Pay Range for Medical Assistants

The pay range for Medical assistants can vary depending on experience, location, and other factors. However, the average hourly wage for Medical Assistants is $16.07, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Job Description

Medical assistants perform a variety of tasks to support the work of physicians and other medical professionals. They may take medical histories, measure patients’ vital signs, prepare blood for laboratory tests, instruct patients about medications and special diets, arrange for hospital admissions and laboratory tests, and perform basic clerical duties.

Duties and Responsibilities

Medical assistants perform many duties and responsibilities to support the work of physicians and other health professionals. They are a vital part of the health care team.

The duties and responsibilities of medical assistants include:
Answering patients’ questions and providing them with information about procedures, tests, and medical conditions
Assisting with examinations, taking patient histories, and performing basic laboratory tests
Drawing blood and administering medications as directed by a physician
Instructing patients about medication, diet, and other aspects of their care
Maintaining patient records and scheduling appointments
Applying dressings and other treatments as directed by a physician

Education and Training

Education and training requirements vary for medical assistants. Some states require certification, while others do not. Most medical assistants have at least a high school diploma, although some have completed postsecondary education, such as a certificate or associate degree program in medical assisting. Many employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed a formal training program.

There are many ways to become a certified medical assistant Two options are to complete an accredited postsecondary medical assisting program and/or to sit for the Certified medical assistant (CMA) exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To be eligible to take the CMA exam, candidates must have graduated from an accredited medical assisting program or have equivalent experience (e.g., military training). Once certified, medical assistants must recertify every 60 months to maintain their credential.


The average pay for a medical assistant with certification is $16.21 per hour. The average pay for a Medical Assistant without certification is $13.46 per hour.


The average salary for a Medical Assistant is $16.14 per hour in the United States Entry level positions start at $11 per hour while most experienced workers make up to $22 per hour.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for medical assistants are expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations between 2019 and 2029. The number of jobs is expected to increase by 29%, which is more than three times the growth rate for all occupations ( The expansion of healthcare facilities, along with an aging population and advances in medical technology, will contribute to the demand for medical assistants.

Pros and Cons

See table below for hourly rates by state.

The median hourly wage for medical assistants was $15.21 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $10.39, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $21.22.

Hourly wages for medical assistants are highest in the following states:
Oregon – $17.68
Washington – $17.47
Alaska – $17.24

Among the metropolitan areas with the highest employment levels for medical assistants, the following had the highest wages:
Salinas, California – $19.71
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California – $18.74
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington – $18.63

Advancement Opportunities

Medical assistants with certification may have better job prospects and may earn higher wages than non-certified medical assistants. In addition, medical assistants may find advancement opportunities within their field. With experience, medical assistants may become supervisors of other medical assistants or office staff, or they may move into training or quality control positions. Some administrative medical assistants may also become involved in billing and coding, insurance processing, human resources, or marketing.

Working Conditions

Salary for Medical Assistants
The median annual wage for medical assistants was $33,610 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,280, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $47,290.

Finding a Job

Medical assistants are allied health professionals who work alongside physicians and other medical staff to provide patient care. They perform a variety of administrative and clinical tasks, including taking patient medical histories, scheduling appointments, answering phones, and preparing patients for examination.

The pay range for medical assistants varies depending on experience, education, geographical location, and other factors. Most medical assistants start out earning between $30,000 and $40,000 per year. Experienced medical assistants can earn up to $60,000 or more per year.

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