An online healthcare certificate prepares graduates for in-demand roles as medical assistants and health information technicians.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical assistants and health information technicians will both see much faster than average projected job growth from 2019-2029. Earning an online healthcare certificate builds the knowledge and skills required for these high-demand careers.
An online learning format appeals to working professionals and busy students balancing school with other responsibilities. Distance learners complete flexible coursework while meeting any clinical requirements in their local areas. Students on a budget can research the most affordable option for their certificate program without limiting their options to local schools.
Our list ranks the top online healthcare certificate programs to help prospective applicants find the best fit for their budget and career goals. This article also explores common healthcare certificate courses, career paths for graduates, and professional certifications in healthcare.
|#1||Charter Oak State College New Britain, CT|
|#2||Southwestern Community College Sylva, NC|
|#3||Cedar Crest College Allentown, PA|
|#4||Champlain College Burlington, VT|
|#5||Randolph Community College Asheboro, NC|
|#6||Saint Joseph's College of Maine Standish, ME|
|#7||Colorado Christian University Lakewood, CO|
|#8||Roger Williams University Bristol, RI|
|#9||Allen County Community College Iola, KS|
|#10||Wayne Community College Goldsboro, NC|
Featured Online Schools
The Best Online Healthcare Certificate Programs
Charter Oak State College offers an online certificate of leadership in healthcare administration designed for students already working in the healthcare industry who are seeking to advance their careers. This program provides students with the knowledge and skills to apply decision-making strategies in administrative, managerial, or executive positions in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, physician's offices, and similar organizations.
Charter Oak State College's online certificate of healthcare administration requires 18 credits. Required courses include U.S. healthcare systems, ethical issues in healthcare, economics of healthcare, cultural differences in healthcare, healthcare law, and leadership in healthcare. Students must earn at least a "C" in each course to graduate from the certificate program. All credits earned for this certificate can be applied toward a degree at Charter Oak. Therefore, this certificate could be used as a stepping stone to a bachelor's program or as an addition to a degree.
Applicants to certificate or credential programs must have completed high school or earned a certificate equivalent. To apply, students must submit an application form and pay an application fee. Charter Oak State College accepts transfer students and has multiple ways of earning credits from prior learning experiences, including transfer articulation agreements with several community colleges and allowing up to 87 credits to be transferred from accredited community colleges. Students can also receive credit for exams, training, certificates and licensure credentials, and work portfolios. Charter Oak State College is a military friendly school and offers tuition discounts for veterans or active service members.
Southwestern Community College offers an online certificate in medical office administration that prepares students for jobs as administrative personnel in charge of medical billing and coding, dental office management, patient services, and medical document organization. Graduates are eligible for employment in a variety of healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, dental offices, medical supply companies, laboratories, health care insurance companies, and other related organizations. After graduation, students may be qualified to sit for industry-recognized certification exams.
Southwestern Community College's online certificate in medical office administration requires 39 to 40 credits and takes three semesters to complete, amounting to around a year and a half of coursework. Courses are available in business communications and statistical methods. Area-specific courses cover medical legal issues, medical terminology, personal finance, customer service, and medical insurance and billing.
Applicants must have completed high school and demonstrate college-level readiness in math and English. Prospective students must submit ACT or SAT scores, high school transcripts illustrating GPA, or documentation of transferable English and math coursework.
Transfer students are accepted and may receive transfer credits for courses taken at other accredited institutions where they earned a grade of a "C" or higher. Credits transferred to Southwestern Community College from another institution will count toward degree requirements but will not be calculated as a part of a student's GPA. Southwestern Community College has transfer agreements with other institutions in the North Carolina community college system as well as accredited four-year universities.
Cedar Crest College offers an online healthcare management certificate for professionals seeking to join the healthcare industry or advance their current careers. This certificate is open to both traditional students and School of Adult and Graduate Education (SAGE) students. The program provides students with knowledge and skills in business areas of marketing, finance, process, and management, and applies them to operations within healthcare facilities and organizations.
Cedar Crest College's online healthcare management certificate requires 12 credits and takes up to one year to complete. SAGE provides an accelerated version that can be completed in 12 weeks. Learning outcomes from the certificate program includes applying organizational management skills to the healthcare industry, analyzing administrative problems and finding solutions, developing and maintaining operating budgets for healthcare facilities, and understanding all aspects of revenue management, cost containment, and government assistance as they apply to healthcare organizations.
