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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 March 29, 2019).

Resource Hourly Salary Annual Salary Date Updated
BLS $18.39 $38,250 29 March 2019
Indeed $16.11 $33,509 29 Feb 2020
Glassdoor $15.15 $31,508 6 Feb 2020 $39,839 $19 20 Jan 2020
PayScale $15.01 $33,238 19 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.

Average Medical Assistant Salaries in California

According to, as of 16 May 2020, the average per hour salary of certified medical assistants in California was $16.58, which was 9% higher than the national average.

The mean hourly and annual salary of medical assistants in CA, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (as of May 2019) was $19.29 and $40,120, respectively.

Percentile Annual Salary (California) Annual Salary (National)
10% $26,820 $25,820
25% $31,410 $29,460
50% $37,640 $34,800
75% $47,650 $40,270
90% $59,130 $48,720

Source: BLS

The above table indicates that the annual salary of medical assistants in California was more than the national average wage, at different percentiles.

Highest Paying Cities for Medical Assistants in CA

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

City Per Hour Salary
San Francisco $20.08
Oakland $19.59
San Jose $18.90
Torrance $17.12
San Diego $16.29
Los Angeles $16.15
Sacramento $16.09
Long Beach $15.06

Source: (as of February 29, 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 Area Mean Annual Wage (in $) 10th Percentile Wage (in $) 50th Percentile (Median) Wage (in $) 90th Percentile Wage (in $)
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA 52,310.43 33,713.21 54,323.00 67,071.37
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA 47,651.57 28,846.90 53,276.46 64,134.04
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA 45,370.66 29,270.06 44,596.59 63,648.96
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 45,277.77 29,786.10 44,421.13 63,607.68
San Rafael, CA 45,136.37 30,535.40 45,491.41 60,603.27
Santa Rosa, CA 44,957.82 33,295.21 43,120.70 61,233.87
Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, CA 43,617.14 27,816.88 41,548.83 62,565.27
Napa, CA 42,098.93 30,487.93 41,944.12 53,606.73
Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA 41,469.36 28,176.04 38,940.74 60,129.54
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA 41,139.09 28,981.07 40,003.79 55,278.72
Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, CA 40,670.52 28,102.77 38,288.46 57,943.57
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA 39,683.84 29,053.32 38,383.41 53,059.72
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA 39,436.14 28,000.59 38,084.10 54,432.40
Salinas, CA 38,383.41 27,484.54 37,857.04 51,088.43
Stockton-Lodi, CA 38,300.84 27,412.30 37,588.70 51,243.25
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale , CA 37,313.13 24,699.97 35,187.03 53,532.42
Yuba City, CA 36,907.52 27,391.66 36,474.04 48,693.99
Redding, CA 36,277.95 25,926.09 34,234.41 53,193.90
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA 35,792.87 26,844.65 34,894.95 48,518.53
Modesto, CA 35,761.90 27,298.77 35,421.31 45,958.95
Chico, CA 35,380.03 27,505.19 34,461.47 46,216.97
Fresno, CA 35,204.57 26,524.70 33,914.46 46,681.41
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 33,697.72 24,749.51 32,665.63 43,316.80
Visalia-Porterville, CA 33,687.40 24,997.21 32,459.22 44,565.63
El Centro, CA 32,933.98 25,244.91 30,921.40 44,173.43
Bakersfield, CA 32,882.37 24,656.62 30,343.43 47,176.81
Hanford-Corcoran, CA 32,717.24 25,833.20 31,189.75 41,851.23
Madera, CA 31,540.66 24,553.41 30,167.98 41,108.13
Merced, CA 30,818.19 23,180.73 30,250.54 39,972.83

Source: State of California Employment Development Department (as of July 31, 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 March 29, 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.

Area Number of Employed Medical Assistants
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA 25,410
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 8,590
Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, CA 7,880
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA 7,350
Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, CA 6,760
Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA 6,340
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA 4,710
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 4,410
Fresno, CA 2,900
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA 1,980

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

As showcased in the above table, with 25,410 medical assistants employed as of July 31, 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.

Employer Per Hour Salary
Sutter Health $26.48
Baylor Scott & White Health $26.23
Jefferson Healthcare $24.23
Medely $24.06
MEDXM $23.62
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 February 29, 2020)

According to, as of February 29, 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 Professions Average 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 February 29, 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 February 29, 2020, according to

Related Professions Average 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 February 26, 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 Area Base Year Employment


Projected Employment


Numeric Change Percentage Change Annual Job Openings
California 1,01,600 1,26,500 24,900 +24.5% 15,050

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)

Medical Assistant Salary in California

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.

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.