How Much Hourly Pay Should You Expect as a Medical Assistant?

Medical assistants are vital members of the healthcare team, providing support to doctors and other medical professionals. If you’re thinking of becoming a medical assistant, you’re probably wondering how much you can expect to earn. Here’s a look at the average hourly pay for medical assistants in the United States.

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Job Description

Medical assistants are trained to perform both clinical and administrative tasks in medical facilities such as doctors’ offices, outpatient clinics, and hospitals. They work alongside physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to provide care and support to patients.

Administrative duties might include answering phones, scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing insurance companies, and ordering supplies. Clinical duties might involve taking patients’ vital signs, conducting tests and lab procedures, preparing patients for examinations, assisting with minor office surgery, and providing patient education.

Most medical assistants have postsecondary education such as a certificate or diploma from an accredited medical assisting program. Many programs can be completed in less than 1 year and lead to certification by a professional organization such as the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Some states have certification requirements for medical assistants.

Duties

Medical assistants typically perform both administrative and clinical duties, although their exact job description may vary depending on the size, location and type of facility they work in. Some of the administrative duties that medical assistants may be responsible for include answering phones, scheduling appointments, handling billing and coding information, and maintaining patient records. Clinical duties may include taking patients’ vital signs, preparing them for examination, assisting the physician during the exam, performing basic laboratory tests and providing patients with instruction on post-treatment care.

Education and Certification

Medical assistants are critical members of the health care team, providing assistance to physicians and other health care providers. They perform a variety of administrative and clinical tasks to keep the office running smoothly.

While there is no formal education requirement to become a medical assistant, most employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed an accredited medical assistant program. These programs typically take about a year to complete and lead to a certificate or diploma. Some community colleges offer two-year associate degree programs in medical assisting.

In addition to completing an accredited medical assistant program, candidates must also pass a certification exam. Certification is not required in all states, but it may give candidates a competitive edge in the job market. The American Association of Medical Assistants offers the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential, which is recognized in all states.

Skills

When considering how much hourly pay to expect as a medical assistant, it is important to consider the skills required for the position. Medical assistants must have strong communication and customer service skills, as they will be interacting with patients on a daily basis. They must also be able to multitask and handle multiple tasks at once, as they will often be working in high-pressure environments. Finally, medical assistants must have strong attention to detail, as they will be responsible for tasks such as taking patient histories and vital signs.

Salary

Medical assistants are in demand in a variety of medical settings. Their primary duties include providing patient care and performing administrative and clinical tasks. If you are thinking about becoming a medical assistant, you may be wondering how much you can expect to earn.

Hourly wages for medical assistants can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and employer type. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median hourly wage for medical assistants was $17.31 in May 2019. This means that half of medical assistants earned less than this amount and half earned more.

The BLS also reports that the lowest 10 percent of medical assistants earned an hourly wage of $11.67 or less, while the highest 10 percent earned an hourly wage of $24.63 or more. Wages also tend to be higher in metropolitan areas and lower in rural areas.

In addition to hourly wages, many medical assistants receive benefits such as health insurance, paid vacation time, and retirement plans. These benefits can add significantly to your total compensation package.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for medical assistants is excellent. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical assistants is expected to grow 29 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. The increasing demand for health care services from the baby-boom generation will fuel this growth. Additionally, as physicians continue to examine ways to reduce operating costs, they are increasingly employing medical assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical tasks so that the physician can see more patients.

Locations

The Medical Assistant salary varies depending on their location. The salary can range from $12.50 to as high as $20.00 per hour. Geographically, the highest paying area for Medical Assistants is the Northeast region of the United States, which includes the following states: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. This area of the country pays an average wage of $15.27 per hour.

Benefits

As a medical assistant, you will be an important part of the health care team. Your responsibilities will include both administrative and clinical duties. You will usually work in a doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital.

Medical assistants are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of medical assistants will grow 29 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. The aging baby-boom population and continued expansion of health insurance coverage are expected to drive this growth.

Career Paths

Medical assistants may find themselves on a variety of different career paths. Some will choose to specialize in a particular area of medicine, such as pediatrics or geriatrics, while others will become certified to work in a laboratory or perform administrative duties. No matter what path you choose, there are a few things you can expect when it comes to pay.

On average, medical assistants make $15 an hour, or $31,200 per year. However, your salary will depend on a number of factors, including your experience, education, and location. For example, medical assistants who have completed a formal training program may earn more than those who have not. And those who work in large cities or metropolitan areas may earn more than those who work in smaller towns or rural areas.

In addition to hourly pay, you may also receive benefits such as health insurance and paid time off. These benefits can add thousands of dollars to your total compensation package and should be taken into consideration when evaluating job offers.

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