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How Much Does a Medical Assistant Make in Iowa?

When looking at a medical assistant’s salary in Iowa, BLS is the top government source, which has presented an average hourly wage of $17.25 and an average annual salary of $35,880, as of March 31, 2020. Salaries from other reliable sources are also mentioned in the table below.

Resource Hourly Salary Annual Salary Date Updated
BLS $17.25 $35,880 March 31, 2020
Indeed $16.58 $38,610 January 19, 2021 $17 $34,783 December 28, 2020
Zip Recruiter $13 $35,156 January 12, 2021

Medical Assistant Pay in IA at Different Percentiles

Percentile Annual Salary (Iowa) Annual Salary (National)
10% $27,130 $25,820
25% $30,980 $29,460
50% $35,610 $34,800
75% $40,190 $40,270
90% $47,210 $48,720

Source: BLS (as of March 31, 2020)

The table above depicts that the annual pay of MAs in IA was more than the national average figure at all percentiles.

Highest Paying Cities for Medical Assistants in IA

Medical assistant salary in Iowa’s various cities is given in the table below:

City Per Hour Salary ( Per Hour Salary (
Des Moines, IA $20.07 $17
Iowa City, IA $18.37 $16
Waterloo, IA $16.96 $16
Council Bluffs, IA $16.90 $17
Cedar Rapids, IA $16.16 $17
Coralville, IA $15.54 $16
Davenport, IA $15.50 $17
West Des Moines, IA $14.33 $17
Dubuque, IA $13.64 $16
Sioux City, IA $13.57 $15

Source: (as of January 19, 2021) and (as of December 28, 2020)

Des Moines pays the highest to its medical assistants, according to Other cities on the list pay between $13 and $18 roughly. reported that the cities in this list paid between $15-$17 an hour to their medical assistants.

Highest Paying Metropolitan Areas for Iowa Medical Assistants

Medical assistant pay in Iowa’s various metropolitan areas is presented in the table below:

Metropolitan Area Mean Annual Wage 10th Percentile Wage 50th Percentile (Median) Wage 90th Percentile Wage
Iowa City, IA $42,010 $33,710 $41,230 $52,660
Cedar Rapids, IA $38,030 $30,260 $37,340 $48,830
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA $37,870 $29,350 $37,120 $48,900
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA $37,370 $28,170 $36,160 $50,110
Dubuque, IA $37,010 $29,180 $36,540 $47,290
Ames, IA $36,920 $30,780 $36,690 $47,250
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD $35,480 $25,490 $33,110 $47,530
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA $33,510 $26,680 $32,270 $44,000
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL $32,850 $26,660 $32,660 $40,150

Source: BLS (as of March 31, 2020)

Iowa City pays the most to its medical assistants, with a mean annual wage of $41,010, while Cedar Rapids took second place, with $38,030 a year. Other areas paid between $37,870 and $32,850 annually.

Top 5 Cities/Areas with Highest Employment

These are the top 5 cities employing the most number of medical assistants in Iowa.

Metropolitan Area Number of Employed Medical Assistants
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA 1,370
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA 1,250
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL 700
Iowa City, IA 470
Cedar Rapids, IA 410

Source: BLS (as of March 31, 2020)

The table above suggests that Omaha-Council Bluffs is the metropolitan area with the highest number of medical assistants employed, about 1,370. Des Moines-West Des Moines took the second spot, with 1,250 professionals working as medical assistants. Other areas in this list employed a total of 1,580 MAs in total.

Top 10 Paying Employers for Medical Assistants in Iowa

An MA’s salary with Iowa’s top employers is outlined in the table below:

Employer Per Hour Salary
Kaiser Permanente $24.65
Primary Health Care, Inc. $23.08
NYU Langone Health $20.66
Virginia Mason $19.99
Scripps Health $19.76
Atrius Health $19.54
Sutter Health $18.57
Massachusetts General Hospital $18.15
MultiCare Health System $17.53
Action Urgent Care $17.42

Source: (as of January 19, 2021)

Primary Health Care, Inc. and Kaiser Permanente are the top 2 employers paying about $23-$24 an hour to their medical assistants. Other employers in this top 10 list paid between $17 and $21 hourly, according to

Benefits for Iowa Medical Assistants other than Salaries

In Iowa, medical assistants earn $34,819 a year as their salary and bonus, which makes up 67% of their total remuneration. The remaining 33%, or $17,180, is earned through other benefits and perks they receive throughout the year, making their total compensation about $51,999. The break-up of these benefits is given below.

  • Healthcare

    Medical assistants in Iowa receive healthcare benefits of about $6,371 a year from their employers. It makes up about 12.3% of their total yearly compensation.

