How Much Do Certified Medical Assistants Make an Hour?

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Are you considering a career as a certified medical assistant? One of the essential factors to consider is the hourly wage you can expect in this profession. Understanding the earning potential in your desired field helps you make informed decisions about your career path. In this article, we will explore how much certified medical assistants make per hour, taking into account various factors that influence their wages.

Understanding the Job of a Certified Medical Assistant

Before delving into the hourly wages, let’s first understand the role of a certified medical assistant. These professionals play a crucial part in healthcare settings, providing both administrative and clinical support. As a certified medical assistant, you will have the opportunity to work in diverse medical environments, such as hospitals, clinics, and private practices.

Certified medical assistants handle a wide range of responsibilities, including scheduling appointments, maintaining patient records, taking vital signs, and assisting physicians during examinations. They are often the friendly face patients interact with, ensuring a smooth and efficient healthcare experience.

To become a certified medical assistant, you need to obtain the necessary certifications and qualifications. These typically include completing an accredited medical assisting program and passing a certification exam. Once certified, you can pursue various specializations to enhance your skills and increase your earning potential.

Factors Affecting the Hourly Wages of Certified Medical Assistants

Several factors influence the hourly wages of certified medical assistants. Let’s explore these key determinants:

1. Location and Geographical Factors

The geographical location of your workplace significantly impacts your earning potential. Wages tend to vary across states and cities due to differences in living costs and demand for medical assistants. For example, metropolitan areas often offer higher wages compared to rural regions. It’s essential to research and consider the location’s average wages before making career decisions.

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2. Level of Experience and Education

As with any profession, your level of experience and education impacts your earning potential. Entry-level medical assistants usually start at a lower hourly wage, but as they gain more experience, their wages tend to increase. Additionally, pursuing advanced education, such as obtaining an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in healthcare-related fields, can open doors to higher-paying positions.

3. Specializations and Additional Certifications

Certified medical assistants can choose to specialize in various areas, such as pediatrics, dermatology, or cardiology. Specializations often require additional training and certifications, which can result in higher hourly wages. Employers value specialized skills and are willing to compensate medical assistants accordingly.

4. Demand and Job Market Trends

The demand for medical assistants fluctuates based on factors such as population growth, changes in healthcare policies, and advancements in medical technology. Researching the job market trends in your desired location can give you insights into the demand for certified medical assistants and the corresponding wages.

Average Hourly Wages of Certified Medical Assistants

Now let’s delve into the average hourly wages of certified medical assistants, considering the factors discussed earlier.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2021, the median hourly wage for medical assistants was $17.92. However, it’s important to note that this figure can vary significantly based on the factors we discussed earlier.

Statistics and Data on Average Wages in Different Locations

Wage disparities exist across different states and cities. For example, medical assistants working in California and Alaska tend to earn higher wages compared to their counterparts in other states. It’s crucial to consider the cost of living in a particular area when evaluating wage figures.

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Comparison of Wages Based on Experience Levels

As your experience grows, so does your earning potential. Entry-level medical assistants may start at a lower wage, around $12 to $14 per hour, while experienced professionals with several years of experience can earn up to $20 or more per hour. Progressing in your career and gaining specialized skills can help you command higher wages.

Differences in Wages Based on Specializations

Certified medical assistants who specialize in specific areas often receive higher wages. For instance, medical assistants working in specialized clinics or surgical centers may earn more than those in general medical practices. Pursuing additional certifications and training in a specialized field can positively impact your earning potential.

FAQ about the Hourly Wages of Certified Medical Assistants

What is the average hourly wage for a certified medical assistant?

As mentioned earlier, the median hourly wage for medical assistants is $17.92. However, it’s important to remember that this is an average figure, and wages can vary based on factors like location, experience, and specialization.

How does the hourly wage vary across different states?

Wage disparities exist across states. For example, medical assistants in high-demand metropolitan areas may earn higher wages compared to those in rural regions. Researching the specific wage range in your desired state or city can help you gauge the earning potential.

Are there any factors that can increase the hourly wage?

Yes, several factors can positively impact your hourly wage. These include gaining experience, pursuing advanced education, obtaining specialized certifications, and keeping up with industry trends. It’s important to continually invest in your professional development to maximize your earning potential.

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Can certified medical assistants negotiate their wages?

While negotiation possibilities may vary depending on the employer and job market conditions, it is possible to negotiate wages. Researching the average wages in your area, highlighting your experience and skills, and demonstrating your value to the employer can strengthen your position during wage negotiations.

Are there any benefits or perks associated with the job?

In addition to hourly wages, certified medical assistants often receive benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and opportunities for career advancement. These benefits contribute to the overall compensation package and should be considered alongside the hourly wage when evaluating job opportunities.


Certified medical assistants play a vital role in the healthcare industry, providing essential support to physicians and ensuring quality patient care. When considering a career in this field, it’s crucial to understand the factors influencing hourly wages. Factors such as location, experience, education, specialization, and demand play a significant role in determining the earning potential.

While the average hourly wage for certified medical assistants is $17.92, it’s essential to consider the specific circumstances that can impact wages. By researching the job market, specializing in high-demand areas, and continuously investing in professional growth, you can maximize your earning potential as a certified medical assistant. Remember, knowledge is power when it comes to making informed career decisions.

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