As this profession is highly in demand, it’s definitely going to impact the medical assistant pay rate positively in the years to come. In this article, you will explore factors that affect average pay for medical assistants, what perks and benefits they get in addition to salary, and what is the job outlook for these professionals. Read on!

Resource Hourly Salary Annual Salary Date Updated
BLS $18.36 $38,190 May-21
Indeed $16.04 $36,612 17 Aug 2022
Glassdoor -- $37,270 17 Aug 2022
Salary.com $18 $38,125 22 Aug 2022
PayScale $16.21 $36,450 15 Aug 2022
ZipRecruiter $16 $33,569 18, Aug 2022
American Association of Medical Assistants $19.02 $35,659 2021

The above table depicts the medical assistant hourly pay and annual salaries according to various sources.

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Top Paying Industries for Medical Assistant Professionals

Among various industries, including personal care services, offices of dentists, scientific research and development services, etc., the top-paying industries for medical assistant professionals were junior colleges, computer systems design, recreation, insurance, and medical industry.

Employer Hourly Wage Annual Salary
Junior Colleges $23.42 $48,720
Computer Systems Design and Related Services $19.95 $41,490
Other Amusement and Recreation Industries $19.09 $39,710
Insurance Carriers $21.11 $43,910
Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories $18.36 $38,190

Source: BLS (as of May 2021)

Medical Assistant Salary Variations based on Certifications

Certified medical assistants are paid more than non-certified medical assistants. Further, the salary depends on the level of education, i.e., associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or other higher degree.

Medical Assistant Salary Variations based on Certifications
Level of Education Annual Salary
Technical Certificate or High School Diploma $36,010 - $37,705
Associate’s Degree $36,302 - $38,103
Bachelor’s Degree $36,804 - $38,520
Master’s Degree $37,301 - $38,908
JD, MD, PhD or Equivalent $37,980 - $39,501

Source: salary.com (as of July 28, 2022)

As it is visible in the above table, medical assistants with JD, MD, Ph.D., or equivalent degree earned the highest salary package, i.e., between $38,837 and $37.189.

Certified Medical Assistant Salaries by State

State Indeed.com (Hourly Salary) Indeed.com (Annual Salary) Salary.com (Hourly Salary) Salary.com (Annual Salary)
Alaska $20.91 48,342 $21.00 42,840
Rhode Island $18.72 43,290 $19.00 40,290
Washington $22.58 52,201 $20.00 40,698
Minnesota $22.50 52,010 $19.00 39,012
Massachusetts $22.40 51,701 $20.00 41,502
California $20.71 47,840 $20.00 42,601
Oregon $21.70 50,185 $18.00 37,980
Connecticut $19.94 46,205 $20.00 41,305
New Jersey $18.75 43,110 $20.00 42,208
Washington DC $21.10 48,701 $20.00 42,520
Rhode Island $19.96 46,475 $19.00 39,659
North Dakota $21.98 50,970 $17.00 35,820
New York $19.78 45,840 $20.00 41,012
Maine $21.91 50,590 $17.00 36,840
Wisconsin $19.44 44,720 $18.00 37,610
Colorado $20.02 45,503 $18.00 38,204
Illinois $19.22 44,420 $19.00 39,240
Maryland $18.32 42,010 $19.00 39,405
Hawaii $20.90 48,120 $20.00 40,105
New Hampshire $23.10 53,450 $19.00 38,804
Vermont $22.08 49,214 $18.00 37,812
Pennsylvania $19.70 42.920 $18.00 38,205
Iowa $21.15 48,817 $18.00 36,502
Virginia $18.02 41,705 $18.00 37,905
Arizona $18.25 42,304 $18.00 37,701
Nevada $17.20 38,209 $17.00 36,013
Delaware $17.60 40,618 $18.00 40,122
Montana $20.35 46,980 $17.00 34,608
Indiana $18.93 43,298 $18.00 37,762
Nebraska $19.03 44,302 $17.00 35,008
Georgia $17.09 38,963 $18.00 36,801
Michigan $17.32 39,906 $18.00 38,198
Ohio $17.26 39,212 $18.00 36,739
Texas $16.70 37,850 $18.00 36,949
South Dakota $25.92 59,860 $16.00 32,852
Utah $17.15 39,470 $17.00 36,295
Wyoming $18.15 41,903 $16.00 33,998
Idaho $18.25 41,990 $17.00 36,013
North Carolina $17.34 39,980 $17.00 36,569
Florida $16.72 38,240 $17.00 36,420
South Carolina $17.02 38,905 $17.00 35,802
New Mexico $18.10 41,715 $17.00 34,940
Kentucky $16.01 37,132 $17.00 35,890
Kansas $17.56 40,102 $17.00 36,240
Tennessee $16.10 36,918 $16.00 34,704
Arkansas $15.87 34,904 $16.00 34,702
Oklahoma $16.56 37,780 $17.00 35,960
Louisiana $14.40 33,450 $17.00 36,547
Missouri $15.80 35,420 $17.00 36,487
Alabama $14.92 33,875 $17.00 36,520
West Virginia $14.58 33,815 $16.00 33,840
Mississippi $15.22 34,902 $16.00 33,436

