Medical assistants work in a clinical or administrative level to assist healthcare professionals to do their jobs.
Explore this Guide:
- How Much Do Medical Assistants Make a Year?
- How Much Do Medical Assistants Make a Month?
- How Much Do Medical Assistants Make a Week?
- How Much Do Medical Assistants Make an Hour?
- Medical Assistants Pay by Location
- Medical Assistants Pay by Experience
What Do Medical Assistants Do?
Medical assistants help assist physicians, surgeons, doctors, and nurses in many ways. They work in all kinds of healthcare facilities and perform administrative and clinical tasks.
However, medical assistants are not the same as physician assistants. Physician assistants examine, diagnose, and treat patients under the supervision of a practicing physician while the work of medical assistants is usually less hands-on in the medical side of things.
Medical assistants who work in administration might fill out insurance forms and take care of other important medical and patient documents and files. They also answer telephones and help patients schedule their appointments.
Medical assistants who do clinical work perform lab tests, handle medical supplies, sterilize equipment, or help patients with minor treatments.
How to Become a Medical Assistant
1. Graduate High School
As with many professions, employers are going to want their new hires to have a high school degree or the equivalent. Some healthcare facilities will even hire you with just a high school diploma and some on-the-job training.
2. Complete a Medical Assistant Program
+1 to 2 years
A medical assistant program only takes about 1 year to complete. You can also find medical assistant programs at many colleges and universities near you. Some places will even offer a 2-year medical assistant program so you can also earn an associate degree.
While completing a medical assistant program you’ll practice in laboratories and learn about anatomy and medical terms.
3. Training and Certifications
Medical assistants receive their training either on-the-job or in their postsecondary education. Whether you need to be certified as a medical assistant or not depends on your state.
If your state or employer requires medical assistants to receive certification then you can get your certification with the National Commission for Certifying Agency. They offer the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA), Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA).
How long does it take to become a Medical Assistant?
0 to 2 years
Since medical assistants technically don’t need a college degree and only a GED, you can possibly become a medical assistant right away with just on-the-job training! But your odds of getting a job and getting a higher pay increase with the more postsecondary education and training you already have.
Skills Medical Assistants Need
Medical assistants deal with a lot of paperwork and files. They have to be able to read and analyze the information in their records, files, and charts to do their job.
Because they are working with medical information and patient health, medical assistants must be very accurate. They also often take records and need to ensure these records are completely accurate and detailed.
Medical assistants work alongside many other coworkers and with patients. They need to be able to work together and provide friendly patient care.
One of the primary skills all medical assistants needs is technical skills. Medical assistants work with clinical instruments, some basic medical equipment, computers, and paper and digital files.
Different Kinds of Medical Assistants
How Much Do Administrative Medical Assistants Make? $30,000
Administrative medical assistants manage office administration around the healthcare facility. They take care of files, patient intake, scheduling appointments, answering questions, and medical records.
How Much Do Clinical Medical Assistants Make? $31,508
Clinical medical assistants perform basic clinical duties. They do basic lab tests and basic patient care like x-rays, drawing blood, and changing bandages.
How Much Do Ophthalmic Medical Assistants Make? $47,000
Ophthalmic medical assistants act as aids for an ophthalmologist. Ophthalmologists are physicians of the eye and all things related to the eyes. An ophthalmic medical assistant helps provide basic eye care, treatments, and assist during eye surgeries.
How Much Do Optometric Medical Assistants Make? $35,530
Optometric medical assistants act as aids for optometrists. Optometrists are health care professionals who provide basic eye treatment and care, especially for patients who need glasses or contact lenses. An optometric medical assistant helps with office administration at an eye center and helps patients learn how to use contact lenses.
How Much Do Podiatric Medical Assistants Make? $33,000
Podiatric medical assistants act as aids for podiatrists. Podiatrists are foot doctors. Podiatric medical assistants help foot doctors with casts, x-rays, and foot surgeries.
How Much Do Medical Assistants Make a Year?
- How Much Does a Medical Assistants in the lower 10% Make? $25,820 per year
- How Much is a Medical Assistants’ Median Salary? $34,800 per year
- How Much Does a Medical Assistants in the highest 10% Make? $48,720 per year
How Much Do Medical Assistants Make a Month?
- How Much Does a Medical Assistants in the lower 10% Make? $2,151 per month
- How Much is a Medical Assistants’ Median Salary? $2,900 per month
- How Much Does a Medical Assistants in the highest 10% Make? $4,060 per month
How Much Do Medical Assistants Make a Week?
- How Much Does a Medical Assistants in the lower 10% Make? $537 per week
- How Much is a Medical Assistants’ Median Salary? $725 per week
- How Much Does a Medical Assistants in the highest 10% Make? $1,015 per week
How Much Do Medical Assistants Make an Hour?
- How Much Does a Medical Assistants in the lower 10% Make? $11.68 per hour
- How Much is a Medical Assistants’ Median Salary? $15.08 per hour
- How Much Does a Medical Assistants in the highest 10% Make? $19.59 per hour
Medical Assistants Pay by Location
- How Much Do Medical Assistants Make in Texas? $32,550
- How Much Do Medical Assistants Make in California? $40,120
- How Much Do Medical Assistants Make in Florida? $33,920
- How Much Do Medical Assistants Make in NYC (New York City)? $38,590
- How Much Do Medical Assistants Make in Ohio? $33,060
- How Much Do Medical Assistants Make in New Jersey? $37,330
Medical Assistants Pay by Experience
- How Much Do Entry Level Medical Assistants Make? $13.18
- How Much Do Medical Assistants Make with 1–4 Years of Experience? $14.20
- How Much Do Medical Assistants Make with 5–9 Years of Experience? $15.70
- How Much Do Medical Assistants Make with 10–19 Years of Experience? $16.57
- How Much Do Medical Assistants Make with 20 or More Years of Experience? $17
PayScale. “Average Medical Assistant Hourly Pay.”
US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Medical Assistants.”
The Job Network. “How Much Money Do Administrative Assistants Make?” by Joanna Hughes.
Glassdoor. “Certified Clinical Medical Assistant Salaries.”
OphthalmicTechnician.org. “Ophthalmic Assistant Salary Trends.”
Work Chron. “Do You Need to Go to School to Be an Optometric Assistant?” by Aurelio Locsin.
MedicalAssistantOnline.org. “Podiatric Medical Assistant.”