Medical assistant salary
|Medical assistants provide administrative and clinical support services for physicians and other health care providers. They do things like schedule appointments, manage patient records, take patient histories, take vital signs, administer injections, remove stitches, draw blood samples, and instruct patients about medications and diet. Tasks may vary depending on the medical practice for which they work. Most work in physicians’ offices but others work in hospitals, urgent care centers, and other health care facilities.|
Medical assistants are not required to have formal education in the field and some simply learn on the job. Others complete certificate programs at vocational or technical schools, and some earn associate’s degrees in the field. Medical assistants may be required to be licensed in some states to perform certain tasks, like drawing blood. Those with certificates or degrees may have more job prospects and earn a higher medical assistant salary.
Medical assistants earned a median annual salary of $28,860 in 2010, the last year for which statistics are currently available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lowest paid medical assistants earned less than $20,810 during that year, while the highest paid earned more than $40,190. The medical assistant salary varied based on several factors, including education, certification, experience, job duties, and geographical location.
Several similar jobs pay salaries higher than the typical medical assistant salary. For instance, dental assistants earned a median salary of $33,470 in 2010. Medical records and health information technicians earned a median salary of $32,350, occupational therapy assistants earned a median salary of $47,490, and physical therapy assistants earned a median salary of $37,710. On the other hand, some similar jobs pay less. Nursing assistants only earned a median salary of $24,010 in 2010 and psychiatric aides earned a media salary of $26,880 during that year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs for medical assistants are expected to increase by 31 percent from 2010 to 2020. The increase in demand will be due in part to the increasing health care needs of the baby boomer generation. Physicians will also rely on medical assistants more in an effort to keep costs down; the average medical assistant salary is significantly lower than the average salary for a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse, although they can perform many of the same duties. Medical practices that want to hire medical assistants instead of nurses are more likely to require potential employees to have formal education in the field, though, or to be certified; those without formal education may have more difficulty finding jobs.