Medical Assistant Salary Expectations
When you study to become a medical assistant, you know that you will be making a difference in the lives of patients every day, playing a vital role in the health care industry, and assisting physicians, podiatrists, pediatricians, or other health practitioners in essential work. The job involves a wide variety of tasks, ranging from clerical to clinical. Clerical duties include office administration, filing, scheduling and Microsoft Office knowledge whereas clinical skills would encompass direct patient care such as specimen collection, drawing blood and taking vitals. This is just a sampling of the duties a medical assistant might encounter in a typical day. Job satisfaction is often the most critical factor to consider when deciding your career, but also pay, advancement opportunities and job growth should also be explored.
What is the Average Medical Assistant Salary?
The median annual wage for medical assistants in May of 2018 was $33,610, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. This means that half of all medical assistants earned more than this and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned under $24,790, but the top 10 percent earned more than $47,250.
What Factors Affect Annual Medical Assistant Salary?
The disparity in pay is due to several factors. For example, certification. A certified medical assistant could have a higher chance of finding work to begin with and often commands a higher wage. There are several options to become certified, including Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT), Certified EKG Technician (CET), and Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA). These certifications are awarded through the National Healthcareer Association.
Additionally, where you chose to work can have an effect on salary. For example, the highest salaries, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, are found in outpatient care centers. Employment in a hospital setting is the second highest average salaries in the industry. Medical assistants can also find employment of physician or chiropractic offices.
A few of the other factors to consider with regards to salary are experience and geography. Experience also factors highly in determining salary. With more experience and additional certifications, you could reasonably expect to see salaries increase. Geography also impacts salaries as state and area can have an influence over median salaries. Career One Stop has a salary tool that can be beneficial in examining this data.
Medical Assistant Job Outlook
Employment for medical assistants is predicted to grow by 23 percent between 2018 and 2028 — from 686,600 positions in 2018 to 841,500 in 2028, or an increase of 154,900 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.
How to Become a Medical Assistant
Choosing a new career is a very personal decision and several factors should be considered before making a decision. Researching job duties and responsibilities and comparing those to your interests is a great place to start. If you are looking for an exciting and rewarding career helping people in the growing medical field, Medical Assisting would be a great option. The admissions representatives at Southern Careers Institute can discuss your career goals, walk you through class schedules, help you apply, and provide guidance and support on preparing for a medical assistant training program.