How much do Medical assistants make? It’s a fair question to ask when you’re considering a career change. Here’s a look at MAs’ average hourly wages and annual salaries by experience and state.
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The medical assistant profession is frequently chosen by those who want to work in the medical field but don’t necessarily want to go through the rigors of becoming a licensed doctor or nurse. The job scope of a medical assistant is much more limited than that of a licensed physician, but it is also much less dangerous and time-consuming. Because of this, many people who become Medical Assistants do so in order to have a better work-life balance.
What is a medical assistant?
A medical assistant is a healthcare professional who supports the work of physicians and other medical staff. Medical assistants perform a variety of administrative, clinical, and clerical tasks in doctors’ offices, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. They are an important part of the healthcare team and play a vital role in keeping medical practices running smoothly.
Medical assistants typically have an associate’s degree or certification from a vocational school. Some states have certification requirements for medical assistants. Medical assistants must be able to keep confidential patient information private and must be able to follow instructions from physicians and other members of the healthcare team. They must be detail-oriented and organized, with good communication skills.
The median annual salary for medical assistants was $33,610 in May 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also projects that employment of medical assistants will grow 23 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Duties of a medical assistant
As a medical assistant you will perform administrative and clinical tasks to support the work of physicians and other health professionals. Your duties will vary depending on the size and type of healthcare facility where you work, but may include taking and recording medical histories, preparing patients for examinations, measuring patients’ vital signs, sterilizing equipment, instructing patients about medication and diet, drawing blood, scheduling appointments and maintaining medical records
Education and training requirements
Those interested in becoming a medical assistant will need to complete a postsecondary educational program. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most of these programs take about one year to complete, although some may last up to two years (). In addition, the BLS notes that some medical assistants complete on-the-job training lasting up to four months.
Medical assistants must complete an accredited medical assisting program before taking the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants’ (AAMA) Certification Exam for Medical Assistants. The AAMA offers certification for both medical assistants who have completed an accredited program as well as those who have completed an accredited allied health education program and have at least five years of full-time work experience as a medical assistant.
What can you expect to earn as a medical assistant? Your job salary will depend on several factors, including your experience, education, and location. Here’s a look at what you can expect to earn in different situations.
Some medical assistants start their careers with little or no formal education beyond a high school diploma. In these cases, job salaries are usually on the low end of the pay scale. With experience and on-the-job training, medical assistants can earn raises and eventually move into higher-paying positions.
Those who have completed a formal medical assisting program often have an advantage when it comes to job salaries. In many cases, they can start their careers in higher-paying positions and earn more money than those without formal training. In addition, many employers offer higher starting salaries to those with formal education and training.
Medical assistants who are certified by a professional organization often have an advantage when it comes to job salaries. In many cases, employer’s view certification as evidence of a commitment to the profession and are willing to pay more for these employees. Certified medical assistants may also have an edge when it comes to competing for jobs against non-certified candidates.
Your location can also affect your job salary as a medical assistant. Jobs in certain areas of the country tend to pay more than others. For example, medical assistants in New York City tend to earn more than those in other parts of the country. This is because the cost of living is higher in New York City, and employers must offer higher salaries to attract and retain qualified employees.
Employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 19 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. With the aging baby-boom population and continued advancement in medical technologies, physicians will hire more assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties, allowing the physicians to see more patients.
Pros and cons of being a medical assistant
As a medical assistant, you can expect to earn a median annual salary of $34,800, or $16.74 per hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Keep in mind that your earnings will vary based on factors like your employer, geographic location and years of experience.
The BLS reports that the top 10% of medical assistants earned more than $49,860 in 2018, while the bottom 10% earned less than $24,620. If you’re just starting out in your career, you can expect to earn on the lower end of the pay scale. With experience, you can move up to the higher end of the pay scale.
Medical assistant job satisfaction
There are a few key factors that affect medical assistant job satisfaction, such as:
-The work environment
-The relationships with patients, co-workers, and supervisors
With that in mind, here are a few things you can expect in terms of salary for your medical assistant job:
A typical medical assistant job satisfaction score is about 3.5 on a 5-point scale. This means that most medical assistants are generally satisfied with their job, but there is room for improvement.
The average salary for a medical assistant is $32,000 per year. However, salaries can range from $26,000 to $38,000 per year, depending on experience, education, and location.
How to become a medical assistant
Most medical assistants have at least a high school diploma, although some have completed postsecondary education, and almost all receive on-the-job training. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that successful completion of a postsecondary certificate or diploma program generally increases employment opportunities and earnings potential for medical assistants. Some states have certification requirements for medical assistants.
In conclusion, medical assistant salaries are quite varied, depending on experience, education, geographic location, and other factors. However, most medical assistants can expect to earn a comfortable salary that allows them to live a good lifestyle. With the right career planning and effort, medical assistants can earn a very good salary indeed.