need to fill out the Free Application for Student Aid, then you will receive an offer with the details of your loan and grant eligibility.

Applications for federal aid are always due around April 15 by midnight Central time. For priority consideration, submit the FAFSA by May 1.

You will need to respond to accept the grant, and decide how much—if any—loan money you would like.

Student Loans

Student loans are available both federally and privately.

Federal student loans typically have lower interest rates, more repayment plans, and the potential for student loan forgiveness.

Private student loans from a bank or other lender have stricter eligibility requirements, higher interest rates, and less repayment options.

Make sure you read the terms of any loan closely and understand the repayment plan, interest rates, and fees.


Saving for college is a great option if you can get started early. Avoiding loans and planning for your future can save you a lot of money on interest payments.

Employer sponsorship

Some employers offer tuition reimbursement for employees who agree to remain at their job for a specified amount of time. Companies may agree to pay for part or all of a team member's education.

How Much Can You Earn as a Medical Assistant in California?

The amount you can earn as a medical assistant will depend on how much training and experience you have, the city or metro area you live in, and the type of employers to which you are applying.

Below are links to current averages for hourly and salary wages for medical assistants in selected California metro areas (Source: O*Net).


Average Annual and Hourly Wages for Medical Assistants in California

Here are the average wages for selected cities and metro areas in California, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from May 2021.

Location Annual Low (10%) Annual QL (25%) Annual Median (50%) Annual QU (75%) Annual High (90%) Hourly Low (10%) Hourly QL (25%) Hourly Median (50%) Hourly QU (75%) Hourly High (90%)
United States $29,070 $30,200 $37,190 $43,490 $48,170 $13.98 $14.52 $17.88 $20.91 $23.16
California $30,210 $36,690 $38,780 $48,770 $61,800 $14.53 $17.64 $18.65 $23.45 $29.71
Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA $31,750 $38,060 $48,380 $61,800 $76,220 $15.27 $18.30 $23.26 $29.71 $36.65
Bakersfield, CA $29,600 $30,010 $36,650 $42,620 $58,180 $14.23 $14.43 $17.62 $20.49 $27.97
Chico, CA $29,640 $34,190 $37,660 $43,470 $45,850 $14.25 $16.44 $18.11 $20.90 $22.04
Eastern Sierra-Mother Lode Region of California non-metro $29,990 $36,380 $37,870 $46,690 $48,190 $14.42 $17.49 $18.21 $22.45 $23.17
El Centro, CA $29,940 $30,200 $35,630 $37,700 $45,550 $14.39 $14.52 $17.13 $18.13 $21.90
Fresno, CA $29,920 $34,970 $36,820 $45,850 $61,330 $14.38 $16.81 $17.70 $22.04 $29.49
Hanford-Corcoran, CA $30,100 $30,130 $30,600 $37,040 $40,320 $14.47 $14.48 $14.71 $17.81 $19.39
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA $30,150 $35,540 $38,000 $47,110 $59,570 $14.49 $17.09 $18.27 $22.65 $28.64
Madera, CA $29,530 $29,970 $36,150 $37,480 $45,550 $14.20 $14.41 $17.38 $18.02 $21.90
Merced, CA $29,280 $29,860 $35,610 $37,800 $37,880 $14.08 $14.36 $17.12 $18.17 $18.21
Modesto, CA $30,100 $36,040 $37,960 $49,540 $61,330 $14.47 $17.33 $18.25 $23.82 $29.49
Napa, CA $36,310 $44,060 $48,510 $61,540 $61,800 $17.46 $21.19 $23.32 $29.59 $29.71
North Coast Region of California non-metro $31,140 $36,940 $37,660 $46,640 $48,150 $14.97 $17.76 $18.11 $22.42 $23.15
North Valley-Northern Mountains Region of California non-metro $30,690 $37,010 $37,350 $46,540 $48,160 $14.75 $17.79 $17.96 $22.37 $23.16
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA $30,900 $36,640 $37,870 $47,250 $60,010 $14.86 $17.62 $18.21 $22.71 $28.85
Redding, CA $29,700 $35,020 $37,980 $48,150 $59,730 $14.28 $16.84 $18.26 $23.15 $28.72
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA $29,800 $30,100 $37,170 $39,240 $53,670 $14.33 $14.47 $17.87 $18.86 $25.80
Salinas, CA $31,740 $37,120 $37,850 $47,350 $53,080 $15.26 $17.85 $18.20 $22.76 $25.52
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA $30,530 $37,220 $38,020 $47,510 $59,960 $14.68 $17.89 $18.28 $22.84 $28.83
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $37,110 $44,710 $55,650 $62,220 $76,740 $17.84 $21.49 $26.75 $29.91 $36.90
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $37,260 $44,060 $54,920 $62,220 $76,700 $17.91 $21.19 $26.41 $29.91 $36.88
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA $30,790 $37,040 $38,070 $47,020 $57,120 $14.80 $17.81 $18.30 $22.61 $27.46
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA $36,080 $38,030 $46,210 $48,830 $60,670 $17.35 $18.28 $22.22 $23.48 $29.17
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA $35,240 $37,660 $38,270 $47,790 $59,090 $16.94 $18.11 $18.40 $22.98 $28.41
Santa Rosa, CA $37,210 $44,150 $48,810 $61,800 $76,220 $17.89 $21.23 $23.47 $29.71 $36.65
Stockton-Lodi, CA $30,100 $36,360 $38,070 $47,460 $61,330 $14.47 $17.48 $18.30 $22.82 $29.49
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA $36,580 $44,180 $60,080 $76,220 $76,220 $17.59 $21.24 $28.89 $36.65 $36.65
Visalia-Porterville, CA $29,830 $29,970 $36,800 $43,690 $47,250 $14.34 $14.41 $17.69 $21.00 $22.72
Yuba City, CA $30,360 $36,900 $38,000 $47,020 $48,150 $14.60 $17.74 $18.27 $22.61 $23.15

What Factors Go Into the Cost of Medical Assistant Training?

Some factors that influence the cost of medical assistant training programs include:

  • Length of the program.
  • Quality of the curriculum.
  • Experience of the instructors.
  • City where the instruction takes place.
  • Costs of training materials.
  • Overall cost of textbooks and learning material.

What is the Typical Length of Medical Assistant Training Programs?

When considering medical assistant schooling length, it's essential to account for the varying durations of programs available. Most medical assistant training programs are between six months and two years in length. The Campus training program to become a medical assistant in California is about 42 weeks long.

Become a Medical Assistant in 42 Weeks

Prospective students often inquire about medical assistant schooling length, seeking programs that fit their educational and career goals. The Medical Assistant Program at Campus, prepares students to become a NCMA certified medical assistant in about 42 weeks. This program is a hybrid program, offered in our Online format, with most of the coursework completed online, with required clinical studies held in person at our location in Sacramento.

Our medical assisting students learn medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and pharmacology. Each student in the Medical Assisting program is required to finish a 200‐hour unpaid off‐campus Medical Assisting Externship along with standard course requirements to graduate. To become certified as a Medical Assistant, the classroom work can be completed, followed by a 4-week externship. This means you can become certified as a Medical Assistant in as little as 36 weeks.

If you would like more information on the Medical Assisting program at Campus, fill out the form on this page, or contact our friendly Admissions team today!

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[1] Note: The data provided above are from a source unaffiliated with Campus, formerly known as MTI College, are for informational purposes only and represent the employment field as a whole. They are not solely specific to Campus graduates and, by providing the above information, Campus makes no representation, direct or implied, or opinion regarding employability.