2015 Medical Assisting Compensation and Benefits Report

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1 Medical assistants across the country enthusiastically participated in the 2015 Compensation and Benefits Survey conducted by the American Association of Medical Assistants. More than 8,100 medical assistants completed the survey, an increase of 2,000 from last year. The AAMA ed an electronic questionnaire to more than 63,000 medical assistants and medical assisting educators. Most of the participants had earned the CMA (AAMA) credential (91 percent) and were members of the AAMA (94 percent). The large number of participants ensures that the results have a high degree of statistical significance. Statistical significance and terms used The overall margin of error for the 8,112 responses is ±1.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. Margin of error describes the statistical significance of the sample as an estimate of the population. The margin of error should be treated only as an approximation, since margin of error calculations are based on pure random selection, which is not achievable in traditional survey settings where response is voluntary. The ±1.1 percent margin of error applies to overall statistics based on the total respondents to the survey; smaller breakout groups presented throughout the report have higher margins of error. Judgments based on statistics with very low sample sizes should be made with caution. Statistics are rounded to the nearest whole number Medical Assisting Compensation and Benefits Report Compensation Both hourly pay rates and annual gross salaries were collected on the survey. Approximately 97 percent of full-time medical assistants are paid hourly, while roughly 3 percent are paid by annual salary. By CMA (AAMA) certification Average hourly wages and salary vary according to years of experience for all medical assistants surveyed. Full-time medical assistants holding a current CMA (AAMA) certification earn an average of $15.77 per hour or an average annual salary of $30,186. Employers often are not only paying higher wages for the CMA (AAMA), they are also increasingly demanding that their medical assistants have a CMA (AAMA) credential. 1 Every day the AAMA responds to more than 100 employer requests for CMA (AAMA) certification verification for both current and potential employees. 2 Such demand is often due to the pressures of potential malpractice suits and the certification mandates placed on employers by managed care organizations. 3 Additionally, on August 23, 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) ruled that only credentialed medical assistants including CMAs (AAMA) as well as licensed health care professionals would be allowed to enter medication, laboratory, and radiology/diagnostic imaging orders into the computerized provider order entry system for meaningful use purposes for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs. 4,5 The CMA (AAMA) must have current status to use the credential, including for qualifying to enter orders for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. By geographic region The average annual earnings and hourly wages were computed for geographic regions of the United States (Figure 1). The Pacific region showed the highest earnings for full-time current CMAs (AAMA), with averages of $34,652 annually and $18.22 hourly. Across the country, the West North region turned in the second highest annual earnings ($31,952), and hourly wages ($16.85). The full comparison is shown in Table 1. AAMA 2015 Medical Assisting Compensation and Benefits Report 1 of 5

2 CMA (AAMA) overall average earnings Hourly: $15.77 Salary: $30,186 Figure 1. Regions based on the United States Census divisions Pacific (Includes Alaska and Hawaii) New England Mountain West North West South East South South By work setting The overwhelming majority of medical assistants surveyed work in physicians offices. Almost 95 percent of respondents are employed in that setting, with roughly 1.5 percent in ambulatory surgery and another 2.3 percent in other. The breakdown of wages and earnings by work setting is shown in Table 2. Figures for inpatient hospital care, home health settings, and other environments are not listed due to insufficient response numbers. Table 1. Geographic region Region Overall 0 2 years 3 5 years 6 9 years years 16 years + Northeast New England $ ,796 $ ,149 $ ,642 $ ,645 $ ,071 $ ,944 Middle Atlantic , , , , , ,655 Midwest East North , , , , , ,897 West North , , , , , , 548 South South Atlantic , , , , , ,451 East South , , , , , ,631 West South , , , , ,389 West Mountain , , , , , ,328 Pacific , , , , , ,982 Insufficient response AAMA 2015 Medical Assisting Compensation and Benefits Report 2 of 5

3 By practice specialty Sixty-four percent of medical assistants surveyed work in a primary care office or practice. Another 30 percent work in practices with other medical or surgical specialties. The income figures for practice specialty are shown in Table 3. By number of specialties Combining both full- and part-time medical assistant respondents, 54 percent work in a single specialty practice, while 43 percent work in a multispecialty setting. The income figures for full-time current CMAs (AAMA) by number of specialties are listed in Table 4. Table 2. Work setting Work setting Overall 0 2 years 3 5 years 6 9 years years 16 years + Ambulatory surgery $ ,652 $ ,976 $ ,295 $ ,808 Inpatient hospital care , ,682 Physician s office or clinic , , , , , , , , , ,727 34,071 41,729 Insufficient response Table Practice specialty Average full-time CMA (AAMA) pay by years of of experience Practice specialty Overall 0 2 years 3 5 years 6 9 years years 16 years + Primary care $ ,653, $ ,393 $ ,094 $ ,990 $ ,491 $ ,072 All other medical and surgical specialties , , , , , , , , , , , ,410 Insufficient response Table 4. Number of specialties Number of specialties Overall 0 2 years 3 5 years 6 9 years years 16 years + Single specialty $ ,015 $ ,028 $ ,007 $ ,158 $ ,816 $ ,084 Multiple specialties , , , , , , , , , , , ,879 Insufficient response AAMA 2015 Medical Assisting Compensation and Benefits Report 3 of 5

