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Medical assistant median annual salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median national annual salary for medical assistants is $37,190. The top 10 percent of medical assistants earn more than $48,170 annually.

Medical Assistants

National data

Median Salary: $37,190

Projected job growth: 15.8%

10th Percentile: $29,070

25th Percentile: $30,200

75th Percentile: $43,490

90th Percentile: $48,170

Projected job growth: 15.8%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alaska $47,400 $37,290 $60,150
Alabama $29,920 $23,470 $37,660
Arkansas $29,970 $24,680 $37,990
Arizona $37,390 $29,640 $47,250
California $38,780 $30,210 $61,800
Colorado $38,040 $30,310 $48,260
Connecticut $38,000 $32,810 $48,510
District of Columbia $47,550 $36,230 $60,150
Delaware $36,470 $28,990 $47,780
Florida $36,700 $28,910 $46,240
Georgia $36,190 $27,970 $46,450
Hawaii $38,860 $29,990 $48,520
Iowa $37,660 $29,340 $48,160
Idaho $37,120 $29,170 $47,240
Illinois $37,500 $28,990 $47,370
Indiana $36,960 $29,130 $46,890
Kansas $35,340 $28,820 $39,890
Kentucky $33,410 $27,560 $38,320
Louisiana $29,470 $22,640 $38,000
Massachusetts $45,880 $36,780 $59,060
Maryland $37,530 $29,520 $48,310
Maine $37,860 $30,000 $47,890
Michigan $37,120 $29,140 $43,790
Minnesota $46,920 $36,590 $48,510
Missouri $35,280 $28,490 $42,060
Mississippi $29,760 $23,290 $43,120
Montana $37,660 $29,960 $48,150
North Carolina $36,790 $28,990 $46,210
North Dakota $37,310 $28,990 $48,170
Nebraska $36,990 $28,820 $47,510
New Hampshire $38,220 $30,100 $48,490
New Jersey $37,640 $30,150 $47,470
New Mexico $30,750 $28,560 $44,660
Nevada $36,960 $29,400 $47,040
New York $37,860 $29,990 $48,510
Ohio $36,800 $28,890 $45,750
Oklahoma $30,030 $24,840 $38,000
Oregon $45,710 $36,360 $57,600
Pennsylvania $36,680 $29,650 $46,930
Rhode Island $37,860 $29,610 $48,490
South Carolina $34,710 $25,470 $45,070
South Dakota $30,540 $28,040 $45,240
Tennessee $36,280 $28,640 $45,840
Texas $35,520 $27,570 $45,850
Utah $37,120 $28,960 $44,850
Virginia $37,070 $29,460 $48,170
Vermont $37,190 $36,360 $47,780
Washington $47,460 $36,680 $60,150
Wisconsin $38,050 $30,100 $48,190
West Virginia $29,740 $23,310 $37,970
Wyoming $37,410 $29,420 $48,300

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2021 median salary; projected job growth through 2031. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.

In this Article

Factors that Affect Salary

Actual salaries for medical assistants can vary based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience, education, and a variety of other factors. Administrative medical assistants’ duties will differ from clinical medical assistants, for instance, though there may be some overlap of responsibilities.

A full-time medical assistant may receive a benefits package that could include healthcare, vacation, holiday pay, sick leave, and a 401(k) plan. According to the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), approximately 97% of all full-time medical assistants receive benefits from their employer.

Where Medical Assistants Work

Your first thought about where medical assistants work might be doctors’ offices, but many work in other medical settings:

Physicians’ Offices57%
Hospitals15%
Outpatient Care Centers8%
Chiropractors’ Offices4%

Salary by Workplace

Now, take a look at BLS salaries for those same four workplaces.

WorkplaceAnnual Salary
Hospitals$39,550
Doctor’s Offices$37,610
Outpatient Care Centers$44,680
Offices of Other Health Practitioners$33,710

How Can I Earn More as a Medical Assistant?

