Medical assistants typically work alongside physicians in doctors' offices and clinics. They often take care of both clinical and administrative duties ranging from scheduling appointments to drawing blood samples.
This guide takes a look at medical assistant statistics and data including demographics, work environment, career outlook, salary, and more.
Medical Assistant Employment Statistics
- As of 2021, there are about 743,500 medical assistants working in the United States. This includes both certified and uncertified medical assistants. The number of jobs is expected to increase to 861,300 by 2031.
- There are typically 123,000 medical assistant job openings each year in the United States. This high job outlook is a result of medical assistants retiring, changing careers, and the increasing demand for medical assistants across the country.
- The expected employment change between 2021 to 2031 is 16%. This expected employment change is much higher than the national average expected career growth, which is about 6%.
- 58% of medical assistants work in doctors' offices. Other locations medical assistants commonly work include hospitals (15%), outpatient care centers (9%), and chiropractic offices (4%)
- 62% of employers say that certification is the first thing they look for in a new employee. While medical assistant certification isn't the only important attribute, it is highly valued by most employers. Other skills employers look for include professionalism, critical thinking, and good verbal communication.
- 52% of employers report that medical assistants require more advanced skills than they did in the past. Employers report that the important advanced skills that medical assistants perform include running panel reports (26%), health coaching (29%), phone triage/screening (54%), medical screening (45%), navigating the healthcare system (25%), and translating (26%).
- Employers report that 59% of their newly certified medical assistants are prepared to perform their responsibilities well. They also report that the most lacking soft skills among new medical assistants include critical thinking, professionalism, and verbal communication.
- Medical assistants in every state are allowed to administer medication. While all medical assistants are allowed to give medication, they are not allowed to administer IV medications (though they can start IVs in most states).
- 88% of employers encourage or require certification for medical assistants. Almost all healthcare facilities prefer to hire medical assistants who have earned their certification. For medical administrative assistants, 81% of employers encourage or require certification, which is still a large majority.
- Of employers looking to hire medical assistants, 62% screen for certification. In addition, 51% look for years of experience, and 38% look for CPR or BLS certification. 58% screen for some kind of medical assistant training, with or without certification.
- The average age of a medical assistant is 36.6 years old. Average age varies slightly based on gender, with female medical assistants averaging 36.8 years old and male medical assistants averaging 35.5 years old.
- 90.7% of medical assistants are female. As of 2021, the gender breakdown between medical assistants shows that the large majority of medical assistants are female. There are about 498,000 female medical assistants in the United States and only 51,000 male medical assistants.
- 48.7% of medical assistants are white, non-Hispanic employees. White, non-Hispanic employees make up the majority of medical assistants. White Hispanic is the second most common ethnicity of medical assistants (16%), followed by Black (14.1%), then Asian (4.6%). 2.3% of medical assistants state that they belong to two or more ethnic groups.
- 6% of medical assistants in the United States are LGBT. LGBT stats may be skewed due to underreporting of LGBT employees. Many employees choose not to disclose this information for fear of discrimination in the workplace.
Medical Assistant Salary Statistics
The national average salary for medical assistants is about $37,190 annually which comes out to $17.88 per hour. The highest-performing medical assistants earned as much as $48,170 and the lowest performers earned $29,070.
Being certified can get you closer to the higher end of the salary range. Salary differences for certified MAs can be as much as 10%, and 56% of healthcare institutions will pay employees more if they have a professional certification.
Medical Assistant Salaries by State
- Alabama – $29,920 ($14.38)
- Alaska – $47,400 ($22.79)
- Arizona – $37,390 ($17.98)
- Arkansas – $29,970 ($14.41)
- California – $44,780 ($21.53). Learn more about medical assistant salaries in CA here.
- Colorado – $38,040 ($18.29)
- Connecticut – $41,010 ($19.71). Learn more about medical assistant salaries in CT here.
- Delaware – $36,450 ($17.52) – Learn more about medical assistant salaries in DE here.
- District of Columbia – $46,690 ($22.45) – Learn more about medical assistant salaries in Washington D.C. here.
- Florida – $35,480 ($17.06). Learn more about medical assistant salaries in FL here.
- Georgia – $36,190 ($17.40)
- Hawaii – $38,860 ($18.69)
- Idaho – $37,120 ($17.85)
- Illinois – $38,330 ($18.43)Learn more about medical assistant salaries in IL here.
