The field of medical assistance is considered to be the best starting point in the healthcare industry. Medical assistants provide support in the form of clinical or administrative tasks required to assist physicians and other healthcare professionals.
What’s the Best Thing About a Career as A Medical Assistant?
You don’t need a degree!
Unlike other professions in healthcare, where you have to attend school for a minimum of four years to get a full-time degree. For Medical Assistants, you only need to complete an online certification program.
Apart from that, you only need to get your high school diploma or GED before you enroll in a medical assistant program.
If you’re here and are interested in pursuing a career as a medical assistant, you must be wondering how much medical assistants make in the state of California.
Read on if you want to know more about the typical salaries of Medical Assistants in California, how it compares to other professions and the usual medical assistant salaries in major cities of California.
So how much does a medical assistant in California make annually?
The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics reports that the average annual wage of a medical assistant in California is $44,780 or $21.53 per hour.
Compared to the average annual mean salary for medical assistants across the country is around $38,190, the salary offered in California is among the highest in the country.
Medical Assistant Job Outlook and Salary in California
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a medical assistant’s average salary is $37,190, which is $17.88 per hour.
If you’re living in California, you can expect to earn 17% more than the national average, and you can make almost $22 per hour.
It has been seen that the demand for Medical Assistants has been increasing in California, and with more and more clinics opening up across the state, the demand is set to rise further.
The growth in Medical Assistant jobs is seen nationally, and the growth rate, which stands at 16%, is much more than other professions in the country.
Medical Assistant Salary in California (Compared to Other States)
California is one of the highest-paying states for medical assistants in the country. However, the top three states in the U.S with a higher average mean salary than California are-
- Alaska- $22.79 hourly or $47,400 annually
- Washington- $22.82 hourly or $47,460 annually
- District of Columbia- $22.45 hourly or $46,690 annually
If you are considering moving to a higher-paying state, do remember to consider the moving expenses, cost of living, and the demand for medical assistants within that state.
Plus, the increase in salary is insignificant in the above-mentioned three states, and ultimately, within the state of California, you can expect better growth opportunities as well.
Now, let us take a look at the top five states in the U.S. with a lower average wage than the state of California-
- Louisiana- $14.17 hourly or $29,470 annually
- Alabama- $14.38 hourly or $29,920 annually
- Kentucky- $16.06 hourly or $33,410 annually
- Mississippi- $14.31 hourly or $29,760 annually
- Arkansas- $14.41 hourly or $29,970 annually
These figures give you an idea about the job outlook for Medical Assistants in California, and you can now decide whether to move forward with medical assistant training.
Medical Assistant Salaries in Different Cities within California
Now let’s compare the average annual salary of medical assistants in the whole state of California with other major cities within the state, as reported by indeed.com-
- Los Angeles- $21.29 hourly or $49,254 annually
- San Diego- $21.18 hourly or $49,010 annually
- San Jose- $23.20 hourly or $53,670 annually
- Long Beach- $19.88 hourly or $45,988 annually
- Oakland- $24.44 hourly or $56,552 annually
- Sacramento- $21.32 hourly or $49,317 annually
Point of Note: No government data is available for salary figures in different cities of California. The above-mentioned figures have been pulled from Job Board Websites, such as indeed.com.
These figures can vary according to the type of healthcare facility.
Also see: Where can medical assistants work?
Certified Medical Assistants Vs Uncertified Medical Assistants in California
According to the Medical Board of California, the state of California doesn’t require medical assistants to be certified or licensed (Are Medical Assistant Licenses Required?).
Employers, however, may seek certifications, and some facilities, like hospitals, require you to be certified before you can start working.
(Read More: Which Medical Assistant Certification is Best?)
So How Do You Get Certified?
What you need is medical assistant training. You need to enroll in online training programs that can help you prepare for a career in Medical Assistance in addition to preparing you for major certification exams.
In California, employers may ask for Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) certification, which is issued by the NHA.
We recommend going for an accredited online training program because they are affordable, you complete your training faster, and you don’t have to attend classes on a set schedule. (Read More: How Long Does It take to Become a Medical Assistant)
Other options are available for completing your medical assistant training through associate degrees and diplomas, generally offered by community colleges or universities.
It has also been seen that a certified medical assistant salary is 10% more than a non-certified medical assistant’s.
Earlier, when the patient inflow was less, facilities didn’t mind hiring assistants who needed on-the-job training. But now, with the rise of the aging population, the patient inflow has increased drastically, and over 89% of employers want their medical assistants to be certified.