Source: indeed.com (as of August 20, 2022) & salary.com (as of July 27, 2022)

The data gathered from indeed.com and salary.com for “certified medical assistant salaries by states” postulates that the top 5 highest paying states for medical assistants are South Dakota, New Hampshire, Washington, Minnesota, and Massachusetts. These 5 states have an average hourly salary ranging from $22 to $26.00 and an average annual salary ranging from $51,701 to $59,860 for medical assistants.

Some of the lowest-paying states for medical assistants include Louisiana, West Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi and Missouri. All these states have an average hourly salary ranging from $14 to $16 and a mean annual wage ranging from $33,450 to $35,420.

Highest Paying Cities for CMAs in the US

City Average Salary (Hourly)
Dallas, (TX)

$19.91

Memphis (TN) $18.67
Austin (TX) $19.79
Greensboro (NC) $18.12
Indianapolis (IN) $18.91
Philadelphia, (PA) $20.20
San Antonio (TX) $ 18.65
Houston (Texas) $19.49

Source: indeed (as of August 26, 2022)

The data reported in the chart exhibits the highest paying cities for certified medical assistants. The cities that offer the highest salaries to CMAs include Philadelphia, the highest paying city that provides an average hourly pay of $20.20. CMAs working in Dallas (TX) are expected to earn an hourly wage of $19.91.

Healthcare facilities across Texas major cities Austin and Houston will provide average hourly pay of $19.79 and $19.49 to CMAs, respectively. Certified medical assistants working in Indianapolis can expect $18.91as their hourly salary. CMAs working in San Antonio, Memphis, and Greensboro earn from $18.65 to $18.12 per hour, approximately.


City Average Hourly Pay Pay Difference Rate
Seattle (WA) $22.29 35%
Chicago (IL) $19.24 17%
Dallas (TX) $17.41 5%
Houston (TX) $16.78 1%
Indianapolis (IN) $16.98 3%
Charlotte (NC) $16.26 2%

Source: payscale (as of August 11, 2022)

The pay difference displayed in the chart is the individual increased salary rate concerning the national average hourly rate for CMAs working in metropolitan cities in the USA. Seattle offers an hourly pay of $22.29, which is 35% more than the average hourly wage to the employed certified medical assistants. CMAs working in Chicago are expected to earn an hourly pay of $19.24, which is 17% more than the national average hourly wage.

Dallas is one of the highest paying cities for CMAs that has a pay difference rate of 5% and provides a mean hourly salary of $17.41. Certified medical assistants working in Houston and Indianapolis earn an hourly pay of $16.78 and $16.98, respectively, and both cities have a pay difference rate of  1% and 3%. Average hourly payment of $16.26 and a salary rate of 2% more than the national average hourly rate is secured by CMAs working in Charlotte.