Applicants must have completed a high school curriculum including four years of English, three years of history, three years of math, and two years of a lab science. As a part of their application, prospective students should submit their high school transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, a personal essay, and a recommendation letter. Transfer students can transfer up to 68 credits from a community college and up to 90 credits from a four-year university. Students can also earn up to 12 credits from previous training, job experience, or military experience.
A private college located in Burlington, Vermont, Champlain College provides an online healthcare administration certificate designed for adult learners and working professionals who wish to change fields or advance their careers within the healthcare industry. Courses are offered in seven- or 15-week terms, with start dates in the fall, spring, and summer.
Core courses include navigating the U.S. healthcare system, information systems in healthcare organizations, managing talent, health finance and economics, and healthcare performance and process improvement. Some courses have prerequisites. Through this curriculum, students learn to use concepts of organizational behavior and management to develop and integrate initiatives that optimize performance and service delivery at health care organizations. Federal financial aid is not available for stand-alone certificate programs like this one.
Applicants to the program should demonstrate a solid academic foundation with a minimum 2.5 GPA in high school or college coursework. Prospective candidates who do not meet these standards may still be considered for admission if they demonstrate a potential for academic success in other ways. In addition to academic records, Champlain College also considers a candidate's work experience and professional goals. As a part of the application, students must complete the online application and short answer questions, submit previous transcripts and a resume. Transfer students may receive credit for college experience, professional development training, prior knowledge, and military training.
A part of the North Carolina Community College System, Randolph Community College offers an online medical office administration certificate for professionals or students aspiring to work in areas of medical billing and coding, patient services, medical document management, and related tasks. Graduates are eligible for employment as office administrators in hospitals, physician and dentist offices, medical supply companies, laboratories, insurance companies, and other healthcare organizations. This program meets licensure requirements in North Carolina, which means students may sit for industry certified licensing and certification exams after they complete the certificate.
Randolph Community College's online medical office administration certificate requires 18 credits and takes nine months to complete. Required courses include introduction to computers, medical office terms, medical office procedures, medical coding and billing insurance, and medical legal issues. Credits earned for this certificate can also be applied to an associate in applied science degree or the diploma in medical office administration program.
Applicants to the program must have a high school diploma or GED certificate. Students are required to take a placement assessment to evaluate math, reading, and English skills so they are placed in the appropriate math and English courses. Randolph Community College has college transfer agreements with universities and colleges in the University of North Carolina system. Credits earned at Randolph community college with a grade of a "C" or higher can be applied to a higher degree program at one of these institutions.
Saint Joseph's College of Maine offers an online certificate in long-term care administration for individuals aspiring to work in administrative roles in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. This certificate program can serve as a refresher of basic concepts and skills, meet state licensure requirements and allow graduates to sit for licensing exams, and meet continuing education requirements for working professionals already in the field. Credits earned through this certificate program can also be transferred into a bachelor's degree.
Saint Joseph's online long-term care administration certificate requires 15 credits. Core courses include human resource management, healthcare financial management, aging in America, and long-term care laws and regulations. Students are also required to take a capstone course and may choose from two options: nursing home administration or assisted living administration.
The nursing administration capstone is specifically designed to assist students in passing the national licensure examination for nursing home administrators. Twelve of the 15 required credits must be completed at Saint Joseph's College. Some course substitutions may be made to accommodate individual state requirements as long as they are approved by the program manager.
Applicants to the program must have completed a high school degree. Candidates seeking admission to an undergraduate certificate program are not required to submit official transcripts unless they are seeking transfer credits. For this certificate program, students may transfer up to three credits from regionally or nationally accredited institutions. Saint Joseph's College of Maine also offers credits for prior learning, training, and career experiences.
Colorado Christian University offers an online certificate in healthcare administration designed to provide students essential knowledge of healthcare delivery, policies and regulations, and financial and ethical components of program operations. This certificate can be completed as a standalone program or contribute to the attainment of an associate or bachelor's degree in healthcare administration from CCU.
Credits earned from the healthcare administration certificate can be a supplement or accompanying concentration to a bachelor's degree in nursing, business, information systems management, organizational management, human resource management, or project management. Graduates are eligible for positions in clinic supervision or management.
