How Much Do Medical Assistants Make?

medical assistant job descriptionMedical assistants play a key role in treating and managing patients in medical offices, and outpatient clinics. They provide support by handling administrative duties, processing patient samples, and carrying out patient care.

Medical assistants typically work in the offices of chiropractors, physicians, podiatrists and other healthcare professionals. They are responsible for recording and managing sensitive patient care data, and updating records.

There is a need for a keen eye for detail, excellent analytical skills, a detail orientated approach, and good technical and interpersonal skills. A lot of the training is done on the job, with a vast amount of knowledge being gained over years in practice.

Have a look at our easy to follow guide if you’re interested in becoming a medical assistant.

Medical Assistant Salary

How much do medical assistants make per annum? The average medical assistant’s salary per annum is . This is the median wage recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

what do medical assistants do

Interestingly the lowest 10% of medical assistants earns less than $24,790. This gives us a good idea of a medical assistant starting salary. While the highest 10% earns in excess of $47,250, giving us a good picture of what experience and qualifications can add to a salary.

Some of the factors that have an impact on a medical assistant’s salary include the state they are working in, their level of qualifications, and how many years practice they have. There are not always lots of progression opportunities, so experience counts for a lot.

Most medical assistants work full-time. The hours are usually far from standard, with a lot of medical facilities being open round the clock. So working long shifts, nights, weekends and holidays are not usual.

Top 5 Paying States

FlagStateEmployment per 1000 JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Alaska FlagAlaska4.43$19.08$39,680
Massachusetts FlagMassachusetts4.85$18.09$37,640
Washington FlagWashington4.43$17.24$35,850
Connecticut FlagConnecticut4.21$17.00$35,360
California FlagCalifornia5.37

Top Paying Industries

IndustryPercent of industry employmentHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Scientific Research and Development Services0.20$17.63$36,670
Personal Care Services$17.32$36,030
Insurance Carriers0.02$16.87$35,090
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools0.19$16.69$34,720
Offices of Dentists 0.43$16.62$34,570

Medical Assistant Job Description

medical assistant salarySo, what do medical assistants do? Medical assistants carry out a wide range of administrative duties in the offices of physicians, chiropractors, podiatrists and other health practitioners.

Some of their key duties include:

  • Measuring and recording patient’s vital signs.
  • Taking, recording, and updating patient medical history.
  • Scheduling appointments for patients.
  • Taking and preparing samples for laboratory testing.
  • Administer injections.

Throughout a medical assistants career they will see and experience a wide range of medical issues. There is a need to always be learning and updating their knowledge. So a progressive and adaptive attitude is a desirable asset.

They are responsible for taking and maintaining confidential patient information. Under a medical code of practice they must share and discuss patient data with other medical personnel only.

In hospitals or larger practices, medical assistants can sometimes specialize in one area of practice. Like just administrative work, or clinical work. This is due to the volume of patients, making it financially beneficial to have different assistants to cover different areas of work.

Here are several different areas of expertise medical assistant’s work with:

Administrative medical assistants – Typically fill out insurance forms and handle patients’ medical records. They will take telephone calls, answering administrative questions and scheduling appointments. Some assistants are responsible for maintaining medical supplies and equipment.

Clinical medical assistants – Typically carry out a range of different duties, often depending on the organization or state they are working in. They may be involved in laboratory testing, handling samples, and maintaining medical tools and equipment.

Ophthalmic medical assistants – Typically work with ophthalmologists. Providing care and advice to patients with eye problems. They show patients how to correctly and safely wear contact lenses, as well as advising on proper eye care.

Podiatric medical assistants – Typically work with podiatrists, also known as foot doctors. They roles include making casting of patients’ feet. Taking and developing x rays, and aiding podiatrists with surgical procedures.

Medical Assistants Career Outlook

The job outlook for medical assistants is very positive. There is an expected growth of 29% until 2026. This is much faster than the average for all occupations.

Some of the main factors that contribute to this outlook include the baby-boom population, the ever aging population, and the increase in availability of health care for people.

These are all factors that lead to more demand for health care. Therefore there is a growing number of medical practices, and a need for more medical assistants. The healthcare sector is always growing, something that gives a great deal of job security to medical assistants.

Additional demand is also expected due to a lot of medical assistants changing tasks and working closer with larger medical teams. Along with the roll out of more technological systems in health care practices.