Certified Medical Assistant Pay Based on Experience

As evident from the above table, medical assistants with less than one year of experience earned $14.42 per hour, whereas those with 20 years and higher experience made $18.81 per hour.

Certified Medical Assistant Pay Based on Experience
Experience Hourly Wage
Less than 1 year $14.42
1-4 years $15.32
5-9 years $16.69
10-19 years $18.10
20 years and higher $18.81

Source: payscale.com (as of August 11, 2022)

As evident from the above table, medical assistants with less than one year of experience earned $14.42 per hour, whereas those with 20 years and higher experience made $18.81 per hour.

Experience Annual Wage
0-2 years 31,602
3-5 years 33,815
6-9 years 35,910
10-15 years 37,804
16+ years 41,302

Source: AAMA(as of 2021) - Multiple specialties

Clinical Medical Assistant Salaries by State

Location wise there are considerable differences in the average wages offered for clinical medical assistants. Many employees select a state that is known for furnishing amongst the highest salaries in the country for clinical assisting. Knowing which states pay the highest and which pay amongst the least is helping to shape your financial goals accordingly.

Thus, in the table below, we have outlined a list of all states in the USA (in alphabetical order) with average hourly and annual payouts:

Clinical Medical Assisting Salaries by State (Hourly and Annual)

State Hourly Salary Indeed (hourly) Annual Salary ZipRecruiter (annual) Annual Salary Zippia (annual)
Alabama $18.10 $30,810 $25,041
Alaska $19.11 $49,632 $46,010
Arizona $19.00 $28,794 $38,012
Arkansas $17.43 $26,506 $25,766
California $21.06 $30,078 $49,072
Colorado $19.79 $28,258 $34,759
Connecticut $19.85 $30,421 $41,035
Delaware $18.50 - $37,521
Florida $18.05 $25,513 $30,194
Georgia $18.65 $27,299 $27,753
Hawaii $42,718 yearly $33,486 $44,975
Idaho $17.52 - $35,825
Illinois $43,990 yearly $26,369 $43,897
Indiana $18.06 $34,810 $36,148
Iowa $18.35 - $37,852
Kansas $17.52 $45,157 $28,147
Kentucky $40,329 yearly - $33,010
Louisiana $18.05 $30,421 $28,583
Maine $18.25 $25,654 $35,908
Maryland $19.92 $36,647 $38,013
Massachusetts $20.80 $32,549 $44,091
Michigan $18.65 $26,703 $38,715
Minnesota $19.22 $28,250 $42,492
Mississippi $17.96 $28,815 $29,034
Missouri $18.34 $26,090 $32,436
Montana $17.09 - $35,401
Nebraska $17.96 - $33,318
Nevada $42,621 yearly $36,195 $37,161
New Hampshire $18.32 $31,438 $38,006
New Jersey $20.08 $28,720 $43,045
New Mexico $18.05 $32,105 $35,980
New York $20.52 $33,920 $40,020
North Carolina $42,187 yearly $41,013 $31,220
North Dakota $18.68 $30,241 $39,348
Ohio $40,858 yearly $28,321 $36,145
Oklahoma $18.05 - $25,834
Oregon $19.87 - $45,316
Pennsylvania $19.00 $29,005 $36,155
Rhode Island $18.24 $29,148 $41,504
South Carolina $18.95 $34,573 $27,321
South Dakota $18.07 $28,985 $33,715
Tennessee $18.80 $31,510 $28,731
Texas $20.00 $27,480 $31,000
Utah $18,65 $27,804 $34,296
Vermont $17.85 - $40,876
Virginia $44,285 yearly $28,872 $37,415
Washington $46,095 yearly $35,945 $44,988
West Virginia $18.00 $28,990 $30,015
Wisconsin $18.29 $32,109 $38,965
Wyoming $17.82 $29,490 $33,516

As can be seen above, as per hourly wages, California ($21.06) and Massachusetts ($20.80) are the states in the USA that pay the highest to their clinical Medical Assistants. Thus those looking for a considerably high hourly pay can look at these states for any open vacancies. As per average annual salary figures,  Massachusetts ($44,091), Alaska ($46,010), Oregon($45,316), New York ($43,824), and Washington($44,988) pay the highest to clinical medical assistants in the USA.

