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Medical Assistant Compensation - Raises - Benefits


Family physicians and HMO contracted primary care providers are essential to today's modern health care system. Unfortunately, they get paid less for their services than the vast range of specialty physicians and surgeons, which means their wages for medical assistants is also below that which specialty doctors can afford to pay. Specialty physicians in solo-private practices may even pay more than those within a group practice. 

Certified vs. Non-Certified Medical Assistants
Education also plays a big part in wages, benefits and pay. The more you know  the better you are paid! Those who have successfully completed professional advancement courses, hold special limited licenses, such an x-ray equipment operator's permit, CPR and first aid and earned industry recognized certifications in their field often receive higher wages than those without. As with any job, the level of education, experience and value you bring to the workplace is reflected in your pay check. From what we have seen, the majority of  employers pay medical assistants anywhere from $10-14 per hour starting pay. Those who land a job in a large hospital facility, or at one of their outpatient, or satellite offices may start with  more.
AKCMA told us in our Medical Assistant forum:
"I worked for 17 years as a CMA/ER Tech in Alaska. I really enjoyed my job and was making good
money around $55,000/year, including overtime. Two years ago we moved to Idaho. In an Urgent
Care that is run by CMAs I went down to $23,000/year (with overtime!). So I took some action; I
already had an AS with my Medical Assisting and I decided to I transfer some of my credits over to
an AS in Respiratory Therapy. I will be finished in two months and I already have a job at the
hospital where I am doing my clinicals. Starting pay will be $28/hour. I will keep my CMA current"

Benefits


Employee benefits play an important role. The benefits you receive can be a deciding factor in your decision whether to take a job, and how long you will stay on board. Employee benefits required by law include social security, workers' compensation and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) (that doesn't mean you will get paid, but you will get your job back), while optional benefits include health care insurance coverage and retirement benefits. Paid leave benefits, holiday and vacation, jury duty, personal leave, sick leave, maternity or adoption leave, health insurance, professional liability and malpractice insurance, scrubs, stethoscopes,
professional magazine subscriptions and funeral/bereavement leave are all voluntarily given and are not within every doctor's employee benefits plan. Some employers provide some sort of their own family leave benefits as an attractive perk, so check with your Human Resources department to see what benefits are available.

Average pay a medical assistant can expect...

Entrance Level Pay


Consider an entry-level position-under $20,000 a year, it's a foot in the door. After a few months you may be
able to negotiate as much as a 15 percent increase above the initial offer, but don't expect a smooth road in
your wage negotiations. Objections to your compensation requirements are almost always variations of one of
four reasons:

1. Your figure exceeds the range authorized for the position
2. The figure is outside our budget
3. Others similarly qualified within the company don't make that much money
4. Your work history doesn't warrant what you are asking

In entry-level positions, there may be little or nothing you can do to overcome the first objection. Typically, the
pay rates for entry-level jobs are firm. Rather than agreeing to paying you more money, the employer will simply
go on to the next candidate. In all cases and at all salary levels, the other three objections tend to be less rigid.
The key and common feature of these objections is that they focus on cost. It is your task to refocus the
employer from cost to benefit, that is, your value. Make the doctor see that your special qualifications, talents
and abilities are an investment in greater profitability. Perhaps you "cost" a little bit more than what was initially
planned, but the value you give is much greater. You can say: "I understand that you budgeted $21,000 for this
position, but I think that we both agree that I bring special qualifications and skills to the table, as well as a deep
commitment to excellence, performance and customer service. These are things the patients appreciate and
represent value for your practice and should warrant the requested raise."

Promotion and Pay Raise
Medical assistants have to prove themselves before they are granted a raise. To move closer in line to that next
promotion you must, of course, first stay on board long enough to gain the necessary knowledge, learn
occupational trends, fully understand your scope of practice and accepted methods and approaches the doctor
values. You must remain proficient throughout the entire course of your employ and show that you are serious
by taking advantage of offered advancement opportunities that may come your way, including workshops,
seminars, webinars, special limited licenses, such as operating an x-ray machine and other certifications.

$21,000 Annual Wages in Hourly Rate
# holidays     # work days    hourly rate
6..................... 255................... $10.29 per hour
7..................... 254................... $10.33 per hour
8..................... 253................... $10.38 per hour
9..................... 252................... $10.42 per hour
10................... 251................... $10.46 per hour
11................... 250................... $10.50 per hour
12................... 249................... $10.54 per hour
13................... 248................... $10.58 per hour
14................... 247................... $10.63 per hour               Source: http://www.convertunits.com/salary/21000
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