How Much Does a Certified Medical Assistant Make?

If you’re considering becoming a certified medical assistant you’re probably wondering how much you can expect to earn in this career. Here’s a look at the average salary for certified Medical assistants in the United States

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Job Description

A medical assistant is a type of allied health professional that helps support the work of physicians and other health professionals, usually in outpatient clinics, by performing a variety of administrative and clinical tasks.


A medical assistant is a multi-skilled professional who provides direct patient care under the supervision of an licensed physician. certified medical assistant There are two types of Medical Assistants those who have been certified and those who have not. The duties of a medical assistant may include, but are not limited to, taking and recording a patient’s medical history, measuring vital signs such as blood pressure and weight, documenting patients’ symptoms, assisting with minor office surgery, giving injections, scheduling appointments, handling finances and insurance paperwork, preparing laboratory specimens and performing basic lab tests.


The average certified medical assistant salary is $33,610 per year, or $16.17 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $28,080 per year, while experienced workers can make up to $39,790 per year.

Job Outlook

The outlook for medical assistants is bright. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of medical assistants will grow much faster than the average for all occupations between 2016 and 2026, at 29 percent. The increasing complexity of health care services should result in a growing need for workers to perform routine technical support services in physicians’ offices and other ambulatory healthcare settings.

Education and Certification

In order to become a certified medical assistant, you must complete an accredited certification program. These programs can be completed in as little as six months, although most take between nine and twelve months. Once you have completed a certification program, you must then pass the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).


There are a variety of skills that a certified medical assistant must have in order to be successful in their role. These skills include both hard skills, such as medical knowledge and clinical skills, and soft skills, such as communication and interpersonal skills.

Work Environment

The vast majority of certified medical assistants (92%) work in hospitals, clinics, or other healthcare facilities. Of those who work in hospitals, most (56%) are employed in general hospitals, while the rest work in specialty hospitals, such as psychiatric or rehabilitation hospitals. Many others work in physicians’ offices (including group practices), outpatient care centers, or state, local, and private hospitals. A small number work for the federal government. Most medical assistants work full time; about 1 in 4 worked part time in 2016.

Most medical assistants have a high school diploma and receive on-the-job training that typically lasts about 3 months. Some states have approved postsecondary education programs for medical assistants, but no formal educational credential is currently required for entry into this occupation. Many employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed a postsecondary education program for medical assistants. In addition, certification gives employers and patients confidence that the individual has the knowledge and skills needed to perform the job. Most of these workers must take continuing education courses throughout their careers to keep up with changes in medical technology and compliance with regulatory standards.

Advancement Opportunities

Certified medical assistants (CMAs) enjoy many opportunities for career advancement. With experience, CMAs may assume more responsibility, take on supervisory roles, or specialize in a particular area of medicine. Some CMAs go on to become registered nurses or pursue other healthcare degrees.

Key Takeaways

In May 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median annual wage for medical assistants was $33,610. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,760, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $48,720. The best-paid 10 percent in the profession earned an annual wage of $48,720, while the lowest-paid 10 percent was paid an hourly wage of $11.56.

Find Medical Assistant Programs

Medical assistants are in high demand! By completing a certified medical assistant program, you can start your career in healthcare sooner than you might think. But how much does a certified medical assistant make?

In general, medical assistants can expect to earn a median hourly wage of $16.05, or a yearly salary of $33,480. With experience, medical assistants may be able to earn more. The top 10 percent of medical assistants earn an hourly wage of $22.76, or a yearly salary of $47,290.

If you are considering becoming a certified medical assistant, it’s important to do your research and choose a reputable program. The best way to find out about medical assistant programs is to talk to someone who is already working in the field. They can tell you about their own experiences and help you find the right program for you.

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