In this article, we’re going to explore the idea of just how much money you can expect to make in Indiana as a medical assistant. We’ll provide you with a variety of salary numbers for some of the most populated cities in the state, and we’ll show you how those numbers compare to the national average.
Later, we’ll discuss whether the salary you can earn will justify the cost of medical assistant school (including the cost of tuition), and we’ll even discuss whether we think pursuing a nursing education would be a better decision based on the salary earning potential.
What’s the Salary of a Medical Assistant in Indiana?
Using salary numbers we’ve found on Salary.com, we’ve provided estimated salary figures for a variety of different cities in Indiana. Please know, however, that these numbers are simply estimates and there’s no guarantee that you will make this estimated annual salary figure, as many different factors determine how much you make per year (or per hour):
- Indianapolis, IN: $31,618
- Fort Wayne, IN: $30,678
- Evansville, IN: $31,260
- South Bend, IN: $30,208
- Carmel, IN: $31,000
- Bloomington, IN: $30,997
- Fishers, IN: $30,267
- Hammond, IN: $31,888
- Gary, IN: $31,800
- Muncie, IN: $30,200
- Lafayette, IN: $29,459
- Terre Haute, IN: $30,238
- Kokomo, IN: $29,745
- Anderson, IN: $30,000
- Noblesville, IN: $30,267
- Greenwood, IN: $31,000
- Elkhart, IN: $31,372
- Mishawaka, IN: $30,208
Now, on top of these numbers we’ve provided for you, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides even more. For example, according to the BLS, Michigan City-La Porte, Indiana is a metropolitan area with one of the highest concentration of medical assistant jobs in the country.
The BLS states that approximately 380 medical assistants are working in the metro area, and they earn an estimated $26,930 in annual salary. That breaks down to about $12.95 per hour, on average.
How Does Indiana Salary Compare to the Rest of the Country?
The average salary of Indiana medical assistants is very much in line with the national average. According to the BLS, medical assistants make approximately $29,370 as a median annual salary across the country. When compared to some of the IN salaries that we’ve provided above, you’ll notice that (while these numbers are simply estimates), they fall very much in line with what MA’s are making all across the country.
Is the Annual Salary Worth the Cost of School?
Well, let’s take a deeper look at this. Medical assistant school can really vary based on the school and state you get your education in. But, let’s say your medical assistant education costs approximately $10,000 to $12,000 per year. Once you graduate school, you have a chance to make about $30,000 per year in salary.
While it certainly depends on whether you have student loans or mounds of debt, there’s a good chance that you will need to strongly budget your money in order to make ends meet.
At the same time, do note that there are a lot of medical assistants working both in Indiana and all throughout the country. And it’s also one of the fastest growing jobs in the country. That means, of course, that there are a lot of young people working as medical assistants and “making ends meet.”
So, yes, it is certainly doable. Whether you deem it to be “worth it” is something that you will ultimately have to decide for yourself. If you can graduate school and not have too much money owed to an institution or program, then perhaps that will justify the cost of school moreso than another person who will graduate and be in debt for thousands of dollars.
Nursing vs Medical Assistant Salaries
It’s very possible that you may now want to consider becoming a nurse rather than a medical assistant, and that’s understandable. But, as with most things, there are advantages and disadvantages to pursuing a path towards becoming a nurse over a MA.
Let’s put aside salary briefly and discuss education. If you want to become a Licensed Practical Nurse or a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Indiana, you can expect to approximately be in school a similar length of time as a medical assistant (about one year or more).
There difference, however, is what happens when you graduate. All nurses are required to be licensed in order to practice, so you will need to pass the NCLEX licensing exam. A medical assistant, by contrast, will not need to do that. He or she can simply graduate school and immediately begin applying for a job.
Now, if you want to become a more “advanced” nurse, so to speak, you can go to school to become a Registered Nurse. This will require you be in school for two to four years, however, and like a LPN or a LVN, you will need to take the NCLEX examination following your graduation.
So, that’s the potential downside. But there is, of course, an upside too—namely in how much salary you can earn per year.
A LPN or LVN can earn about $10,000 more on average than a medical assistant. That would bring their annual salary to about $41,000 per year. A Registered Nurse, who goes to school for a longer amount of time, can expect to graduate and earn about $65,000 per year on average.
Of course, their cost for school will likely be high due to how long they’re required to be in school.
Still, if you’re solely interested in salary numbers, it’s hard not to be somewhat enamored at the idea that some nurses can make about $65,000 per year.
Does Being a Medical Assistant Prepare Me for Nursing?
Yes and no. While working as a medical assistant inside Indiana can help you experience the interpersonal relationship skills very much needed in medical care, nursing and MA’s are separate entities with different responsibilities. These are not the same job, and as such, they don’t get paid the same.
Still, if you’re really eager to enter the job market, your quickest path might just be getting the training and knowledge to become a medical assistant. Then, if after a couple of years you’ve realized that you’d rather pursue something else you can easily do this by going back to school and applying a BSN or ADN program in an effort to one day become a nurse.
So, in other words, choosing to become a medical assistant doesn’t preclude you from one day becoming a nurse. And, in fact, in small ways (like getting comfortable interacting with patients, doctors, insurance companies, etc), you can potentially have a leg up in nursing clinicals as compared to the students who know a lot and are smart but don’t have the comfort or familiarity in working in a hospital or office or clinic-like setting.
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