When you study to become a medical assistant, you know that you will be making a difference in the lives of a large number of patients every day, playing a vital role in the health care industry, and assisting physicians, podiatrists, dentists, or other health practitioners in essential work. The job involves a wide variety of tasks, ranging from clerical, such as office administration, to clinical, including basic patient care, reading vital signs, and drawing blood.
However, job satisfaction is just one critical factor to consider when deciding your career; another major consideration is pay. Before you decide to enroll in a course, learn more about the medical assistant salary.
How Much Can Medical Assistants Expect to Earn?
The median annual wage for medical assistants in May 2012 was $29,370, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This means that half of all medical assistants earned more than this and half less. The lowest 10 percent earned under $21,080, but the top 10 percent earned more than $41,570.
What Factors Affect Annual Salary?
The disparity in pay is due to several factors, including:
Medical assistants who hold a certification not only have a higher chance of finding work to begin with, they also earn more. There are several options to become certified, including Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT), Certified EKG Technician (CET), Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA), and Electronic Health Records Specialist (EHRS). The right choice for you will depend on the nature of the work you want to pursue.
Medical assistants receive the highest salaries when employed by scientific research services, personal care services, insurance carriers, universities, and dentists’ offices — earning, on average, between $34,570 to $36,670 per year. However, the majority of work for medical assistants is found in physician’s offices, hospitals, and outpatient care centers, reports the BLS.
Years of experience
The longer you work as a medical assistant, the more you can expect to earn.
Employment for medical assistants is predicted to grow by 29 percent between 2012 and 2022 — from 560,800 positions to 723,700, or an increase of 162,900 jobs. This is much faster than the average for all occupations due to the aging population requiring preventive medical services. Physician’s and other health care professionals are needing more assistants to carry out routine clinical duties and for support with administrative tasks while doctors attend to patients.
The Situation in Texas
In 2014, there were around 55,620 medical assistant jobs in Texas alone. You can expect to earn around $13.73 per hour or $28,550 per year, according to mean wages reported by the BLS.
Improve your chances of receiving a high salary, starting from your very first job as a medical assistant, by studying a program that prepares you for at least one of the above certifications and teaches you essentials skills like phlebotomy, EKG monitoring, patient care, office administration, and pharmacology. Look for schools that offer a well-rounded education, hands-on training, and practical experience to increase your job opportunities and the likelihood of receiving a good medical assistant salary after you graduate.