How Much Do Medical Assistants Make?

A medical assistant’s salary varies based on experience, location, and other factors. Get a detailed breakdown of MA pay here.

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Job Description

Medical assistants are vital members of the healthcare team. They work alongside physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals to provide care and support to patients.

Medical assistants have a variety of responsibilities, which may include scheduling appointments, taking medical histories, recording vital signs, administering medications, and performing basic laboratory tests. In some states, they may also be allowed to assist with minor surgical procedures.

Due to the nature of their work, Medical Assistants must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. They must be able to work well under pressure and maintain a professional demeanor at all times.

Most medical assistants have at least a high school diploma or equivalent, although some employers may prefer candidates who have completed a formal training program. Many community colleges offer certification or associate degree programs in medical assisting.


One of the most important medical assistant duties is keeping the medical practice organized. This can be everything from handling patient scheduling and billing to maintaining records and managing supplies. Maintaining a clean and organized work space is also important, as it can help minimize the spread of infection and illness.


In order to become a medical assistant there are several qualifications that one must possess. Firstly, it is important to have a high school diploma or equivalent; secondly, completion of an accredited medical assisting program is required. These programs can be found at community colleges, technical schools, and some universities. After completing an accredited program, it is necessary to pass a certification exam in order to receive the Certified medical assistant (CMA) credential. Some states also require medical assistants to be licensed; requirements for licensure vary by state. Although not required, many medical assistants choose to become certified in CPR and basic life support.


In May 2019, the median annual wage for medical assistants was $34,800. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,200, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $48,700.

Job Outlook

In 2019, medical assistants made a median annual salary of $34,800, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The best-paid 10% in the field earned annual wages of $49,380 or more, while the lowest-paid 10% made $24,710 or less.

Most medical assistants worked in physicians’ offices in 2019 and earned average annual wages of $35,560. The next largest employers of medical assistants were hospitals; those who worked in these settings earned an average salary of $34,620 per year.


Medical assistants are paid based on their level of training, experience and geographical location. The median annual salary for medical assistants was $34,800 in May 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $25,480, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $48,720.


In order to become a certified medical assistant you must first pass an accredited certification exam. The level of experience and education that you have will play a role in which credential is best for you. Once you have passed the certification exam, you will need to maintain your credential by completing continuing education. Below are three organizations that offer medical assistant certification.

The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) offers the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential. To be eligible to sit for the CMA exam, candidates must graduate from an accredited medical assisting program and complete a brief medical assisting externship.

The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) offers the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) credential. Candidates must have completed an accredited medical assisting program and externship to sit for the CCMA exam.

The American Medical Technologists (AMT) offers the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential. Candidates must either graduate from an accredited medical assisting program or have at least five years of work experience as a medical assistant to sit for the RMA exam.

Professional Organizations

There are several professional organizations for medical assistants, such as the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), the National Healthcare Association (NHA), and the National Association of Healthcare Professionals (NAHCP). Each organization has its own membership requirements, but all offer continuing education opportunities and resources for medical assistants.


There are many different resources available to help individuals learn about the medical assistant profession and salary expectations. The internet is a great place to start researching this information. The Bureau of Labor Statistics website is a good resource for learning about the medical assistant occupation and salary expectations. The American Association of Medical Assistants website is another excellent resource for individuals interested in this field. There are also many private websites that offer information about medical assisting careers and salaries.

Medical assistants are trained to perform both administrative and clinical tasks in a healthcare setting. Although their job duties vary depending on the size and type of facility where they work, they typically take patient histories, help prepare patients for examinations, collect and process lab specimens, schedule appointments, perform billing and coding functions, and give patients information about medication and diet. With experience, medical assistants may specialize in a particular area of medicine or take on additional responsibilities.

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