They want to hire someone they can trust and someone who knows the roles & Medical Assistant Job Duties. (Read More: What is a Medical Assistant)
Annual Salary of Medical Assistants in California (Compared to Other Professions)
The healthcare field generally has high-paying jobs, but all of these require you to attend a minimum of 4 years of intense schooling and training. A career in medical assistance is the best way to enter this field of healthcare with high salaries, as it serves as a good entry point.
Also read: Is Medical Assistant School Hard?
Even for medical assistants entering the workforce as beginners, a higher-than-average salary is possible. Read on to learn how a medical assistant’s salary compares to other professions and how you can earn more as one.
Let us first take a look at the different salaries offered for professions other than medical assistants that require similar educational requirements:
- Medical Assistants- $40,010
- Personal Care Helpers or Home Health Professionals- $32,770
- Cashiers- $29,410
- Medical Technicians (Emergency)- $41,120
- Bank Tellers- $39,560
Now, here is a comparison between a medical assistant’s salary as compared to other professions that require an advanced educational degree and training:
- Medical Assistants- $40,010
- Physician Assistant- $141,790
- Medicine Physician- $223,220
- Surgeon- $242,330
- Registered nurses- $88,530
Also see: Is Medical Assistant Degree Required?
If you want to enter the field of healthcare without having to sit for numerous competitive exams and undertake years of education and training,
medical assistance is the best career for you to step foot into healthcare.
This field also offers the choice of further evolving your career and becoming a physician, registered nurse, or any other healthcare professional. (Read More: CMA Vs CNA)
Also see: Registered Medical Assistant
How to Get Paid Better in California?
Like any other industry, the salary within the same professions can vary. Even in the case of medical assistants, you can see some medical assistants are paid more than others.
Why is that?
Experience plays a big role, and if you have experience working in different facilities and under different specialized physicians, you’re likely to earn a higher salary.
Also see: How to get Medical Assistant jobs with no experience
But what if you’re just starting out? Can you demand a higher salary if you’re a beginner?
Well, here’s the thing, if you’re just starting out, your salary would be lower than the average medical assistant salary. But you can do a few things to increase your chances of getting a better salary.
Also see: How to become a medical assistant?
Here are a few tips and medical assistant skills you can develop to earn a better salary as a Medical Assistant –
1. Obtaining your Medical Assistance Certification
As we said earlier, a certification is a requirement. After you complete your medical assistant program, you can apply for your CCMA Exam from the NHA website. Once you clear the exam, you can mention Certified Medical Assistant on your resume, and you can walk into your interviews with the confidence that you’re certified.
Also see: Medical Assistant Interview Questions
2. Phlebotomy Course
Medical assistants are often required to draw blood for sample analysis. Even though this task is usually completed by phlebotomists, medical assistants can be required to fill in whenever necessary. So if you’ve completed phlebotomy training and if you know how to draw blood, employers will take note of that.
3. Medical coding/Medical Billing course
As a medical assistant, you will be required to fill in wherever possible. This is also true for helping with billings, payments, and medical coding. A course in medical coding or billing will help you efficiently fill in for any medical coders or billers whenever necessary.
Also see: Medical Assistant vs. Medical Billing and Coding
4. Staying up to date on recent technologies
Technology is changing rapidly, and more and more healthcare facilities are relying on technology. If you stay updated, you can be given more responsibilities, and that will come with an increase in salary.
5. EKG Course
ECGs are diagnostic tests used by physicians to detect any abnormalities in a patient’s heart rhythm. As a medical assistant, you will be required to check the readings and clean and maintain the apparatus wherever necessary.
In your medical assistant training, you’re taught about the basics of an ECG machine and how to analyze the reading, but as you grow in your career, you can choose to enroll in a dedicated course for EKG Technicians.
Suppose you know about different aspects like phlebotomy, medical coding, or EKG Tech. In that case, you can also be given management responsibilities, where you’ll be expected to manage different personnel in a facility.
6. Learn a Second Language
California is a culturally diverse state. In order to erase any type of miscommunication and provide optimum care to patients, learning a second language will help you communicate better with people from different backgrounds as a medical assistant.
Also see: Medical Assistant Externship
Salaries In Other States
- Medical Assistant Salary Massachusetts
- Medical Assistant Salary New Jersey
- Medical Assistant Salary Florida
- Medical Assistant Salary Texas
- Medical Assistant Salary New York
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