Medical Assisting in California

There is no requirement in California state law for medical assistants to be licensed or certified, but they must have completed a certain level of training before they can perform certain duties. The Medical Board of California regulates the medical assisting field and oversees training programs.

It is increasingly common for doctors’ offices in California to hold malpractice insurance that requires them to employ only certified medical assistants. It is therefore important to make sure your medical assistant degree, certificate or diploma program is properly accredited so that you are eligible to sit the AAMA or AMT certification exam upon graduation.

For medical assistants who receive their training on the job, the California Certifying Board for Medical Assistants requires them to have been in full time employment as a medical assistant for at least two of the last five years before applying for certification.

California is the state with the highest employment level for medical assistants. 82,830 medical assistants work across the state, with many employed in the urban areas of Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, so this is a great place to begin a career in medical assisting. The average medical assistant salary in California is $35,440 annually, $17.04 hourly, which makes it one of the best states to work as a medical assistant, in terms of pay.

The California Medical Assistants Association (CMAA) is the leading professional body for medical assistants in the state and offers advice on continuing education and certification to its members.

The California Society of Medical Assistants (CSMA) is the state affiliate of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). It has local chapters in:

Centinela Valley


California Medical Assistant Schools and Programs

Angeles College

Angeles College offers a medical assistant diploma program at its Garden Grove and Los Angeles campuses, and gives students the option to attend day or evening classes. Coursework will be taught through a mix of lectures, laboratory lessons and externship experience. To equip them with the abilities to perform the clinical and adminstrative tasks of a medical assisting role, students will attend classes in a variety of subjects, such as medical billing and coding, anatomy and physiology.


  • Length: 7 months
  • Cost: $11,000
  • Job Placement Rate: Not available

Cabrillo College

Cabrillo College provides a medical assisting certificate program that is CAAHEP accredited. Students will be trained to be competent in performing an entry level medical assisting job, learning how to deliver a high quality of patient care, assist with clinical procedures and manage the adminsitrative tasks of a medical office.


  • Length: 36 months
  • Cost: $1,802
  • Job Placement Rate: not available

American Career College

ACC runs a medical assistant diploma program at its campuses in Long Beach, Los Angeles, Ontario and Orange County. Coursework is split into modules, such as medical assistant roles and responsibilities, clinical and surgical procedures, and electrocardiogram and laboratory procedures. Before completing their training, students will have to complete a 160 hour externship at a real world healthcare facility.


  • Length: 36 months
  • Cost: $16,984
  • Job Placement Rate – Not available