While the number of South Carolina residents without health insurance continues to trend higher than the national average, there’s a bright light on the horizon here. Recent stats from the U.S. Census Bureau reveal that the number of uninsured in the Palmetto State dropped between 2017 and 2018. And where there’s growth in healthcare coverage and spending, better and more varied opportunities for medical assistants naturally follow.
Recent projections from the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce reflect this impending growth. As of 2019, there were 10,160 medical assistants working here; by 2021, this number is projected to grow by more than 500 – an increase of 5% in just two years. That’s a huge rate of growth and one of the fastest in the nation. And that’s just new jobs being created. When you factor in openings that result from MAs transitioning to retirement or moving into other roles, that accounts for an average of 1,400 job openings here every single year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals an average hourly wage of $15.28, or $31,780 annually, as of 2019. The top earners here (10%) earned an average hourly wage of $19.59, or $40,740 annually. The difference between the median and top earners here is nearly $9,000 annually, which reflects the fact that there is plenty of room for professional growth in this profession.
Average Hourly Wages for Medical Assistants in South Carolina’s Metro Areas
As the state’s economic hub, the Charleston metro area is home to the largest number of medical assistants in the state, and the highest salaries among these healthcare support professionals.
The following BLS stats reveal the median – top 10% average hourly wage ranges for medical assistants working in South Carolina’s largest metro areas:
- Charleston-North Charleston: $16.76 – $21.20 (approximately 2,710 medical assistants)
- Columbia: $14.43 – $19.07 (approximately 2,060 medical assistants)
- Florence: $13.08 – $17.37 (approximately 630 medical assistants)
- Greenville (greater metro area includes Anderson and Mauldin): $15.18 – $19.26 (approximately 1,960 medical assistants)
- Myrtle Beach (greater metro area includes Conway and North Myrtle Beach): $14.76 – $19.61 (approximately 660 medical assistants)
- Spartanburg: $16.02 – $19.51 (approximately 650 medical assistants)
Average Salaries for Medical Assistants in South Carolina’s Metro Areas
BLS stats reveal the following salary ranges (median – top 10%) for medical assistants working in South Carolina’s largest metro areas:
- Charleston-North Charleston: $34,860 – $44,100
- Columbia: $30,010 – $39,660
- Florence: $27,210 – $36,120
- Greenville (greater metro area includes Anderson and Mauldin): $31,570 – $40,060
- Myrtle Beach (greater metro area includes Conway and North Myrtle Beach): $30,690 – $40,790
- Spartanburg: $33,320 – $40,580
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 South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce 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 May 2020.