Medical Assistant Salary Information
The average salary for medical assistants is $38,190 annually, according to 2021 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, there is potential for medical assistants to earn more, depending on the state and facility in which they work. Read on to learn more about the medical assistant salary and career outlook.
Medical assisting is a field that’s bursting with opportunity. Amidst an increasing demand for healthcare services, medical assistants are needed to streamline office visits, maintain medical records, and assist practitioners with patient exams. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be over 120,000 job openings for medical assistants each year between 2021 and 2031. This rate of growth is much faster than all occupations—signifying that now is the time to enter the medical assisting field.
Before becoming a medical assistant, however, it is important to understand the salary potential, the growth opportunities, and the requirements involved. Aspiring MAs should understand whether the investment in education is worth the return. In this article, we will help guide this decision by answering questions like:
- How much do medical assistants make?
- What are the top paying workplaces for medical assistants?
- How much time does one invest in medical assisting school?
- What are other rewarding benefits of the medical assisting field?
How Much Do Medical Assistants Make?
Nationwide, medical assistants earn an average salary of $38,190 per year. This equates to roughly $18.36 per hour, with medical assistants typically working full-time schedules.
Of course, the medical assistant salary potential will vary by state and employer. The top ten highest-paying states for medical assistants today include:
- Washington, $47,320
- District of Columbia, $ 46,690
- Alaska, $46,390
- California, $44,780
- Massachusetts, $44,200
- Oregon, $44,000
- Minnesota, $44,010
- New York, $42,100
- Connecticut, $41,010
- New Hampshire, $40,370
What are the Top-Paying Workplaces for Medical Assistants?
How much a medical assistant makes will also depend on where they work in the field, and the work that they do each day. Are they working with patients in a private physician’s office? Are they working for a health insurance agency, handling medical claims? Below are examples of medical assistant salaries across popular work environments:
- Outpatient Care Centers: $44,680 annually
- Insurance Carriers: $44,390 annually
- General Hospitals: $39,550 annually
- Other Ambulatory Care Settings: $39,350 annually
- Offices of Physicians: $37,610 annually
- Offices of Other Healthcare Practitioners: $33,710 annually
How Much is the Investment in Medical Assisting School?
To become a medical assistant, postsecondary education is recommended. Like any healthcare career, medical assistants must know how to interact with patients as well as possess technical skills in the field. For example, medical assistants should know how to measure vital signs, operate electronic health records (EHRs), conduct preliminary patient interviews, collect laboratory specimens, and send prescription information to pharmacies. There is a lot that goes into the medical assistant role, and therefore training is required to prepare for the path ahead.
However, there is good news: Medical assistants do not need to invest years in medical school.
In fact, medical assisting is one of the fastest tracks towards a career in healthcare, and therefore also one of the most affordable. Postsecondary training programs can be completed in about one year. Some medical assistants may choose to pursue an associate degree to advance their skillsets, which can be completed in less than two years’ time.
At Goodwin University, for example, medical assisting students first pursue a certificate in medical assisting, which takes about 12 months to complete. This certificate makes graduates eligible to pursue professional certification and begin practicing in the field.
As a Certified Medical Assistant, you can work in exciting environments like:
- Ambulatory health care services
- Chiropractors’ offices
- Family medicine practices
- Hospital facilities
- Medical laboratories
- OB/GYN practices
- Outpatient care facilities
- Physicians’ offices
- Walk-in clinics
Goodwin medical assisting students are simultaneously enrolled in the associate degree program, which requires just a few more months in school. You can complete your associate in Medical Assisting in just 16 to 20 months total. Goodwin is one of the only schools locally offering medical assisting training for college credit, positioning you to count those courses towards a bachelor’s degree down the road.
All in all, investing just 12 to 20 months in medical assisting school is well-worth it – especially when you choose an affordable program. Goodwin offers one of the lowest tuition costs in the state, and the online-focused format of our medical assisting program makes it even easier for students to attend. You can even know the full cost of your tuition before you begin classes, with a transparent tuition model.
This means you will know exactly how much you can expect to invest in medical assisting classes, and how much you can make after graduation.
What are the Other Rewards of a Medical Assisting Career?
Medical assistants keep the healthcare field afloat, helping to record patient information, support physicians in examinations, stock medical inventory, prepare exam rooms, conduct lab tests, schedule patients, and, overall, ensure the office is running efficiently. As a result, they can expect great personal reward from what they do. Medical assistants have the opportunity to make an impact by ensuring:
- Patients are greeted and tended to during their visits
- Patients are comfortable and satisfied throughout their stays
- Physicians and nurses can provide high quality care because of the work that medical assistants do to make that process easier
Medical assistants also enjoy other rewarding aspects of the career, such as:
- A flexible schedule or traditional work hours, whichever you prefer
- Ability to specialize in an area of medical assisting or medicine
- Upward mobility in the field
- Exciting work, where no day is the same as the last
Are you ready to get a jumpstart on your career as a medical assistant? Learn more about Goodwin’s medical assisting programs to see why we’re a leader in healthcare education.
*All salary data was cited from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.