It is no unknown fact that healthcare is a booming industry worldwide, especially in the United States, where the rate of the baby boomer population would increase expediently by the year 2020 according to census data. As all of them would be 65 or older by 2030, they would require primary healthcare givers, who would fall back upon allied health professionals to match the demand and work the hectic hours.
The increase in popularity and prominence of the profession of medical assistants in the United States also comes from the fact that their salaries are better than other average disciplines. The mean hourly wage of medical administrative assistants in the US, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $18.75, and the annual salary is $39,000. The stability and reliability this job offers in terms of wages and a good standard of living are imperative to why more and more individuals are opting for this profession.
|Percentile||Hourly Pay||Annual Pay|
Source: BLS (as of May 2020)
The median percentile has a $17.59 hourly salary with a $36,580 annual salary. The 90 percentile witnesses a progressive rise to $25.59 hourly wage and $53,230 yearly wage.
|Resource||Hourly Salary||Annual Salary||Date Updated|
|Indeed.com||$15.96||$34,626||May 4, 2021|
|Glassdoor||–||$37,747||May 3, 2021|
|Salary.com||$20||$41,400||July 27, 2020|
Medical administrative assistants receive good hourly salaries, ranging from $15.42, as Payscale reports, to $20. Besides, compared to other healthcare and allied healthcare professions, the number of years you need to invest, and the amount of tuition fees you need to pay for college is way lesser for a medical administrative assistant.
All states pay differently to their medical assistants. As all national medical assistant certifications let you practice your profession in any state throughout the length and breadth of the country, many medical assistants base their job location on the premise of the states that pay considerably higher than the rest. Taking into consideration hourly and annual salaries, along with demand, might be a good idea to shape your career. The table below provides a detailed overview of the hourly and annual salaries of every state:
|State||Indeed.com Yearly (as of Aug 31, 2020)||Indeed.com Hourly (as of Aug 31, 2020)||Salary.com Yearly (as of Aug 27, 2020)||Salary.com Hourly (as of Aug 27, 2020)|
|District of Columbia||$44,836||$20.66||$46,100||$22|
As per the data from indeed.com, the top three states that pay the highest annual salaries to their medical assistants are South Dakota with $49,972, Utah with $47,955, and District of Columbia with $44,836. The three lowest paying states include New Mexico with $28,736, Louisiana with $29,801, and Ohio with $30,064.
According to the data from salary.com, the three states that pay the highest to its medical assistants include Alaska with $46,400, California with $46,300, and District of Columbia with 46,100. The three states with the lowest annual salaries of medical assistants are South Dakota with $35,500, Mississipi with $36,000, and West Virginia with $36,700.
Different states pay their medical assistants differently. Here is a direct overview of the states that pay the highest hourly and annual mean wages to their medical administrative assistants:
|State||Yearly Salary (Mean)||Hourly Salary (Mean)|
|District of Columbia||$46,020||$22.12|
Source: BLS (as of May 2019)
The District of Columbia pays the highest to its medical assistants, the hourly salary being $22.12 and the annual salary being $46,020. Washington and Hawaii with $20.81 and $20.79, respectively, are the last two of the top 5 best-paying states, and these states witness a massive influx of medical assistant applications. The competition in these states, for the rates, is considerably higher than the other states. If you’re looking for states that pay well and have a better standard of living with all amenities close by, you should opt for these alternatives.
Not only do states pay their medical assistants differently, but also considerable difference can be seen in the salaries of medical administrative assistants from different metropolitan areas. Your priority as an experienced and certified medical assistant should be procuring jobs in the highest paying regions. Here is an overview of the top 10 metropolitan areas that pay their medical assistants the highest:
|Metropolitan Area||Mean Annual Salary||Mean Hourly Salary|
|San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA||$49,140||$23.62|
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||$44,350||$21.32|
|Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA||$43,220||$20.78|
|Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX||$35,830||$17.23|
|Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||$36,680||$17.63|
|Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA||$38,290||$18.41|
Source: BLS (as of May 2019)
As the table depicts, San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA pays its MAs the highest among metropolitan areas. Medical assistants procure an annual salary of $49,140, which is significantly higher than other places. Medical assistants in Boston-Cambridge-Nashua-MA-NH receive $45,370, and ones in New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA receive $44,350 as their annual salaries. These are the top 3 metropolitan areas, which a certified medical assistant must opt for a job location if given a preference.
|New York, NY||$19.70|
Source: indeed.com (as of Aug 31, 2020)
Medical assistants in New York, NY receive the highest hourly salary of $19.76, followed by Boston, MA with a $19.36 and Washington, DC with a $17.65 hourly wage.
