We often receive questions from aspiring medical assistants about medical assistant salaries, how much a new medical assistant can expect to earn and what the average wages for experienced medical assistants who graduated from a medical assisting training program might be. Unfortunately there are so many facets to the medical assisting career and too many nuances depending on the job's location, local job market, employer's expectations, work work load, hours, and benefits that it is nearly impossible to answer this question regarding medical assistant pay with an exact figure.
Who Pays Better Medical Assistant Wages?We know that family and general primary care physicians do not pay their medical assistants nearly as much as doctors in specialty offices can offer, mostly because primary care physicians often are members of HMOs and bound by contracts with the health care insurance companies, such as Medicare, Blue Cross - Blue Shield, Tricare, and such. Whatever they pay out to them, which is often much less than billed, must first cover the doctor's salary, and then office expenses, utilities, supplies, professional malpractice insurance premiums, professional membership dues and fees, licenses and continuing education expenses, before they pay their staff. Often, there is not much left to go around and the medical assistant is often the person lowest on the totem pole, so to speak.
On the other hand, health and medical services from specialty physicians, or surgeons often are more complex so they cost more, and the doctor earns more and can afford to pay the medical assistant a better salary.
Average Medical Assistant Hourly WageIf a medical assistant's annual salary is $38,000 working 2,000 hours a year, it is the equivalent to an average hourly wage of $19 per hour. As a simple baseline calculation, you can assume two weeks of paid vacation per year. That leaves 50 working weeks, and if you work the typical 40 hours a week, then you have a total of 2,000 hours of work each year. In this case, you can quickly compute the hourly wage by dividing the annual salary by 2000.
Here is a small selection of medical assistant jobs and other related medical office jobs in Western Massachusetts as seen on the Indeed.com medical assistant salary guide on 10 February 2012, which gives you a general idea and simple baseline. As you see in the below examples, annual salaries range anywhere between $67,000 for the occupational therapy assistant and $27,000 for the medical administrative assistant in our area.
More at Medical Assistant NET website.