- Indiana – $36,960 ($17.77)
- Iowa – $37,660 ($18.11)
- Kansas – $35,340 ($16.99)
- Kentucky – $33,410 ($16.06)
- Louisiana – $29,470 ($14.17)
- Maine – $37,860 ($18.20)
- Maryland – $39,280 ($18.89). Learn more about medical assistant salaries in MD here.
- Massachusetts – $44,220 ($21.25). Learn more about medical assistant salaries in MA here.
- Michigan – $37,120 ($17.85)
- Minnesota – $46,920 ($22.56)
- Mississippi – $29,760 ($14.31)
- Missouri – $35,280 ($16.96)
- Montana – $37,660 ($18.11)
- Nebraska – $36,990 ($17.78)
- Nevada – $36,960 ($17.77)
- New Hampshire – $38,220 ($18.37)
- New Jersey – $39,600 ($19.04). Learn more about medical assistant salaries in NJ here.
- New Mexico – $30,750 ($14.79)
- New York – $42,100 ($20.24). Learn more about medical assistant salaries in NY & NYC here.
- North Carolina – $36,790 ($17.69)
- North Dakota – $37,310 ($17.94)
- Ohio – $36,800 ($17.69)
- Oklahoma – $30,030 ($14.44)
- Oregon – $45,710 ($21.97)
- Pennsylvania – $36,750 ($17.67). Learn more about medical assistant salaries in PA here.
- Rhode Island – $37,860 ($18.20)
- South Carolina – $34,710 ($16.69)
- South Dakota – $30,540 ($14.68)
- Tennessee – $36,280 ($17.44)
- Texas – $34,660 ($16.66). Learn about medical assistant salaries in TX here.
- Utah – $37,120 ($17.85)
- Vermont – $37,190 ($17.88)
- Virginia – $38,330 ($18.43). Learn about medical assistant salaries in VA here.
- Washington – $47,460 ($22.82)
- West Virginia – $31,230 ($15.01). Learn more about medical assistant salaries in WV here.
- Wisconsin – $38,050 ($18.30)
- Wyoming – $37,410 ($17.99)
Salary of Medical Assistant Specialties
Here are the average salaries of medical assistant specialties:
- Podiatry Medical Assistant – $65,000
- Ophthalmology Medical Assistant – $46,377
- Fertility Medical Assistant – $45,387
- Cardiology Medical Assistant – $41,600
- Dermatology Medical Assistant – $37,525
Medical Assistant Certification Statistics
While most certifications are viewed similarly by employers, there are some differences between each different type of certification.
Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) Statistics
- Issuing organization: National Healthcareer Certification
- Cost of certification: $160
- # exam questions: 180 multiple-choice questions
- Pass rate: 77%
- Recertification timeline: Every 2 years
- Recertification requirements: 10 hours of continuing education credits plus the recertification fee
- Recertification cost: $179
Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) Statistics
- Issuing organization: American Association of Medical Assistants
- Cost of certification: $120
- # exam questions: 200 multiple-choice questions
- Pass rate: 58%
- Recertification timeline: Every 3 years
- Recertification requirements: Complete continuing education credits consisting of 10 administrative hours, 10 clinical hours, 10 general hours, and 30 hours of administrative, clinical, or general content area(s) of your choosing.
- Recertification cost: $65
Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) Statistics
- Issuing organization: American Medical Technologists
- Cost of certification: $125
- # exam questions: 200 multiple-choice questions
- Pass rate: 77%
- Recertification timeline: Every 5 years
- Recertification requirements: 30 hours of continuing education credits
- Recertification cost: $60
National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) Statistics
- Issuing organization: National Center for Competency Testing
- Cost of certification: $119
- # exam questions: 150 scored questions and 30 unscored questions
- Pass rate: 57%
- Recertification timeline: Yearly
- Recertification requirements: 14 hours of continuing education credits
- Recertification cost: $77
>> Learn more: CMA vs RMA vs CCMA
Other Interesting Medical Assistant Data & Statistics
- 58% of medical assistants give their work environment at least 4/5 stars. Job satisfaction statistics show that most medical assistants are happy in their jobs.
- Only 11% of medical assistants are completely satisfied with their pay. Medical assistants, while happy at their jobs, often feel that they should be paid more for what they do.
- 71% of medical assistants receive major medical insurance through their employer. Other benefits often offered to medical assistants include; paid time off, dental coverage, sick leave, and disability insurance.
- There was a 40% increase in healthcare work-related injuries in 2020. Healthcare workers represent the highest percentage of workplace-related injuries in the United States. Medical assistants are part of this group of employees with high rates of injuries sustained at work.