How Much Does a Medical Assistant Make in California?

Wondering how much do certified medical assistants make in California? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 29 March 2019, medical assistants in California earned $38,250 per annum and $18.39 per hour, which was more than the national average income of these professionals. In the United States, the average annual and hourly salary of medical assistants was $34,540 and $16.61, respectively (according to the BLS, as of 29 March 2019).

ResourceHourly SalaryAnnual SalaryDate Updated
BLS$18.39$38,25029 March 2019
Indeed$16.11$33,50929 Feb 2020
Glassdoor$15.15$31,5086 Feb 2020$39,839$1920 Jan 2020
PayScale$15.01$33,23819 Feb 2020

The above table showcases the annual and hourly salaries of medical assistants in California according to various sources. Certified medical assistant salary in California was higher than non-certified professionals.

Highest Paying Cities for Medical Assistant in CA

Take a look at the below table that includes top-paying cities in California for medical assistants.

CityPer Hour Salary
San Francisco$20.08
San Jose$18.90
San Diego$16.29
Los Angeles$16.15
Long Beach$15.06

Source: (as of 29 Feb 2020)

According to, the highest paying city for medical assistants in the state of California was San Francisco that paid $20.08 per hour. Among other highest paying cities were Oakland, San Jose, Torrance, San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Long Beach. These cities paid between $15.06 and $19.59 per hour.

Highest Paying Metropolitan Areas for California   Medical Assistants

Metropolitan AreaMean Annual Wage (in $)10th Percentile Wage (in $)50th Percentile (Median) Wage (in $)90th Percentile Wage (in $)
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA52,310.4333,713.2154,323.0067,071.37
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA47,651.5728,846.9053,276.4664,134.04
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA45,370.6629,270.0644,596.5963,648.96
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA45,277.7729,786.1044,421.1363,607.68
San Rafael, CA45,136.3730,535.4045,491.4160,603.27
Santa Rosa, CA44,957.8233,295.2143,120.7061,233.87
Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, CA43,617.1427,816.8841,548.8362,565.27
Napa, CA42,098.9330,487.9341,944.1253,606.73
Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA41,469.3628,176.0438,940.7460,129.54
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA41,139.0928,981.0740,003.7955,278.72
Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, CA40,670.5228,102.7738,288.4657,943.57
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA39,683.8429,053.3238,383.4153,059.72
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA39,436.1428,000.5938,084.1054,432.40
Salinas, CA38,383.4127,484.5437,857.0451,088.43
Stockton-Lodi, CA38,300.8427,412.3037,588.7051,243.25
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale , CA37,313.1324,699.9735,187.0353,532.42
Yuba City, CA36,907.5227,391.6636,474.0448,693.99
Redding, CA36,277.9525,926.0934,234.4153,193.90
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA35,792.8726,844.6534,894.9548,518.53
Modesto, CA35,761.9027,298.7735,421.3145,958.95
Chico, CA35,380.0327,505.1934,461.4746,216.97
Fresno, CA35,204.5726,524.7033,914.4646,681.41
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA33,697.7224,749.5132,665.6343,316.80
Visalia-Porterville, CA33,687.4024,997.2132,459.2244,565.63
El Centro, CA32,933.9825,244.9130,921.4044,173.43
Bakersfield, CA32,882.3724,656.6230,343.4347,176.81
Hanford-Corcoran, CA32,717.2425,833.2031,189.7541,851.23
Madera, CA31,540.6624,553.4130,167.9841,108.13
Merced, CA30,818.1923,180.7330,250.5439,972.83

Source: State of California Employment Development Department (as of 31 July 2019)

San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco paid a mean annual wage of $52,310.43 to medical assistants and was the highest paying metropolitan area of California for these professionals. Other metropolitan regions paid between $30,818.19 and $47,651.57 per annum.

Top 10 Cities/Areas with Highest Employment

According to the BLS, California was the top state with the highest employment level for medical assistants in the United States. As of 29 March 2019, there were 92,960 medical assistants employed in the state.

