There is no exact answer to the question “How much does a medical assistant make?” because the salary of a medical assistant is dependent upon too many different variables. With that said, it is possible to provide approximate figures based on recent Bureau of the Labor Statistics data. One must keep in mind, however, that medical assistant pay can vary considerably by state, level of education and other factors discussed in the following article.
Approximately How Much Does a Medical Assistant Make?
In its most recent 2011 report on medical assistant pay, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the median salary for a medical assistant in the United States was $28,300. It should be noted that this figure represents the median, not the average, and that the data shows that actual wages earned varied considerably.
For instance, individuals who held only a medical assistant diploma, were new to the profession and worked as generalists made up the lowest 10% of earners, taking home an average of just $20,600 per year. Those with a medical assistant degree fell into the middle 50% earning anywhere from $23,700 to approximately $33,000 annually, with the actual wage paid increasing based on the individuals’ work experience. Finally, the top 10% in pay earned over $39,570 per year and were predominantly made up of medical assistant specialists who held specialized certifications and significant experience. Once again, all of these numbers are courtesy of www.BLS.gov.
How Much Do Medical Assistants Make By Job Type?
The Bureau’s data also reflected a strong correlation between salary and the type of facility where a medical assistant works. It may come as a surprise to learn that general hospitals paid the highest annual median salaries, with their medical assistants earning $29,720. In a bit of good news for anyone trying to earn a medical assistant certificate, the report also showed that these high paying facilities are where most of the job growth will be over the next decade.
Colleges, physician’s offices and outpatient care centers all paid their medical assistants in the $28,000-per-year range, despite the fact that individuals employed at these facilities likely performed a wide range of varied tasks.
Finally, BLS data showed that private offices of other types of health care practitioners offered annual salaries around $25,000 to their medical assisting staff. These facilities tend to employ a higher number of inexperienced generalists (resulting in the lower wages), and usually require their medical assistants to fill both clinical and administrative roles.
How to Increase Your Medical Assistant Pay
As you may have figured out while analyzing the data offered in the previous sections, there is a tremendously strong correlation between medical assistant pay and education. Regardless of the type of facility where you eventually work, you could earn considerably more if you hold a degree and some additional type of specialized certification.
The necessary education is available through any number of medical assistant schools and online medical assistant programs and, in many cases, can be completed in as little as two years. In short, the answer to “How much does a medical assistant make?” is really dependent upon one thing – how much education and training does he or she have?
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