U.S. Career Institute was founded in 1981 in California. Amid name changes, ownership changes and headquarter relocations, the organization has remained solidly committed to providing certification options in a variety of fields for professionals seeking to further their careers and expand their opportunities. U.S. Career Institute offers distance education where course takers can go at their own speed and timing.

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The Good

  • Money-Back Commitment
  • Program Offerings
  • Access to a Career Coach
  • Accreditation
  • Military Discounts

Money-Back Commitment

Programs are reasonably priced and comparable to other distance certification programs. Costs do vary, but generally, certification tuition is between $500 and $1,500. Students have five days after receiving materials to determine if the USCI program in which they enrolled is a right fit. Those who are not satisfied can return their materials within the five days and receive a full refund with no questions asked. After five days, a full-cost refund is not available.

Program Offerings

One advantageous feature about USCI is that it offers both associate's degree- and certification courses.

USCI offers the following associate's degrees:

  • Accounting
  • Business Management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Health Information Technology
  • Human Resources
  • Medical Specialties
  • Social Work

Each associate's degree program is four semesters long and costs $1,989 per semester. These costs include textbooks, supplements, graduate career support, and assistance from instructors. Students who pay in full or via automatic payments will end up saving more money than if they were to mail in payments.

USCI offers online certificates in the fields of healthcare, business, service, legal, wellness, and technology. Students who enroll in these online programs can receive their certificate in as little as four months.

Healthcare career certificates include:

  • Dental Assistant
  • Electronic Medical Records Specialist
  • Healthcare Office Manager
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Billing Specialist
  • Medical Coding Specialist
  • Medical Coding & Billing Specialist
  • Medical Transcriptionist
  • Patient Care Technician
  • Physical Therapy Aide

Business career certificates include:

  • Accounting Services Specialist
  • Bookkeeping Specialist
  • Computer Essentials
  • Insurance Claims Adjuster
  • Office Administrator

Service career certificates include:

  • Child Day Care Specialist
  • Home Inspector
  • Personal Care Assistant
  • Veterinary Assistant
  • Wedding Consultant/Event Planner

Legal career certificates include:

  • Criminal Justice Specialist
  • Paralegal

Wellness career certificates include:

  • Certified Personal Fitness Trainer
  • Massage Therapist

Technology career certificates include:

  • CompTIA Network+ 

Access to a Career Coach

Students who complete a certificate course have up to two years to receive one-on-one access to a career coach specialist. In order to receive access, students must have graduated from USCI and be current in their payments. The career coach program teaches graduates how to prepare for the job search, showcase their skills on paper and in-person, as well as personalize their introductions to employers.

Accreditation

To certify its legitimacy, USCI is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. It also partners with numerous professional organizations and educational fields.

Military Discounts

U.S. Career Institute offers a 25% tuition discount to all active-duty military and their spouses. This discount also extends to retired and honorably discharged veterans and their spouses as well. The 25% tuition discount extends to any certificate or associate's degree program.

The Bad

  • No Financial Aid
  • Credits are Non-Transferable
  • Hard Copy Books Cost Extra

No Financial Aid

U.S. Career Institute does not offer financial aid due to the low cost of tuition. In order to be more affordable to students, USCI offers a monthly payment plan and does not require students to pay tuition in full upon enrolling.

Credits are Non-Transferable

USCI credits for courses will not carry over into programs at different institutions unless there is a written agreement in place. Students should take the courses with the mindset that they are learning new information and gaining valuable skills, not necessarily with the intent that they are going to further their college ambitions. Likewise, USCI does not accept transfer credit from other institutions.

Hard Copy Books Cost Extra

Tuition typically includes online textbooks, supplements, graduate career support, and assistance from instructors. However, students who prefer to study hard copy books may be charged up to $30 more than tuition costs.

The Bottom Line

U.S. Career Institute offers an impressive number of well-put-together courses that can benefit most students and employees. Program offerings are competitively priced, and if a student's employer desires a certification or a certain skill development, USCI courses fulfill this beautifully. However, students who choose to pursue an associate's degree should be aware that credits are non-transferable and financial aid is not available.

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Michelle

March 13th, 2020 Mariposa, CA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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My high school counselor and older sister, who started her career as a medical coder, helped me research an accredited program for getting my certification. We chose this school for several reasons that was beneficial for me. When I saw some reviews on here, I was surprised and had to write one. USCI is absolutely accredited for all of the mb&c certs and teaches us the accurate process for HCPCS Level II, ICD-10-CM, and CPT. Maybe it depends on your state, but most employers will want this level of education and if you didn't get hired it was most likely they had a better candidate. Sorry, it happened to me too but now I have a great gig thanks to this program.

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Maryann Renteria (Mckrae)

March 4th, 2020 Riverton, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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They have a certified medical assistant program that’s great. It’s quick and easy and it works out well while I’m trying to work full time.

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Gretchen

November 23rd, 2017 Oregon City, OR DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I took the Medical Coding and Billing Course offered through the U.S. Career Institute. Afterwards, as I was applying for jobs, I became aware that their accreditations are not the ones employers are looking for. Any Coding or Billing course through any institution that is not AAPC or AHIMA accredited is useless and will not help you get a job. The U.S. Career Institute has neither of these accreditations. Google search for online programs that are AAPC or AHIMA accredited, there are inexpensive online options with the appropriate credentials in a similar price range.

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