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Key Factors in Determining Salaries for Medical Assistants

There are several key factors in determining salaries for medical assistants. Today’s Medical Assistant professionals are highly trained health-care providers qualified to work in the environment of their choice; physician’s office, hospitals, clinics, schools, and urgent care centers just to name a few. Medical Assistants are qualified to do patient assessments, initial patient intake exams, collects samples for tests, administer medications, chart, and assist with clerical functions such as scheduling and answering the phones, among other responsibilities. Medical Assistants can also participate in exam room set up, and prep and set up for medical procedures. There’s a wide variety of responsibilities that may come with working as a Medical Assistant.

What Type of Credentials Do You Have?

One of the key factors that will be considered in determining the salary of a Medical Assistant is what type of certification you have received. There are many colleges, technical schools and online programs available for Medical Assistant training and once that training has been completed, the Medical Assistant is then a Certified Medical Assistant. A Certified Medical Assistant can take the State Licensing Exam for their state and if they are able to pass and have both a state license and certification, they will earn a higher salary than those with only a certification. Some people are hired to work as Medical Assistants without certification or licensing. These individuals tend to earn very low pay compared to others working in this field.

What are Your Job Responsibilities?

Job responsibilities are another key factor in determining a Medical Assistants salary. Duties can vary greatly. Some Medical Assistants have a high level of patient care. They will earn more than those who largely do a clerical type of work. The type of skills you will be utilizing will play a factor. For example, a Medical Assistant working in a specialized area such as Dialysis at a Nephrology Center will be more highly compensated than a Medical Assistant who does very basic patient care in a Nursing Home. A Medical Assistant who works in a busy hospital may earn more than a Medical Assistant working a physician’s office.

Are You Experienced?

Another key factor to be considered in determining salary is experience. Both how much experience and what type of experience you have will influence your salary. A skills test may be given when a Medical Assistant is hired to determine how efficiently the Medical Assistant can perform the responsibilities of the job. A Medical Assistant with several years of experience will command a much higher salary than an inexperienced Medical Assistant just out of school. A Medical Assistant who has experience working in hospitals or other large health care institutions will be better compensated than Medical Assistants who have experience in doctor’s offices or smaller facilities.

A Medical Assistant with a significant amount of experience can expect to make approximately twice what an entry level Medical Assistant makes. Location, Location, Location!! Location is always a key factor in determining salary for a Medical Assistant. Medical Assistants are more plentiful in some regions, more scarce in others. This influences salary. Certain geographical locations have higher or lower costs of livings and thus influences wages. Salaries on the East or West coast are typically higher than in the South or Midwest. A Medical Assistant working in a big city will generally be paid a higher wage than Medical Assistants working in a small town or more rural area. California and Alaska currently have the highest rates of pay for Medical Assistants overall.

What Type of Industry Do You Work In?

The industry in which a Medical Assistant is employed will also be a key factor in determining salary. A Medical Assistant may be employed in Academia by a Professional School, University or college. A Medical Assistant could work in General Medicine and Surgical Hospitals or in a Specialized Care Center, such as a hospital that specializes in Pediatrics, Cancer, or Heart Disease. Medical Assistants also work in Outpatient Care, Physician’s offices, or offices of other types of Healthcare Practitioners. The highest paying industry for Medical Assistants is currently in Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals. Personal Care services tend to pay the lowest. There can be variations in salary dependent in the industry in which a Medical Assistant works.

Can You Work Weekends? Evenings? Holidays? Long Hours?

Lastly, work schedules can affect salary for a Medical Assistant. Many facilities offer shift differentials for those who work nights and/or weekends, or 12 hour shifts instead of 8 hour shifts. Willingness to work Holidays can also lead to a boost in salary. Medical Assisting is a rapidly growing field and one that many medical professionals find uniquely satisfying due to its blend of skills utilization and flexibility of full or part time employment. When working as a Medical Assistant, you’ll want to make the choices that work best for you personally, professionally, and provide you a salary within your defined goal range. Salary ranges will vary considerably due to the key factors that determine a Medical Assistants salary, but you will likely find a satisfactory salary for the type of work you love to do.

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