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Medical Assistant Schools & Colleges

Medical Assistant SchoolsHow would you like to put a smile on a patient's face while assisting the doctors or other health care professionals in a medical office? You can once you attend medical assisting school! Not only is medical assisting a rewarding job, it is one of the fastest growing health care fields, meaning great job opportunities for you.

Medical assistants can engage in both administrative and clinical work to keep a medical office running with ease. The administrative side can include answering phones, greeting patients, and updating files. Clinical duties can include recording vital signs and assisting doctors during exams.

Many schools will teach a variety of skills, as the responsibilities of a medical assistant can vary from office to office. If you want to kick your career into high gear and find the school for you, search our Canadian medical assistant schools and colleges guide today!



Featured Schools


Trillium College


Burlington, Ontario
Kingston, Ontario
Oshawa, Ontario
Peterborough, Ontario
St. Catharines, Ontario
  • Medical Lab Assistant/Technician
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Algonquin Careers Academy


    Mississauga, Ontario
    Ottawa, Ontario
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • triOS College


    Brampton, Ontario
    Hamilton, Ontario
    Kitchener, Ontario
    London, Ontario
    Mississauga, Ontario
    Oshawa, Ontario
    Scarborough, Ontario
    Toronto, Ontario
    Windsor, Ontario
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Herzing College


    Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Stenberg College


    Surrey, British Columbia
  • Health Care Assistant
  • Medical Laboratory Assistant
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Citi College


    Mississauga, Ontario
    Toronto, Ontario
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • MTI Community College


    Abbotsford, BC
    Burnaby, BC
    Chilliwack, BC
    North Road, BC
    Surrey, BC
    Vancouver, BC
  • Medical Lab Assistant
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Robertson College


    Calgary, Alberta
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    Online
    (Not available to residents of Ontario and Quebec)
  • Medical Lab Assistant
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Westervelt College


    London, Ontario
  • Medical Lab Assistant
  • CDI College

    British Columbia
    • Burnaby
    • Richmond
    • Surrey
    • Vancouver
    • Victoria
    Manitoba
    • Winnipeg
    Ontario
    • Ajax
    • Hamilton
    • Mississauga
    • North York
    • Scarborough
    • Toronto
    Quebec
    • Anjou
    • Laval
    • Longueuil
    • Montreal
    • Pointe-Claire
    • Quebec City
  • Health Care Assistant
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Reeves College


    Calgary, Alberta
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Lethbridge, Alberta
    Lloydminster, Alberta
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Vancouver Career College

    6 British Columbia Locations
    • Abbotsford
    • Burnaby
    • Coquitlam
    • Kelowna
    • Surrey
    • Vancouver
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Medix College

    6 Campuses in Ontario
    • Brampton
    • Brantford
    • Kitchener
    • London
    • Scarborough
    • Toronto
  • Medical and General Lab Assistant
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Stratford Career Institute


    Distance Learning
  • Medical Office Assistant


  • Medical Assistant Training & Career Information

    Every day, doctors and other health care professionals depend on compassionate, go-getting medical assistants to provide essential support services that allow them to focus on treating patients. Through the important work they do, medical assistants touch the lives of other people who may be physically or mentally ill or just trying to make positive changes to their overall health. Whether you're just starting out or want to make a career change to something more rewarding, becoming a medical office assistant can offer many upsides. Explore the frequently asked questions below to learn about the average medical assistant salary in Canada, what medical assistants do, where they can work, how to get training, and much more.

    In order to treat patients effectively, doctors, nurses, and other health care personnel need assistants to take care of many important tasks necessary for keeping a medical office or health care facility running smoothly.

    In Canada, a medical assistant or medical office assistant (MOA) is usually someone who handles multiple administrative duties and sometimes takes care of a few basic clinical tasks.

    The most common job titles include:

    • Medical office assistant
    • Medical office administrator
    • Medical administrative assistant
    • Medical secretary
    • Ward secretary

    It's important to note that a medical office assistant is not the same thing as a physician assistant, emergency medical assistant, or medical laboratory assistant.

    Most Common Duties

    When it comes to specific duties, a lot can depend on the type and size of a particular office or health facility. (In large offices, duties are often divided among several different assistants.) Job responsibilities can also depend on level of experience and training.

    That said, an MOA often has a wide variety of important duties that can include:

    Interacting with Patients

    • Scheduling and confirming appointments
    • Greeting patients
    • Validating patients' provincial health services cards
    • Assisting patients with the completion of medical or insurance forms
    • Asking patients about the reasons for their visit
    • Helping patients feel at ease
    • Taking patients to exam or treatment rooms
    • Admitting patients for overnight (or longer) stays
    • Directing patients to helpful resources
    • Collecting payments if necessary

    Maintaining Health Records

    • Starting new medical files for new patients
    • Proofreading medical records
    • Updating electronic medical records
    • Updating and filing paper records and medical charts
    • Ensuring the confidentiality of patients' medical files and records

    Facilitating Office Communications

    • Relaying messages between medical staff
    • Passing messages on from patients to doctors or vice versa
    • Answering phones
    • Sending and receiving emails

    Preparing Reports and Correspondence

    • Transcribing verbal or handwritten notes, case histories, and correspondence from doctors
    • Typing, proofreading, and editing reports
    • Completing insurance forms

