Medical Assisting »


According to America’s Career Infonet, job openings for medical assistants (MAs) in Texas are expected to grow by a whopping 54 percent — more than almost any other job category — through the year 2016, significantly higher than the expected national growth rate of 35 percent. MAs can expect to make a median salary of $12.66 an hour, or $26,300 annually.

Medical assistants have great variety in their jobs and are cross-trained to perform numerous administrative and clinical duties. They perform many of these duties under the direction of a physician.

Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing and coding for insurance purposes. Clinical duties may include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood and administering medications.

Besides working in physicians’ offices, medical assistants can work in hospitals as unit secretaries or patient care technicians, in nursing homes and in emergency clinics.

The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook’s listing for medical assistants details the nature of the work, working conditions, employment, advancement, salaries and related occupations.

El Centro College offers associate degrees in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Echocardiology Technology and Pediatric Echocardiology Technology, referred to collectively as Specialized Imaging programs. These programs share the same competitive application and acceptance procedure via a point system comprised of scores on a personal interview, the HESI A2 test and the applicant’s cumulative grade point average on the Specialized Imaging Core Curriculum.  
Before applying to one of the Specialized Imaging Programs, you must complete the entire Specialized Imaging Core Curriculum, which comprises selected general education support courses and health-care-related courses that introduce the theory and application of health-care concepts.

Admission Requirements for the Medical Assisting Program:

  • Application and current admission to one of our colleges;
  • Attendance at a Specialized Imaging programs information session  
  • Completion of designated courses from the Specialized Imaging Core Curriculum with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • Completion of the remaining Specialized Imaging Core Curriculum courses with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.   
  • Completion of the HESI A2 test with a minimum score of 70 on each of the required sections (reading comprehension, mathematics, grammar, and vocabulary and general knowledge). 
  • Submission of a complete application packet to the Health Occupations Admissions Office by the deadline of Dec. 31 for the class that begins in June of the following calendar year.
Information Sessions
Viewing an information session online is required and will address program admission, application and acceptance policies in detail. No advance registration is necessary to attend an information session.