In January 2013, the United States Department of Labor released a report entitled, Montana Economy at a Glance: Healthcare Labor Shortages and Potential Solutions. This article offered several explanations for the rising demand of healthcare workers in the state, including medical assistants:
- 29% of the population is over the age of 55; this substantial aging population will increasingly require health care services
- Rapid advances in technology enable the medical community to provide more services to patients
- As baby boomers continue to retire in the field, replacement workers will be needed to fill their positions
According to the United States Department of Labor, the average Montana State University graduate earns an average annual salary of $30,863. However, the Montana Department of Labor & Industry reported that in 2013, medical assistants earned a higher average annual salary of $31,190.
Medical Assistants starting careers in entry-level positions earned an annual average salary of $24,910, while more experienced employees received an average annual salary closer to $34,320 in 2013.
Medical Assistant Salaries by Industry and Location
Medical assistants interested in maximizing their salary earning potential are encouraged to seek positions in high-paying industries. Studies conducted by the Montana Research & Analysis Bureau found the following average salaries for medical assistants in the state’s top paying industries:
- Offices of Dentists: $15.77/hr. or $32,792/yr.
- Public Administration-State: $15.67/hr. or $32,583/yr.
- Offices of Physicians: $15.12/hr. or $31,445/yr.
- General Medical & Surgical Hospitals: $14.43/hr. or $30,040/yr.
- Public Administration-Local: $13.11/hr. or $27,274/yr.
- Offices of Other Health Practitioners: $12.80/hr. or $26,625/yr.
Medical assistants searching for optimal salary opportunities should also consider how salaries could be affected by a worker’s geographic location of employment. To showcase this salary distribution across regions throughout Montana in 2013, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics created the salary table found below: