Medical Assistant Salaries in California

Help Support our Healthcare Workers on the front lines against COVID-19 by Donating Personal Protective Equipment: GetUsPPE.org

There may be no better time than now to pursue a career in medical assisting in the Golden State.

The healthcare sector in California is the state’s largest in terms of jobs and revenue, and the demand for qualified healthcare workers seems to be growing by the day. In fact, the California Future Health Workforce Commission reported a “grave shortage” within the state’s healthcare workforce in 2019. This sort of environment spells exciting opportunities for everyone from top clinicians to entry-level support personnel.

Complete a medical assisting diploma, certificate, or associate degree program and you’ll be among the state’s 97,700 medical assistants which, by the year 2021, will grow to 103,100 – a 5.5% increase in just a few, short years, according to the California Employment Development Department.

There’s a distinct financial advantage to building your resume as a medical assistant in California, as salaries can increase by $20,000 or more the further up the career ladder you climb. Medical assistants here earned an average, hourly wage of $18.10, or $37,640 annually, as of May 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those who’ve earned a handful of years of experience and the CMA designation enjoy the highest salaries in the profession – $28.43 per hour, or $59,130 annually.

Average Hourly Wages for Medical Assistants in California’s Metro Areas

Los Angeles may come out ahead in terms of the number of medical assistants working there, but the top earners in the medical assisting profession are located in San Francisco, where the top 10% earned an average, hourly wage of $31.98.

The following BLS stats provide a glimpse into what medical assistants in the median – top 10% hourly wage range are earning in California’s largest metro areas:

  • Bakersfield: $15.20 – $20.65 (approximately 2,130 medical assistants)
  • Fresno: $16.33 – $22.52 (approximately 3,320 medical assistants)
  • Los Angeles (greater metro area includes Long Beach and Anaheim): $17.43 – $26.63 (approximately 32,040 medical assistants)
  • Modesto: $17.22 – $24.69 (approximately 1,410 medical assistants)
  • San Diego (greater metro area includes Carlsbad): $18.58 – $25.36 (approximately 8,130 medical assistants)
  • San Francisco (greater metro area includes Oakland and Hayward): $23.26 – $31.98 (approximately 12,320 medical assistants)
  • San Jose (greater metro area includes Sunnyvale and Santa Clara): $21.95 – $30.82 (approximately 5,100 medical assistants)

Average Salaries for Medical Assistants in California’s Metro Areas

The BLS reported the following salary range (median – top 10%) for medical assistants in California’s largest metro areas:

  • Bakersfield: $31,610 – $42,940
  • Fresno: $33,960 – $46,840
  • Los Angeles (greater metro area includes Long Beach and Anaheim): $36,260 – $55,400
  • Modesto: $35,810 – $51,360
  • San Diego (greater metro area includes Carlsbad): $38,640 – $52,750
  • San Francisco (greater metro area includes Oakland and Hayward): $48,370 – $66,510
  • San Jose (greater metro area includes Sunnyvale and Santa Clara): $45,660 – $64,100

 

Salary and employment data compiled by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May of 2019. Figures represent accumulated data for all employment sectors in which medical assistants work. BLS salary data represents average and median earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries. 

2019 job growth projections from the California Employment Development Department are aggregated through the U.S. Department of Labor-Sponsored resource, Projections Central. Employment conditions in your area may vary. 

All salary and employment data accessed June 2020.