Medical Assistant Salary

The average salary for a medical assistant in the U.S. is about $35,850 per year.

$26,930 (low 10%)

$35,850 (median)

$50,580 (top 90%)

Medical assistants earn an average of $35,850 per year according to the

The range in pay goes from $26,930 to $50,580 per year.

PercentileAnnual Wage

How much does a medical assistant make?

The states that the average medical assistant makes about $35,850 per year as of May 2020. This works out to about $17.23 per hour which is much higher than minimum wage anywhere in the U.S.

The lowest pay according to the for medical assistants is $32,900 while the highest pay is $50,580. The range in pay is high and dependent on education, experience, location, and industry you choose to work in.

Most medical assistants gain a certificate, however, there is no formal education to become a medical assistant in most states.

Top paying industries for medical assistants

There are many different factors that come into play when determining your salary as a medical assistant, but certainly high among is the industry you plan to work in.

Junior colleges are found to offer the highest salaries to the medical assistants they employ. The annual mean wage for a medical assistant working in a junior college is $48,720.

Agencies, brokerages, and other insurance-related activities also pay well as the average salary in this industry are $43,910. Compared to the typical medical assistant salary of approximately $35,000, these industries are much higher.

There are other factors in play, too. Generally speaking, medical assistants with more training and experience earn larger salaries. For anyone seeking rewarding work within the medical field, there are clearly some options for good salaries here.

IndustryAnnual wage
Junior colleges$48,720
Agencies, brokerages & other insurance related activities$43,910
Outpatient care centers$42,330
Computer systems design & related services$41,490
Professional & commercial equipment & supplies merchant wholesalers$40,870

Top paying cities for medical assistants

Regardless of the career you’re in, the place where you live is likely going to impact the amount of money you are paid. That’s because employers typically base salaries off of both demand and cost of living, both of which vary with geographic locale. So when you’re deciding where to go in order to look for work, or perhaps weighing the options of staying put versus relocating, geography is something you will want to consider.

For medical assistants, the metropolitan area you’re in will play a huge role in the size of your paycheck. The metropolitan area with the highest annual wage is the San Francisco, CA region. Here, a medical assistant makes, on average, $53,960 per year. Second place honors go to the Vallejo region, also in California. Here, the annual mean wage is $53,660. Both these cities pay about $18,000 more per year over the typical medical assistant salary.

If you are looking to get into the field of medical assistant work, you should investigate the average annual wage in your current geographic locale. If it’s lower than what you’d like to be making, it may make sense to consider relocating or at least doing some research into how much medical assistants are paid in other metro areas around the country. Take a look at the table below to see how much more you can earn in a top-paying city.

CityAnnual wage
San Francisco region, CA$53,960
Vallejo region, CA$53,660
Santa Rosa, CA$52,520
Seattle region, WA$49,070
San Jose region, CA$49,020

Medical assistant salaries by state

The top-paying states for medical assistants are Alaska, Washington, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and Minnesota. These states pay from $8,000 over the average to $11,000 over the average pay for medical assistants.

What this means for anyone considering the medical assistant field is that location is important. Doing some research ahead of time, both into salary expectations and job openings, is important. Equally important is checking into the difference that different certifications or educational courses might make. All of these factors combine to influence the amount of money you will make working in the medical assistant field.

StateAnnual wage
District of Columbia$45,340

How do medical assistant salaries compare to related careers?

Medical assistants have duties similar to workers in other medical support occupations.

Dental assistants, nursing assistants, pharmacy technicians, and phlebotomists have jobs similar to medical assistants as all focus on clinical tasks. Of these, a dental assistant will make more than medical assistants by about $6,000 per year. Nursing assistants are paid the least on this list. Their typical salary is about $30,000 per year on average.

CareerAnnual wage
Medical assistant$35,850
Dental assistant$41,180
Nursing assistant$30,830
Pharmacy technician$35,100