Medical Assistant

Train to Work as a Medical Assistant

SJVC’s Medical Assistant classes prepare graduates to work in medical offices and specialty clinics. Training helps students learn the skills required to be a valuable member of the healthcare team. Students can prepare for work as a medical assistant by choosing the credential level that best meets their needs and career goals.

The Certificate-level Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA) program offers all of the basic training required to work in a doctor’s office, with an emphasis on clinical, back-office procedures. Graduates of the Clinical and Administrative Medical Assistant (CAMA) program earn an Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree and benefit from advanced training in medical office procedures and increased flexibility with both front- and back-office skills.

Training to Meet Recent Law Changes

Doctors are encouraged to switch from paper charts to electronic records while continuing to give their patients the best care possible. To help achieve that goal, physicians are looking to hire Medical Assistants who are specifically trained in Electronic Health Records (EHR). Students get that training at SJVC and graduates are eligible to take several national certifications and credentialing examinations which will qualify them for these positions.

Medical Assistant Program Details

Skills Students Learn

Students in our Medical Assistant program learn:

  • Patient care
  • Medical office procedures
  • Laboratory skills
  • Medical administrative practices*
    * CAMA-specific training

Program Course Examples

Courses* taken by our Medical Assistant students include:

Structural Anatomy and Terminology
The course focuses on the foundational principles of structural body systems, such as the skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems, and common diseases and disorders related to these systems. The course emphasizes the effective use of medical terminology through the study of the principles of word construction, elements, abbreviations, and symbols with emphasis on spelling and pronunciation.

Laboratory Procedures
Students will be introduced to a variety of CLIA waived and Point of Care (POC) laboratory techniques and values including venipuncture, skin puncture, and various hematology tests. Students will be trained in CPR and First Aid. A grade of “C” or better is required to earn credit for this course.

Pharmacology and Medication Administration
Students will be introduced to injections and a variety of clinical procedures including basic pharmacology, immunizations, and a variety of medication administration techniques. Students will calculate medication dosages and complete appropriate documentation. A grade of “C” or better is required to earn credit for this course.

*Students will take additional program courses on top of the three listed courses. Courses may vary by program, credential level and campus.

Program Outcomes

Our Medical Assistant students can earn a certificate of completion in approximately 7 months, or an associate of science degree in approximately 14 months.

Graduates are able to sit for one of the following certification exams, with first-time exam fees paid for by SJVC*. The certification exams graduates are eligible to sit for vary by credential level earned.

CMA graduates who earn their Certificates from SJVC are eligible to sit for one of the following:

CAMA graduates who earn their A.S. Degrees from SJVC can sit for one of the following:

Students residing outside of California are encouraged to take a certification examination recognized by their state medical board or an independent certification organization.

*San Joaquin Valley College will pay for one of these examinations taken within six months of graduation, as chosen by the graduate. Payment for retakes and subsequent examinations are the responsibility of the graduate. Failure to sit for either exam does not constitute a refund or discount in tuition.

All SJVC CMA and CAMA graduates also earn Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Certification, CPR and First Aid Certification.

Program Availability

SJVC’s Medical Assistant program is available Online and at the following campuses:

Program credential level varies by campus.

Career Opportunities

A well-trained medical assistant is qualified to work in a variety of medical environments such as medical offices, clinics or hospitals. Graduates can expect to perform the following job duties:

  • Take medical histories & vital signs
  • Assist the physician with procedures
  • Clean & sterilize equipment
  • Perform office accounting, bookkeeping & billing*
  • Prepare insurance claims*
    * CAMA program

Accreditation and Approvals

Institutional Accreditation

San Joaquin Valley College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Blvd., Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Additional information about accreditation, including the filing of complaints against member institutions, can be found at

State Approvals

SJVC is a private institution and is approved to operate as an accredited institution by the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE). Approval to operate means that SJVC has been found in compliance with the standards set forth in the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (California Education Code, Title 3, Division 10, Part 59, Chapter 8) and Title 5, Division 7.5 – Private Postsecondary Education of the California Code of Regulations.

Any questions that a student may have regarding the college catalog and/or catalog supplement that have not been satisfactorily answered by the institution may be directed to the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education at:

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 980818
West Sacramento, CA 95798-0818

Physical Address
2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400
Sacramento, CA 95833

Telephone Numbers
Toll free (888) 370-7589
(916) 431-6959

Fax Number
(916) 263-1897


View additional State Approvals for SJVC.