5 Best States to Start a Medical Assistant Career
Medical assistants are an indispensable part of the healthcare system. Starting a career in allied health as a medical assistant is a wise decision for many people since medical assistants are some of the most in-demand professionals today due to shortages in nurses and doctors.
Job opportunities abound for medical assistants, with forecasted job openings of roughly 104,400 annually for the next 10 years. This gives them plenty of choice about where they work.
Top States for Medical Assisting Careers
These states offer the best job opportunities for medical assistants in terms of opportunities, cost of living, and salary.
California is an excellent choice for Medical assistants to start their careers. According to the latest data from the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the state employs a total of 97,640 medical assistants. And while the cost of living is higher than average, medical assistants in California earn an average of $44,780 annually, depending on the skills and experience of the individual. Those with more experience and better certifications can expect to earn as much as $48,994, according to the latest data from Salary.com. Companies may also offer benefits packages.
Aspiring medical assistants should consider the Los Angeles area, which has more than 12.4 million residents. These residents mean greater demand for healthcare and related services.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics data shows that Texas employed 69,370 medical assistants in 2021. The state may have a lower annual salary range compared to California, but the low cost of living in Texas makes up for the difference. According to MIT research, all areas in California are more expensive to live in than in Texas. Taking food as an example, researchers estimated that an average single adult living in California would spend $3,792 for their meals annually, compared to only $3,177 for those living in Texas.
Medical care is also much more affordable in Texas, but housing is the real clincher: California housing is 48% higher than Texas. So living and working in Texas may be more manageable, particularly for someone who’s just starting their career.
A medical assistant career in Florida is another option to consider. The state is known for having a high number of retirees attracted to Florida’s sun, sand, and surf. This means more people will need medical care, whether that is in medical clinics, hospitals, or the private care sector. Currently, there are only 57,210 medical assistants in Florida. There’s still room for growth in the next coming years. Plus, Florida has a lower than average cost of living—and is also home to some of the best medical assistant program providers in the US.
Pennsylvania has a low cost of living and is among the most densely populated states in the country. It is also known to have a low birth rate, with most residents being older. The state is also home to more than 700,000 veterans. All these numbers point to a growing need for medical assistants to provide medical care.
Pennsylvania doesn’t require medical assistants to have a license to practice. However, they must be able to present a certification from the American Association of Medical Assistants. Those who want to maximize their opportunity in Pennsylvania and hope to be employed in one of the top medical centers should consider more extensive experience and ample training.
Ohio’s focus on growing and improving its healthcare industry is showing promising results. Northeast Ohio’s healthcare GDP posted a growth of 37%, totaling $22 billion overall. Much of this growth comes from ambulatory care and hospital services, in which medical assistants can play a huge role. The current median salary of medical assistants in Ohio is $37,222, and the cost of living is reasonably low.
Ohio also has its own organization that manages medical assistants. The Ohio State Society of Medical Assistants is an affiliate of the American Medical Assistants Association and provides support and various resources for aspiring and practicing medical assistants in the state.
Which Is the Best State to Start a Medical Assisting Career?
The location that’s best for you is the one that matches your personal and career goals. How do you feel about snow? Where is your family located? If you wish to live in a place with a high cost of living, you also have to consider the expected salary available to you. No matter where you choose to practice, keep in mind that your success begins when you’re appropriately armed with the right skill set, knowledge, and experience.
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