What’s the Average Pay for a Medical Assistant?

The average pay for a medical assistant can vary depending on experience, location, and other factors. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for Medical assistants was $33,610 in May 2019.

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Job Description

A medical assistant is an allied health professional 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. The specific duties of medical assistants vary from state to state and from one medical practice to another, but there are some common tasks that medical assistants perform regardless of their employer. These tasks include greeting patients, updating and filing patients’ medical records scheduling appointments, verifying insurance coverage, preparing patients for examination, taking and recording vital signs, drawing blood, administering medications as directed by a physician, handling correspondence, handling billing and coding information for insurance purposes.

Education and Training

Medical assistants perform both clinical and administrative duties in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities. They must be able to work independently and as part of a team. They must be able to take medical histories, prepare patients for examinations, assist with minor surgical procedures, and give injections.

Most medical assistants have completed a postsecondary education program that lasts from 1 to 2 years and results in a certificate or diploma. Some states have approved programs in high school. Employers prefer to hire medical assistants who have completed an accredited program.


Most employers prefer or require certification for medical assistants. Several organizations offer certification, each with its own requirements. To be eligible for certification, candidates usually must have graduated from an accredited medical assisting program and passed a standardized exam. Some also must have worked a certain number of hours in the field before taking the exam.


As of May 2018, the average pay for a medical assistant was $16.14 per hour. The median pay for a Medical Assistant was $15.74 per hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.33 per hour, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $23.86 per hour.

Job Outlook

The average pay for a Medical Assistant is $15.61 per hour. The median salary is $31,780, meaning half of medical assistants make more than this and half make less. The top 10 percent of earners make more than $44,000, while the bottom 10 percent earn less than $21,000.

As of May 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were 708,600 medical assistants nationwide. This number is expected to grow by 29 percent between 2019 and 2029—much faster than the average growth rate for all occupations (5 percent).

Pros and Cons of the Job

There are many reasons to consider a career as a medical assistant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistant jobs are expected to grow much faster than average through 2024, and the median pay in 2016 was more than $31,000 per year. But before you decide that a career in medical assisting is right for you, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of the job.


1. Medical assistants can be an important part of the healthcare team, providing support to doctors and patients alike.

2. The job outlook for medical assistants is very good, with jobs expected to grow much faster than average in the coming years.

3. Medical assistants generally enjoy good pay and benefits, and the job can offer opportunities for advancement.

4. Medical assistants can find work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private physician offices.

1. Medical assistants often have little direct patient contact, which some people find dissatisfying.
2. The job can be physically demanding, as medical assistants may be required to lift or move patients from time to time. Also, extended periods of standing are common.
3. The work hours of medical assistants may be irregular, as they may be required to work evenings or weekends on occasion to cover for absent colleagues or meet patient needs

What to Expect

If you’re thinking about becoming a medical assistant, you might be wondering what sort of pay you can expect. Medical assistants are typically paid hourly, and the average hourly rate is $16.50, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That comes out to an average annual salary of $34,000.

Of course, your actual pay will depend on a number of factors, including your experience, your geographical location and the type of employer you work for. For example, medical assistants who work in doctors’ offices tend to earn a bit less than those who work in hospitals or other healthcare facilities.

As with most jobs, your pay is also likely to increase with experience. Medical assistants who have been working in the field for several years can expect to earn more than those who are just starting out. And, if you’re willing to relocate to another part of the country, you may be able to find higher-paying positions.

In general, medical assistants can expect to earn a comfortable living. If you’re interested in this career, be sure to research different employers and geographical locations to find the best fit for you and your family.

Working Conditions

Medical assistants work in clean, orderly, and well-lit offices. Many work full time and some work more than 40 hours per week. Because they are often on their feet for long periods of time, medical assistants may have to wear comfortable shoes to reduce back and leg pain.

Advancement Opportunities

Medical assistants can advance their careers by becoming certified medical assistants. A certified medical assistant has completed an accredited training program and has passed a national examination. Some states require certification for medical assistants to perform certain tasks, such as giving injections or taking X-rays. Certified medical assistants generally earn higher salaries than non-certified medical assistants.

Medical assistants can also advance their careers by completing a bachelor’s degree program in medical assisting. These programs typically take four years to complete and include courses in anatomy, physiology, and medical office procedures.Graduates of bachelor’s degree programs in medical assisting are eligible for positions such as healthcare administrator or insurance billing specialist.

Tips for Success

As a medical assistant, you will be required to perform a variety of tasks within the medical office. These tasks can range from handling phone calls and scheduling appointments to taking patient medical histories and vital signs. In order to be successful in this field, it is important to have strong communication skills, an ability to multitask, and a basic knowledge of Medical Terminology In terms of pay, the median annual salary for medical assistants was $33,610 in May 2016, with the top 10% earning more than $49,380.

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