Medical assistants have recently been in demand, due to the rising population of baby boomers. It is considered to be a rewarding career and the best stepping stone to a career in the healthcare industry.
Medical assistants are healthcare workers that provide support to nurses, physicians, and other healthcare professionals. Their duties entail both administrative and clinical duties, ranging from assisting physicians with bedside procedures to scheduling appointments.
If you’re interested in pursuing this rewarding career, you might be wondering how much they earn.
Let us read more to find out the salary figures of medical assistants nationally, and compare them to the figures in West Virginia, other professions, and other states.
See more: What is a Medical Assistant
So how much exactly does a medical assistant in West Virginia make annually?
The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) reports that the average annual wage of a medical assistant in West Virginia is $32,300 or $15.53 per hour.
Source: U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics
Comparing the above-mentioned figures to the national average salary earned by medical assistants across the country, which is $38,190, it is evident that the salary earned in West Virginia is slightly lower.
Medical Assistant Salary & Job Outlook
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the projected job growth for medical assistants in the state is expected to be around 16 percent until 2031. This growth rate is significantly higher compared to the projected 5 percent growth for all other professions, highlighting the favorable career outlook for medical assistants in West Virginia.
In terms of earning potential, it’s important to note that Massachusetts is recognized as one of the lower-paying states for medical assistants across the United States, based on BLS data.
Medical assistants in Massachusetts earn salaries that are approximately 18 percent lower than the national average for their profession.
See more on: Medical Assistant Job Outlook
Medical Assistant Salary in West Virginia as Compared to Other States
When considering the salaries offered for medical assistants across different states, job location plays a significant role. Let’s see how the salary figures vary in each state, including a comparison to West Virginia.
Some states offer a higher salary for medical assistants than West Virginia, such as:
- Washington- $22.82 hourly or $47,460 annually
- Minnesota- $22.56 hourly or $46,920 annually
- Massachusetts- $22.06 hourly or $45,880 annually
- Oregon- $21.97 hourly or $45,710 annually
While some states may offer slightly higher salaries than West Virginia, it’s important to note that the difference is not significantly large. When considering a potential move to a higher-paying state, it’s crucial to take into account the cost of living and other daily expenses associated with each location.
Now, let’s see some states that offer a lower salary for medical assistants than West Virginia:
- Louisiana- $14.17 hourly or $29,470 annually
- Alabama- $14.38 hourly or $29,920 annually
- Mississippi- $14.31 hourly or $29,760 annually
- Arkansas- $14.41 hourly or $29,970 annually
These statistics indicate that West Virginia stands out with higher salaries compared to most states.
Read more on: Certified Medical Assistant Salary
Medical Assistant Salaries in Different Cities within West Virginia
We stated before how job location plays an important part in the salaries offered for any profession. This holds true for medical assistants also, with the salaries they are offered varying across each state as well as cities.
Let’s see how the salaries offered to differ within each city in West Virginia:
- Charleston – $15.21 hourly or $35,199 per year
- Morgantown – $16.19 hourly or $37,460 per year
- Huntington – $14.41 hourly or $33,344 per year
- Beckley – $13.14 hourly or $30,411 per year
- Martinsburg – $13.48 hourly or $31,188 per year
- Wheeling – $14.71 hourly or $34,034 per year
- Parkersburg – $18.30 hourly or $42,352 per year
- Clarksburg – $17.10 hourly or $39,564 per year
- Princeton – $13.15 hourly or 30,428 per year
- Elkins – $15.96 hourly or $36,929 per year
It is important to note that the figures mentioned above have been gathered from various job board sites, such as indeed.com, and not from official government data. As a result, the salary information provided may vary and may not reflect the exact salaries offered in each city within West Virginia for medical assistants.
Also read: Where Can Medical Assistants Work
Do Certified Medical Assistants Make More in West Virginia?