CCU's healthcare administration certificate requires 12 credit hours. Classes are delivered online and start every five weeks. Core courses include introduction to healthcare informatics, healthcare terminology, healthcare delivery systems, and healthcare administration and management. Through this curriculum, students will learn about organizational change, healthcare delivery accreditation and licensure, legal and ethical issues, healthcare informatics, staff leadership, and human resource management.
For traditional freshman applicants, candidate must have a minimum 2.8 GPA, an 18 or higher ACT score or 1460 or higher SAT score, and a spiritual recommendation. Prospective students who do not meet these minimum requirements may still qualify for admission based on a holistic review of their essay responses, recommendations, and other factors. Transfer students must also have a minimum 2.8 GPA from their previous institution and will receive an individual credit evaluation to see what courses can be applied to their program at CCU.
Roger Williams University offers an online certificate in health services administration designed for working professionals looking to advance their knowledge and skills, attain additional credentials, or switch careers into the healthcare industry. Graduates of the program are qualified to work in public health, health services, health education, or healthcare management at hospitals, physician offices, nonprofit organizations, medical insurance companies, or government agencies.
Roger Williams University's health services administration certificate requires 15 credits. Core courses include foundations of social and health services, introduction to public health, moral and ethical issues in healthcare, grant writing, and healthcare administration.
Credits earned through this certificate can be applied toward an associate of arts or bachelor of general studies in healthcare administration or bachelor of general studies in social and health services at Roger Williams. Some of these courses can also be transferred to a bachelor of science in healthy communities.
Applicants to the program must have completed high school or a GED certificate equivalent. Roger Williams has a generous transfer policy that allows students to earn credit from prior learning assessments, workshops and trainings, certificates and licensure, military training, community service, or work experience. Students can transfer up to 90 credits through prior learning assessment options.
Allen County Community College offers an online certificate in adult care home administration prepares students to enter the workforce as an administrator at a long term care facility or nursing home. This program allows working professionals to advance their knowledge and skills or find employment in the healthcare administration field. The adult care home administration certificate is part of a series of other allied health certificates, including a healthcare specialist certificate and a medical office assistant certificate.
Allen County Community College's adult care home administration certificate requires 34 credits and takes three semesters to complete. Core courses include medical terminology, medical insurance coding and billing, medical administrative aspects, business communications, introduction to pharmacology, legal concepts, medical office accounting, long-term care management, gerontology, and long-term care medical records. All credits completed at Allen County Community College can be transferred as general education credits for all Kansas Regent Universities.
To apply to the program, candidates must submit high school transcripts or GED certificate and ACT score. Students without an ACT score should arrange to take a placement assessment with Allen County Community College. While certificate programs are not eligible for federal financial aid, Allen County offers a number of institutional scholarships including the Presidential Academic Scholarship, Dean's Academic Scholarship, and the Merit Scholarship. Scholarship application requirements include a minimum GPA of 3.0 to 3.75 and graduating from a Kansas high school. Allen County also provides a textbook rental service for affordable course materials.
Wayne Community College enrolls approximately 3,500 students. The college offers more than 100 programs at the certificate, diploma, and associate levels, including an online healthcare administration certificate program. Eighty-nine percent of students receive some form of financial assistance, with the average grant or scholarship coming to around $2,300.
This certificate program consists of 44 credit hours, and most students complete it in three semesters of continuous enrollment. The program offers specializations in medical transcription and medical coding. The curriculum includes courses in records management, medical terminology, medical legal issues, and office finance solutions.
The college also offers a certificate program in medical office administration with a focus on medical insurance. The certificate program comprises 17 credit hours and can be completed within eight months. Students enroll in classes in procedure coding, medical coding, billing, and insurance, and diagnostic coding.
The medical administration program at WCC equips students with a range of technology-based, industry-related skills with immediate workplace applications. Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of medical environments, including private medical practice, community clinics, hospitals, and medical insurance companies. Students who pursue the medical coding specialization can sit for the certification exam administered by the American Academy of Professional Coders.
Founded in 1964, and located in North Carolina, Surry Community College, offers multiple areas of study for online and on-campus learners. Among the many online offerings is a certificate in medical office administration.
This six-course certificate requires students earn at least 17 credits, and can be completed in two semesters. Courses include office editing, text entry and formatting, medical terminology, records management, and keyboarding.
