How Much Do Medical Assistants Get Paid An Hour?

How much does a Medical Assistant make hourly in the United States? The average hourly pay for a Medical Assistant in the United States is $20.28. The hourly rate can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession

In this article, we’ll talk about the highest paying states in the U.S., factors that affect your pay as a medical assistant, and how to increase your salary in the profession.

Who Is A Medical Assistant?

Medical assistants are caregivers who work in clinics or medical offices to assist doctors and other healthcare professionals. They help with administrative and clinical tasks like collecting a patient’s medical history and personal information, organizing appointments, answering the phone, and even checking vitals.

How Much Do Medical Assistants Make Hourly?

According to indeed.com, the average base hourly salary of medical assistants is $20.28. The hourly rate can vary based on a number of important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, and the number of years you have spent in your profession.

The national mean wage for medical assistants is currently $34,540, which is much less than the $51,960 average salary for all occupations in the United States. Medical assistant salaries, however, vary based on where you work, so discover which states pay the most and which pay the least.

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Are There Factors That Affect The Salary Of Medical Assistants?

Medical assistant salaries can vary widely depending on specialization, region, years of experience, education, and a variety of other criteria. For instance, administrative medical assistants’ duties will differ from clinical medical assistants, while there may be some overlap of roles. 

A full-time medical assistant may be eligible for benefits such as health insurance, vacation, holiday pay, sick time, and a 401(k) plan. According to the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), nearly all full-time medical assistants receive benefits from their employers.

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Highest Paying States For Medical Assistants

While job duties are usually the same no matter where you live, some states offer higher salaries and employ more medical assistants than others.

Medical assistants in Alaska make the maximum money, with an average earning of $45,490 per year. 

Here’s a list of the top ten states with the highest average wages for medical assistants:

RankStateAverage Annual Salary
1.Alaska$45,490
2.Washington $41,340
3.Minnesota $40,320
4.Massachusetts $40,270
5.Connecticut $38,350
6.Oregon$38,260
7.California $38,250
8.Hawaii$38,040
9.Vermont $37,740
10.New York$37,560

Highest Paying Cities For Medical Assistants In The US

Urban areas have a well-earned reputation for paying higher incomes than rural areas. This is often a result of higher demand and greater competition for experienced professionals, as well as a higher cost of living.  

Here’s a list of the five cities that pay the highest salaries to Medical Assistants according to the BLS and where each ranks in terms of their cost of living compared to the rest of the country.

  • Vallejo, California – $46,170 (cost of living is 31.3% higher than the U.S. average)
  • San Francisco, California – $45,640 (cost of living is 169.3% higher than the U.S. average)
  • Anchorage, Alaska – $45,110 (cost of living is 23.5% higher than the U.S. average)
  • Seattle, Washington – $44,410 (cost of living is 72.3% higher than the U.S. average)
  • Barnstable Town, Massachusetts – $44,300 (cost of living is 21.5% higher than the U.S. average)

How Many Hours Does A Medical Assistant Work?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States, the majority of medical assistants work full-time. Certified medical assistants can work evenings, weekends, and holidays because certain medical institutions are open 24 hours a day. 

When deciding on work hours and schedules, the work environment is an important factor to consider. The majority of medical assistants work in physician offices, where they are expected to work conventional clinical hours. 

Job Outlook For Medical Assistants 

Medical assistant employment is expected to expand by up to 18 percent between 2020 and 2030, more than four times the average rate for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

The demand for medical assistants and other types of healthcare workers is predicted to rise as the baby-boom population grows, increasing the need for medical assistants and other types of healthcare employees.

Can I Grow My Salary As A Medical Assistant?

If you feel your medical assistant salary is too low, there are several options available to you. 

In most positions, your pay is determined by your abilities, training, and education. When you work as a medical assistant, this is no different.

Here are a few ways to increase your earnings as a medical assistant:

1. Obtain certifications

While some businesses will provide on-the-job training to individuals with a high school diploma, candidates who want to earn a higher income will not only enroll in one of the numerous high-quality training programs available but will also choose one that includes professional certification. 

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Certification will not only authenticate your professionalism and knowledge, but it will also make you a more desirable job applicant and lead to a higher income.

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2. Gain relevant work experience 

The longer you work in the field, the higher your value and income will be. 

