Medical Assistant Salary Information (2018 Update)

If you’re considering a new career in medical assisting, you will have a desire to help patients receive the best care and to make sure their visit to a hospital or physicians’ office goes smoothly. But as well as job satisfaction, you will be hoping to earn a good gross income.

How Much Does a Medical Assistant Make?

Medical assistant salaries are very good, especially given that the length of the training requirements is comparatively short. The average salary for a medical assistant varies from state to state. For instance, according to figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly pay for a medical assistant in California is $34,790, compared to $28,550 in Texas and $33,540 in New York. The mean annual wage for medical assistants nationwide is $31,220, or $15.01 an hour.

What is a Medical Assistant’s Starting Salary?

On completion of a medical assisting degree, certificate or diploma program, an entry level job can be expected to pay around $30,000 annually. There are other benefits to a career in medical assisting too, such as healthcare insurance, a pension plan, paid time off and social security benefits. The relatively short time spent on getting an education through an accredited online or campus-based medical assistant program will not be wasted, as the prospects of finding a decent job after graduation are good. Nationally, there is a growing demand for medical assistants, which should have a positive impact on wages. In fact, the number of medical assistant positions throughout the country is predicted to increase by 31% in a decade between 2010 and 2020.

Are Medical Assistants Paid a Salary or an Hourly Wage?

According to the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), approximately 5% of medical assistants are paid a salary. The majority receive hourly wages. The amount you will be paid per hour will depend on your job description, how much practical experience you have, as well as whether you are credentialed.  When you first start out as a newly qualified medical assistant, you can expect an entry level hourly wage in the region of $13. With more years of experience, the hourly rate for a medical assistant can rise to more than $17. Certified medical assistant salary ranges will generally be higher, although wages do vary depending on which state you work in and between different areas within each state.

How Can I Earn More Money as a Medical Assistant?

If you are looking to get one of the best paid medical assisting jobs, you should consider taking your certification exam. Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs) are recognized by the AAMA as being capable of providing the highest standards of care. Hospitals and other healthcare employers prefer to pay more to get the best CMAs, as certification ensures they have achieved the highest level of qualification in their profession. RMAs similarly have an advantage, with a typical registered medical assistant salary being higher than the pay for those who are unregistered or not certified. More and more medical facilities are looking for certified or registered medical assistants, so taking the exam to gain this extra qualification can be a wise career move.

The first step to a new career in medical assisting is to enroll on an online or school-based medical assistant program and begin your training. When choosing an medical assistant degree, diploma or certificate program, it is essential to select one that is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If you complete a program from an unaccredited school, you will not eligible to sit for the AAMA certification exam, so will in effect be restricting your future career prospects.

What is the Future Outlook for Medical Assisting?

The aging population in this country means pressure on healthcare services, which creates a growing need for skilled medical assistants. This increased demand is likely to result in more medical assisting positions and higher salaries in the future. If you’re looking for job security and a rewarding career, now is a great time to get your training through an online program, which will give you the freedom to study in your own time.