What is the Average Salary for a Certified Medical Assistant?

The average salary for a Certified medical assistant is $33,580 per year.

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Job Description

The Occupational Outlook Handbook from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides detailed information about certified medical assistant job description, duties, working conditions and salaries.

Certified Medical assistants work under the supervision of physicians and other medical staff to perform administrative and clinical tasks in hospitals, clinics and other healthcare settings. duties may include greeting patients, answering phones, scheduling appointments, handling insurance forms and coding medical charts. They also may take and record patient medical histories, vital statistics and test results, prepare patients for examinations and assist with minor office surgery procedures.

Most certified Medical Assistants have completed postsecondary education programs that typically last about 1 year and award a certificate or diploma. Some states have approved certification programs that last several months. Employers usually require new certified medical assistants to complete a brief period of on-the-job training.

In May 2012, the median annual wage for certified medical assistants was $28,860. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,700, while the top 10 percent earned more than $40,270. The median annual wages for certified medical assistants in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Elementary and secondary schools: $31,750
Offices of physicians: $29,710
General hospitals; state, local, and private: $28,950
Outpatient care centers: $28,710
Offices of other health practitioners: $28,560


The medical assistant job description is broad and varied. Most medical assistants have a combination of clinical and administrative duties. They may take medical histories and record vital signs, explain treatment procedures to patients, prepare patients for examination, authorize insurance forms, schedule appointments and perform basic laboratory tests. Some medical assistants specialize in one area or the other, depending on their particular skill set or the needs of their employer.


There are many ways to become a certified medical assistant but most will require some form of training. The length of the training program can range from a few weeks to several months, and sometimes longer. Some medical assistants complete formal schooling at a community college or vocational school, while others may receive on-the-job training from a hospital or physician’s office.

The type of training you receive will likely depend on the state in which you work as well as your employer’s preference. In some states, certification is not required to work as a medical assistant, but many employers prefer to hire those who have completed a certified program.


There are various types of medical assistant certification. The most common is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) certification, which is offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To be eligible for this certification, you must have completed an accredited medical assistant program and passed the CMA Exam. According to the AAMA, as of May 2017, the average salary for a CMA was $15.21 per hour, or $31,540 per year.


The median annual wage for medical assistants was $33,610 in May 2017. 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 $48,720.

Job Outlook

The average certified medical assistant salary is between $33,000 and $37,000 per year, with a median salary of about $35,000 per year. The top 10 percent of earners make more than $41,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent make less than $29,000 per year. The job outlook for medical assistants is positive, with an expected growth rate of 29 percent between 2019 and 2029. This is much faster than the average growth rate for all occupations.

Pros and Cons

There are many factors to consider when thinking about becoming a certified medical assistant (CMA). Along with researching the duties, job outlook, and necessary training of this profession, it is also important to think about the potential salary you could earn. According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average salary for a certified medical assistant is $33,610 per year ($16.18 per hour). Keep in mind that salaries can vary greatly depending on your experience, location, and industry.

CMAs can find work in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, and even schools. The duties of a CMA can range from administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments and handling billing to clinical tasks such as taking patient histories and measuring vital signs. CMAs who have completed additional training may also perform more specialized tasks such as giving injections or assisting with minor surgical procedures.

-The potential to earn a good salary: As mentioned above, the average salary for a CMA is $33,610 per year. However, those with more experience or who work in certain industries (such as healthcare) can earn much more than this.
-Flexible job options: CMAs can find work in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, schools, and even some research laboratories.
-The ability to help others: CMAs have the opportunity to directly help patients with their medical care. This can be very rewarding work for those who enjoy helping others.
-Potential for career advancement: With additional training and experience, CMAs may be able to advance into management positions or even become registered nurses.

The Cons:
-The need for certification: In order to work as a CMA, you must first earn your certification from an accredited program. This can take some time and money to accomplish.
-Long hours on your feet: Due to the nature of the job, CMAs often have to stand for long periods of time or even lift heavy objects on occasion. This can be tiring and may not be suitable for those with certain physical limitations.
-Dealing with sick people: As a CMA, you will likely encounter sick patients on a daily basis. This can be emotionally draining for some people and may not be suitable for those who are easily affected by such things


1. What are the average salaries for certified medical assistants?
2. What is the outlook for certified medical assistants?
3. How do I become a certified medical assistant?

Certification Renewal

Certification renewal for medical assistants is every two years. To renew certification, medical assistants must complete continuing education (CE) credits and submit an application to the certifying organization.

Where to Start

The median salary for a certified medical assistant is $33,610 per year, or $16.17 per hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2018. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,560, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $46,980. Most certified medical assistants worked in physicians’ offices, where they earned a median salary of $33,730 per year. Other common workplaces included hospitals (excluding state and local government hospitals) and general medical and surgical hospitals.

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