female medical assistants standing on the stairs
Health and Public Service

Medical Assisting

Do you enjoy helping people? Are you looking for an in demand, well-paying career? Medical Assisting might be right for you!

You can get your certificate in just two semesters and 180 externship hours!! We also offer an Associate of Science degree.

The Accelerated Medical Assisting Program (AMAP) is offered every Fall and Spring semester. You'll learn from skilled faculty who have real world experience in the field of Medical Assisting.

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For students interested in the Phlebotomy Technician Certificate of Achievement, please click here.

medical assisting graphic
Male medical student taking a patient's blood pressure
two female medical students

Why Cabrillo AMAP

Our program faculty are experienced, trained professionals and are committed to the successful completion of your chosen programs. The five-year average for graduate and employer satisfaction of the Cabrillo College Medical Assisting Department is 100%. We are proud to offer an Associate of Science Degree and a Certificate of Achievement in Medical Assisting. Applications are accepted year-round.

Goals and Objectives

  • Provide open access and a supportive environment that encourages student success in the classroom, the externship site, and the job site

  • Prepare competent entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) skills

  • Encourage professionalism, integrity, and high standards in students and staff

  • Help students to develop skills in communication, critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving, leading to accurate decision-making

  • Respond to and meet the medical assistant training needs specifically of the Santa Cruz County health care community while meeting national association accreditation guidelines

  • Prepare students to work in a variety of settings, such as physician offices, clinics, hospitals, public agencies, and volunteer agencies

  • Develop closer partnerships with the healthcare industry

female medical assistants standing on the stairs
Medical Assistants taking a patients blood pressure
group of medical professional

Career Outlook

Healthcare is the second largest employer in Santa Cruz County and Medical Assisting Program graduates are in huge demand. Medical assisting is projected to be one of the top 10 fastest growing occupations in the United States.

  • The career outlook for Medical Assistants (MAs) is growing almost 5 times higher than other careers and healthcare is projected to add the most new positions and have the fastest job growth for the 2020-2030 employment projection.

  • The average salary in the Santa Cruz region is $49,718.

MAs perform a variety of clinical and administrative tasks within a medical office or outpatient clinical setting.

  • Obtain medical histories & vital signs

  • Prepare patients for procedures

  • Assist medical providers

  • Administer immunizations & perform lab tests

  • Schedule appointments & maintain charts

group of medical professional
medical assisting equipment
medical students


The AMAP now accepts applications all year round.

In order to apply to the program, applicants must have completed the required prerequisites MA70-Medical Terminology and ENGL 1A-English Composition with a grade of C or better.

The Accelerated Medical Assisting Department (AMAP) provides a new, streamlined path to a career as a Certified Medical Assistant. Modeled after Cabrillo Colleges' Dental Hygiene, Nursing, and Radiology Technology programs, all students will take the same block of classes and move through the program together as one cohort. The courses provide a strong foundation in the essential skills employers have told us are needed to succeed in this career.

The first semester includes courses that develop the necessary math and writing skills as they are used in this profession. Each semester builds on the skills and knowledge developed in the previous one so that by the end students are positioned for success.

The program is full-time and intensive. It is designed to result in a Medical Assisting Certificate of Achievement including completion of externship hours, within three semesters. Students may also complete an Associate in Science degree.

The three-semester program begins each Fall and Spring, with a mandatory orientation and Foundation Course. Once you are accepted into the program, you will receive an acceptance letter and will be registered into all of your classes for each semester.

Upon program completion, students are eligible to apply for the following examinations for certification:

  • California Certifying Board for Medical Assistants - become a CCMA-C and/or A (California Certified Medical Assistant - Clinical and/or Administrative)

  • American Medical Technologists (AMT) - become a RMA (Registered Medical Assistant)

students getting instruction

Learn More

Spend some time on this website to learn more about this exciting field, review Frequently Asked Questions, learn about job preparation and see current job openings and, for those already working in the field, check out opportunities to advance in your career.

medical assistant devices

Ready to get started?

Contact Natalya Miller for more information.