The below table depicts the top 10 areas of California with the highest employment for this occupation.

AreaNumber of Employed Medical Assistants
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA25,410
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA8,590
Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, CA7,880
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA7,350
Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, CA6,760
Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA6,340
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA4,710
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA4,410
Fresno, CA2,900
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA1,980

Source: State of California Employment Development Department (as of 31 July 2019)

As showcased in the above table, with 25,410 medical assistants employed as of 31 July 2019, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale was the top city with the highest employment for these professionals.

Top 10 Paying Employers for Medical Assistants in California

Hospitals, clinics, ambulatory and residential care facilities, and physicians’ offices are some of the major employers for medical assistants in the state of California.

EmployerPer Hour Salary
Sutter Health$26.48
Baylor Scott & White Health$26.23
Jefferson Healthcare$24.23
County of San Mateo, CA$23.40
Virginia Mason Medical Center$22.14
Oregon Health & Science University$21.50
Kaiser Permanente$21.25
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System$20.54

Source: (as of 29 Feb 2020)

According to, as of 29 Feb 2020, the top paying employer was Sutter Health that paid $26.48 per hour to medical assistants.

Benefits for California Medical Assistants other than Salaries

Apart from lucrative medical assistant pay in California, these professionals may earn other perks as well, such as:

    • Flexibility

Some employers offer flexible work schedules. It improves your productivity when you render your services slightly different hours.

    • Paid Time-Off

Employers provide paid vacation time so that you can better manage your work-life balance.

    • Relocation Assistance

Your employer may provide you temporary lodging and transportation costs when you move to the other city or state for the job.

    • Bonus

A performance-based bonus adds to your motivation.

Besides these perks, medical assistants can get a pension, disability insurance, retirement plan, dental and healthcare insurance, and tuition reimbursement.

Salaries of Similar Professions in California

Related ProfessionsAverage Hourly Salary
Medical Office Assistant$15.75
Clinical Assistant$19.59
Medical Receptionist$15.71
Back Office Medical Assistant$15.19
Medical Scribe$15.50

Source: (as of 29 Feb 2020)

Other related professionals, such as Medical Office Assistants, Clinical Assistants, Medical Receptionist, Back Office Medical Assistant, and Medical Scribe, made between $15.19 and $19.59 per hour, as of 29 Feb 2020, according to

Related ProfessionsAverage Annual Salary
Associate Medical Director$296,009
Medical Billing Specialist$46,117
Medical Librarian Assistant$41,646
Medical Secretary$45,723
Physician Assistant – Medical$119,386
Physician Assistant – Speciality$129,599

Source: (as of 26 Feb 2020)

The above table displays the average annual salary of related professions to medical assistants.

Hiring Trends and Projected Job Outlook for Medical Assistants 2018-2028

Job Outlook

Owing to the increasing number of healthcare facilities, reforms in the healthcare industry, and growth in the aging population who demand more care, the medical assistant jobs in California are likely to increase by leaps and bounds in the upcoming years. You can tap on better job opportunities by gaining higher education and certification by taking admission into accredited medical assistant programs in California.

Estimated Employment and Projected Growth (Medical Assistants)
Projected AreaBase Year Employment


Projected Employment


Numeric ChangePercentage ChangeAnnual Job Openings

Source: Projection Central

Hiring Trends

Most of the employers in California prefer to recruit medical assistants possessing certification. The following certifications are available for these professionals:

  1. The Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) certification by the American Medical Technologists (AMT)
  2. The California Certified Medical Assistant (CCMA) by California Certifying Board of Medical Assistants (CCBMA)
  3. The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)

Source: COECCC

CCMA and CMA are more preferred certifications over the RMA. So, by gaining any of these certifications can open new avenues for you and make you eligible to land your dream job.

Find Medical Assistant Salaries by State

How much do medical assistants make in your state? Get your query resolved by clicking your state in the below map.