The compensation you receive from your place of employment depends on several factors that pertain to you, your skills, and the experience you possess. Medical assistants with relevant experience can draw out around 13% more hourly salaries than the rest. Experience, of course, adds an edge to your resume and ensures you get the best rates. An overview at medical assistant salary by years of experience is given below:
|Years of Experience||Hourly Salary|
As the table presents, individuals with no experience or experience less than a year get $19, after which the hourly salary increases steadily. Though the rise is not much, having more experience increases the real chances of you procuring a job, rather than entry-level medical assistants with experience less than a year. The salary of medical administrative assistant gets stabilized over the years, at $21, and you can utilize the number of years you have to advance your career and step in to become a lead medical assistant manager, medical officer, or a healthcare administrator, which pay considerably better and provide more scope, career-wise.
The average base salary of medical assistants is $15.41 per hour, according to indeed.com. However, being in possession of some critical skills and specializations ensures higher wages than the normal. The table below depicts the hike in average base salary you receive if you have some skills:
For medical assistants who are well-versed in EMR systems are supposed to procure around 9.98% higher rates of salary. For ones with Microsoft Office skills, they are supposed to receive 9.99% higher rates of pay. If you have relevant and meaningful office experience, you have the chance to draw out a 13.98% higher salary. Moreover, having specializations like one in Nuclear Science can get you a salary hike up to 9%.
An overview of BLS data confirms that the job of a medical assistant is quite profitable, considering the times. The employment of medical assistants (clinical as well as administrative) is expected to grow a staggering 19% from 2019 to 2029, which is a growth rate significantly faster than all other similar occupations. As the age of the baby-boom population rises, especially in states like California and Texas, the demand for MAs would go up.
More and more physicians would recruit assistants to take care of administrative and clinical needs to supplement the demand. A region-specific overview of future projections, keeping in mind top states, metropolitan areas, and highest paying companies, has been provided below:
We’ve already had a look at the different monetary compensations, both hourly and annual, provided by various states. States also differ when it comes to the employment rate. Some states recruit more medical assistants than others, and opting for these states solidifies your chances of procuring a good job, even amidst competition. Here’s a look at the states that have the highest employment in the US:
Source: BLS (as of May 2019)
California tops the list with great employment of 95,120 annually, followed closely by Texas with an overwhelming 82,490. The state of Texas has the highest aging population, who require primary care, and the reason substantiates for the high recruitment prevalent there. Florida, Ohio, and Michigan are quite far behind in their employment when viewed in sole comparison to the two leading states of California and Texas.
The pay scale of medical assistants is not fixed. It is a variable that depends on several factors like years of relevant experience, job location, and, most importantly, the company that you’re working with. Not all companies pay the same. This table provides an overview of the best pay-outs provided by the top companies:
|US Air Force||$23.47|
|Department of Veterans Affairs||$22.90|
|Palmetto School of Career Development||$20.00|
|Rush University Medical Center||$19.08|
Source: indeed.com (as of Aug 31, 2020)
As can be estimated, the US Air Force is the top paying contender, who pays their MAs $23.47 per hour, closely followed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, who pay $22.90 per hour. These salaries are considerably higher than the average hourly wage of a medical assistant, and there are numerous other companies you can opt for, who are reputed to pay well and provide additional employee benefits.
If you love what you do and spend time and effort in honing the critical skills you possess, you should make a go for the best paying contenders in the market. A good company needs a good employee to run, and they don’t mind paying competent medical assistants a reasonable sum that ensures their job loyalty, dedication, and commitment.
The profession of medical assistants is quite fruitful. The data at careeronestop.org reveals that the projected annual job openings are 82,400 between the years 2018 to 2028. From 601,700 in 2018, it is expected to rise to 698,100 in 2028, revealing a 16% increase. State-wise specifics are different, and portrayed below are the top 10 states with their highest annual projected job openings:
|State||Projected Annual Job Openings|
Most individuals flock towards this profession of medical assistants because not only is the salary satisfactory, but also there are numerous other benefits they get. They work on a flexible schedule, can get military leave, employee discounts, and dental insurance, along with paid time off. There are employee assistance programs and life insurance facility for medical assistants. For insurance, they also get vision insurance, disability insurance, and health insurance. A detailed overview of the benefits a medical administrative assistant receives, besides salary and annual bonus, is provided in the table below:
|Benefit||Median||% of Total|
Source: salary.com (as of Aug 27, 2020)
The benefits you procure often depend upon the job location and the number of years of experience you bring to the table. But besides base salary at the median percentile valued at $41,400 and an annual bonus of $100, an average medical administrative assistant is supposed to receive these benefits that ensure job stability, flexibility, and a good life.