On the other hand, the state of Montana paid the lowest hourly wages to Clinical Medical Assistants on an average ($17.09 per hour).Arkansas ($17.43) and Kansas($17.52) were the other states that paid amongst the least hourly compensation to USA's clinical MAs. As per annual salary figures, Alabama was found to pay the lowest package of $25,041 per year. South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Mississippi were the other states that recorded the lowest annual wages for Clinical Medical Assistants.

Highest Paying Cities for Clinical MAs in the US

We have seen state-wise pay estimates above; however, even city to city differences exist in the compensation structure of clinical MAs in the USA. Your best bet would be to seek clinical medical assisting jobs in the highest paying American cities. It is not always possible to relocate and find jobs outside your location; however, here we have enlisted you with the top cities that pay the highest salaries to clinical medical assistants. Keeping these locations in mind, you can chalk out a plan in the future to seek openings here:

Cities that Pay the Highest Clinical MA Wages:

City Annual Salary (zippia.com as of Aug 22, 2022) Hourly Pay (indeed as of Aug 26, 2022)
Vancouver, WA $47,000 $18.75
Los Angeles, CA $47,000 $20.69
Urban Honolulu, HI $47,000 $16.25
Eugene, OR $44,000 $19.93
Chicago, IL $40,000 $19.55
Phoenix, AZ $39,000 $17.43
Colorado Springs,CO $38,000 $19.42
Las Vegas, NV $38,000 $18.72
Baltimore, MD $38,000 $14.90

The average hourly salary (as of Aug 27, 2022 of USA's clinical assistants is estimated at $18.49, and the average annual pay at $42,222. However, depending on where you're located, you might even draw considerably better salaries than the national average.

Vancouver, number one on the list in terms of the average clinical assistant pay ($47,000), is 12% over the nation's hourly average clinical assisting compensation. If you're just starting, the best location in terms of an entrant salary package would be this city (average starting pay is $47,000). Other vital cities that pay well to clinical assistants include Los Angles (pays 11% above national average and the highest hourly wage in the US), Urban Honolulu (pays 11% above national average), and Chicago (pays same as the national average)). In terms of states, the highest paying ones include Washington, California, and Hawaii.

Medical Assistant Salaries by Work Setting

Medical assistants may work in different work settings – hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices, nursing homes, etc. According to the AAMA (American Association of Medical Assistants), as of 2021, medical assistants working in Ambulatory Surgery were paid the highest annual salary, i.e., $39,970 per annum.

Work Setting Annual Salary Hourly Wage
Physician Practice $35,200 $18.83
Ambulatory Surgery $39,970 $20.45
Inpatient Setting $35,850 $18.65
Other $36,110 $18.58

Source: AAMA (as of 2021)

Popular Skills Affecting Salaries

There are various specializations in which medical assistants can earn a certification. Based on their interest, medical assistants can get certification in both single or multiple specialties. The more specializations you will have, the higher your salary will be.

Skills Annual Salary Hourly Wage
Single Specialty $35,206 $18.90
Multiple Specialties $35,940 $19.32
Other Medical & Surgical Specialties $36,720 $19.41

Source: AAMA (as of 2021)

As stated in the above table, medical assistants with Other Medical & Surgical Specialties earned $19.41 per hour and $36,720 per annum.

Skills Average Hourly Wage
Patient Education $15
Medical Terminology $16
EMR (Electronic Medical Records) $15
Phlebotomy $15
Triage $15

Source: payscale.com (as of July 20, 2022)

Medical assistants with strong skillsin patient education and medical terminology were paid $16 per hour.

