How to Become a Medical Assistant in Washington

A career in medical assisting just makes good financial sense in Washington State.

Alongside positive job growth projections in the coming years, salaries here are just as impressive; and it’s all courtesy of a swiftly growing population putting upward pressure on the healthcare industry and pushing up salaries for medical staff in the process. As of June 2020, the state’s total population hit 7.6 million, largely as a result of new residents flocking to the greater Seattle area to take advantage of its red-hot economy.

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According to the Washington Employment Security Department, there’s plenty to get excited about in terms of job growth for medical assistants. As of 2019, there were 15,320 MAs in the Evergreen State; by 2021, this number is projected to swell to 15,930 – an increase of 4% in just a few, short years. And that’s just the new jobs being created to keep pace with growing demand. When you look at retirement and normal turnover in combination with new job creation, about 2,020 job openings are expected here every year.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the hourly pay rate for MAs here is $20.90, taken as a statewide average, or $43,470 annually. But the real earning power comes to those with a good number of years of experience and professional certification like the CMA, as the top 10% here enjoy an average hourly pay rate of $27.47, or $57,140 annually. With an opportunity to step into a profession that allows you to grow your income significantly in just a few years, there’s plenty of room to work your way up the career ladder here.

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

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

  • Bellingham: $19.71 – $24.56 (approximately 390 medical assistants)
  • Bremerton: $20.12 – $24.51 (approximately 490 medical assistants)
  • Olympia (greater metro area includes Tumwater): $20.54 – $27.80 (approximately 600 medical assistants)
  • Seattle (greater metro area includes Tacoma and Bellevue): $22.57 – $28.88 (approximately 8,570 medical assistants)
  • Spokane (greater metro area includes Spokane Valley): $17.63 – $23.72 (approximately 1,510 medical assistants)
  • Yakima: $17.70 – $20.70 (approximately 710 medical assistants)

Average Salaries for Medical Assistants in – (MSA)

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

  • Bellingham: $41,000 – $51,090
  • Bremerton: $41,840 – $50,980
  • Olympia (greater metro area includes Tumwater): $42,720 – $57,820
  • Seattle (greater metro area includes Tacoma and Bellevue): $46,950 – $60,070
  • Spokane (greater metro area includes Spokane Valley): $36,680 – $49,340
  • Yakima: $36,810 – $43,060


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US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary figures for medical assistants represents state data not school-specific information.

2019 job growth projections from the Washington Employment Security Department are aggregated through the U.S. Department of Labor-Sponsored resource, Projections Central.

Conditions in your area may vary. 

All salary and employment data accessed May 2020.