The job of a medical assistant is quite lucrative. It combines patient care with the stability that professionals in the healthcare field experience. With an aging population and increased prevalence of chronic diseases, the demand for medical assistants is expected to go up in the years to come. Thus, such professionals will continue enjoying workplace stability and their salaries will also grow.
Are you considering a career path in the healthcare field? Wondering whether being a medical assistant is the right choice for you? Assessing the salary and the responsibilities of these professionals will help you make up your mind.
Types of Medical Assistants
There are three main types of medical assistants: these include clinical, administrative, and specialized medical and physician assistants. Medical assistants are commonly found working in physician’s offices, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and other types of healthcare facilities. Depending on which type of facility they work in, there may be a slight difference in the average pay of the position.
Salary Based on the Job Duties
The duties and responsibilities of a medical assistant will vary depending on the job and the facility they are working in. Therefore, the salary will often vary as well. Typically, the salary that the medical assistant will earn is based on their experience and the type of job duties they will need to perform.
The salary will also oftentimes be dependent on their skill level, the type of care they will be offering, and the difficulty of care involved. If the medical assistant, for example, performs mainly clerical type duties such as medical billing, they will make less than a medical assistant who is actually providing patient care.
Therefore, it is safe to assume that the more responsibility the medical assistant has, and the more in-depth that responsibility is, the more the pay will match up to the duties involved.
The highest paid medical assistant salary in the country is the one that performs patient assessments, performs treatments, administers medication to patients, obtains patients sample specimens, and also does the clerical and other administrative jobs relating to the facility.
Experience of Medical Assistants
In addition to the job duties, the experience of the medical assistant will also be factored in when determining the pay. For example, if you are a medical assistant that has only been working in the field for less than a year, then you may earn an average salary of fewer than 29,000 dollars per year.
On the other hand, if you are a more experienced medical assistant and you have twenty plus years of experience, then you may see an annual average salary of more than 36,000 dollars.
How Much do Medical Assistants Earn in the US?
According to PayScale.com data, full-time medical assistants in the United States earn a median annual salary of 30,044 dollars. The best paid and most experienced professionals in this field can expect to earn up to 41,722 dollars per year.
Many medical assistants aren’t employed full-time, and they charge on an hourly basis. The average payment per hour in the field is 13 dollars. More experienced medical assistants can expect to earn over 17 dollars per hour and up to 26 dollars per hour for overtime work.
The national average in the country is 29,000 dollars per year. Professionals in their mid-career make five per cent more than this average and the most experienced medical assistants that have 20 or more years of experience earn 17 per cent more than the national average.
How Much do Medical Assistants Earn in Canada?
The situation in Canada is more or less the same and the medical assistants in the country have salaries that are similar to what their US counterparts earn. According to PayScale.com, the median annual salary for medical assistants is 40,652 Canadian dollars. The most experienced professionals in this field can expect to earn up to 55,643 dollars per year.
The hourly rates fall in the range from 11.29 to 20.80 Canadian dollars. The median payment is 15 dollars per hour.
Canada’s national average for medical assistants is 33,000 dollars per year. Mid-career medical assistants earn solely two per cent more than the national average, but late-career professionals can expect to earn over 30 per cent more.
Place of Employment: Does It Affect the Salary?
Experience has a major impact on the medical assistant’s salary but the same applies to place of employment. Depending on the field and the organisation that has hired such professionals, there could be large differences in salaries.
Some of the best-paid medical assistants in the United States are the ones working in dental offices. As a dental assistant, they earn an average of 17.18 dollars per hour, which is way higher than the national median amount.
Medical assistants that work in specialised hospitals earn 16.85 dollars per hour. The professionals that are employed by outpatient care centres follow with 15.24 dollars per hour. The worst-paid medical assistants are the ones that are employed in physician offices.
Payment by Location
Medical assistant salaries are also affected by geographic location. The medical assistants working in certain cities and states enjoy much higher salaries than their counterparts employed in other parts of the country.
District of Columbia medical assistants are the ones that earn the highest annual salaries – 48,000 dollars per year. Massachusetts and New York follow with 46,000 dollars per year, and medical assistants in Connecticut earn 44,000 dollars per year. Medical assistants in Hawaii earn the lowest salaries – 23,000 dollars per year.
When it comes to Canadian medical assistants, the ones working in Calgary, Alberta enjoy the highest hourly rates. These professionals earn between 19.44 and 30.52 Canadian dollars per hour.
The medical assistants in Toronto, Ontario earn between 10.25 and 21 dollars per hour and the ones employed in Mississauga earn between 11.76 and 19.25 dollars per hour.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for medical assistants is expected to increase by 31 per cent in the period until 2020, a figure that is much higher than the national average for other professions.
The professional outlook is even brighter for certified medical assistants. Professionals that go the extra mile and complete the certification process can expect even more lucrative professional opportunities than the ones that refrain from going through the training.
Researchers have also concluded that medical assistant salaries have kept on growing in the period from 2000 to 2015. The figures are expected to continue increasing as many medical professionals retire, and the need for experienced medical assistants grows.