If you have intentions of working in the field and studying in a medical assistant program, Arizona has a number of opportunities of which you can most certainly take advantage. The cost of living in the state is just under the national average, which compensates for the slightly below average wages offered to medical assistants in the area. Fear not, the wages are not so low as to become undesirable, especially if you have a reason for wanting to live amongst the gorgeous desert sands of Arizona. The state features an extensive number of universities and colleges for your choice of attendance as a student just entering this wonderful helping career. This is due to the amazing large hubs of activity spread throughout the state.
Top 5 Cities
For a Midwestern state, Arizona boasts cities with a large number of people living within the limits with relatively high population densities. This means that not only will there be other students and workers interested in the same things you are, but there will be plenty of options for entertainment, dining, and leisure. Among the greatest of the 91 incorporated cities of Arizona are, in descending order:
- Phoenix (pop. 1,445,632)
- Tucson (pop. 520,116)
- Mesa (pop. 439,041)
- Chandler (pop. 236,123)
- Glendale (pop. 226,721)
Phoenix is by and far the largest city in the state, tripling the population of the second largest, which is Tucson. However, Mesa, Chandler, and Glendale are all within the same Maricopa county, making them close enough to act as their own metropolis. Maricopa also features the 6th through 10th largest cities and many others.
Medical Assistant Salary in Arizona
While we choose what type of job and study to dedicate our lives to out of an innate sense of interest, we still have the need to ensure that this career will enable us to live in financial security. Becoming a medical assistant is a great choice. Overall the earnings in Arizona for this type of labor are below the national average yet not so drastically so that you’d shun the opportunity to work in this state.
There is such low variance in the rate of pay in this field in general that the difference is only accounts for the change in the cost of living per state. Arizona, as stated previously, has a lower cost of living than other states in the nation on average, which means that the lower wages in the state have just as much purchasing power as a higher wage in a more expensive state. The large number of jobs available in Arizona provides you with a greater chance to obtain a slice of the pie by increasing your chances for employment. The only limiting factor in finding work will be having the proper educational requirements in place. So what does Arizona offer in terms of medical assistant programs?
Medical Assistant Schools is Arizona
You won’t find any colleges in Arizona offering medical assistant programs without full accreditation from an overseeing agency. This is great because without the credentials of a degree and the proper certificate, you won’t be getting hired by anyone. If you choose to enter into one of the Arizona medical assistant schools from the beginning, versus pivoting your career plans after the fact, you can consider yourself fortunate because you will graduate with all of the requirements already in place. You won’t have to seek training, observational hours, and a certification exam as a post-graduate activity because it is all built into the program. So what are the options a budding academic in this large, dry state?
Among the larger programs available is Arizona State University (ASU) in Montgomery. Relatively affordable for a big university, in-state students should expect to pay around $8,000 per semester while out-of-state students will pay double. Another of the higher profile programs offered is at The University of Arizona (UA) in Tucson. Per academic year, in-state students will pay $11,000 in tuition while non-residents will pay three times as much! This is quite expensive and doesn’t include books, supplies, room and board, meals, etc. It is recommended that you visit the campus and evaluate their program personally before committing to any specific university, especially one with such a high financial barrier to entry.
Northern Arizona University (NAU) in Flagstaff offers a medical assisting program as well. In 2014, tuition fees for residential undergraduates totaled $4,560 for a full-load of 7-12 hours. Of course, non-residents can expect to pay at least double the same tuition. The University of Phoenix has a physical campus and also online education options with identical tuition fees. In-state tuition costs $9,500 while out-of-state tuition will run you $16,000 per academic year.
Finally, an option that focuses on the health industry and specifically medical assisting is Arizona College, which was formerly known as the Arizona College of Allied Health. Using their net price calculator one can determine that tuition itself is $15,000 dollars in-state or non-residential. It’s important to remember that supplies, housing, and food are not included when gauging your budget. This college is more expensive than some other options but you can evaluate whether or not the specificity of their program will provide you with a better education and chance for future employment.
Again, if out of a desire to stay in Arizona or to enjoy it’s beautiful sandy landscapes, you’re in luck as a medical assistant. The number of Arizona medical assistant schools is multitudinous. The opportunity for employment is equally high, with a lower than average wage being compensated by a lower than average cost of living. The ranges of tuition fees at the differing schools offer the ability for any aspirant to enroll at their financial level of comfort. Arizona has many large cities and many conglomerations of lesser cities packed together. To find yourself in Arizona as a medical assistant student or employee is to find contentment and fortune. If Arizona suits your fancy, you won’t be disappointed.