Highest Paying States for Medical Assistants

According to Salary.com, Alaska was the highest paying state in the USA for the medical assistant profession and paid $38,384 per annum and $18.00 per hour. Among other top-paying states were Massachusetts, California, DC, and New Jersey.

State Annual Salary Hourly Wage
Alaska $38,000 $18.00
California $38,000 $18.00
New Jersey $37,500 $18.00
Massachusetts $37,000 $18.00
District of Columbia $38,000 $18.00

Source: Salary.com (as of July 28, 2022)

According to the BLS, Alaska paid the highest salary ($47,410 and $22.80 per hour) to these professionals.

State Annual Salary Hourly Wage
Alaska $46,398 $22.40
District of Columbia $46,715 $22.50
Washington $47,410 $22.80
California $44,820 $21.58
Massachusetts $44,240 $21.38

Highest Paying Cities for Medical Assistants

According to ZipRecruiter and the BLS, medical assistants in most of the cities in California earned the highest salary as compared to cities in other states.

Skills Annual Salary Hourly Wage
San Francisco, CA $51,199 $24.61
Chicago, IL $44,337 $21.32
Eugene, OR $45,871 $22.05
Vancouver, WA $48,904 $23.51
Springfield, MA $44,580 $21.43
Urban Honolulu, HI $45,784 $22.01

Source: ZipRecruiter (as of Aug 22, 2022)

Metropolitan Area Annual Salary Hourly Wage
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA $58,670 $28.21
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $54,930 $26.41
Santa Rosa, CA $53,530 $25.17
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA $50,820 $24.43
Barnstable Town, MA $47,060 $22.62

Source: BLS (as of May 2021)

Top 5 States with Highest Employment

According to the BLS, with $42,990 per annum and $21.53 per hour, California was the top paying state for medical assistants in May 2021. Among other top-paying states were Texas, Florida, New York, and Georgia.

State Employment Annual Salary Hourly Wage
California 97,640 $42,990 $21.53
Texas 69,370 $34,660 $16.66
Florida; 57,210 $35,480 $17.06
New York 31,360 $42,100 $20.24
Georgia 26,610 $35,470 $17.05

Source: BLS (as of May 2021)

Job Satisfaction Ratio among Medical Assistants

Salary satisfaction is one of the most crucial aspects of job satisfaction. In a survey by indeed.com, 35% of medical assistants in the US believed that their salaries are enough according to the cost of living in their area.

According to payscale.com, Clinical Medical Assistants are highly satisfied with their jobs, and they have rated their jobs as 4.20 out of 29 for satisfaction level.

Top Paying Employers for Medical Assistants

According to the BLS, with $47,320 per annum and $22.75 per hour, Washington was the top paying state for medical assistants in May 2021. Other top-paying states were Alaska, District of  Columbia, California, and Massachusetts.

Employer Hourly Wage

UCSF Medical Center

$29

John Muir

$26

UCLA Medical Center $25

Sutter Health

$24

The Everett Clinic

$24

Source: payscale.com (as of August 9, 2021)

Employer Hourly Wage
BayCare Health System $25.56
Kaiser Permanente $24.46
Community Health Care $23.54

Adventist Health

$23.03

UC Health 22.86

Source: indeed.com

Common Benefits for Medical Assistants (other than Salary)

In addition to lucrative salary packages, employers pay the following non-monetary benefits to their employees.

  • Paid Time-Off
  • Employers provide paid time-off to medical assistants so that they can fulfill their family commitments and enjoy quality time with family members.

  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Some employers reimburse tuition fees if medical assistants agree to work with them after completion of studies. Most of the employers also pay for the higher education of the MAs working with them.

  • Insurance
  • Employers pay for vision and dental insurance of their employees. Some employers also provide health insurance plans for the employees and their families.

