How Much Does a UC Davis Medical Assistant Make?

A medical assistant’s salary at UC Davis Health System depends on a number of factors, including experience, location, and whether they are certified.

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Job Description

A medical assistant is a person who supports the work of physicians and other health professionals, usually in a clinic setting. Medical assistants perform a variety of administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices of physicians and other health practitioners running smoothly. Most medical assistants have postsecondary education such as a certificate, although some have completed formal medical assisting programs at community colleges, vocational schools, or technical schools. Some states require certification for medical assistants.

Education and Training

Medical assistants are multi-skilled health care professionals specifically educated to work in outpatient facilities such as medical offices and clinics. They perform both clinical and administrative duties, such as taking and recording patient medical histories, vital statistics and information such as laboratory test results. They also may prepare patients for examinations, assist physicians during examinations and procedures, schedule appointments, collect co-pays and handle other office responsibilities.

The level of education and training required for medical assistants varies by state. Most states do not require certification or specific educational training to work as a medical assistant However, many employers prefer or require certification, which can be obtained through professional organizations such as the American Association of Medical Assistants or the National Healthcareer Association. Some schools also offer certification programs specifically for medical assistants. In general, the more education and training a medical assistant has, the higher their salary will be.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a medical assistant in California is $33,610 per year. Salaries for UC Davis medical assistants may vary depending on experience, education, and other factors.

Job Outlook

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that employment of medical assistants will grow by 29 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Increasing numbers of physician practices and other healthcare facilities will require medical assistants to perform various administrative and clinical tasks. An aging population will also lead to a greater demand for preventive medical services, which are often provided by medical assistants. The continued growth of the healthcare industry will result in new opportunities for employment for medical assistants.

Pros and Cons

There are many things to consider before becoming a medical assistant. As with most jobs, there are advantages and disadvantages that come with the territory. It’s important to carefully weigh your options before making a decision.

-A medical assistant can have a very rewarding career helping others.
-The job outlook for medical assistants is excellent, with an anticipated 29% growth in employment between 2016 and 2026.*
-Medical assistants are in high demand due to the Affordable Care Act which has resulted in more people having health insurance and needing healthcare services.
-A career as a medical assistant can be a stepping stone to other healthcare roles, such as becoming a registered nurse or a doctor.
-Medical assistants generally work regular daytime hours, Monday through Friday.
-Some medical assistants may have the opportunity to work remotely or from home.

-A career as a medical assistant may be emotionally difficult at times, as you will be working with sick patients on a daily basis.
-The job can be physically demanding, as you will be on your feet for long periods of time and may have to lift or move patients.
– Medical assistants may have to work evenings or weekends depending on the needs of their employer.
– The job can be stressful, as you will be working under pressure to provide quality care in a timely manner.

What to Expect

Medical assistants in UC Davis earn an average salary of $37,121 per year, or $17.83 per hour. The lowest 10 percent of medical assistants earn less than $27,850 annually, or $13.34 per hour, while the top 10 percent earn more than $49,870 per year, or $23.93 per hour.

UC Davis Medical Assistant Programs

UC Davis offers a few different medical assistant programs, each with its own curriculum and requirements. The most popular program is the Standard Medical Assistant Program, which takes around two years to complete. This program is designed to give students the skills and knowledge they need to work as a medical assistant in a variety of settings, including doctors’ offices, clinics, and hospitals.


The certification that a medical assistant earns shows that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to perform properly in their role. There are many different types of medical assistant certifications, but the most common are the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) and the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA). In order to become a CMA, an individual must pass an exam offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants. To become an RMA, an individual must complete an accredited medical assistant program and pass an exam offered by the American Medical Technologists.

While certification is not required in all states, it may be required by some employers. In addition, having certification may help medical assistants earn a higher salary. According to, the median yearly salary for a certified medical assistant is $33,610. The median yearly salary for a non-certified medical assistant is $29,560. This difference of $4,050 means that certified medical assistants earn about 13.7% more than non-certified medical assistants.

Advancement Opportunities

Most UC Davis medical assistants enter the occupation with a postsecondary nondegree award, such as a certificate. Other UC Davis medical assistants have completed formal medical assisting programs at the certificate, diploma, or associate’s degree level. Some States have certification requirements for medical assistants.

Employers prefer to hire individuals who have completed formal education programs in medical assisting and who are certified. Certification for medical assistants demonstrates competency in the field and can give job seekers a competitive advantage when applying for jobs. Many employers reimburse workers for the cost of certification exams.

There are several credentialing options available for medical assistants. The Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) offers the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential. To qualify for the CMA credential, candidates must graduate from a Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)- or Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)-accredited program and pass an exam administered by the Certifying Board of the AAMA.

Individuals can also earn certification through the National Healthcare Association (NHA) by passing an exam administered by that organization. The American Medical Technologists (AMT) also offers a Registered Medical Assistant credential; candidates must pass an exam administered by AMT to qualify


As of May 2018, the average UC Davis medical assistant made $17.32 an hour, or $36,040 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10 percent of earners made more than $22 an hour, or $45,880 per year.

UC Davis Health offers a competitive benefits package to all eligible employees and their dependents. Our benefits include health (two PPO options), dental, vision and life insurance plans; flexible spending and parking accounts; a retirement savings 401(k) plan with employer match; tuition reimbursement for eligible employees; 155 hours of paid time off (PTO), 13 holidays and up to 5 floating holidays per year for eligible employees; long-term disability coverage; and much more!

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