Medical Assistant Salary

Medical Assistant’s Salary Information

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Medical Assistant Salary

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Medical assistants are responsible for many of the tasks that keep the offices of physicians and other health professionals running smoothly. Their duties vary greatly depending on the type of medical facility they work in, what kind of doctor they work for, and how large the practice is. Some will work primarily with patients in clinical practice, while others will mainly handle administrative aspects of the medical practice. Most will handle a combination of the two.

The Skinny on Salaries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants earn a mean annual wage of $30,170, or $14.51 per hour. Of course, wages vary from one geographic area to the next and even from one doctor’s office to the next. In fact, the range is quite significant with the lowest percentile earning a mere $20,000 annually, while the top 10 percent of medical assistants earn over $40,000 a year.

Medical assistants are enjoying ever increasing job opportunities, as private clinics, doctors’ offices and medical facilities are taking on more and more support workers to meet the increased demand. Practices are expanding, and physicians are hiring more assistants to handle the routine clinical and administrative tasks. All of these factors are causing employment of medical assistants to grow much faster than the average for nearly all other occupations. In fact, employment in the field is expected to grow by 31 percent by the year 2020.

Determining Factors

As mentioned, the duties of a medical assistant can vary greatly, ranging from simple administrative tasks like scheduling appointments to more demanding clinical tasks like running lab tests. The more experience or education a medical assistant has, the more demanding their duties are likely to be. As a medical assistant takes on higher level duties, their pay will typically go up as well.

Training alone can be a major factor in determining a medical assistant’s starting pay grade. A medical assistant may find entry-level employment with little more than a high school diploma and a basic training certificate; however, their salary will typically reflect that low level of training.

An entry level medical assistant can expect to make between $18,000 to $20,000 a year until they’ve gained more education or experience. Thus, most medical assistants do opt for a higher level of training. Putting in the time for a better degree in the field can reflect noticeably on their salary, potentially bringing it up as high as $30,000 annually.

Of course, experience is often the best teacher, and employers are often looking for assistants who know the job and can perform well with minimal additional training. A medical assistant with over 10 years of experience can often make over $30,000 a year, while those with 20 years of experience may earn as much as $40,000 annually.

Finally, specialization is often a key to a higher salary. A general medical assistant’s salary may level out around $29,000; however, a medical assistant who specializes in physical therapy might earn as much as $60,000. Specialization generally requires more education, but with it comes the potential for greater opportunities and much better compensation.

Industry Breakdown

Typically, the more specialized offices will pay more – as mentioned above. Along the same lines, many private practices will pay more than general clinics or hospitals. Of course, the size of the clinic or hospital does make a difference as well. The difference overall is fairly minimal however, as you can see in the breakdown below.

INDUSTRY

AVERAGE HOURLY

AVERAGE ANNUAL

Offices of Physicians

$14.63

$30,420

General Medical and Surgical Hospitals

$14.91

$31,010

Offices of Other Health Practitioners

$12.97

$26,970

Outpatient Care Centers

$15.24

$31,710

Colleges, Universities and Professional Schools

$16.02

$33,330

Other Ambulatory Health Care Services

$14.16

$29,450

Geographic Breakdown

Finally, one of the most significant differences in medical assistants’ salaries can be seen in comparing one state to the next. West Virginia, for example, offers an annual average salary of $23,580 (or $11.34 hourly). On the other end of the spectrum, medical assistants in Alaska make a tidy average of $39,200 annually (or $18.84 hourly).

The difference is often even more notable when you compare metropolitan areas to the more rural settings. Larger cities typically have a much greater demand, thus, medical assistants are paid at a higher rate.

STATE

AVERAGE HOURLY

AVERAGE ANNUAL

Alabama

$12.05

$25,060

Alaska

$18.84

$39,200

Arizona

$15.06

$31,330

Arkansas

$12.49

$25,980

California

$15.53

$32,300

Colorado

$15.70

$32,650

Connecticut

$16.23

$33,750

Delaware

$14.38

$29,910

District of Colombia

$17.79

$37,010

Florida

$13.80

$28,710

Georgia

$13.99

$29,100

Hawaii

$16.60

$34,530

Idaho

$14.08

$29,290

Illinois

$15.11

$31,440

Indiana

$13.60

$28,290

Iowa

$14.16

$29,450

Kansas

$13.01

$27,050

Kentucky

$12.81

$26,640

Louisiana

$12.73

$26,470

Maine

$14.62

$30,400

Maryland

$15.61

$32,460

Massachusetts

$17.36

$36,100

Michigan

$13.44

$27,950

Minnesota

$15.88

$33,020

Mississippi

$12.81

$26,650

Missouri

$13.02

$27,080

Montana

$14.01

$29,140

Nebraska

$13.73

$28,550

Nevada

$14.86

$30,910

New Hampshire

$15.10

$31,400

New Jersey

$15.48

$32,190

New Mexico

$13.34

$27,740

New York

$15.85

$32,970

North Carolina

$13.93

$28,970

North Dakota

$13.41

$27,900

Ohio

$13.27

$27,600

Oklahoma

$12.52

$26,030

Oregon

$15.78

$32,820

Pennsylvania

$14.45

$30,060

Rhode Island

$15.57

$32,390

South Carolina

$14.11

$29,340

South Dakota

$12.53

$26,060

Tennessee

$13.41

$27,900

Texas

$13.38

$27,830

Utah

$13.30

$27,670

Vermont

$15.75

$32,400

Virginia

$14.63

$30,430

Washington

$16.57

$34,470

West Virginia

$11.34

$23,580

Wisconsin

$14.81

$30,800

Wyoming

$14.16

$29,460

 Related Resources:

Bureau of Labor Statistics

US News Medical Assistant Salary