Medical Assistants (MAs) are front-line healthcare workers that perform both administrative and clinical patient-care tasks. Medical assisting is considered an entry-level career, yet it provides a foundation for those who wish to enroll in nursing school or other healthcare-related fields later down the line. Medical assistants are essential to medical practices as they perform many duties to support physicians, physician assistants (PAs), and advanced-practice RNs such as nurse practitioners.

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This tool will allow you to easily search and compare the average salaries of nurses for many cities and locations across the U.S. You can search by city and state. Salary data is provided through the BLS.

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How Much Does a Medical Assistant Make?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a great resource when researching career pay, job, outlook, and growth. According to 2018 data from the BLS, medical assistants make a mean salary of $33,610 annually. However, it's important to realize the BLS reports mean salaries - there are many factors that come in to play when it comes to pay, as described below.

Type of Employer

Individual employers determine medical assistant salaries, and it can vary between organizations. For example, larger, more prominent healthcare organizations may pay higher than private ones. State or government-run healthcare agencies can also pay more. According to the latest available data (2018) from the BLS, the top industries in the field include:

  • Outpatient care centers - $35,600
  • Hospitals - $34,980
  • Physician offices - $33,650
  • Chiropractic offices - $29,960

Geographic Location

Location can also affect medical assistant salaries. Some states, cities, and other locations offer higher pay due to the cost of living as well as the competitiveness of the field. Additionally, while one may think big cities are the place to find the highest pay rates, some rural areas actually offer competitive compensation to try and bring skilled workers to more remote areas. The BLS breaks down geographic median pay averages/top paying states as follows:

  • Alaska - $45,490
  • District of Columbia - $42,010
  • Washington - $41,340
  • Minnesota - $40,320
  • Massachusetts - $40,270

Prior Experience

Many employers look favorably on experienced medical assistants, especially if the MA has experience in different care areas. To an employer, experience means less time needed to get acclimated to the job. Even a new-grad MA can highlight relevant experience by including hospital volunteer work (such as "candy striping") or other caregiving skills to demonstrate familiarity in the field.

Medical Assistant Salary Table

Location Total Employment Annual Salary
United States 673,660 $33,610
Alabama 9,180 $27,980
Alaska 1,820 $44,230
Arizona 18,250 $32,880
Arkansas 3,790 $29,330
California 92,960 $36,080
Colorado 11,150 $35,640
Connecticut 7,700 $36,950
Delaware 2,560 $32,560
District of Columbia 1,970 $41,500
Florida 55,330 $32,170
Georgia 24,570 $31,790
Hawaii 3,600 $37,420
Idaho 3,170 $33,850
Illinois 23,830 $34,640
Indiana 14,810 $32,110
Iowa 5,090 $34,700
Kansas 4,240 $30,540
Kentucky 8,970 $31,290
Louisiana 8,490 $28,120
Maine 4,180 $34,940
Maryland 12,630 $35,270
Massachusetts 13,710 $39,240
Michigan 23,680 $31,900
Minnesota 10,010 $39,880
Mississippi 3,160 $28,770
Missouri 10,260 $32,200
Montana 1,120 $34,070
Nebraska 2,630 $33,660
Nevada 6,220 $32,950
New Hampshire 2,550 $36,400
New Jersey 19,110 $35,290
New Mexico 5,960 $30,050
New York 26,080 $36,640
North Carolina 18,340 $32,710
North Dakota 580 $36,480
Ohio 23,930 $31,680
Oklahoma 8,310 $30,200
Oregon 12,960 $38,200
Pennsylvania 27,590 $31,830
Rhode Island 2,390 $35,880
South Carolina 9,800 $31,220
South Dakota 950 $29,660
Tennessee 14,070 $31,220
Texas 59,930 $31,030
Utah 7,020 $32,320
Vermont 850 $36,300
Virginia 14,170 $33,710
Washington 14,450 $40,620
West Virginia 3,520 $27,810
Wisconsin 11,350 $36,430
Wyoming 660 $33,430
Guam 190 $25,500
Puerto Rico 320 $19,870
Virgin Islands 60 $30,250

Table data taken from 2018 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes319092.htm)

Medical Assistant Salary Per Hour

Many medical assistant positions are paid hourly, as opposed to salaried workers. The BLS also lists the average hourly salary of MAs as $16.16 per hour. Again, this can vary depending on the employer, geographic location, and years of experience.

Medical Assistant Job Outlook

Those looking to become medical assistants are very fortunate, as the demand for MAs is expected to increase by 23% until 2028. Industries with the highest level of employment include:

  • Physician offices
  • General Med/Surg hospitals
  • Offices of other health practitioners
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Retirement communities and assisted living facilities

Additionally, the states with the highest level of employment include:

  • California
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York