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How Much Does a Medical Assistant Make in South Dakota?

A certified medical assistant’s salary in South Dakota is $14.97, which is $2.3/hour lower than the national average of $17.17. and ZipRecruiter also reported almost similar hourly salaries ($14-$15). On the other hand, reported that they earned $17.15 an hour, which is at par with the national average reported by BLS. The annual salary earned by MAs in the state stood between $30,000 to $40,000 according to different salary sources (including BLS).

Resource Hourly Salary Annual Salary Date Updated
BLS $14.97 $31,130 March 31, 2020
Indeed $17.84 $41,545 December 25, 2020 $15 $31,165 January 29, 2021
ZipRecruiter $14 $30,790 January 12, 2021

Medical Assistant Pay at Different Percentiles in SD

Percentile Annual Salary (South Dakota) Annual Salary (National)
10% $25,200 $25,820
25% $27,490 $29,460
50% $30,620 $34,800
75% $35,250 $40,270
90% $39,170 $48,720

Source: BLS (as of March 31, 2020)

Thus, it is clear that the annual pays for MAs in the state were lower than the national averages at all percentiles.

Highest Paying Cities for Medical Assistants in SD

How much do medical assistants make in South Dakota’s top 10 cities? Let’s take a look at the following table for the answer.

City Per Hour Salary ( Per Hour Salary (
Walker, SD $19.94 $16
Mc Laughlin, SD $19.59 $16
Pollock, SD $19.52 $16
Watauga, SD $19.44 $16
Sioux Falls, SD $19.25 $16
Morristown, SD $18.32 $16
Aberdeen, SD $18.15 $14
Bullhead, SD $17.44 $16
Watertown, SD $17.36 $15
Lemmon, SD $17.10 $16
Brookings, SD $16.88 $15
Mc Intosh, SD $16.72 $16
Mitchell, SD $16.65 $15

Source: (as of December 25, 2020) and (as of January 29, 2021)

Walker, Pollock, and Mc Laughlin look to be tussling for the first place with very close hourly wages, while Watauga stood fourth with about $0.08 below the top 3 as per The reports from suggest that all these cities pay between $14 to $16 an hour on an average.

Highest Paying Metropolitan Areas for South Dakota Medical Assistants

Medical assistant salary in South Dakota is as follows in various metropolitan areas and at different percentiles.

Metropolitan Area Mean Annual Wage 10th Percentile Wage 50th Percentile (Median) Wage 90th Percentile Wage
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD $35,480 $25,490 $33,110 $47,530
Rapid City, SD $33,130 $26,810 $32,730 $40,850
Sioux Falls, SD $29,940 $24,320 $29,510 $38,000

Source: BLS (as of March 31, 2020)

Medical assistants of the Sioux City area make the most, with an annual wage of $35,480, around $2,350 more per year from the second-placed Rapid City. The last on the list is Sioux Falls, where medical assistants earned around $30,000 per year, which is way less than the top-paying metro area.

Top 3 Cities/Areas with Highest Employment

The table below shows the split-up of medical assistants working in South Dakota’s various metro areas.

Metropolitan Area Number of Employed Medical Assistants
Sioux Falls, SD 470
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD 190
Rapid City, SD 150

Source: BLS (as of March 31, 2020)

Surprisingly, the area with the lowest wage for medical assistants in South Dakota is the one that employs the most professionals because of its population and size. Apart from that, Sioux City and Rapid City employed 190 and 150 medical assistants, respectively.

Top 10 Paying Employers for Medical Assistants in South Dakota

The table below shows an MA’s salary in South Dakota as per the salary paid by the top 10 employers, according to

Employer Per Hour Salary
Kaiser Permanente $23.56
UCLA Health $23.41
NYU Langone Health $20.74
Virginia Mason $20.00
Scripps Health $19.76
Atrius Health $19.54
Stanford Health $19.22
Massachusetts General Hospital $18.15
Providence $18.06
Maxim Healthcare Group $17.50

Source: (as of December 25, 2020)

There is no competition for Kaiser Permanente and UCLA Health in South Dakota regarding medical assistant salaries. They both pay around $23.5 an hour, which is about $3 more than the third-placed NYU Langone Health. The lowest spot is taken by Maxim Healthcare Group, with an hourly wage of $17.50, better than the state’s average.

Benefits for South Dakota Medical Assistants other than Salaries

How much certified medical assistants make in South Dakota in the form of perks and other indirect benefits? Well, the salary and bonus combined are $31,200, which is just 66% of their total yearly compensation of $47,257. The remaining 34% ($16,057) is divided into the following benefits.

