A medical assistant has administrative responsibilities as well as support duties to assist physicians and other health professionals. Medical assistants in the US earn about $30,365 per year, similar to the annual salary for this position in Canada at C$39,839 ($30,315 USD). While medical assistant salary in New Zealand and Australia are usually within close range, there is a wider gap between the two for this position at NZ$35,360 ($25,176 USD) and AU$49,578 ($37,180 USD), respectively.
In UK, medical assistants earn about £15,645 ($16,610 USD), followed by South Africa at R141,499 ($10,455 USD) and India at Rs286,801 ($4,208 USD). The average salary for medical assistants varies by geographic location, work setting, and years of experience as further explained in this guide.
How Much Does a Medical Assistant Make per Year?
Medical assistant hourly salary and yearly salary with their US dollar equivalency are outlined in the chart below.
|Medical Assistant Salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||New Zealand||India||South Africa|
Factors that Influence Medical Assistant Salary
Geographic location, work setting, and work experience influence incomes for medical assistants, as well as continuing education and training. While only a high school diploma is required for employment as a medical assistant, those who complete a medical assisting training program earn more. This career field and incomes in select countries are highlighted in the following paragraphs.
Medical Assistant Salary in US
In the US, a medical assistant earns between $20,358 and $43,836. The medical assistant hourly salary ranges from $11 to $18, while overtime pay ranges from nearly $15 per hour to more than $27 per hour. There are opportunities to increase income by more than $10,000 through bonus, commission, and profit sharing incentives. Registered medical assistant salary is higher than that of an unregistered medical assistant. With continued education and training, one may become a certified medical assistant, reaching the highest level of designation in the field.
The average certified medical assistant salary is $42,000 per year. Salaries steadily increase, peaking for those with 20 years’ or more experience. Incomes in Seattle, Boston and New York are considerably higher, exceeding the national average medical assistant salary by 29%, 17%, and 14%, respectively. Meanwhile, salaries in San Antonio lag behind the national average by 7%.
Medical Assistant Salary in Canada
Medical assistants in Canada earn about C$39,839 per year. Entry level medical assistants can expect a starting salary of about C$24,931 per year, increasing significantly with experience to nearly C$74,000 annually and peaking for those with 20 years’ or more experience. If paid an hourly wage, earnings range from C$12.75 to C$21.77, and overtime pay averages an additional $21 per hour. Bonus incentives up to about C$500 are also available.
Medical Assistant Salary in UK
In UK, medical assistants earn about £15,645 per year, on average, while the hourly wage is about £8. Entry level medical assistants can expect an annual salary of about £8,340, or £7, while experienced professionals earn nearly £21,000 per year, or £9.50 per hour. Overtime pay is more than £8 per hour, and some employers offer bonus incentives of nearly £200. Many people do not remain in this career as only about 10% of the medical assistants in UK have more than 10 years’ experience.
Medical Assistant Salary in Australia
Average salary for medical assistant in Australia is AU$49,579 per year. Entry level medical assistants earn nearly AU$40,000, increasing to nearly AU$67,000 with experience. The medical assistant hourly salary ranges from AU$19 to nearly AU$35. There is potential for additional earnings through bonus pay of about AU$750.
Medical Assistant Salary in New Zealand
In New Zealand, medical assistants earn between $15 and $19 per hour. Annual earnings range from about NZ$30,000 to nearly $40,000.Medical assistants here can earn additional pay through overtime. Some employers also offer bonus pay.
Medical Assistant Salary in India
Medical assistants in India earn between Rs111,285 and Rs702,925 per year. An additional Rs55,000 can be earned through bonus and profit sharing incentives. With only about 10% of medical assistants possessing more than 10 years’ experience, those with the most experience likely earn the highest wages and have the greatest opportunity for bonus income.
Medical Assistant Salary in South Africa
In South Africa, medical assistants earn about ZAR141,499 per year, or ZAR36 per hour. Entry level medical assistants can expect an annual salary of about ZAR47,000, increasing to nearly ZAR308,000 with experience. An additional R4,800 can be earned in bonus incentives. Only about 5% of medical assistants in South Africa have 10 years’ or more experience, indicating those who choose this career field have the greatest opportunity for the highest level of income potential in the field.
Experience has a strong impact on earnings for medical assistants in most countries reviewed in this guide. For example, in South Africa the gap between entry level medical assistants and those with 10 years’ or more experience, is more than R260,000, representing an increase of 550%. In New Zealand, the difference between entry level pay and incomes for the most experienced is more narrow, but still increases by about 33%, or $10,000 per year.
Those who work in this field and gain experience may choose to further their education and training to become registered or certified medical assistants, thereby further increasing their earning potential.
Medical assistants work in many different healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, physician offices, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. While in the US, Canada and UK, medical assistants are predominately female, there is about a 50/50 split among male and female medical assistants in South Africa and India. To work as a medical assistant, one only needs high school education or equivalent; however, completion of a medical assisting program is required for registered and certified medical assistant positions.
The working hours for medical assistants are dependent on the work setting. Those employed in hospitals and nursing homes are subject to a schedule that may range during any day or time, including evenings, weekends, and holidays, as 24-hour care is provided in these facilities. Hours for those employed in a physician’s office or clinic are generally during typical business hours, Monday through Friday. While many medical assistants work full-time hours, there are opportunities for part-time schedules. Many take advantage of the generous overtime pay to increase their earnings.
Bonuses and Benefit Packages
While many medical assistants receive full healthcare benefits, including medical, vision and dental care, there is a fair number who indicate they do not receive any medical benefits. For example, about 73% in UK, 49% in Canada, and 57% in India say they lack healthcare coverage compared to about 35% in the US. The absence of healthcare benefits is likely more prevalent for those who are employed as part-time or hourly employees.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 23% growth rate in medical assistant positions, a very fast growth rate that exceeds the average growth of all employment. Greater demand in this field can be expected worldwide as a result of aging populations, increased awareness of preventive medicine often provided in physician offices, and an expanded need for medical assistants to complete routine administrative responsibilities to free physicians’ time to see more patients.
While the salary for medical assistant is lower compared to some other healthcare positions, the limited education and training required for this career make it appealing for those who do not wish or cannot afford years of advanced education. Those who complete the requirements for a registered or certified medical assistant can expect to reap higher incomes. Global demand for medical assistants in the future should support income levels for medical assistants and provide sufficient employment opportunities for new professionals entering this career field. While most medical assistants work full-time hours, there are opportunities for part-time schedules.