Racking up years of experience is one way to boost your salary as a medical assistant, but there are also other ways to enhance your ability to earn top dollar:

  • Go where the jobs are
  • If you have a certificate or diploma, earn an associate degree
  • Volunteer to teach and tutor aspiring medical assistants
  • Earn a medical assisting credential 
  • Earn credentials in complementary fields to add to your skills

Consider a New Career

For some, medical assisting is a stepping stone to a higher-paying role. For instance, you could go back to school to become a nurse. Your extensive knowledge and experience working with patients would give you an advantage over students who are just starting out. 

Want to continue as a medical assistant? You can work toward a management position in which you supervise other medical assistants. Job advancement typically adds up to a higher salary.

Job Outlook for Medical Assistants

Jobs for medical assistants are expected to grow by 16 percent through 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the BLS. This is partly due to the growing baby boom population, which will continue to create demand for medical services. 

New and changing tasks for medical assistants also are pushing up demand for this role. For example, as more and more physicians’ practices switch to electronic health records (EHRs), the need for tech-savvy medical assistants will increase.

Employment of medical assistants is expected to grow by 16 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the BLS.

Though medical assistants work mostly in primary care—a steadily growing sector of healthcare—an increasing number of group practices, clinics, and other healthcare facilities also will need medical assistants and other support workers.

Many healthcare facilities depend on state budgets and other funding to operate at their best. If a state’s budget doesn’t allot enough money for maximum efficiency, there may be fewer jobs available for medical assistants and other healthcare staff. In other cases, some states may simply have fewer facilities due to the size of their population and its medical needs. 

Top States for Medical Assistants

While job duties are generally the same no matter where you live, some states offer higher salaries and employ more medical assistants than others. Much of the demand for medical assistants is determined by a state’s demographics and how many facilities it has for baby boomers and the elderly, who partly drive these statistics.

These are the top-paying states for medical assistants, according to the BLS.

StateAnnual Median Wage
Alaska$46,000
Washington$45,500
District of Columbia$45,300
Minnesota$43,670
Massachusetts$42,290
Oregon$41,390
Hawaii$39,640
California$39,520
Connecticut$39,240
New York$38,660

Best-Paying Cities for Medical Assistants

The BLS also ranks metropolitan areas by salary, and California dominates the top 10 list for medical assistants, along with a few other locations that may surprise you.

Metro Area Median Annual Salary
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA $60,080
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $55,650
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $54,920
Santa Rosa, CA $48,810
Napa, CA $48,510
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA $48,380
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA $48,030
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI $47,600
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA $47,560
Anchorage, AK $47,250

Which Cities Employ the Most Medical Assistants?

If you’re looking for a city that has a high number of medical assistants—and possibly demand and jobs—here are the top 10 metropolitan areas with the most medical assistant jobs. 

Metropolitan AreasEmployment
New York-Newark-Jersey City, New Jersey-Pennsylvania32,000
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California30,120
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas22,500
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas17,070
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Florida16,720
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin16,590
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Georgia15,850
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona14,770
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware-Maryland14,090
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California12,620

Salary and Job Growth Comparisons

Medical assistants are one specialty within a diverse group of healthcare assistants who work to keep patients healthy. Because of different skill sets and education, salaries for various healthcare assistants vary as well. Here are some median annual salaries from the BLS for four other in-demand healthcare careers, as compared to medical assistants:

Career Median Annual Salary
Medical Assistants $37,190
Nursing Assistants $30,310
Phlebotomists $37,380
Dental Assistants $38,660
Physical Therapist Assistants $61,180

How Does Job Growth Compare?

The BLS projects growth for all jobs to be 9% through 2030, but some roles will be much more in demand. This chart shows how medical assisting compares with healthcare careers that require similar education.

Healthcare PositionProjected Job Growth
Medical Assistant18%
Physical Therapy Assistant32%
Phlebotomist22%
Dental Laboratory Technician12%
Dental Assistant11%
Medical Records Specialist9%
Pharmacy Technician4%
hana larock

Written and reported by:
Hana LaRock
Contributing writer