  • Healthcare

    Because health is one of the essential things in life, healthcare plans for medical assistants in South Dakota are the biggest contributor to the benefits (13.5%), with a value of about $6,371 a year.

  • Time Off

    Working and taking time off are all a part of life, and medical assistants in SD get a yearly time off, which has a value of about $3,960, or 8.4% of the total compensation they receive.

  • Social Security

    Social security is taken care of by the employers of medical assistants in South Dakota for about $2,387 a year, making up about 5.1% of their yearly remuneration.

  • 401K/403B

    Retirement is not easy, which is why employers make a contribution of about $1,529 for their employees into the 401K or 403B fund to help them in their old age. It is about 3.2% of the whole year’s compensation.

  • Pension

    A medical assistant also receives a pension after retirement, which is an accumulated fund contributed to by their employers for about $1,310 a year, or 2.8% of the total compensation.

  • Disability

    It is one of the partial salary replacement programs for those who get into an unfortunate accident causing permanent disability. Employers of medical assistants contribute to this fund every year for about $499 a year, making up 1.1% yearly remuneration.

    (Source: as of January 29, 2021)

Salaries of Similar Professions in South Dakota

The following tables will let you know how much certified medical assistants make compared to similar professions in healthcare.

Related Professions Average Hourly Salary
Dermatology Assistant $23.52
Certified Medical Assistant $20.44
Clinical Assistant $15.47
Medical Office Assistant $15.67
Medical Scribe $14.60
Medical Receptionist $13.45

Source: (as of December 25, 2020)

Dermatology Assistants earn the highest, which is better than medical assistants and other similar professions in this list by However, second place was taken by Certified Medical Assistants with $20.44 an hour, which is way higher than their non-certified counterparts. Medical Receptionists were the minimum earner in this list with an average hourly wage of $13.5 approximately.

Related Professions Average Annual Salary
Physician Assistant- Specialty $101,316
Physician Assistant- Medical $93,287
Medical Billing Specialist $36,047
Medical Secretary $35,723
Medical Librarian Assistant $32,565
Medical Scribe $29,947

Source: (as of January 29, 2021)

Medical and Physician Assistants have different education, both length and curriculum wise, so Physician Assistants take the top spot. It is interesting to see that even the remaining professions (except Medical Scribes) have better pay than the medical assistant salary in South Dakota.

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

Job Outlook

A medical assistant’s scope of practice includes many procedures that evolve with time, just like any other job. You’ll be given simpler administrative tasks initially, which will become more advanced clinical procedures as your career advances and your employer trusts you. Another way to win that trust quicker is by getting a medical assistant certification. In South Dakota, employers prefer certified candidates over uncertified, bet it for jobs, promotions, raises, or anything else that helps one’s career grow.

The table below explains how medical assisting will grow in South Dakota by 160 jobs at a 16.7% rate by 2028. It will happen because of 130 job openings every year till 2028.

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


Projected Employment


Numeric Change Percentage Change Annual Job Openings

South Dakota

960 1,120 160 +16.7% 130

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

Hiring Trends

  • According to the 2014 projections of the South Dakota Labor & Regulations Department, it would need 31 new medical assistants every year until 2024. This would’ve happened because of the 93 new jobs in this period, taking the employment from 1,060 to 1,153, which is a growth of 8.8%.
  • They also provided information about the median age of medical assistants in the state, which was 36, while 28.1% of them were 45 years or older. It indicated medical assistance is one of those jobs people like to stick with rather than looking for other opportunities.
  • Medical assisting was one of the top 25 fastest growing careers in South Dakota for 2016-2026, according to the projections made by BLS and the list made by CareerOneStop. It stood 23rd with a 19% projected growth rate, which would’ve seen the number of jobs increase by 190 in 10 years.
  • Another such list for the year 2019, made by Zippia, put medical assisting in the top 50 at the 48th spot, with 108.5% job growth by 2024, which would mean 1,150 total jobs by the end of 2024. It also stated the average annual salary of medical assistants to be $28,820.
  • Medical assistants are at #112 in the list of 200 most popular jobs of South Dakota, earning $30,620, as of March 2020, according to USA Wage. There are 930 medical assistants in the state, who make up for 0.22% of the total workforce.
  • Deciding where to apply for medical assistant jobs in South Dakota will become easier after looking at this list of top healthcare employers by Zippia. Company financial health, salaries, and employee diversity are taken into consideration while preparing this list. Following are the top 5 healthcare facilities in SD: Avera Health, Rapid City Regional Hospital, Sanford Health, Surgical Management Professionals, and Avera McKennan Fitness Center.

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.