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Medical Assistants: Salary and Expectation for 2022 & Beyond

Portrait of woman working as medical assistant at desk

In the United States, there has been a high demand for high-quality medical care with swift job growth in the healthcare sector. Among dozens of careers in healthcare, this can be an opportunity to apply for healthcare jobs, including medical assistants. It takes the right training and certifications for current and future medical assistants to embark on their careers. 

Are you a medical assistant and thinking about how much you can earn in this career? This article is for you. The article is an in-depth, comprehensive guide to help you know everything about medical assistant salaries. 

What Do Medical Assistants Do?

Medical assistants are professionals with multiple skills in the healthcare sector where they have an invaluable and unique role. Medical assistants assume their responsibilities in patient care, such as answering patient inquiries, scheduling appointments, recording medical data, and assisting with some medical procedures.

Most of the time, the duties of a medical assistant involve:

  • Walking patients to treatment or examination rooms
  • Interviewing patients
  • Preparing treatment rooms
  • Make sure the rooms are clean
  • Taking vital signs of patients, such as blood pressure, weight, and temperature
  • Sterilizing medical instruments 
  • Giving medication and applying dressing to patients
  • Performing routine laboratory tests

Employment:

Choosing a career path as a medical assistant is a smart decision with reference to career stability – both financially and professionally. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job for medical assistants is extremely strong, but also it is associated with solid benefits and compensation. 

Also, medical assistants are most likely to become employed in nursing home facilities, private physician’s offices, and clinics. Better yet, you can expect a good salary and countless ways to expand your career. 

How Much Is The Average Salary Of A Medical Assistant?

Medical assistant job ranks sixth among healthcare support jobs and ranks second-best job available for those without a college degree. There are many factors on which medical salaries are based. But the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the average salary for medical assistants was estimated to be $35,850 in 2020. 

How Much Does A Medical Assistant Make Per Hour?

The BLS reported that the estimated salary for medical assistants on an hourly basis was $17.63 in 2020. 

What Is The Most A Medical Assistant Can Make?

The BLS also stated that medical assistants could easily make $50k, with 10% of medical assistants making more salary than $50,580 in 2020. 

Salaries Of Medical Assistants In The United States:

The salary of a medical assistant is much more than just the average numbers or simple national median. But these numbers cannot provide a complete picture. There are many factors that can help you have a deeper understanding of medical assistant salaries. These factors include your experience, geographical location, certification, specialty, and work setting. 

Salaries Of Medical Assistants By State:

The following tables show an overview of medical assistant earnings, both annual and hourly wage, in different states:

State Annual Mean Wage Hourly Mean Wage
Connecticut $35,360  $17.00
Washington State $35,850 $17.24
Alaska $39,680 $19.08
Washington D.C. $39,860 $19.16
Massachusetts $37,640  $18.09 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019

Salary Of A Medical Assistant By Place Of Environment:

In addition to the geographical location of a medical assistant, how much a medical assistant makes is also influenced by their place of the environment (work environment). It has been reported by the BLS that in the United States, more than half of the medical assistants work in the offices of private physicians. However, medical assistants working in outpatient care centers receive the highest compensation work. 

The median annual age of medical assistants working in hospitals (whether private, local, or state) is the same, but those working in physician’s offices make five percent fewer salaries. 

Top Paying Industries For Medical Assistants:

  • Hospitals (private, local, and state): Annual median salary of $36,080
  • Outpatient care centers: Annual median salary of $36,810
  • Offices of chiropractors: Annual median salary of $30,870
  • Offices of physicians: Annual median salary of $34,870
  • Offices of dentists: Annual median salary of $34,570. 

Salary Boosters For Medical Assistants:

As a medical assistant, your salary can be influenced by many factors, such as how many hours you work in a week, the salary negotiating ability of the medical assistant, and the cost of living in a designated geographical location. Some salary boosters for a medical assistant include the following:

  • High demand for medical assistants in geographical areas.
  • Certifications earned by a medical assistant 
  • Amount of applicable experience
  • Specialty care a medical assistant can offer
  • A specific workplace or industry where a medical assistant works. 

Other Benefits A Medical Assistant Can Avail Beyond Salary:

About 94% of medical assistants also avail other benefits in addition to salary. These benefits can be of many types, but the most common benefits include:

  • Paid sick days
  • Retirement plans
  • Paid vacation days
  • Maternity leave
  • Professional liability insurance
  • Health insurance

All these benefits can be valuable even when supplemented with a seemingly low salary. For instance, the health insurance that a medical assistant receives is much cheaper than they buy it through a health insurance exchange. All these benefits come in a medical assistant’s compensation package. 

How You Can Get Started?

If you’ve decided to choose the medical assistant profession as the suitable career path for you, here’s how you can get started:

  • Find a medical assistant program to help you learn more about this career as a professional medical assistant. 
  • Start job hunting to make yourself a highly paid and experienced medical assistant.
  • Get certified to validate your expertise and professionalism. Becoming credentialed makes you a more desirable applicant for the job with higher-paying management positions. 

The Bottom Line:

Choosing a medical assistant career is one of the high-ranked jobs in the healthcare sector. A medical assistant can work in hospitals, physicians’ offices, and outpatient clinics. The article mentioned average salaries for medical assistants based on their geographical location required work and work environment.

References:

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical Assistants, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm 
  2. Nurse.org. Medical Assistant Salary. https://nurse.org/healthcare/medical-assistant-salary/#medical-assistant-resources 

Accredited Schools Online. Medical Assistant Salary Guide. https://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/medical-and-health/medical-assistant/salary/

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