Graduates leave the program with the skills to competently use programs from the Microsoft Office suite and exhibit strong written and oral communication skills. Students learn to quickly and accurately create letters, memos, tables, reports, and other documents that are commonly used within the medical office setting. Surry also offers this medical office administration program as a degree and diploma, both of which provide a more extensive, time-intensive curriculum.
Applicants must submit all official transcripts and complete placement testing. In-state students pay a significantly lower tuition cost. The school estimates that books and fees for this program cost $2,845.
In 1997, Southwestern Technical College and Worthington Community College merged to form the Minnesota West Community & Technical College. The school currently enrolls approximately 3,200 students and offers associate and certificate programs in 15 fields of study, including health professions and related programs, liberal arts and sciences, and general studies and humanities. Approximately 64% of students at the college receive scholarship or grant assistance, with the average financial aid coming to $3,642.
The college offers a healthcare supervision and leadership certificate online through the healthcare supervision and leadership program. This 19-credit certificate prepares students for professional opportunities in a variety of healthcare settings and facilities. Coursework topics include healthcare industry trends, corporate compliance, finance for healthcare, and personnel supervision.
Students pursuing the healthcare supervision and leadership program must complete at least 12 credits at the college. The school grants college credit for relevant work and life experience, military training, college-level transfer credits earned at accredited schools, and credits given through the College Level Examination Program and the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests. The program requires students to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0.
Many of the online courses at Minnesota West Community & Technical College follow an asynchronous delivery format, allowing students the flexibility to access course materials at any time. The college requires all online students attend a student advising and registration session prior to beginning their program. Students can choose to attend either on-campus or online session.
Founded in 1969, Johnston Community College offers more than 40 programs at the certificate, diploma, and associate levels. The school enrolls approximately 5,300 degree-seeking students and an additional 8,000 students in their continuing education programs. More than half of JCC's students receive some type of scholarship or grant, with the average financial aid amount coming to $6,609.
The college offers 43-credit online diploma in medical office administration. By taking three or four classes each semester, most students complete the program in four semesters. The curriculum includes coursework in records management, medical insurance and billing, diagnostic coding, and medical terminology. The program familiarizes students with the ethical, legal, and regulatory administrative requirements of the healthcare system. It prepares them for work in different healthcare environments, including hospitals, private practice, and medical insurance companies.
The college does not offer the medical office administration diploma as a self-paced program. Although courses are delivered asynchronously, classes follow the college's regular semester schedule and students must log in at least two times every week per course. The college offers credit for life, work, or military experience that have direct relevance to the courses in a student's program of study. College-level transfer credits must come from an accredited school.
Craven Community College began in 1965, as an educational unit within Lenoir Community College. By 1968, it became an independent entity known as the Craven County Technical Institute. Today Craven Community College enrolls 3,200 degree-seeking students and almost 10,000 students more in their continuing education programs. More than 90% of students receive some type of financial assistance, with the average aid amount totaling $3,007.
The college offers a range of programs at the associate, certificate, and diploma levels, including an online diploma in medical office administration. The program comprises 43-44 credits and can be completed within three semesters. The curriculum includes courses in basic anatomy and physiology, medical legal issues, records management, and medical terminology. The program requires students enroll for three successive semesters and follow a prescribed sequence of course enrollment.
Craven Community College also offers an online certificate in medical office administration with a billing and coding focus. The program consists of 15 credits and includes classes in diagnostic coding, medical office procedures, and procedure coding. Most students complete the certificate program in two terms, depending on course availability. The school offers college credit for relevant life and work experience, military training, and credits earned by exam through programs like the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests, or the College Level Examination Program.
Founded in 1963 as the Columbus Area Technician's School, Columbus State Community College enrolled just 67 students during its first year. Today, the college enrolls over 27,000 students from 130 countries, and maintains two campuses and nine regional learning centers. The college offers certificate, diploma, and two-year career programs in over 50 areas of study. Nearly half the student body (45%) receive financial assistance through scholarship or grant programs. The average financial aid totals $4,526.
Columbus State Community College offers a 14-credit healthcare administration certificate online. The curriculum includes courses in healthcare resource management, legal aspects and risk management, business principles, and human resource management for health services. Students learn to devise, implement, and evaluate programs and strategies with a view to improving the timely delivery of healthcare services in a variety of settings. The program requires students complete all coursework with a grade of "C" or higher to earn the certificate.
