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Medical Assistant Schools & Programs in Iowa (IA)

As Iowa’s general population continues to age, so too does the need for Medical Assistants. Programs in Medical Assistants are one of the fastest growing fields in the nation and a popular career choice for the high school graduate or GED holder. In Iowa, you can earn a diploma in Medical Assisting with one year of college work and become certified by taking a national certification examination. As the baby boomer generation continues to get older and enter into their elderly years, Medical Assistants are becoming a coveted field to go into within the state of Iowa because:

  • Demand is high
  • Jobs are abundant
  • Certification is relatively easy

While although it is not too hard to get certified as a medical assistant, it still does not mean that it is a job for everyone. However, if you have an interest in the medical field, you would be smart to consider a job as a Medical Assistant in the state of Iowa. With a growing elderly population, the state of Iowa foresees an expansion of medical services, and the position of medical assistant will be an important part of that expansion. As such, there are also a number of programs that are also starting to sprout up around the state of Iowa that offer certification.

Once a certified Medical Assistant, you have the opportunity to become part of The Iowa Society of Medical Assistants. The organization is likely also part of why this field is also starting to pick up. The organization is dedicated to the advancement of continuing education and certification for Medical Assistants. In order to cater to the increasing demand of Medical Assistants, the organization has helped bring to light opportunities for networking with others as well as providing links Medical Assistant Programs in Iowa.

Top 5 Cities

When looking for a job as a Medical Assistant it only makes sense that the cities with the largest populations will have the biggest demand in this career field. In recent years, the demand for Medical Assistants has increased significantly in:

  • Des Moines
  • Cedar Rapids
  • Davenport
  • Sioux City
  • Iowa City

The reason for this has to do with these cities recent population booms. As a result of the large populations, there is a high percentage of individuals who will need increased medical attention and care in these Iowa cities. In recent years, a number of new medical centers have been constructed in these cities as well which also goes to show that there is expected growth in the medical care industry.

Medical Assistant Salary In Iowa

When deciding to start a job as a Medical Assistant, it’s also crucial to understand what you would be making should you accept the position. In the state of Iowa, you won’t get rich starting out in the field, but the salary is competitive. Average starting salary is $37,000 in Iowa but there is room for bonuses and promotions. Salaries for Medical Assistants across the state and are higher in metropolitan areas, such as Des Moines at $31,500, and lower in rural areas, such as $25,410 at Sioux Falls.

Typically, after you have been in the position for a few years there is opportunity for a sizeable salary increase. Those who started as a Medical Assistant have nearly doubled their starting salary within a few years on the job. Also, the cost of living in many of the top five Iowa cities is also not overly high, so one should be able to live a comfortable lifestyle on a Medical Assistant’s salary.

Medical Assistant Schools In Iowa

There are a number of schools in Iowa that provide Medical Assistant certification. Specifically, there are 12 Medical Assisting programs in the state that are nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Ten of them are part of the Iowa community college system and provide an 11 month diploma program in medical assisting.

The top five programs in the state are provided at local community colleges and many of these highly rated programs also happen to fall within the most populated cities. This makes sense since a number of these colleges have programs that go hand-in-hand with the local hospitals and medical centers. Some of the top schools worth looking into include: Des Moines Community College, Iowa Central College, Iowa Lakes College, Iowa Western Community College and Kirkwood College.

Tuition can vary at these schools can vary, but typically it is not overly pricey to get a certification as a Medical Assistant in Iowa. Tuition runs around an average of $15k for a full program in which a certificate can be awarded in as little as one year. The application process to get into a program as a Medical Assistant also varies depending on the school you are applying to, but generally schools look at the types of courses applicants took in high school. The more science-focused of a course-load, the better.


There really has never been a better time to consider a career as a Medical Assistant. With predictions by Iowa state agencies of a higher than average people aged 65 and over within the next few years and an increasing need for direct care services, the job outlook for Medical Assistants is indeed promising. It does not take too long to be certified into this job category as well, and once certification happens you will find yourself making a decent starting salary, with room for promotion and growth.

With numerous Medical Assistant programs in Iowa, anyone interested in this field will have multiple options when it comes to deciding on what program will best fit your individual needs. Before selecting the Medical Assistant School that is right for you, you should really do some research and consider your options. There are programs that are tailored to specific types of medicine and medical categories. Regardless of your school choice, you will be sure to be on your way to success in this ever growing field!