Are you an entry-level medical assistant, mid-level medical assistant or experienced medical assistant who would wish to practice medical assisting jobs in Florida? If yes, you might be curious to know the amount of money Medical Assistants makes in Florida.
According to the U.S Census Bureau, as of January 2019, Florida had a population of 21.64 million people, and the growth rate stood at 1.54% per annum, the 4th highest growth rate in the country.
With Florida’s ever-increasing population, demand for healthcare facility has increased, making HR managers consider hiring more Medical Assistants to fill the vacancies.
According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the Medical Assistant profession is the fastest-growing state occupation. In 2018, there were 42,500 medical assistants employed in Florida, but the number is expected to reach 50,000 by 2021.
Despite this high number of MAs employed in Florida, they take home quite a handsome package, earning an average hourly wage of $17.88 on the upper quartile, $11.69 in the lower quartile, bringing the average median wage to $14.82.
Every year, Medical Assistants in Florida earn an average salary of $37,697 in the upper quartile and $23,977 in the lower quartile, bringing the average median salary to $28 807.
However, some factors can make Medical Assistants earn more salary in Florida, such as their years of experience in the field, and receiving equivalent courses or certifications, or working overtime.
For instance, Medical Assistants that accrued experience of more than five years commands an average annual salary of $40,130. Moreover, Medical Assistants who work overtime get an average hourly wage of $22.56.
How Much Does a Florida Medical Assistant Make an Hour?
As you are probably aware, Medical assistants can either specialize in clinical, administrative tasks or do a mix of both. Medical Assistants can either be assigned front office tasks or clinical tasks depending on their specialized training or individual medical facility.
Medical Assistants get an average hourly median wage of $14.82. However, the figure might go up depending on the type of medical facility employed, specialized skills, experience, and the state a medical assistant works.
Job Description for Medical Assistants in Florida
As mentioned earlier, Medical assistants help with administrative tasks or clinical tasks. Administrative duties might include managing medical records and booking appointments.
Clinical tasks involve physical examinations such as conducting vital tests for patients, e.g., blood testing, measuring temperature, blood pressure, weight, height… and much more.
Because Medical Assistants operate in a healthcare facility, they will always interact with patients and colleagues. This means that medical assistants must have appropriate interpersonal skills crucial for helping patients who are sick or distressed.
Technical skills are also crucial for Medical Assistants, given that they will be using medical instruments for clinical work.
Technical skills are also crucial for MAs, more especially those who will be assigned administrative roles such as record keeping or data processing. As a medical assistant, you have to get acquainted with several computer software such as excel sheet.
How Years of Experience Affect Medical Assistant Pay in Florida
In Florida, Medical Assistants can increase their pay after gaining considerate experience or acquiring specialized skills such as insurance or electronic medical records.
One can also grow their salary by receiving certifications or continuing their education to become a nurse. This hourly pay example shows how years of experience affect Medical Assistant pay in Florida.
- Entry-level: $11.14 – $16.60
- Mid-career: $11.95 – $18.71
- Experienced: $12.58 – $20.38
- Late-career: $12.95 – $21.22
Job Growth Trend in Florida
According to the U.S Labour Statistics, there is a robust job growth for Medical Assistants in Florida. Due to the ageing population and baby boomers, the demand for health services is likely to increase, and more health facilities will open this drive.
Medical Assistant Salary Compare to Similar Professions
Medical Assistants earn more than 75% percent of similar careers in Florida. As mentioned earlier, MAs earn an average median salary of $28 807. Check the list below to see how health practitioners from other sectors earn:-
- Nurse $46k
- Paramedic $31k
- Medical Assistant $28k
- Veterinary Technologist $25k
- Home Health Aide $25k
- Dental Assistant $25k
- Phlebotomist $25k
Top 6 Best Paying Medical Assistant Companies in Florida
- US Department of Veterans Affairs, Cape Coral, FL ($26,587 – $48,385 a year).
- Premier Dermatology, Sarasota, FL ($12.80 – $17.00 an hour).
- American Family Care, Pace, FL ($11.80 – $16.00 an hour).