Medical Assistants with ten or more years of experience can earn up to 20% more than those who are new to the industry, and they may be eligible for higher-paying management roles when they become available.

3. Obtain specialization 

Another way to increase your salary is by specializing. Having broad experience is beneficial, yet specializing allows you to expand your job horizons. Furthermore, if you have the particular experience that companies need, you will be more competitive and on the path to higher pay. Specialization is available in OB-GYN, ophthalmology, podiatry, and a variety of other specialties.

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How To Become A Medical Assistant 

To become a medical assistant you either need on-the-job training or a medical assistant training course. Although many states do not require a medical assistant to be certified, it will be advantageous to have training when looking for positions. 

A qualified medical assistant is well-organized and has excellent communication skills, particularly exceptional listening skills for understanding and correctly recording patient information. 

Medical assistants must be well-versed in medical language, procedures, and anatomy. Additionally, medical assistants need a good working knowledge of medical terminology, basic procedures, and anatomy. 

To become a medical assistant, you need to do the following:

1. Obtain a high school diploma or GED

The completion of high school or the earning of a GED is perhaps the most essential step in this process. Students should concentrate on science and math courses that will help them prepare for a future as a CMA, such as biology, chemistry, physics, statistics, algebra, and related electives, at this time. 

Volunteering at a local clinic or physician’s office may also be beneficial because it improves a student’s candidacy for postsecondary school programs and exposes them to the rigors of working in a healthcare setting.

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2. Complete a required medical assistant program

While there are no official educational requirements for medical assistants, the American Association for Medical Assistants (AAMA) demands that these healthcare professionals finish an authorized postsecondary degree before applying for licensure. 

Only graduates of medical assisting programs approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) are eligible to sit for the CMA (AAMA) certification examination, according to the AAMA.

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3. Pass the CCNA Exam

The individual must next pass the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination or the equivalent through one of the aforementioned organizations after finishing an accredited medical assisting program. 

A completed application and a fee of $125 are required of aspiring CMAs. In addition, most CAAHEP or ABHES-accredited programs transmit official transcripts to the AAMA to validate the student’s eligibility for the certification exam.

Candidates have three chances to pass the exam, which consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. Within three weeks of taking the exam, CMA applicants receive an official copy of their results, and six weeks later, the official CMA (AAMA) certificate arrives, officially recognizing their status as a CMA. To

What Are The Job Duties Of A Medical Assistant?

Under the supervision of a physician, medical assistants (MA – CMA if certified) undertake administrative and clinical tasks. Clinical medical assistants and medical administrative assistants are the two most common categories of medical assistants.

Medical assistants are multi-skilled professionals who work in the healthcare industry. They may administer medications, assist with minor medical procedures, take vital signs, prepare patient rooms for examinations, and even handle laboratory specimens. 

A medical assistant’s tasks are not only many but also varied, and you can develop a skill set that will be useful in a variety of settings, including clinics, physicians’ offices, hospitals, outpatient facilities, and even specialists’ offices across the country. Even better, aspiring medical assistants may expect competitive compensation as well as several opportunities to further their careers both financially and professionally.

FAQs On Medical Assistant

What Is the Average Medical Assistant Salary?

In 2020, the average annual medical assistant salary was $35,850.

How Many Hours Does a Medical Assistant Work?

According to recent figures from the U.S. BLS, the majority of medical assistants work full-time.

How long does it take to become a medical assistant?

Although the time can vary, it typically takes nine months to two years for most aspiring medical assistants.

Can a medical assistant treat or diagnose a patient?

No, medical assistants don’t treat or diagnose patients. They only educate patients about a diagnosis a doctor has given, or perform a prescribed treatment.

Conclusion

Medical assistant jobs are expected to grow 18 percent between 2020 and 2030, much faster than the national average.

Over the next ten years, an average of 104,400 openings for medical assistants are expected. Many of those openings are expected to arise as a result of the need to replace workers who change occupations or leave the workforce for other reasons, such as retirement.

References

  • herzing.com – How Much Does an MA Make? Average Medical Assistant Salary
  • indeed.com – Medical Assistant salary in United States
  • salary.com – Hourly Wage for Medical Assistant Salary in the United States
  • bls.gov – Medical Assistants
  • nurse.org – 3 Steps To Becoming A Medical Assistant

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