Medical Assistant Programs in Illinois

With Chicago as the third largest city in the United States, it is not surprizing that a huge chunk of medical assistants employed are in Illinois. Chicago alone is home to thousands of active medical assistant practitioners and despite the number, the need for additional medical support personnel and job opportunities is high.

How to Become a Medical Assistant in Illinois?

Illinois has about 20 accredited medical assisting programs that are recognized by either CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs) or ABHES (Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools). These accrediting bodies ensure that the medical assisting training offered by schools is on par with the policies, procedures, and programs set across the whole nation. See a list of matching schools below.

To establish a career in this industry, you first have to complete a certificate in medical assisting, which takes about 9-12 months to complete, or an associate degree, which requires about two years of coursework. Among the topics discussed in both programs are medical terminologies, first aid, anatomy, clinical procedures, medical billing, insurance claims, and office and administration procedures. After completing the program, the next stage is completing an internship in a hospital or a physician's clinic.

Both programs provide opportunities of employment regardless of length of study or type of program you applied for. However, an associate degree gives you a competitive edge over graduates of certificate courses because degree holders are qualified to handle tasks that are more complex such as removal of sutures, preparation and administration of medicines (under doctor's supervision), and drawing blood for lab analysis, among others. Plus, if you decide to pursue higher education, shifting to a four-year course would be much easier.

Medical Assisting Schools in Illinois

The list below shows matching schools in IL which offer various degree medical assisting programs. Enquire about scholarship and funding options from the list of colleges below as well eligibility requirements, placement history, accreditation and career placement services.

Value of Certification

Depending on your performance during the internship program, your employer has the option to hire you after graduation. But to give you more bargaining power when it comes to salary and career advancement, take the certification exam for medical assistants. Becoming certified in this field signifies that you have the aptitude for medical assisting, which gives you a certain advantage over non-certified practitioners.

How Much Can I Earn as a Qualified Medical Assistant?

Salary rates vary depending on your experience, the location of your practice, the type of employer you work for, and the industry you belong to. The data below distinguishes between what the min. earnings ($21,100) are, what the maximum earnings ($42,000) are as well average wages ($29,300) (i.e. what 50% of the overall employed medical assistants earn) for both Illinois and across the US as a comparative.

Location Pay Period 2011
10% Median 90%
United States Hourly

Table 1 Salary Data Source: U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Prospects for Illinois Medical Assistants

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in Illinois relatively earn higher than the rest of the practitioners across the nation. At a mean per hour rate of $17 an hour, medical assistants can earn up to $32,000 per annum, which is about 12% higher than the national average. Among the metro cities in Illinois, Chicago, Peoria, and Springfield have the highest number of medical assistant practitioners.

With an aging population and more people becoming more health conscious, physicians need to focus more on their responsibilities as primary healthcare providers. This means they have to transition some of their clerical tasks to other medical personnel who are trained to perform administrative duties and minor clinical tasks for them – thus paving the way for a promising future for medical assistants.

Medical Assistant Programs by State

Alabama Georgia Maine Nevada Pennsylvania Washington
Alaska Hawaii Maryland New Hampshire Rhode Island West Virginia
Arizona Idaho Massachusetts New Jersey South Carolina Wisconsin
Arkansas Illinois Michigan New York South Dakota Wyoming
California Indiana Minnesota North Carolina Tennessee  
Colorado Iowa Mississippi North Dakota Texas  
Connecticut Kansas Missouri Ohio Utah  
Delaware Kentucky Montana Oklahoma Virginia  
Florida Louisiana Nebraska Oregon Vermont