Medical Assistants may not earn as much as surgeons, physicians, or medical practitioners, but they do make a sizable amount. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary of a medical assistant in 2019 was approximately $34,800.
There are many factors that determine medical assistant salaries, some of them include technical expertise, field of specialization, location, and total years of experience.
Many medical assistants use their education and training to get a job in the healthcare field as an entry point. They often use it as a foundation to gain experience, build a resume, and move on to more advanced medical jobs with the ability to earn higher salaries.
Medical Assistant Salary Packages
The salary packages of medical assistants vary and can depend upon the facility in which they are employed. The BLS has calculated the median salaries of medical assistants employed across different types of medical facilities.
For instance, medical assistants earn $37,190 in hospitals. In the office of a physician or medical practitioner, the median salary is $35,490, and they earn $39,190 on average when working in rehabilitation centers and outpatient care facilities.
According to statistics observed by the BLS, the earnings of the top 10% of medical assistants exceed $48,720 annually while the lowest 10% earned less than $25,820.
In addition to paid salary, medical assistants often receive various benefits as a part of their pay package. They may include housing, accommodation expenses, healthcare plan, vacation, and holiday pay, along with a 401(k) plan.
Medical Assistant Job Growth and Career Outlook
Employment of medical assistants is expected to grow significantly faster than the average rate for all occupations within the next decade. In fact the BLS projects a 19% growth rate in the ten year period of 2019 to 2029.
This projection of job growth is attributed to the aging baby-boomer population that will increase demand for medical services provided by physicians who will consequently need to employ more medical assistants to perform routine duties. The projected job growth rate for medical assistants is also dictated by a growing number of various types of healthcare facilities that will require medical assistants to carry out both administrative and clinical tasks along with new evolving tasks that medical assistants will be required for as part of medical teams.
Largest Employers Of Medical Assistants
Medical assistants work in a variety of healthcare settings. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has recorded the largest employers of medical assistants. More than half of medical assistants work in offices of physicians, which constitutes 57% of employed medical assistants. 15% of medical assistants work in hospitals. 8% work in rehabilitation centers and outpatient care facilities and 4% of them work in a chiropractor’s office.
Medical Assistant Salary Comparison In The Healthcare Field
Medical assistants are specialized allied health professionals within the health and medical domain. Salaries between different healthcare jobs tend to vary based on specialized skills, education level, and demand. While on average medical assistants are not the highest paid allied heather professionals, they do rank higher than many popular healthcare positions.
In the nursing field, nursing assistants earn $30,720 annually on average. Phlebotomists median pay in 2019 was $35,510 per year. Dental assistants’ average salary(interlink-Dental Assistant Salary And Career Outlook Page) is $40,08 and physical therapy assistants earn an average of $58,790.
How To Increase Earning Potential As A Medical Assistant
When it comes to boosting earning potential as a medical assistant there are a few different paths. Location is a consideration when it comes to salaries for medical assistants. Demand varies depending on location and of course the need for a particular job correlates to differences in pay. The top three states with the highest salaries for medical assistants are California, Alaska, and Minnesota.
Aside from relocation medical assistants can increase their earning potential by attaining a certification. While a certification is not necessary in all cases to obtain a job as a medical assistant, on average medical assistants with credentialed certifications earn higher salaries than those without them.
The most significant way to increase your earning potential as a medical assistant is by gaining experience. With years of experience, pay packages increases proportionately. The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) 2020 Compensation and Benefits Report displays average salaries of medical assistants based on experience. The report shows that medical assistants with 0-2 years of experience earn $30,255 increasing to $32,432 for medical assistants with 3-5 years of experience. Salaries for medical assistants with 6-9 years of experience average $34,598, increasing to $36,127 for 10-15 years of experience, and finally increasing to $39,585 for over 16 years of experience.
Considering A Career As A Medical Assistant
Now that you have a better understanding about the salaries and career outlook for medical assistants, you have more information when considering whether this allied health position aligns with your personal career goals. There are some obvious advantages to becoming a medical assistant. The path to a job is relatively quick and demand for medical assistant is projected to grow rapidly over the next decade. Starting salaries fall near the middle when compared to other allied health jobs.
The one point that shouldn’t be overlooked is that a career as a medical assistant often serves as an entry point into the health and medical field allowing individuals to gain experience and skills while pursuing further education to shift to another health career with greater earning potential.