Most online courses at Columbus State Community College follow an asynchronous delivery format. However, some classes have synchronous components that require students to meet at a virtual classroom at specific times and dates. Testing typically occurs at a college testing site. Online students outside the central Ohio region must obtain permission from their professors for testing at approved testing sites within their home area.
Chartered in 1963 by the State of North Carolina, Gaston College began with a student enrollment of 445 and a 19-member faculty. Today, the college enrolls approximately 9,600 degree-seeking students and over 10,000 more in its continuing education programs. Gaston College offers more than 170 programs of study at the associate, diploma, and certificate levels. Almost half of students at the college (49%) receive financial assistance, with the average scholarship or grant award totaling $3,837.
The college offers a 15-credit online medical office administration certificate. Curriculum topics include medical terminology, medical insurance and billing, medical legal issues, and comprehensive keyboarding. Students can apply the credits earned from this certificate toward an associate or diploma program in medical office administration.
The program also offers an 18-credit certificate in billing and a 15-credit document specialist certificate, both offered online. Billing and coding coursework include special classes in procedure and diagnostic coding, while document specialist students enroll in classes in medical transcription and word processing. The medical office administration certificate in billing and coding does not automatically lead to certification as a professional coder. Students must still pass an external exam to earn the designation.
Chartered in 1958 as a career-oriented vocational and technical school, Lenoir Community College has grown to offer 188 programs at the associate, diploma, and certificate levels. It boasts a population of almost 4,000 degree-seeking students, with approximately 10,000 extension students. Almost all students at the college (95%) receive financial assistance in the form of scholarship or grant allocations. The average grant award comes to $5,075.
Lenoir Community College offers a healthcare administration certificate online through the medical office administration program. The certificate comprises 15-18 credits and focuses on medical coding, billing, and insurance. Curriculum includes coursework in medical terminology, procedure coding, medical office terms, and diagnostic coding. The program requires students to follow a prescribed order of course enrollment.
Online students can access the same academic resources as their on-campus counterparts, including tutorial services. Students can connect with online tutors in English and math 24/7, while tutors for other subject areas are available on a preset schedule. Online students can access a variety of library and research materials through the Learning Resources Center, receive academic, transfer, and career counseling services, and technical support.
Piedmont Community College began in 1969 as the Person County Technical Institute, offering higher education opportunities and job training programs for both high school graduates and adult learners. The college currently enrolls close to 2,000 students and offers associate, diploma, and certificate programs in fields such as public safety and human services, business, technology, and manufacturing. A little more than half of the students (56%) receive grant or scholarship monies, with the average financial aid award amounting to $4,701.
The college offers a healthcare administration certificate online through the medical office administration program of the Health Sciences and Human Services Department. The 16-credit certificate prepares students for entry-level employment in a variety of healthcare environments, such as private medical practice offices, hospitals, medical insurance agencies, and medical supply companies. Most students earn the certificate after less than a year of enrollment.
In addition to an introductory course in office systems, the medical office administration curriculum includes coursework in medical office transcription, medical terminology, keyboarding, and medical coding, billing, and insurance. The college maintains a partnership with Career Step to deliver an electronic health records (EHR) certificate in conjunction with the medical office administration program. Students can earn the EHR certificate over a 21-week session. The program cost covers all materials, including the software required to complete the program.
Haywood Community College enrolls 2,200 degree-seeking students with approximately 3,600 more enrolled in continuing education classes. The college offers more than 30 fields of study in areas such as early childhood education, business administration, and electronics engineering technology. More than half of the school's student population (59%) receive financial assistance, with the average scholarship or grant award amounting $5,739.
The college offers a 45-credit online diploma in medical office administration. Most students complete the program within three semesters. The curriculum includes an introductory course in anatomy and physiology, and coursework in electronic health records, drug therapy, research techniques and documentation styles, and specialized software training.
The medical office administration program also offers an 18-credit certificate in the same field, with classes including medical terminology, medical insurance and billing, administrative office procedures, and medical legal issues. This certificate program typically takes just two semesters to complete.
The college provides convenient technical assistance to online students, and online students can access the same student services available to on-campus enrollees. These include individual tutoring, academic and career counseling, and library assistance. Many online courses at the college follow an asynchronous delivery format.