While Massachusetts, like many other states, does not have a legal requirement for medical assistants to be certified or licensed, there is a growing trend among employers to prefer candidates with medical assistant certifications. In fact, certified medical assistants often earn around 10 percent more than those without certification.
Also see: Medical Assistant License
As the number of patients and healthcare facilities continues to rise across the country, the demand for skilled and competent medical assistants is also increasing.
Given that medical assistants typically work in clinics and hospitals, obtaining a medical assistant certification demonstrates to employers that you possess the necessary expertise to effectively handle both clinical and administrative responsibilities.
Also see: Certified Clinical Medical Assistant
Salary of Medical Assistants in West Virginia As Compared to Other Professions
The healthcare industry is known for its rewarding career opportunities. While many healthcare professions require a minimum of four years of education, medical assisting provides a faster entry point into this field.
By pursuing a career as a medical assistant, you can gain valuable healthcare experience and contribute to patient care without the need for extensive schooling. The educational requirements for medical assistants are typically less time-consuming compared to other healthcare careers, allowing you to enter the field relatively quickly.
Also read: Medical Assistant Educational Requirements
Let’s now compare the salaries offered to medical assistants with those offered to other professions that require the same education:
- Medical Assistants- $40,010
- Cashiers- $29,410
- Personal Care Helpers or Home Health Professionals- $32,770
- Bank Tellers- $39,560
- Medical Technicians (Emergency)- $41,120
Let’s also compare the salaries of medical assistants to that of professions that require advanced degrees and more years of schooling:
- Medical Assistants- $40,010
- Registered nurses- $88,530
- Physician Assistant- $141,790
- Medicine Physician- $223,220
- Surgeon- $242,330
The figures clearly indicate that medical assisting is a highly rewarding profession considering the level of education required. While it is true that there are other healthcare professions that offer higher salaries, those typically require advanced degrees as a minimum requirement for entry.
Additionally, a career in medical assisting can serve as a stepping stone to further professional development. By gaining valuable experience in the field, you can explore opportunities to advance your career and potentially transition into roles such as a physician, registered nurses, or other healthcare professions.
How To Increase Your Chances of Earning a Better Salary as a Medical Assistant in West Virginia
If you’re considering a career as a medical assistant and aiming for a higher salary, you may be wondering how to increase your earning potential.
While salaries can vary based on factors such as location and experience, there are strategies you can employ to maximize your income as a medical assistant.
Also see: How to Become a Medical Assistant
If you are aiming to increase your chances of earning a higher salary as a medical assistant, there are several steps you can take:
- Obtain medical assistant certification: Getting certified through exams such as the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), among others, is highly recommended. Certification showcases your competence and dedication to the profession, making you stand out to potential employers.
- Take a course on EKG/ECG: EKGs or ECGs are important diagnostic tests used by physicians to evaluate heart health. By taking a course in EKG/ECG, you can gain the skills to assist physicians in performing these tests, including operating the equipment and properly recording readings.
- Take a course on phlebotomy: While phlebotomy is usually handled by specialized phlebotomists, having knowledge and training in this area can make you more valuable as a medical assistant. A course in phlebotomy will equip you with the skills to collect blood samples, which may be required in certain clinical settings.
- Take a course on medical billing/coding: Medical assistants often play a role in assisting patients with billing and coding tasks. Taking a course in medical billing or coding can enhance your understanding of insurance claims, billing procedures, and coding systems, enabling you to efficiently manage administrative responsibilities.
- Improve your soft skills: Communication skills are crucial for medical assistants as they interact with patients, healthcare professionals, and administrative staff on a daily basis. Focus on developing strong interpersonal skills, including effective communication, compassion, and patience.
Also read: Medical Assistant Skills
- Learn another language: West Virginia is a diverse state, with Spanish, Arabic, and Chinese speakers, apart from English. As a medical assistant, learning a second language will help you better treat patients with different ethnic backgrounds, as it will help you overcome any language barriers.
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