Medical Assisting in Iowa

Although there is no educational requirement for medical assistants in Iowa to have the professional title of CMA or RMA, a lot of doctors in the state prefer to hire medical assistants with these credentials. Therefore it’s important to complete your training on an accredited program that gives you the option to sit for the registration or certification examinations if you wish.

According to figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in Iowa earn an average annual salary of $31,970 or an hourly wage of $15.37. These figures apply to all types of general, clerical and clinical medical assistants. Registered or Certified Medical Assistants stand a better chance of earning higher pay.

The Iowa Society of Medical Assistants (ISMA) is a good source of information and advice on jobs and continuing education throughout the state. This is the affiliated state society of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and has local chapters in the following areas:

  • Ames
  • Area V
  • Des Moines
  • Linn
  • Mid Iowa
  • North Iowa
  • Northwest Iowa
  • Shoquoquon
  • Siouxland

Iowa Medical Assistant Schools and Programs

Vatterott College

At its campus in Des Moines, Vatterott College runs a Medical Assisting with Limited Radiography Technology Associate’s degree program. Courses include basic mathematics, English composition, psychology and interpersonal communications, as well as lab and medical office procedures, medical billing and coding, and radiography procedures. On completion of the coursework, students will undertake both a medical externship and a radiography practicum.


  • Length: 70 weeks
  • Cost: $31,062
  • Job Placement Rate: Not available

Kirkwood Community College

Kirkwood Community College provides medical assistant training on a 1 year diploma program that runs over 3 semesters. Students will learn through a combination of classroom instruction and hands on lab lessons, and will be expected to undertake a clinical internship to gain practical experience of working in a physician’s office. Successful graduates will be eligible to apply to take the CMA exam to become Certified after completing their training.


  • Length: 1 year (3 semesters)
  • Cost: $2,370 per semester
  • Job Placement Rate: 67%

Iowa Central Community College

Students can choose to complete either a medical assisting diploma or degree program at Iowa Central Community College’s campuses located in Fort Dodge, Storm Lake and Webster City. The diploma program begins in the fall and consists of 2 semesters of theoretical instruction and laboratory lessons, plus a 30 day practicum in the final semester (summer). On completion of their studies, graduates can choose to sit for the Certification exam to earn the title of CMA. To complete the degree program, on completion of the diploma program, students will need to complete an extra 13 credit hours of required coursework and 6 credit hours of elective coursework.


  • Length: 11 months
  • Cost: $7,751
  • Job Placement Rate: 64%


  • Length: 22 months
  • Cost: $12,860
  • Job Placement Rate: 65%