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Healthcare Associate Degrees

Associate degree programs are designed to help students move into the workforce, or earn educational credit that can then transfer toward a bachelor's degree. Associate degree programs can be found at trade schools, technical colleges, community colleges, junior colleges and sometimes at colleges or universities that offer bachelor's degrees.

An associate degree usually takes two years of full-time study to complete, but flexible scheduling of online schools might allow some students to earn the degree in 18 months or less. Associate degrees can be earned online for many subjects, although healthcare fields may require some hands-on or clinical training.

There are different types of associate degrees:

  • Associate of Applied Science: This route is often taken by those who want to move directly into the workforce, as it can help provide the skills and knowledge necessary to seek employment.
  • Associate of Science: This degree includes general education courses as well as courses associated with the major, with the goal of providing an educational foundation.
  • Associate of Arts: The A.A. is usually awarded in a liberal arts major, with requirements for both general education and major courses.

Associate Degrees and Career Earnings

Those who earn a degree may enjoy higher pay and lower unemployment rates than those who hold only a high school diploma. The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests a link between education and employment, listing these median weekly earnings and unemployment rates for U.S. adults of 25 or older in 2012:

  • High school diploma: $652 per week and 8.3 percent unemployment
  • Some college, no degree: $727 per week and 7.7 percent unemployment
  • Associate degree: $785 per week and 6.2 percent unemployment

Employment in the healthcare industry is expected to rise by 27.8 percent from 2010 to 2020 nationally, according to BLS projections. Numerous associate degree programs can offer students the opportunity to move into the healthcare field. The BLS notes that positions such as diagnostic medical sonographer, dental hygienist and physical therapy assistant typically require associate degrees or a similar level of training. Those who want to enter a healthcare profession that requires a bachelor's degree can generally use the associate degree as a stepping stone to the higher credential, although it's important to confer with school admissions counselors regarding the transfer process.

Sources

  • Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm
  • Healthcare Occupations, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/
  • Industry-occupation matrix data, by occupation, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_108.htm

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Medical Assisting
Platt College , Ontario
  • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
  • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
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Veterinary Technician
  • Earn your AVMA-CVTEA fully accredited Veterinary Technician Associate Degree online from Penn Foster College.
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  • At only $85 per credit with low monthly payment plans and 0% interest, our vet tech program is one of the most affordable programs in the country.
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Medical Assistant
  • Features career programs in surgical technology, professional fitness trainer, vocational nursing, and an associate of science program in health administration.
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Medical Assistant (10-Month Diploma Program)
UEI College , Sacramento
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Medical Assisting
Unitek College , San Jose

Unitek College – About Us

Unitek College™ is a privately held vocational school dedicated to helping you gain the skills needed to advance your career or begin a brand new career. Your training at Unitek College will position you to take advantage of the rising demand for experts in allied health, nursing, and technology professions. Our programs include Medical Assisting, Dental Assisting, Vocational Nursing, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing: RN-to-BSN Degree Completion.

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Medical Assistant
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Medical Assisting

Valley College of Medical Careers in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, California– is the perfect place for you to receive an expert education in the healthcare field and to attain your career goals. We offer superb programs in Pharmacy Technician, Medical Assisting, Medical Billing and Coding, and Surgical Technology. Whether you are starting on the path to your first job, transitioning from another field, or if you are a healthcare professional who wants to change jobs in the same field, enrolling in one of our programs can provide you with a superior education, professional classroom training, and real-world experience through externships and also job placement assistance. Our outstanding programs are offered continually, throughout the year, during the day and the evening. Our flexible class schedules allow you to seamlessly sync your education with the rest of your life. Furthermore, our programs are taught by accomplished and experienced industry professionals who are engaged in the educational process and are dedicated to imparting their knowledge to you via traditional instruction and hands-on clinical experience. At VCMC, we offer a warm, welcoming, and nurturing environment–we are like one big happy family!