Assistants are responsible for maintain records and using the IT systems. Further strengthening their position within the clinics, hospitals, and medical offices.

Medical Assistant Salary by State

FlagStateEmployment per 1000 JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Alabama FlagAlabama3.658$12.47$25,930
Alaska FlagAlaska4.431$19.08$39,680
Arizona FlagArizona6.48$15.29$31,800
Arkansas FlagArkansas2.343$13.60$28,280
California FlagCalifornia5.373$16.73$34,790
Colorado flagColorado3.961$15.83$32,930
Connecticut FlagConnecticut4.205$17.00$35,360
Delaware flagDelaware4.473$15.39$32,010
Florida FlagFlorida5.318$14.13$29,400
Georgia FlagGeorgia5.337$14.16$29,460
Hawaii FlagHawaii4.711$16.22$33,730
Idaho FlagIdaho4.239$14.46$30,070
Illinois FlagIllinois3.26$15.02$31,230
Indiana FlagIndiana4.608$14.08$29,290
Iowa FlagIowa3.102$14.90$31,000
Kansas FlagKansas3.119$13.73$28,550
Kentucky FlagKentucky4.355$13.46$27,990
Louisiana FlagLouisiana3.525$12.84$26,700
Maine FlagMaine5.421$15.10$31,400
Maryland FlagMaryland4.071$15.65$32,550
Massachusetts FlagMassachusetts4.846$18.09$37,640
Michigan FlagMichigan5.579$14.11$29,350
Minnesota FlagMinnesota3.144$16.36$34,020
Mississippi FlagMississippi1.978$13.07$27,190
Missouri FlagMissouri3.545$13.97$29,060
Montana FlagMontana2.065$15.03$31,270
Nebraska FlagNebraska3.557$14.51$30,180
Nevada FlagNevada4.651$15.03$31,270
New Hampshire FlagNew Hampshire3.364$15.75$32,770
New Jersey FlagNew Jersey3.948$15.98$33,240
New Mexico FlagNew Mexico5.723$13.61$28,320
New York FlagNew York2.699$16.13$33,540
North Carolina FlagNorth Carolina3.546$14.37$29,900
North Dakota FlagNorth Dakota1.799$15.59$32,420
Ohio FlagOhio4.01$13.71$28,520
Oklahoma FlagOklahoma4.899$13.39$27,850
Oregon FlagOregon5.57$16.49$34,310
Pennsylvania FlagPennsylvania4.22$14.39$29,940
Rhode Island FlagRhode Island5.653$15.87$33,000
South Carolina FlagSouth Carolina4.463$13.97$29,050
South Dakota FlagSouth Dakota2.616$13.33$27,720
Tennessee FlagTennessee5.266$13.97$29,060
Texas FlagTexas4.953$13.73$28,550
Utah FlagUtah5.784$14.05$29,230
Vermont FlagVermont2.413$16.21$33,720
Virginia FlagVirginia2.927$14.89$30,960
Washington FlagWashington4.434$17.24$35,850
West Virginia FlagWest Virginia4.809$12.08$25,130
Wisconsin FlagWisconsin3.963$15.48$32,210
Wyomin FlagWyoming2.315$14.82$30,830

Top paying metropolitan areas

AreaEmployment per 1000 jobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
San Jose / Sunnyvale / Santa Clara, – CA 4.29$20.76$43,180
Santa Rosa / Petaluma, – CA 4.59$20.46$42,560
San Francisco / San Mateo / Redwood City, – CA – Metropolitan Division 3.82$19.61$40,800
Oakland / Fremont / Hayward, – CA – Metropolitan Division 5.28$19.38$40,310
Santa Cruz / Watsonville, – CA 6.86$19.37$40,300

Top paying nonmetropolitan areas

AreaEmployment per 1000 jobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Railbelt – Southwest Alaska – nonmetropolitan area3.83$20.28$42,180
Southeast Alaska – nonmetropolitan area2.64$19.80$41,180
North – Central Colorado – nonmetropolitan area1.26$19.40$40,350
North – Central Oregon – nonmetropolitan area 5.48$17.21$35,800
Northern Mountains – Region of California – nonmetropolitan area 4.77$17.19$35,750

Medical Assistant Career Video

Noel Griffith, Ph.D.
Noel Griffith is a Doctor of Philosophy with a strong interest in educational research. He has been an editor-in-chief of since 2014. Noel is an avid reader (non-fiction), enjoys good food, live theatre, and helping others make wiser career decisions.

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