Although medical assisting is a great career choice across the country, some states provide shining examples of the opportunities available. Below are the top five states in which to work as a medical assistant, based on cost of living, employment and salaries of medical assistants, and job growth potential:
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#1 – California
California takes the number 1 spot for best state in which to work as a medical assistant, and with good reason. In 2011, the state employed 82,280 medical assistants in a variety of hospitals and other facilities. California provides such a great medical assisting employment environment that three of the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s top ten medical assisting metropolitan areas are located in the state. These are the Los Angeles, San Diego, and Anaheim metropolitan areas. While the consumer price index of 238 puts the cost of living in California over 6% higher than the national average, the state also offers some of the highest pay rates for medical assistants in the country. Currently, the average wage of a California medical assistant is around $33,750 per year, or $16.23 per hour. This is substantially higher than the national average and helps even out the higher cost of living. Finally, California is expected to have some of the fastest growth of any state in the field of medical assisting, meaning that there will be ample job opportunities for years to come.
#2 – Texas
Texas comes in at number 2 for great states to work as a medical assistant. Texas has a consumer price index of 234, which is quite a bit lower than the national average. While the medical assistant salary of around $28,270 per year, or $13.59 an hour, is slightly lower than the national average, it is in an excellent range when you consider the cost of living in the state. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are around 51,890 medical assistants employed in the state at this time. Since Texas is enjoying a very high growth rate in the healthcare sector, there will be many more positions opening in coming years. While medical assistant employment is promising across the state, the metropolitan areas of Houston and Dallas provide the best opportunities and rank in the top 10 with the BLS. Texas provides such an excellent employment environment because of the large number of patients looking for uninterrupted healthcare. In addition, the population of the state is increasing, making it a prime environment to work in this field.
#3 – Florida
Florida ranks 3rd on the list of best states for medical assistant employment due to a number of factors. First, the state provides a very attractive option for people because of the abundance of sun, sand, and surf. In addition, the state has a consumer price index of 208, which is substantially lower than the national average and a salary of $28,600 a year, or $13.75 per hour, which is very close to the average nationwide. Employment opportunities are good across the state, especially in the Ocala area. There are currently around 38,080 medical assistants working in Florida and the state’s excellent growth rate means that there will be increasing numbers of open positions in coming years.
#4 – Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is a surprisingly great place for medical assistants to work. The state provides a cost of living that is lower than the national average and an average medical assistant salary of around $29,900 a year, which translates to roughly $14.37 an hour, very close to the national average. The state currently employs around 22,600 medical assistants and has a good predicted rate of growth. Pennsylvania has an especially high demand for medical assistants in specialized medical offices. While no licensing is required in the state, all medical assistants must gain certification through the American Association of Medical Assistants. Although there are ample opportunities for medical assistants at all levels, the prospects are greatest for those with a master’s degree and/or extensive experience.
#5 – Ohio
Ohio has seen a steady growth in the healthcare industry due to economic growth and expansion. The state has a relatively low cost of living with a consumer price index of 207 and excellent earning potential with an average medical assistant salary of $13.48 per hour, or around $28,040 per year. The state currently provides employment to around 22,440 medical assistants with new positions opening daily. This high demand for medical assistants is expected to be ongoing for the foreseeable future, making Ohio one of the best states in which to work as a medical assistant.
If you are a medical assistant or intend to enter this field, these states provide the best possible opportunities, earnings, and cost of living. While the field of medical assisting is growing rapidly across the country, these five states are gems for those looking for the ultimate career benefits.