  • Flexible Work Schedules
  • Medical assistants can organize their work schedules and may choose to work on weekdays, weekends, or 4, 8, 10, or 12-hour shifts.

  • Maternity Leaves
  • Expecting medical assistants can avail maternity leaves provided by their organization. The number of leaves depends on the employer.

  • Pension Plan
  • Some employers offer a pension plan to make the after-retirement life of MAs easy. The longer you work with an organization, the more benefits you will get after retirement.

  • Professional Development Assistance
  • The healthcare industry keeps on evolving with technological advancements. Employers conduct training and mentoring programs to keep their employees tuned with the latest technologies.
    In addition to these benefits, the employer may also provide you with sick leaves, tax saving plans, work opportunities in various locations, relocation leaves, etc.

How Much Do Similar Professions Pay?

Associate Medical Director, Medical Billing Specialist, Medical Office Assistant, Phlebotomist, Dental Assistant, and Dental Hygienists are some of the related professions to medical assistants. All these professionals earn different salaries. Take a look at other similar career salaries!

Job Title Hourly Wage Annual Salary
Medical Billing Specialist $21 $43,798
Medical Librarian Assistant $19 $39,732
Associate Medical Director $136 $282,010
Physician Assistant - Medical $56 $112,998
Asst. Professor - Medical Administration $34 $70,862

Source: salary.com (July 26, 2022)

medical assistant earning

Source: U.S. News (as of 2018)

Job Title Hourly Wage
Clinical Medical Assistant $12 - $20
Certified Medical Assistant $13 - $21
Medical Administrative Assistant $13 - $24
Phlebotomist $12 - $21
Registered Medical Assistant $13 - $20
Certified Medical Assistant $13 - $21
Dental Assistant $13 - $23

Source: payscale.com (as of August 24, 2022)

Job Title Median Pay
Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides $61,650
Nursing Assistants and Orderlies $30,430
Phlebotomists $36,998
Psychiatric Technicians and Aides $36,310
Dental Assistants $39,005
Dental Hygienists $77,090
Pharmacy Technicians $37,100
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians $45,240
Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides $49,270
LPNs and LVNs $48,120

Source: BLS (as of 2021)

Factors that can Boost Medical Assistants Salary

Below are some ways through which the average medical assistant salary can be enhanced.

1

Education

You can get an entry-level job by obtaining a diploma in medical assisting. But, if you want to earn a higher salary, you must consider pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from an accredited school.

2

Certification

Obtaining a certificate or certificates in one or more specialized fields will add to your skills and will undoubtedly improve your career opportunities and salary package.

3

Experience

As you gain work experience, your competence improves gradually. While working, you gain exposure and experience in new areas such as radiology, phlebotomy, etc. Your experience prepares you to take on more responsibilities and earn a higher income.

4

Relocation

Relocating to a city or state that pays higher salary packages to medical assistants is one of the ways to boost your income.

5

Overtime

You can work overtime to earn more income. Some employers pay an excellent medical assistant salary per hour. So, you can work for some extra hours to increase your salary.

Hiring Trends and Projected Job Outlook for Medical Assistants

With 132,600 new jobs in the field by the year 2030, the future looks bright for medical assistants and connected professions. The BLS has projected that there will be 853,500 medical assistants employed by 2030, which accounts for 18% growth in employment from 2020 to 2030. This growth is attributed to several factors, including technical disruptions and reforms in the healthcare sector, an increase in the number of elderly patients, an increase in obesity diabetes and other medical conditions, etc.

Find Medical Assistant Salaries by State

Wondering how much do medical assistants get paid in your state? Click your state in the below map and get detailed information.

medical assistant author

Written by : Casey Gardner

Casey Gardner is both a healthcare support professional and an accomplished content creator.  She has been working as a certified health care professional with marketable skills as a physician assistant,  and a qualified medical assistant for last two decades. She has dedicated her nursing career to produce over hundreds of content pieces since 2001, and her work has been published both online as well as offline.

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