Income and benefits
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for medical assistants in the United States was $34,800 in 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $25,820 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $48,720.
The top paying industry for medical assistants was outpatient care centers, which had a median annual salary of $36,810. This was followed by hospitals ($36,080), office of physicians ($84,870) and offices of chiropractors ($30,870).
Autonomy and flexibility
Physician assistants have a huge variety of responsibilities, duties and tasks. As a whole, they are likely to feel like they have control over a lot of their decisions regarding the scheduling of appointments, taking tests and the smooth operation of the practice they work in. However, their autonomy is perhaps limited as they are not very senior members of the healthcare team. Everything they do will be limited by the needs, wants and schedules of the physicians they assist.
Locations and commute
According to Zippia, the best states to be a medical assistant, based on average annual salary and number of job opportunities available, are:
- Alaska, where the average annual salary is $46,678
- Maine, where the average annual salary is $36,850
- Washington, where the average annual salary is $39,221
- Oregon, where the average annual salary is $38,190
- Rhode Island, where the average annual salary is $35,454
The worst states, according to Zippia, are Delaware, Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
The largest employer of medical assistants in the United States was offices of physicians, which employed 57% of all medical assistants. Hospitals employed 15%, outpatient care centers employed 8% and offices of chiropractors employed 4% of all medical assistants.
Often, medical assistants will work as part of a team with other healthcare professionals. They may find that they spend a lot of time sitting down if they do more receptionist/clerical duties. Whereas if they do more clinical duties they will spend more time on their feet walking around to greet patients and conduct tests on them.