Medical Assistant Pay & Benefits

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    Average Salary

    • The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Employment Statistics Handbook lists the average or mean American salary for medical assistants in May 2009 as $29,450 per year or $14.16 per hour. However, a medical assistant's average salary also varies by state. For example, California medical assistants earned a mean of $30,980 in 2009 while their Alaskan peers made an average $36,400 a year. The mean annual salary for medical assistants in Michigan was much lower at $28,780 per year.

    Salary Range

    • The Occupational Employment Statistics site also lists the salary range of medical assistants nationwide. The 10th percentile, which is the lowest documented wage by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was $20,750 per year or $9.98 hourly in 2009. The highest documented wage was the 90th percentile at $39,970 annually or $19.21 per hour. The middle 50 percent made between $24,060 and $33,760 per year or $11.57 and $16.23 hourly.


    • The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not list any specific benefits that medical assistants may expect, an omission that typically indicates too much variation to name typical benefits. However, the American Association of Medical Assistants' 2010 Medical Assisting Salary Survey states that 89 percent of the polled full-time medical assistants received some kind of benefits from their employers. Nearly three-quarters of medical assistants received major medical insurance benefits, 68 percent had dental insurance and 52 percent had disability coverage.

    Job Outlook

    • The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that medical assisting field is expanding and much faster than the average rate. The BLS ranks job opportunities for medical assistants as "excellent," which is good news for those looking to break into the medical field with a decent salary and benefits. This is especially exciting for medical assistants with formal training, certification and/or experience as they will be in high demand and mostly likely snag the higher paying opportunities.

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