    Handling Day-to-Day Financial Matters

    • Preparing invoices and financial statements
    • Billing provincial medical services plans while following relevant guidelines
    • Processing payments, bank documents, and payroll
    • Managing cash

    Coordinating Outside Services

    • Arranging for laboratory tests or hospital admissions
    • Helping patients get consultations with other doctors or specialists

    Managing Office Needs and Routines

    • Tracking the inventory of office and medical supplies
    • Ordering necessary supplies
    • Establishing or updating office procedures
    • Keeping doctors' schedules organized
    • Planning meetings and business trips

    Performing Basic Clinical Procedures

    • Measuring patients' basic vitals signs such as body temperature and blood pressure
    • Taking patients' weight and height measurements
    • Cleaning and setting up exam and treatment rooms
    • Disinfecting and stocking medical instruments and supplies

    In addition to some of the above duties, MOAs with a lot of experience are often responsible for training and supervising other assistants.

    Average Salary

    In Canada, the typical salary varies a little from region to region. How much you can make as a medical assistant also depends on your level of education, the type of employer you work for, and the range of responsibilities you're trained to handle.

    National Salary Estimates

    The Government of Canada's wage data from 2011-2012 shows that nationwide wages for medical office assistants break down as follows: *

    • Median hourly pay was $19.50 (which equals total annual wages of about $40,560 for full-time work)
    • The highest average hourly wage was $25.62 (about $53,290 per year)

    Highest-Paying Provinces

    In many provinces, medical assistants earn more than the national median wage. Based on the Government of Canada's 2011-2012 data, the provinces with the highest median hourly wages were:

    • Alberta—$26.00 (which equals about $54,080 per year for full-time employment)
    • Ontario—$21.00 (about $43,680 per year)
    • Saskatchewan—$20.21 (about $42,037 per year)
    • Prince Edward Island—$20.16 (about $41,933 per year)
    • British Columbia—$20.00 (which equals a medical office assistant salary in BC of about $41,600)

    Best Aspects of the Job

    • A sense of meaning and connection—Many gain satisfaction from the feeling of doing something important because they get to help other people, sometimes forming close bonds with regular patients.
    • Daily variety—Because they often have a wide range of different tasks to take care of each day, they tend to stay engaged in their work and experience the satisfaction that comes from feeling productive.
    • Strong demand for their skills—Since everyone requires health care services throughout their lives, most MOAs enjoy relatively stable job security.
    • Opportunities for advancement—With experience, many move up into supervisory positions such as medical office manager or head administrator.
    • The potential to work part-time—Many MOA jobs are well-suited to people who want to maintain an important career but also want the extra time to raise a family or pursue other interests outside of work.

    Becoming a Medical Assistant

    The most common path is to earn a post-secondary certificate or diploma in medical administrative services or health care administration. You can also gain marketable skills by completing programs or courses in related areas like nursing and business administration.

    No Licensing Requirements

    Medical office assistants are not regulated anywhere in Canada. That means you don't need to obtain professional certification or a government license to work as one.

    In terms of other employment requirements, most employers prefer to hire people who have at least:

    • A post-secondary education in a field related to medical office assisting
    • A caring demeanour
    • A solid understanding of medical terminology and office procedures
    • Great organizational skills
    • The ability to learn and use new computer software effectively
    • A commitment to maintaining patient confidentiality

    Program Duration

    Many certificate programs take as little as eight months—or up to one year—to complete. Other programs, such as those that result in a post-secondary diploma, are designed to last about two years. Both types of programs can prepare you for an entry-level position.

    What You Can Learn

    By enrolling in a formal program, you'll have the advantage of developing marketable skills and knowledge in many different areas of medical administration such as:

    • Medical terminology
    • Business and medical communications
    • Patient relations
    • Fundamentals of health care operations
    • Health care policies and government regulations
    • Ethics and standards of conduct for health care professionals
    • Medical recordkeeping and filing procedures
    • Scheduling and planning systems
    • Medical office software

    Work Environments

    Almost every type of health care facility requires administrative assistants trained in medical office procedures in order to keep things running efficiently for patients and health practitioners. As a result, MOAs can find work within a wide variety of health settings, including:

    • Doctors' offices
    • Walk-in clinics
    • Specialty medical clinics (such as for mental health, obstetric, or diabetic patients)
    • Dentists' offices
    • Hospital departments (such as admitting, emergency, records, laboratory, etc.)
    • Nursing homes and seniors' residences
    • Rehabilitation facilities
    • Public health agencies
    • Alternative health care clinics (such as for chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage therapy, etc.)
    • Insurance companies
    • Medical software companies

    Employment Outlook

    The outlook for jobs in this field is good. According to the Government of Canada, workers in the group that includes medical office assistants are projected to be in high demand between 2011 and 2020. *

    Numerous job openings are expected to result from the retirements of many existing medical administrative professionals in the coming years.

    Getting Started

    Look into the education options that are available near you. Many Canadian colleges and trade schools offer medical office assistant programs that can help you become a professional in this field. In less than a year or two, you could be providing vital administrative services that doctors and patients truly appreciate!



    Main Sources

    * Government of Canada, Working in Canada, website last visited on September 9, 2013.

    Government of Alberta, Human Services, website last visited on September 9, 2013.

    Service Canada, website last visited on August 29, 2013.

    American Association of Medical Assistants, website last visited on August 29, 2013.