Medical assistants are in high demand across the country, and becoming one takes no time at all. In less than a year, you could have all of the training you need to enter a lucrative and rewarding career as a medical assistant. In order to do that though, you have to find an education program in your state. If there are no programs available, you could also consider going to school online. No matter where you live, there is a degree out there for you.
Top Medical Assistant Schools by State
Click the link below for your state to learn more about the medical assistant programs available in your area.
How Medical Assistant Programs Change by State
For the most part, every state and school has the same fundamental education in place for aspiring medical assistants. What may vary from area to area is the type of exam you have to take to become a Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA). Some states use national exams issued by the American Association of Medical Assistants, but others have exams specific for their region. If your state has its own certification exam, you will need to take courses that prepare you for it.
In some states, the competition for medical assistant jobs is very high, which means you may need to go through more schooling to get a job. Rather than getting a simple certificate, you might need a two year associate’s degree in medical assisting. There are educational programs available at every level, so you can get the specific training you need to find a job. Your success will be measured by your determination.
The cost for medical assistant programs changes by state as well. For instance, the standard of living in California is much higher than the standard of living in Oklahoma. Thus you may pay more to go to school on the coats than you would in the Midwest. With that in mind, you only need two semesters of school to earn your degree, so you won’t have time to rack up a ton of student debt. No matter where you live, you can get an education that will lead to a better future for you.
Top States for Medical Assistant Programs
You can become a medical assistant in any state, but some have better opportunities than others. Here is a look at the top five states for medical assisting based on pay and job openings.
1 – California
California makes it to the top of our list because of how well its cities rank in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ geographic profile for medical assistants. Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Ana are three of the top 10 cities in the country with the highest employment level for medical assistants. California boasts an average hourly rate of $16.23 for medical assistants, equating to $33,750 a year. While there is heavy competition in this area, you should have no issues finding a job opening here.
2 – Texas
Texas has two cities on the top 10 employment level list: Dallas and Houston. There are 12,550 medical assistants in the Houston metropolis alone, representing 4.75 out of every 1,000 jobs in the area. Texas offers a less-than-impressive average pay of $13.59 an hour, which is slightly lower than the national average. However, the standard of living in this state is quite low, and residents here do not have to pay food tax on their groceries. With the amount of job opportunities in rural and urban parts of the Lone Star State, you’ll be guaranteed success her.
3 – New Mexico
New Mexico makes it on our list because of its ratio of medical assistants to other employees. There are approximately 6.58 medical assistants per 1,000 residents of New Mexico, which is significantly higher than the national average. The BLS gives this state a 1.55 location quotient, which means that there are 1.55 medical assistants here for every 1 in the national average. The average hourly wage here is $13.57, which results in about $28,220 a year.
4 – Alaska
Alaska has very few medical assistants working within its borders, but it made our list because of its exceedingly high pay rates. The average medical assistant here earns $19.18 an hour, or about $40,000 a year. This is much higher than the national average of $13.87 an hour. Alaska only has 1,210 medical assistants employed as of 2012, leaving plenty of opportunities for you to find a job here. This may not have been your first choice for states to move to, but it is certainly worth the trip for the pay here.
5 – Massachusetts
Massachusetts has great opportunities for medical assistants across the board. There are 13,610 medical assistants employed here as of 2012, but 7,930 are in Boston alone. The average medical assistant here earns $17.89 an hour, resulting in an annual pay of $37,210. If you manage to find a medical assistant job in Boston, you will earn an average of $18.74 an hour. Massachusetts has a fairly high standard of living, so that extra money will go a long way for you. If you’re thinking of studying in a New England state, MA is a great place to keep in mind.