  • Time Off

    The time offs that medical assistants get has a monetary value of about $4,419 a year in Iowa, which is about 8.5% of their total remuneration for the year.

  • Social Security

    Social security payments made by the employer for Iowa medical assistants make up about 5.1% of their total compensation and costs about $2,664/year to the employer.

  • 401K/403B

    A retirement fund is created to help the employees in their old age. It receives yearly payments from the employers for about $1,706 a year, which is 3.3% of their total compensation.

  • Pension

    The pension fund is contributed to by the employers of MAs for about $1,462 annually, making up 2.8% of their total compensation. It is another fund that helps employees stay afloat after retirement.

  • Disability

    A disability fund is created by the employer to use when an employee becomes disabled in an unfortunate accident. The contribution amounts to about $557 a year, or 1.1% of the yearly remuneration.

    (Source: as of December 28, 2020)

Salaries of Similar Professions in Iowa

Related Professions Average Hourly Salary
Dermatology Assistant $24.01
Medical Office Assistant $16.26
Certified Medical Assistant $16.54
Clinical Assistant $14.62
Medical Receptionist $14.32
Medical Scribe $12.13

Source: (as of January 19, 2021)

The above table shows jobs similar to medical assisting, where it is evident that Dermatology Assistants earn the highest, with an average hourly wage of $24.19. Other similar jobs paid between $12 and $16 as per the data provided by

Related Professions Average Annual Salary
Physician Assistant- Specialty $113,062
Physician Assistant- Medical $104,109
Medical Billing Specialist $40,223
Medical Secretary $39,869
Medical Librarian Assistant $36,338
Medical Scribe $33,421

Source: (as of December 28, 2020)

According to’s data, Physician Assistants took the cake with 2-3 times the medical assistants’ salary. The professions that stood close to medical assisting were Medical Billing Specialist, Medical Secretary, and Medical Librarian Assistant, earning between $36,000-$40,000 a year. Medical Scribes were paid the least.

Projected Employment and Hiring Trends for IA Medical Assistants (2018-2028)

Job Outlook

A medical assistant’s scope of practice in Iowa depends on their work experience (time and type), certification, and competence. You can work in many departments as a medical assistant, and it is better to stick with the department for a better prospect and growth. While selecting a medical assistant certification in Iowa, always go for a nationally recognized one because it will make you eligible to work anywhere in the country. If you’ve wondered how much certified medical assistants make in Iowa, your guess is right, they earn more and are also trusted by their employers.

The table below comes from the department of labor sponsored source, Projections Central. It has projected that medical assistant jobs in Iowa will go from 5,100 in 2018 to 6,430 in 2028, growing at a rate of 26.1% and adding about 770 jobs every year.

Estimated Employment and Projected Growth (Medical Assistants)
Projected Area Base Year Employment


Projected Employment


Numeric Change Percentage Change Annual Job Openings


5,100 6,430 1,330 +26.1% 770

Source: U.S. Department of Labor-Sponsored Resource, Projections Central (2018-2028 report)

Hiring Trends

  • According to Education Iowa, as of October 5, 2018, healthcare was an important part of Iowa’s growing economy that helps in building a healthier society. Health Sciences is the biggest employer in Iowa, with more than 220,000 professionals working at more than 10,600 locations. This number is bound to grow because of the state’s aging population and the kind of healthcare they require.
  • The median salary of medical assistants in Iowa is $35,355 a year, as per the data provided by Future Ready Iowa. It is projected to have about 233 job openings every year, with Unitypoint Health posting more jobs than any other employer in the state since December 2017. It posted 207 jobs, followed by Catholic Health Initiatives (56) and Broadlawns Medical Center (53).
  • Medical assisting was the 18th fastest-growing profession in Iowa for the 2016-2026 projections, according to CareerOneStop. It had 4,420 jobs in 2016, projected to grow to 5,610 by 2026 at a 27% growth rate.
  • As of May 17, 2019, Zippia’s projections put medical assisting at the 33rd spot, with an annual income of $32,920, in the list of fastest-growing careers of Iowa. It is projected to have 4,380 jobs by 2024, which is a whopping 118.4%.
  • Medical assisting was the 77th most popular job in the state according to USA Wage, as per the data published on the BLS website in April 2020. It had 4,970 jobs contributing to 32% of the state’s total workforce and an average annual income of $35,610.
  • Zippia came up with a list of healthcare facilities that are best for the employees based on salaries, company financial health, and employee diversity. The top 5 companies from this list are Daniel C. Fabiano MD FAAOS, UnityPoint Health, Carleton Life Support Systems, Genesis Health System, and CFRHelps.

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.