Medical Assistant Salary By Experience
|Experience Level||Low Hourly||High Hourly||Low Annual||High Annual|
|5 Years +||$10.71||$22.51||$22,280.00||$46,830.00|
Medical assistants are an indispensible demographic in the modern world of medical practice, particularly in private offices of physicians and in general and surgical hospitals. These professionals perform clinical tasks, such as taking vital signs readings, preparing the patient for a medical examination, and jotting down medical histories. Medical assistants also carry out administrative roles like keeping records of patients such as billing information and insurance details, and setting schedules and appointments. It is important to point out that medical assistants are different from physician assistants.
The average medical assistant salary as of May 2011 is estimated at $14.51. That translates to about $30,170 a year. Government surveys also report that there are 539,220 registered medical assistants all over the country. The bottom 10% on the salary scale earn about $10.04 an hour, or roughly $20,880 a year. The top 10% of the labor populace make $19.62 per hour, which could lead to the substantial figure of $40,810 per annum.
The rate of a medical assistant's pay is relative to the industry where he or she is working. Factors such as expertise and specialization, work load, the work environment, stress levels, and the demand for workers really affect how much one should be getting. For example, professionals who are employed by scientific research and development services are paid an average medical assistant salary of $37,040 a year, or $17.81 an hour. Their rate is also the highest salary for medical assistants. Interestingly though, there are only 730 individuals in that said industry.
Other top paying sectors for medical assistants are insurance agencies and brokerages ($37,010), offices of dentists ($35,730), insurance carriers ($35,660) and specialty hospitals (excluding psychiatric care and substance abuse- $35,050).
As mentioned earlier, most medical assistants- 325,420 as of May 2011- are found working in the offices of physicians and are paid with an average medical assistant salary of $30,420. Not far behind are 69,940 medical assistants who are employed in general and surgical hospitals, which pay $31,010 per annum, which is above the national average. The reason for the wage and employment discrepancies is that most entry-level opportunities are found in these sectors, while most of the top-paying areas require professionals with extensive experience and further training.
Though there are no formal training requirements, almost all medical assistants in the United States possess at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. That being said, many organizations and institutions provide medical assisting courses. Programs are now being offered in vocational-technical high schools, postsecondary vocational schools, and community and junior colleges. Most programs lead to a certification and last only a year. But there are programs that lead to an associate degree, which typically take two years to complete.
While there are no formal educational requirements, most employers are keen to hire individuals who have passed certification standards and are willing to pay a bigger medical assistant salary to those who have taken specialized courses. In the United States, most exams and other certification programs are provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and Association of Medical Technologists (AMT).
Most states do not require medical assistants to be licensed, but they require them to satisfy certain standards and pass certifications in order for them to administer certain medical procedures such as administering injections or taking x-rays. Transition from general medicine to specialized areas such as podiatry, optometry, or ophthalmology may require further study and training but yields more opportunities and a higher medical assistant salary.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that there are about 539,220 medical assistants working in the United States as of 2011. With gathered information and scientific projections, the Bureau predicts that there will be an increase of 31% in job opportunities between 2010 and 2020. Basically, it is expected that there will be 163,900 openings for medical assistants by 2018. These projections are considered to be much greater than the average.
Apparently, the reason for this increase is the growing consciousness of people with regards to their health.
This consciousness will propel the significance of the healthcare industry, and as a result there will be a demand for more professional healthcare workers, with medical assistants included. Also, the growing demographic of the old and elderly will contribute to the call for more medical assistants into the future.
Institutions such as hospitals will require additional healthcare personnel who can perform both administrative and clinical tasks because of the expected influx of people requiring care and medical attention. This influx will be caused by more and more people entering old age who are now susceptible to certain conditions such as diabetes and obesity.
Such call for more medical assistants will have a positive effect on their medical assistant salary and ensure the stability of the position in the foreseeable future.
Most entry-level positions for medical assistants are found in general hospitals and offices of physicians practicing general medicine. However, further training and passing advanced courses will help medical assistants move to other specialized fields such as podiatry, optometry, or ophthalmology. Becoming a specialized medical assistant will expose you to more working opportunities and a bigger medical assistant salary.
Medical assistants who have an acute grasp of office management and possess excellent socializing skills can be promoted to supervisory and managerial positions in hospitals, healthcare institutions and organizations. Some can also venture into teaching medical assisting courses in community colleges and vocational schools.
Exploring career options in other industries is also possible for a medical assistant. With further studies, training, and experience, a medical assistant can climb the ladder and become a nurse or a professional healthcare worker. These are just two of the positions you can qualify for with a strong medical assistant background.
If you are not yet certain if you want to become a medical assistant but would like a career in the medical industry, you may also consider looking into these other related occupations:
Medical assistants are indispensable to the growing healthcare industry. They are among the few individuals who can perform both clinical and administrative tasks, which makes them highly prized members of any office, hospital, and organization. Medical assistant also need to be careful and gentle with people, since they will be dealing patients most of the time.
Becoming a medical assistant is a very good move for people who want a stable job and a substantial salary. With positive projections and excellent prospects, medical assistant is one of the most stable professions right now. The position also offers a very good starting point if you want to build a career in other industries. You can venture into specialized fields, teach or even become a fully-fledged nurse. The medical assistant profession is a solid stepping stone in becoming a professional healthcare worker.