Comparisons in the modern world of figures and facts are not odious. Comparing your profession of choice with other similar occupations can provide clarity and certainty that the decision you’re making is, after all, the best suited for your present as well as the future. If you’re wondering what the other financially rewarding yet similar occupations are, a look at the table will help:
|Medical Office Assistant||$14.68|
|Front Desk Agent||$12.26|
Source: indeed.com (as of Aug 31, 2020)
As can be observed from the table above, the salaries of a medical assistant, medical office assistant, and medical receptionist all fall within the same hourly salary bracket. Though the hourly wage for medical assistants is higher than the rest by a small margin, it can make a big difference when it comes to evaluating annual salaries. Often, other than similar occupations, salaries are based on many different factors like job experience, job location, salary policies of the healthcare facility, and skills one possesses.
As the table reveals, a patient coordinator draws out a higher hourly salary than that of a medical assistant. But a general overview implies that the job of a medical assistant is a financially rewarding one that has the potential to uplift your career and steer it in the right course so that you can have a fruitful future. Most individuals opt for the occupation of medical administrative assistants, as the effort, time, and money invested in pursuing a course or national certification is comparatively lesser than other professions.
With the demand scourging in most states and job openings being on the rise, the domain of a medical administrative assistant is a smart choice for the wise!
It is recommended that medical administrative assistants procure formal training and become a certified medical administrative assistant with national certification provided by AAMA or AMT. The benefits of receiving proper training and national certification are that it advances the scope for your career options in the future. If you want to climb the ladder of professional success, draw out more salary, and get in a better position in life, it might be worth opting for an associate degree in medical assisting. After joining as an entry-level medical administrative assistant, you can rise to different positions, which include but are not limited to:
Clinical Medical Assistant Team Leader: It involves providing managerial, clinical, and administrative leadership to the team of allied healthcare professionals employed, and overlooking the day-to-day operations of the clinic in question. From allocating duties to the team to monitoring operations and ensuring that tasks are completed efficiently and effectively, a clinical medical assistant team leader provides it all.
Lead Medical Assistant: A lead medical assistant, or a supervisor, is required to perform all jobs of a medical assistant as well as the resource person for all non-licensed staff. In other words, he/she operates as the liaison between the management and the medical staff. Besides providing patient care, they head the operations and all other work related to reception, registration, creating and maintaining appointment schedules, maintaining surgery schedules, and procuring the right referrals and authorizations.
Healthcare Administrator: As the term is self-explanatory, the job of a healthcare administrator is to administer and manage entire healthcare systems. They work in close association with other healthcare professionals to ensure effective patient care. They are required to do healthcare planning, and implementation of rules and regulations, besides acting as a supervisor to lead medical assistants. They have to oversee several facilities simultaneously and take care of all issues regarding staff scheduling, recruitment, and salary dispatch and patient billing while maintaining a flow of health supplies.
Executive Medical Office Secretary: An executive medical office secretary manages the roles of an office administrator, a personal assistant, and a receptionist, all at once. They schedule patient consultations, physicians’ schedules, deal with administrative queries, handle medical equipment supplies, sort out patient billing, and overlook the quotidian functioning of the office.
Medical Records Manager: The job role includes managing all medical records within a healthcare facility. Besides handling subordinate staff and overlooking their daily activities, a medical records manager ensures all management practices and processes comply with JCAHO, wherever applicable, and other policies and regulations. They are responsible for adhering to budgets and ensuring project goals are met.
Medical Assistant Instructor: Medical assistant instructors take lessons and teach classes for medical assisting programs in the school. This job role is suited to individuals who have a flair for teaching. From developing curriculum and grading and training students for practical experience to answering queries, a medical assistant instructor is responsible for ensuring medical assistant aspirants are competent and efficient.
Medical administrative assistants can also get specialized in their fields by gaining specialization in medical billing and coding from The Board of Medical Specialty Coding (BMSC) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). Other areas you can transfer to include Registered Nurse, Physical Therapy Assistants, Phlebotomist, Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, Paramedic, and Patient Care Technician from a myriad of options. You can get additional degrees or training to receive a specialization in the field, and once equipped with hands-on experience, you’ll be in a better position to demand a higher salary package.