Medical assistants play a very valuable role, but they are NOT nurses !
Medical assistants play a very valuable
role, but they are NOT nurses !

Medical assistant salary – by state, experience, industry and job duties

Certification as a medical assistant plays a part in the determination of their salary. Medical assistants who have obtained certification have larger salaries compared to those without. Employers are willing to hire non-certified medical assistants at considerably lower wages. These individuals typically earn less than $10/hour and are included among the lowest paid MAs.

Salary Based on Job Duties

  • A medical assistant’s job duties vary from job to job. Often the salary a MA earns is often based upon their required job duties.
  • The level of skill, type of care and difficulty are among the factors considered when determining a MA’s salary. Medical assistants who only perform clerical duties will make, on average, less than those who perform clerical duties and provide patient care.
  • The more responsibilities a medical assistant has, the greater their salary. Those who perform patient assessment, perform treatments, administer medication, obtain specimen samples for testing, clerical and administration duties are among the highest paid MAs in the country.


The level of experience is a factor used to determine a medical assistant’s salary. Average MA salary ranges are broken down and partially based upon years and types of work experience. Years of experience equal the total number of years an individual has worked as a medical assistant. This number should not include time spent training for the career.

Those with more experience earn larger salaries compared to medical assistants with less experience. Average salaries based on experience range as follows:

  • Less than 1 year: $27,000
  • 1-4 years $28,734
  • 5-9 years: $30,779
  • 10-19 years: $31,015
  • 20-plus years: $35,596


Location plays a part in the amount of money a medical assistant earns per year. Areas with a greater demand for medical assistants may pay higher salaries than areas where MAs are more prevalent. Annual salaries for medical assistants vary from job to job and state to state.

States that have higher averages for salaries include:

  • District of Columbia ($37,790/year)
  • Alaska ($36,400/year)
  • Massachusetts ($34,490/year)
  • Connecticut ($34,200/year)
  • Washington ($33,190/year)

Metropolitan Areas with the highest median hourly wage includes:

  • Vallejo-Fairfield, CA $20.68/hour
  • Salinas, CA $19.70/hour
  • Barnstable Town, MA $19.56/hour
  • San Francisco- San Mateo- Redwood City, CA $18.55/hour
  • Rochester, MN $18.31/hour

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Job Industry MA Salaries

The job industry for a medical assistant refers to the environments in which they find employment. MAs have the option of working in a variety of health-care settings. They work in dental offices, medical offices, hospitals and schools. Outpatient care centers, like wound care clinics, hire MAs who work as support staff helping patients and physicians.

They find employment in schools as well. They work in the medical department of schools where they care for students and faculty when needed. MAs are also hired to work at universities and professional schools as both health-care providers and educators. Medical assistants who work as educators teach future MAs the skills and knowledge needed to pursue a career in the MA field. Another option for MA educators includes teaching special topics. Teaching special topics allows them to specialize on a single subject or area, such as anatomy and physiology or patient assessment.

They have the ability to specialize their skills making them more suitable for work in a specialty practice. Examples of specialty practices include cardiology practices, orthodontics, wound care, pediatrics, surgical centers and obstetrics. Additional training may be necessary for medical assistants to work in a specialty practice. For example, medical assistants employed at a dentist’s office may be required to go through training to receive certification to use specific equipment such as an x-ray machine. Those employed at a wound care center will need trained how to evaluate, measure and bandage wounds located on any part of the body.

Average salaries for various industries in which medical assistants find employment include:

  • Colleges, Universities and Professional Schools $14.84/hour
  • General Medicine and Surgical Hospitals $14.82/hour
  • Outpatient Care Centers $14.34
  • Offices of Physicians $14.33/hour
  • Offices of Other Health Practitioners $12.74/hour
Article Written by Rachel Dennis

Rachel Dennis works as both a professional writer and health care provider. She has been a licensed health care provider since 1998, with work experience as a medical assistant, certified nursing assistant and emergency medical technician. She has been writing since 1994 and has been published both on-line and in print.


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