Established in 1967 as the Nash Technical Institute, Nash Community College occupies 111 acres of rural land halfway between Nashville, Tennessee and Rocky Mount, North Carolina. The college enrolled more than 12,000 students for the 2017-2018 school year, including 3,200 degree-seeking students. NCC offers associate, diploma, and certificate programs in several fields of study. More than half of the student body (58%) receive some type of financial assistance. The average financial aid package comes to $2,258.
The online medical office administration program at the college offers a 12-credit general certificate in medical office management. Students enroll in classes in basic and advanced medical terminology, medical insurance and billing, and medical legal issues. The program also offers medical office administration certificates in three specialized areas: patient services, medical documents, and medical billing and coding (18 credits). Most students complete a certificate program in under a year.
The curriculum prepares students for entry level work in various healthcare facilities, including hospitals, medical insurance companies, laboratories, and private practice offices. Certificate credits readily transfer to the medical office administration associate program. Online students access the same student services as their on-campus counterparts, including the college library's digital resources, academic and career counseling, and technical assistance.
Established in 1961 as the Fayetteville Area Industrial Center, Fayetteville Technical Community College now enrolls approximately 12,400 degree-seeking students. The school offers degree, diploma, and certificate programs in 20 fields of study including architectural technology, emergency medical science, and practical nursing. The majority of students at the college (74%) receive financial assistance, with the average aid package coming to $4,879.
The medical administration certificate at the college comprises 18 credits and can be completed entirely online. Most students earn the certificate within two semesters. In addition to basic word processing and keyboarding classes, the curriculum includes coursework in medical terminology, legal and ethical issues, and medical coding, billing, and insurance. Students can transfer most of the credits earned from this certificate to an associate of applied science in medical office administration degree.
FTCC offers credit for relevant work experience and military training. Online students access the same student services as on-campus enrollees, including library materials and resources, career and academic counseling, and technical assistance. The program begins in the fall, with, and students seeking a different start date must obtain departmental permission.
Chartered in 1961 by the North Carolina State Board of Education in 1961, Pitt Community College began as the Pitt Industrial Education Center. It became known as the Pitt Technical Institute three years later, before becoming a two-year college in 1979. Today, PCC enrolls approximately 8,900 students, and offers 17 fields of study at the associate, diploma, and certificate levels. Two-thirds of the student population (71%) receive some type of financial assistance. The average financial aid package totals $4,770.
Pitt Community College offers a healthcare management technology certificate online through the healthcare management technology program. Coursework focuses on financial operations as they relate specifically to the healthcare industry. Students study how to apply sound management principles in different healthcare environments, such as hospitals, community health centers, private medical practice, and medical insurance agencies.
The general healthcare management technology certificate comprises 15 credits. The program includes the following courses: introduction to healthcare management, medical terminology, management of healthcare organizations, and medical insurance. The college also offers an 18-credit healthcare management technology certificate with a specialization in long-term care. The curriculum includes coursework in the legal aspects of healthcare administration, sociology of the family, gerontology, and long-term care administration. Students can complete either certificate in two semesters.
Founded in 1958 as the Wake County Industrial Education Center, today Wake Technical Community College enrolls more than 19,000 students at its main campus and many more at four satellite campuses, and online. Approximately 40% of students receive scholarship or grant monies, with the average financial assistance package totaling $4,037.
The college offers two online medical office administration programs. The 18-credit certificate program can be completed in two semesters. The curriculum includes coursework in basic and advanced medical office terminology, medical insurance and billing, text entry and formatting, and medical office simulation.
The 36-credit diploma program includes all courses in the certificate program, plus classes in legal and ethical issues in the medical field, office applications, and a general education elective. Students pursuing the diploma program must also complete a medical office administration capstone course. Most students earn the diploma in three semesters.
Online students need to take the eLearning introductory course prior to starting their program. Online enrollees can access the services offered at the Individualized Learning Center, which includes academic tutoring, writing and study skills workshops, and technical assistance.
Guilford Technical Community College began in 1958 as the Guilford Technical Education Center. It offers over 80 programs of study at the certificate, diploma, and associate levels and between its six campuses, business center, and online enrolls more than 35,000 students. The majority of the students (72%) receive financial assistance, with the average scholarship or grant amount coming to $7,770.