- 21st Century Oncology, Boca Raton, FL ($12.40 – $17.00 an hour).
- Shady Grove Fertility, Tampa, FL ($14.70 – $20.00 an hour).
- US Department of Veterans Affairs, Miami, FL ($53,565 – $69,639 a year).
Florida Medical Assistants Scope of Practice
Florida Medical Assistants may undertake the following duties under the direct supervision and responsibility of a licensed physician:
- Perform aseptic procedures
- Take vital signs
- Prepare patients for the physician’s care
- Observing and reporting patients’ signs or symptoms
- Administering basic first aid.
- Assisting with patient examinations or treatments.
- Collect laboratory specimens as directed by the physician.
- Performing basic laboratory procedures.
- Performing general administrative duties required by the physician.
Learn more Medical Assistant Scope of Practice
Education Requirements for Medical Assistants in Florida
Medical Assistants need a shorter period of education. If you have a passion for helping patients, you can enjoy every step of your training as a medical assistant.
In Florida, there are a few routes to becoming a medical assistant. One can begin the program to earn a certificate or associate’s degree in medical assisting. These programs last one to two years, where candidates are required to attend classes, participate in laboratories sessions, and do a clinical externship at a local medical facility.
Upon successful completion of studies, candidates have options for voluntary certification in the field or can decide to go through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies to become Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) and Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA).
Requirements to Become a Medical Assistant in Florida
As of 2018, Florida was the third-highest employer of Medical assistants in the U.S. Since Medical Assistants work alongside doctors in hospitals or private offices, they don’t need to receive specialized education or training.
Under Florida law, a person does not have to become certified or licensed to work as a medical assistant. But employers prefer to hire MAs with formal education or training. The following steps must be followed:
Step 1: Complete a Medical Assistant Education Program
Candidates aspiring to be medical assistants must attend an accredited institution that offers national certification.
Among the courses you are likely to learn in such an accredited institution include patient care, laboratory procedures, reproduction, medical insurance, clinical assisting, endocrinology, and much more.
The education program can only be regarded as complete when one partakes a field experience which might include working as a medical assistant in an internship or externship alongside trained professionals. Such field experience gives you a chance to apply the skills learned in the classroom setting in real life.
Upon completion of the program, the results is a certificate, diploma, or degree in Medical Assisting, Medical Assisting Technician, Health Science Medical Assistant, and much more.
Step 2: Pass a Certification Examination
Most Medical Assistant employers require candidates seeking the medical assistant job to pass a certification examination.
In 2011, certification to become a medical assistant became voluntary in Florida. A medical assistant can take certification exams through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). One can also take a test through the American Medical Technologists (AMT) to become a registered medical assistant.
To obtain medical assistant certification, a medical assistant must receive a certification program from an institution accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.
Among the credentials a candidate might earn include:
- Getting Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) certification of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
- Acquiring the credentials of a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) of the American Medical Technologists. RMA is earned when a candidate passes the RMA Certification Exam.
Step 3: Maintain Your Medical Assistant Credential
Once you’ve worked hard in your training and education and awarded relevant certification in Florida, you have to renew your credentials every 60 days by paying a fee or retaking your examination.
Step 4: Training
In most cases, upon landing your first medical assistant job in Florida, an employer will take you through some basic training to familiarize yourself with your new environment. However, most employers prefer to hire medical assistants who have completed some formal training from an accredited college. It is during such training that a medical assistant will learn necessary laboratory procedures, basic first aid and office administration.
Professional Organizations for Medical Assistants in Florida
As a Registered Medical Assistant in Florida, it is advisable to join a professional organization such as the Florida State Society of American Medical Technologists.
This professional body can help you network, find continuing education opportunities, and grow professionally as a Florida medical assistant.
And if you are a Certified Medical Assistant, you should join the Florida Society of Medical Assistants. This organization can help you find continuing education opportunities and help you network with other medical professionals.
Florida Society of Medical Assistants is another professional body whose mission, according to its website, involves “to provide the medical assistant professional with education, certification, credential, networking opportunities, scope-of-practice protection and advocacy for quality patient-centred health care.”