In this article, we’re going to explore the estimated annual salary that medical assistants make in Colorado. We’re going to break down the salary numbers by city (organized by population numbers), and later will also discuss how well Colorado employs and pays its medical assistants when compared to the rest of the country.
Medical Assistant Salaries in Colorado
Below, we’ve created a list of cities and research how much you can expect to make per year while working as a MA. These numbers are estimates and were found on websites salary.com. Please note that while we present these numbers to you for informative purposes, these numbers are mere estimates and can always be inaccurate or out of date. They are also not fully representative of what you will definitively make annually as a medical assistant, as salary can be contingent on a wide variety of factors:
- Denver: $33,226
- Colorado Springs: $32,513
- Fort Collins: $31,198
- Arvada: $33,226
- Westminster: $33,226
- Pueblo: $30,047
- Boulder: $33,916
- Greeley: $31,198
- Loveland: $31,198
- Grand Junction: $29,971
- Broomfield: $33,226
- Castle Rock: $29,945
- Commerce City: $33,226
- Aurora: $33,226
- South Fork: $26,102
- Pagosa Springs: $22,749
Colorado Medical Assistants vs National Average
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, There are over 584,000 medical assistants working all throughout the United States, with a mean annual wage of $31,220. With that said, salary is mostly tied to region and cost of living, so there are some areas of the country that pay their medical assistants just over $21,000 per year, while some MA’s earn over $42,000 annually in salary (this is usually in certain California locations such as San Jose or Santa Clara).
Is a Medical Assistant Salary Worth the Cost of Tuition?
Becoming a medical assistant is far from easy, and it’s certainly not cheap, so it’s no surprise that you might be wondering if the salary you earn will ultimately justify the amount of money you’ll end up shelling out for school.
The truth is that, well, it depends on where you live and how much you’re earning. You’re everyday expenses will factor into this discussion, as well.
Going to medical school can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars for a certificate or diploma program to over $20,000 to earn an Associate’s degree. Of course, depending how on your school was paid for, it’s possible you’ll graduate with student loans that you’ll have to repay.
No one wants to be swimming in debt. If you’re earning about $35,000 while working as a medical assistant in Colorado, you may actually find it a bit difficult to justify your cost of tuition—but that is entirely dependent on how much you tuition actually was. If it’s on the lower end, repaying your loans might not be so difficult. If it’s on the higher end, you may realize you have to make more sacrifices than you expected in order to repay everything you owe.
At the same time, realize this: there are over 584,000 medical assistants employed in America. So, it’s certainly a popular career and one that doesn’t require a large barrier for entry. For example, you can go to school for a handful of months and graduate with a certificate or diploma and apply for a medical assistant job. While the pay is relatively low compared to other medical fields, there a lot of jobs available and it’s a growing career. Nursing may pay more annually in terms of salary, but it requires more education and will possibly be much more expensive in terms of tuition. So you have to weigh that trade-off.
Do note that there are anywhere from 7,000 to 13,000 medical assistants working in the state of Colorado alone, which means that there’s a good chance employers will often be looking to hire someone new.
Does a Medical Assistant or Nurse Pay Better?
If you’re looking for simply what will pay you the most money—the answer is nursing hands down. But it’s not necessarily always that simple. As mentioned before, the barrier of entry to become a medical assistant is quite low. While a nurse (a registered nurse specifically) will require a student to get an Associate’s Degree, that’s often optional for medical assistants, as they can graduate with a diploma or a certificate and still get hired.
With that said, if you wanted to become a LPN (a licensed practical nurse), this is probably the best career field to compare to a medical assistant. LPN’s are paid approximately $10,000 more annually than medical assistants—and yet the amount of time you’ll have to spend in school (about 1 year, but it can certainly vary) is about the same.
Of course, you can always choose to become a medical assistant, gain that experience and begin earning a living, and then transition to the nursing field if you want. By applying to a medical assistant to LPN program, or perhaps even an Associate’s Degree in Nursing Program, you can choose to get your feet wet in the medical assisting field before moving onto nursing programs.
Will Being a Medical Assistant Prepare Me for Nursing?
If going from a medical assistant to nursing intrigues you as a possibility, you should note that these are two completely different jobs. No one in Colorado will hire you as a medical assistant and expect that just because you worked as an MA that you’re somehow more qualified to prepare to be a nurse than someone who never has worked as a medical assistant.
The jobs don’t require the same responsibilities.
With that said, the social aspect that you’ll acquire while working as a medical assistant (interacting with physicians or doctors, dealing with patients on a daily basis, helping patients with their special diet plans or medications, and even utilizing Electronic Health Records (patient information in online form) will help you be more comfortable once your nursing clinicals begin. You’ll likely have a sense of familiarity and comfort that, potentially, other students won’t.
So, in that sense, working as a medical assistant—in this small but important area—might give you a leg up. But in terms of education and daily duties, the jobs of medical assistants and an LPN or RN are quite different.
Hopefully this article has helped you better understand not only how much money you can expect to earn in Colorado as a medical assistant, but also how that salary compares to the rest of the country both in this career field and the nursing career field.
If you enjoyed this article, please do return back again soon to receive more updated information on becoming a medical assistant.
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