The college offers a medical office administration diploma that can be completed entirely online. Students can earn the 36-credit diploma in just one year. Coursework covers topics including medical legal issues, electronic health records, office applications, and comprehensive keyboarding. Courses for this program prepare students to take the Microsoft Office Specialist certification.
Students pursuing a completely online program such as the medical office administration diploma must complete a two-week eDegree workshop prior to class registration. The eDegree designation offers students priority registration for online classes, access to restricted online courses, individualized online support from the college's Online Student Navigator, and access to separate Moodle information classrooms.
St. Vincent's College, located in Bridgeport, Connecticut, offers an online healthcare management certificate. The college joined Sacred Heart University in 2018 and is rooted in catholic tradition.
Graduates are prepared to enter the workforce through practices in theory, practical applications, and case studies. Graduates are also usually prepared for middle management positions. Coursework includes organization structures, economics and finance, resource management, and legal and ethical issues.
The program can be completed in 11 months and requires students to earn at least 18 credits. Students can begin the program in the fall, spring, or summer, and all courses are taught completely online.
Applicants must submit an application, application fee, official high school and college transcripts, and accuplacer test scores.
Online Healthcare Certificate Program Ranking Guidelines
We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.
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What Is an Online Healthcare Certificate?
An online healthcare certificate trains learners in medical assistance, healthcare terminology, healthcare records management, and medical coding. During a certificate program, students strengthen their administrative and clinical abilities, learning how to interact with patients, perform basic healthcare assessments, and maintain medical records.
After a one-year certificate program, graduates meet the requirements for many allied health careers. With an online healthcare certificate, professionals can pursue careers as medical assistants, medical office assistants, and health information technicians.
Online medical certificate programs combine remote classes with practical training. Distance learning students complete clinical training through online simulations, virtual laboratory projects, and in-person supervised experiences in their local areas. Programs work with online learners to meet these requirements at approved sites close to the student's home.
What's the Difference Between a Healthcare Administration Certificate and an Associate Degree?
A healthcare administration certificate and an associate degree in healthcare administration both prepare graduates for allied health careers. However, the options differ in important ways. For example, certificate programs often take one year or less to complete, while an associate degree takes two years. Many schools offer both certificate and associate programs.
A certificate covers fundamental topics and meets the requirements for some entry-level roles. An associate degree offers more in-depth education, including general education requirements, and leads to more career-oriented opportunities, like administrative coordinator or operations assistant. After earning certificates, graduates can sometimes transfer their credits toward associate degrees in healthcare administration, depending on accreditation.
What Can You Do With a Healthcare Certificate?
A healthcare certificate trains students to work in hospitals and doctor's offices in roles like medical office assistant, medical secretary, nursing assistant, or administrative assistant. Medical assistants conduct basic health assessments and maintain patient records, while health information technicians manage medical records. Below are a few jobs that healthcare certificate-holders can pursue.
Health information technicians, also known as medical records technicians, manage medical and patient data for healthcare organizations. They check health records for accuracy and transfer information from paper records into electronic systems. Health information technicians also enter codes to submit patient information for insurance reimbursement.
Most health information technicians hold certificates. Students pursuing these certificates learn about medical coding systems, healthcare reimbursement procedures, and medical terminology. The largest employers of health information technicians include hospitals and doctor's offices.
Administrative assistants perform clerical tasks in office settings. They schedule appointments, assist customers, and organize files. These assistants also schedule meetings, manage ingoing/outgoing mail, and maintain filing systems.
Office assistants in medical settings — also known as medical secretaries — help physicians and provide clerical support in medical offices. A medical office assistant program covers medical records, terminology, and medical coding knowledge, training graduates for these roles. The healthcare industry employs the most administrative assistants of any field.
Medical assistants perform clinical and administrative tasks in many different healthcare settings. They maintain medical records, measure vital signs before doctor's visits, and assist physicians during health assessments. Medical assistants also schedule appointments and prepare materials for laboratory tests.
Most medical assistant employers require candidates to have at least a certificate. During a medical assistant certificate, learners study health information systems, medical terminology, and medical office assistance. These professionals work in outpatient care centers, hospitals, and doctor's offices.
Choosing an Online Program
How can you choose the right online healthcare certificate program for your needs? By considering factors like your budget, career goals, and schedule availability. Researching a prospective program's job placement rate can also help you make informed decisions. Learn more about choosing an online program with the following links.
