Medical Certification Programs

March 30, 2015
Medical Assistant Training

Diploma programs and certificate programs are very similar in that they are of short duration and prepare students with foundational skills and knowledge desired by employers looking to hire in the entry level health care setting. Completion of a diploma or certificate program demonstrates to employers a mastery of the skills and knowledge desired by the employers for a specific position. In some cases the certificate program serves a dual purpose to prepare students for performing in a position as well as to pass a certification exam.

Certificate programs are generally focused in a particular area or specialization. Often times a certificate program is designed for professionals who want to change careers or for those who want to gain additional skill sets that will set them up for a promotion or specialization in their field. A diploma program generally covers a broader scope in a field of study. Depending on the school, diploma program credits may transfer toward an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program if and when the student chooses to return to school to advance their career.

Diploma programs typically require applicants to hold a high schools diploma or its equivalent for admission to programs. Certificate programs often don’t have this requirement. This brings up a very important point to consider regarding higher education. According to the BLS and (a division of the U.S. Department of Education), individuals with a high school diploma earn about $5, 000 to $7, 000 less per year than individuals with a diploma or related credential. A more tangible example of earnings would be that it takes a high school graduate with no higher education about 3 to 4 months to save enough money for a new laptop, but it may only take a college graduate about 1 to 2 months to save for a new laptop. [Find schools offering Health Care related Diploma and Certificate programs]

What jobs are out there for someone who has completed a diploma or certificate program? Some common entry-level careers found after completion of a certificate program include Certified Nursing Assistant or Certified Nurse Aide, X-Ray Technician, Dental Assistant, Medical Assistant, Medical Administrative Assistant, Medical Billing Specialist, Medical Coding Specialist, Patient Care Technician, Home Health Aide, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomy Technician, massage therapy.

One must realize that these days there is no guarantee that any type of education can get you a job. However, any education above the high school/GED credential doesn't’t hurt your chances. A diploma or certificate program and the quick career preparation they offer may be just the answer you’re looking for. Explore careers within the health care pathways for this level of education.


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