4 Educator earnings online! Employment benefits Roughly 94 percent of all full-time medical assistants receive some form of benefits package from their employer. Insurance More than 76 percent of full-time medical assistants receive dental coverage. Another 75 percent receive major medical coverage, while 67 percent receive vision coverage, just more than 59 percent receive disability coverage, and more than 24 percent receive professional liability coverage. The full range of benefits for full-time medical assistants is shown in Figure 3. AAMA membership and conference When asked if employers offer to help pay for various AAMA expenses, more than 17 percent of full-time medical assistants who are AAMA members responded that their employers pay their membership dues in full (Figure 4). In addition, more than 10 percent have their annual conference paid for in full, and nearly 6 percent have travel and lodging paid by their employers. For more information on CMA (AAMA) areas of knowledge, see the Certification/ Recertification Examination Content Outline on the website. References 1. Balasa DA. Best practices for practices: protect your office by employing CMAs (AAMA). CMA Today. 2010;43(3): /archives/article?id=63b1cf4a a90-a81c -ff00003b2c18. Published May Updated March Accessed September 22, What is a CMA (AAMA)? American Association of Medical Assistants. -assisting/what-is-a-cma. Accessed September 22, Balasa DA. Why more employers are hiring CMAs (AAMA). CMA Today. 2013;46(5): a90-a81c-ff00003b2c18. Published January Updated September Accessed September 22, Balasa DA. How medical assistants can meet the CMS meaningful use requirements. CMA Today. 2014;47(6): /article?id=0543d54a a90-a81c-ff00003b2c18. Published November Accessed September 22, Balasa DA. EHR Incentive Programs: AAMA comments on the CMS Stage 3 proposed rule. CMA Today. 2015;48(5):5. /archives/article?id=b496d64a a90-a81c -ff00003b2c18. Published September Accessed September 22, Figure 2. Figure 3. Figure 4. Benefits received by full-time medical assistants Receive benefits 9 Paid vacation Dental Major medical Vision Sick leave Disability Accidental death Discount prescription Basic hospitalization Professional liability None 7% 2 Do not receive benefits Number of responses = 5,833 Insurance benefits received by full-time medical assistants Certification/recertification examination fees AAMA membership dues 20% 1 48% 43% 41% 67% 63% 59% Number of responses = 5,833 Certification/recertification 20% Results examination rounded to the fees nearest whole number Dues assistance received by full-time AAMA membership medical assistants dues 1 Number of responses = 5,507 AAMA 2015 Medical Assisting Compensation and Benefits Report 4 of 5

5 Nearly 88 percent of medical assisting educators surveyed work full time, with the other 12 percent teaching part time. The majority (83 percent) of fulltime educators receive their compensation in the form of an annual salary, while around 17 percent are paid hourly. Compensation On average, full-time medical assisting educators reported earning an annual gross salary of $51,409, with over 19 percent reporting that they earn at least $65,000 annually, and more than 9 percent reporting over $75,000 in annual earnings. The breakdown of educators salaries by years of experience is shown in Table 5. Employment benefits Insurance More than 81 percent of full-time educators receive major medical coverage and 80 percent receive dental insurance. Discount prescription coverage, accidental death, and vision were well over 50 percent rates. Basic hospitalization was just below 50 percent. Rates of coverage for full-time educators are listed in Figure 5. AAMA membership and conference When asked if employers offer to help pay for various AAMA expenses, 47 percent of full-time educators reported full payment of membership dues, with the same number reporting full payment of conference. Forty-two percent reported full payment of travel and lodging for conference (Figure 6). Table 5. Average full-time educator pay by years of experience Overall $51, , , , , , Medical Assisting Educator Compensation and Benefits Report Figure 5. Figure 6. Insurance benefits received by full-time educators Major medical Dental Sick leave Paid vacation Vision Disability Accidental death Discount prescription Basic hospitalization Professional liability None % 63% 58% 69% 81% 80% 80% 78% Number of responses =216 Certification/recertification 20% examination fees AAMA membership dues Dues assistance received by full-time medical assistants AAMA membership dues Certification/recertification examination fees 11% 1 47% registration 47% fees and 4 lodging expenses 41% 38% 27% 1 Number of responses = 209 Results rounded to the nearest whole number AAMA 2015 Medical Assisting Compensation and Benefits Report 5 of 5

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