Accreditation for Healthcare Programs
Accredited online healthcare certificate programs meet the requirements for professional certification, and many employers only hire graduates from accredited programs. As a result, prospective applicants should always choose regionally accredited schools.
Several specialized agencies grant accreditation to allied health schools, including The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). The U.S. Department of Education recognizes CAAHEP and ABHES as accrediting agencies for health programs.
What to Expect From a Healthcare Certificate
During a healthcare certificate, learners complete general healthcare courses in medical terminology, human anatomy, and health information systems. They also take specialized courses, such as medical assisting or medical coding. These classes build the knowledge and skills required for allied health careers.
- Customer Service: Customer service is a core skill in medical assisting and medical office assisting. In this course, learners examine the best customer service practices in healthcare, including soliciting customer feedback and managing complaints.
- Healthcare Research and Quality: Healthcare organizations use research and data analysis to improve quality of care and patient outcomes. This course covers quality improvement approaches, applying research in practice, and enhancing healthcare procedures through data analysis.
- Health Finance and Economics: Students in this course explore financial management and economics in healthcare, providing a general overview of the financial side of the healthcare system. Topics include profit analysis, capital budgeting, and healthcare consumption.
- Health Information Systems: Healthcare organizations increasingly rely on technology to manage data and improve performance. Students in this course examine healthcare information needs, computer-based analytical tools, and patient information management.
- Medical Legal Issues: Healthcare practitioners must study medical law and ethical issues to ensure compliance. Coursework in this class covers privacy rights, healthcare legislation, and court rulings on medical care. This class prepares practitioners for clinical and record management responsibilities.
- Navigating the U.S. Healthcare System: Learners in this class explore regulatory agencies, hospital systems, and health insurers and how they operate in the United States. Coursework examines the mechanisms for delivering health services and compares the U.S. healthcare system to international systems.
How Long Does It Take To Get a Healthcare Certificate?
Many community colleges, vocational schools, and technical schools offer healthcare certificate programs. Most online healthcare certificate programs take 6-12 months to complete. Online medical certificate programs typically require around nine months of coursework.
During a healthcare certificate, students complete coursework in medical terminology, health information record management, and healthcare compliance. They also gain practical training through simulations, laboratory assignments, and clinical practicums. This blend of classroom and experiential learning prepares certificate graduates for careers in healthcare.
Pursuing Healthcare Certifications Online
It is important not to confuse certificates with certifications. Certificate programs train students in particular areas through coursework, assignments, and exams, while certifications recognize professionals who are skilled in particular fields. Certificates are similar to degrees, while certifications are for working professionals.
Professional certifications help healthcare professionals stand out in the job market. For example, certified clinical medical assistants and certified electronic health records specialists can point to their certifications to demonstrate their experience and training.
Private organizations deliver certifications, while certificates are conferred by schools. Most certifications require previous training, such as a certificate or work experience, but they don't offer training themselves. Candidates pursuing healthcare certifications online must pass an exam to earn the credential, and many certifications require renewal every 2-3 years. Recertification may require continuing education credits or additional exams.
Professional organizations can help students and early-career professionals advance their careers. These organizations provide professional development support, career resources, and networking opportunities.
Professional organizations often specialize in areas within the healthcare field. For example, the Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals and the American Health Information Management Association represent medical assistants and health information technicians. Meanwhile, the American Association of Healthcare Administration Management and the American College of Healthcare Administrators advocate for healthcare administrators.
Medical Office Administration Careers
A healthcare certificate prepares graduates for careers as medical records technicians, medical assistants, and health information technicians. In these roles, professionals blend their clinical and administrative training to help hospitals and doctor's offices run smoothly. Online healthcare certificate programs can also lead to careers as medical secretaries and administrative assistants.
The information below covers median salary data for common medical careers among individuals with healthcare certificates.
|Career||Median Salary (2020)|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technician||$44,090|
Frequently Asked Questions
Online healthcare certification options include certified clinical medical assistant and certified electronic health records specialist credentials. Additionally, many colleges offer online healthcare certificates for medical assistants.
Online medical certificate programs train graduates for careers as medical assistants, health information technicians, and medical coders. Many programs take one year or less to complete.
Allied health careers that require certification, including sonographer, respiratory therapist, and radiologic technician, earn above-average salaries. Earning a healthcare certificate can also lead to employment as a medical assistant.
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