Best Paying Medical Assistant Jobs

Updated on February 26, 2024

The healthcare sector continues to be a robust field for career opportunities, especially for those interested in medical assistant roles. These roles not only offer the chance to make a significant impact in patients’ lives but also provide a variety of pathways to specialization and advancement. This blog explores the top ten best-paying jobs for medical assistants, delving into the specifics of each role, including job descriptions, responsibilities, and the required education to excel in these positions.

Anesthesiologist Assistant

  • Average Salary: $112,260 annually
  • Job Description: Anesthesiologist Assistants are highly skilled professionals who work under the supervision of licensed anesthesiologists to design and implement anesthesia care plans for patients undergoing medical procedures.
  • Responsibilities: Their duties include taking patient histories, performing pre-operative assessments, administering anesthesia, monitoring patient responses, and assisting in life-support or pain management.
  • Required Education: Master’s degree in Anesthesiologist Assistant studies from an accredited program, along with certification and state licensure.

Physician Assistant

  • Average Salary: $112,260 annually
  • Job Description: Physician Assistants (PAs) are medical professionals who diagnose illnesses, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and often serve as a patient’s principal healthcare provider, with a scope of practice often dependent on state laws.
  • Responsibilities: Conducting physical exams, ordering and interpreting tests, providing counsel on preventive health care, assisting in surgery, and writing prescriptions.
  • Required Education: A Master’s degree from an accredited PA program and state licensure.

Nurse Practitioner

  • Average Salary: $111,840 annually
  • Job Description: Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are registered nurses with specialized graduate education who provide primary, acute, and specialty healthcare services.
  • Responsibilities: Diagnosing and treating various conditions, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, initiating and managing treatments, including prescribing medications.
  • Required Education: Master’s or Doctoral degree in Nursing (MSN or DNP), national certification, and state licensure.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

  • Average Salary: $183,580 annually
  • Job Description: CRNAs are advanced practice registered nurses who administer anesthesia and provide care before, during, and after surgical, therapeutic, diagnostic, and obstetrical procedures.
  • Responsibilities: Assessing patients for anesthesia, administering anesthetics, monitoring patient vitals, and providing post-operative care.
  • Required Education: Master’s or doctoral degree in nurse anesthesia, national certification, and state licensure.

Clinical Nurse Specialist

  • Average Salary: Varies based on specialty and location, generally higher than the average RN salary.
  • Job Description: Clinical Nurse Specialists are advanced practice registered nurses who focus on improving patient outcomes and nursing practices in a specialized area of medicine.
  • Responsibilities: Providing direct patient care, teaching and guiding nursing staff, and implementing evidence-based practices.
  • Required Education: Master’s or Doctoral degree in Nursing, national certification in a specialty area, and state licensure.

Medical and Health Services Manager

  • Average Salary: $104,280 annually
  • Job Description: These professionals plan, direct, and coordinate the business activities of healthcare providers.
  • Responsibilities: Improving efficiency and quality in delivering healthcare services, developing departmental goals and objectives, ensuring compliance with healthcare laws and regulations.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Health Administration, Business Administration, or a related field.

Physical Therapist

  • Average Salary: $91,010 annually
  • Job Description: Physical Therapists help patients improve their movement and manage their pain, often following an injury or surgery.
  • Responsibilities: Diagnosing physical abnormalities, developing treatment plans, and using techniques to aid patient mobility.
  • Required Education: Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree and state licensure.

Occupational Therapist

  • Average Salary: $86,280 annually
  • Job Description: Occupational Therapists assist patients in developing, recovering, improving, and maintaining the skills needed for daily living and working.
  • Responsibilities: Assessing patient needs, creating treatment plans, and helping patients perform various tasks.
  • Required Education: Master’s or Doctoral degree in Occupational Therapy and state licensure.

Speech-Language Pathologist

  • Average Salary: $80,480 annually
  • Job Description: Speech-Language Pathologists assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent communication and swallowing disorders in patients.
  • Responsibilities: Developing individualized plans of care, teaching patients how to make sounds, improve their voices, and increase their oral or written language skills.
  • **Required Education: Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology and state licensure, along with a certificate of clinical competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Radiologic and MRI Technologist

  • Average Salary: $63,710 annually
  • Job Description: Radiologic Technologists, also known as radiographers, perform diagnostic imaging examinations, such as X-rays, while MRI technologists operate magnetic resonance imaging scanners to create diagnostic images.
  • Responsibilities: Preparing patients for procedures, operating equipment to obtain diagnostic images, and working with radiologists to determine if additional images are needed.
  • Required Education: Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in Radiography or MRI Technology, along with state licensure and/or certification.

Final Thoughts

Pursuing a career as a medical assistant can open doors to various rewarding opportunities within the healthcare industry. The roles highlighted above not only offer competitive salaries but also the chance to make a significant impact on patient care and outcomes. With the healthcare sector continuously evolving, these professions offer promising growth, stability, and the fulfillment of contributing to the well-being of others. As you consider your career path, remember that the level of education and specialized training you pursue can greatly influence your potential in the field.

Other Jobs in Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals


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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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