Online healthcare and medical certificate programs offer affordable, flexible opportunities to receive professional training. If you’re considering a career in the healthcare industry, or looking to advance in your current career, explore these programs. Learn more about medical certificate costs, salary expectations, and course offerings with this Campus Explorer guide.
What Is a Healthcare and Medical Certificate?
There are a wide range of careers in the healthcare and medical field that require specialized training. Some require years of study, but you can prepare for some in just a few months. If you’re passionate about the medical industry, but don’t wish to enroll in a full-time associate’s or bachelor’s degree program, a certificate may be right for you. Enroll in a healthcare and medical certificate program to train for one of these roles:
- Medical coder
- Behavioral technician specialist
- Medical front office administration specialist
- Medical assistant
- Pharmacy technician
- Dental assistant
Choose a short-term certification program through an accredited institution to receive the training and certification you need to apply to these and other positions. Some medical roles require an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or medical degree, but you can apply for these roles after completing a certificate program.
An online program offers flexible class scheduling to meet your needs. Depending on the certificate you’re seeking, you can expect to complete your program in 2-12 months. Phlebotomy courses, for example, can be completed in as little as two months, while dental assistant courses typically require about a year to complete. On-campus courses tend to have a set schedule, but the length of study still varies from institution to institution.
The courses you can take depend on your chosen certificate. Healthcare certificate programs are tailored to meet your busy schedule and specific career goals, so you can expect all your classes to train you in the skills and knowledge you need to succeed. Consider these areas of study as you compare certificate programs:
- Human anatomy
- Medical terminology
- Diagnosis and procedure codes
- Medication information
- Laboratory and specimen collection techniques
- Infection control
- Medical billing and coding
Not every program includes all of these courses, but these are some general areas of study. Online healthcare and medical certificates focus on practical skills and essential knowledge. They typically only require a high school diploma or GED to apply.
To be a successful student, you should be prepared to dive into medical terminology and step-by-step processes to care for patients. Many healthcare certificate careers are assistants in the profession, so you should prepare to work closely with doctors, nurses, and other medical staff to complete your essential duties.
A career in the medical industry can involve a fast-paced work environment, but it can also come with a predictable schedule and competitive pay. Medical assistants and other certificate holders don’t just work in hospitals, but you may be able to find a position in an outpatient care center, health practitioner office, or other setting.
How Much Does Healthcare and Medical Certificate Cost?
Online healthcare and medical certificate programs typically cost between $1,000 and $10,000. This wide range accounts for the differences in cost per credit and number of credits required. You can earn some certificates for far less credits and cost than others.
Consider your chosen career path and prices at leading online schools to see how much you can expect to pay for your certification. Scholarships and grants can reduce the cost of a program or completely cover your costs.
Various programs, by your employer and by donors, can help you receive your certificate at little or no cost. Look for opportunities to reduce the cost and create an affordable opportunity to earn your certificate.
Average Salary for a Healthcare and Medical Certificate
The average salary you can expect with a healthcare and medical certificate depends on the certificate you earn. Medical assistants, for example, earned a 2020 median pay of approximately $35,900, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS.
Phlebotomists earned a median annual salary of $36,300 in 2020, while dental assistants earned approximately $41,200. The 2020 median pay for medical records and health information specialists was higher, at around $44,100. Considering a career as a medical secretary? These professionals earned about $37,400 in 2020.
Your salary expectations depend on the certificate you choose, your location, and your years of experience. Experienced phlebotomists may earn more than entry-level professionals, while medical assistants in some urban areas may earn more than medical assistants in rural areas with lower costs of living.
Be sure you look for a healthcare and medical certificate program that’s approved in your state. Your online program should prepare you to take the relevant exam, but the requirements vary from state to state. Explore reputable, accredited institutions to find one that offers the skills and knowledge you need for a position in your area. This is particularly important if you’re studying online or considering relocating to a new state once you complete your studies.
What Is the Job Outlook for Healthcare and Medical Certificate Holders?
Many positions in the medical industry are expected to grow faster than average between 2019 and 2029, according to BLS. The number of medical assistants, for example, is expected to increase by 19%. The number of phlebotomists is expected to grow by 17%, and the job outlook for dental assistants is expected to be a 7% growth.
The average job growth for the same 10-year period is around 4%, according to BLS. This makes a medical certificate a great way to prepare for an in-demand career. Healthcare is a vital part of your community. Medical staff at all levels help to care for at-risk communities and provide emergency services to those who need them most. You don’t need to be concerned about the future of the healthcare industry, but be confident you’re entering a growing job market.
Courses in Healthcare and Medical Certificate Programs
Healthcare and medical certificate programs focus on a specific set of skills and areas of knowledge needed for a career in your chosen field. Prepare to launch your career or receive more hands-on training in your profession with courses in medical billing and coding, diagnosis, procedure codes, specimen collection techniques, and more.
Expand your knowledge base with essential medical terminology, in-depth human anatomy, infection control, and other medical terminology. Some certifications require more specialized training, like phlebotomists or medical coders. Others, like medical assistants, need more generalized skills and knowledge base.
High school courses in biology, chemistry, and mathematics can help you prepare for a certificate program. You’ll need to practice exam topics and create a study schedule to successfully pass the exam upon completion of the course.
Unlike an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program, a medical certificate doesn’t offer the same wide range of course options. You typically don’t need to take general education courses in order to receive your certificate.
Be sure the courses in your chosen certificate program meet your state requirements. Not all programs allow you to take the relevant exam in every state. Once you find programs that provide the necessary courses, look for elective credits or other options to personalize your learning.
FAQs on Healthcare and Medical Certificate Programs
What Jobs Require a Healthcare and Medical Certificate?
Consider a medical certificate if you wish to work as a phlebotomist, medical coder, medical assistant, pharmacy technician, dental assistant, or other medical careers.
Does a Healthcare and Medical Certificate Offer Good Job Prospects?
Medical assistants and other careers related to healthcare certificate programs are expected to see higher-than-average job growth between 2019 and 2029, according to BLS.
What Are the Different Fields of Healthcare and Medical Certificate?
A certificate program can prepare you to apply for a position as a medical assistant, pharmacy technician, dental assistant, medical coder, or phlebotomist.
How Long Does It Take To Get a Healthcare and Medical Certificate Degree?
Most courses take a year or less to complete. Some programs, like phlebotomy, can be completed in as little as two months. These ranges include both on-campus and online, but online certificates tend to offer more self-paced, accelerated opportunities.
What Does Healthcare and Medical Certificate Program Curriculum Typically Include?
Most medical certificates include medical knowledge, human anatomy, diagnosis and procedure codes, and courses related to the specific position in the medical industry.
- Standard and accelerated certificate programs available
- Popular concentrations include medical assistant and phlebotomist
- Programs typically take between 2-12 months to complete
- Certificate programs can be completed fully online
- Offers opportunities in the high-growth healthcare industry
- Can be completed in two months
- Prepares graduates to sit for board exams for certification in a number of medical positions
- Provides essential training for phlebotomist, pharmacy assistant, or medical assistant careers
- Prepares graduates for positions in high-growth areas
- Programs can cost between $1,000 and $10,000
- A high number of scholarships are associated with this program
- Program costs are highly variable
- Online programs tend to cost less than on-campus options