In this article, you’re going to discover what the estimated salary numbers are for medical assistants that work in cities all across Arkansas. We’re going to not only provide you with median annual wage numbers for some of the most populated cities in AR, but we’ll also see how Arkansas stacks up to the rest of the country when it comes to employing and paying their medical assistants.
How Much Do Medical Assistants Make?
Below, you’ll find a list of estimated salary figures that we’ve found via Salary.com and Indeed.com’s salary search page. Do know that these numbers are simply estimates, and may not be fully accurate or representative of how much you will earn once hired:
- Little Rock: $29,422
- Fort Smith: $27,986
- Fayetteville: $27,095
- Springdale: $27,095
- Jonesboro: $28,879
- North Little Rock: $29,422
- Conway: $28,308
- Rogers: $27,095
- Pine Bluff: $27,000
- Bentonville: $23,000
- Hot Springs: $18,000
- Benton: $22,000
- Texarkana: $26,000
- Sherwood: $22,000
- Jacksonville: $22,000
- Russellville: $19,000
- Bella Vista: $22,000
- Paragould: $30,000
- West Memphis: $21,000
- Cabot: $22,000
- Searcy: $17,000
- Van Buren: $35,000
- Bryant: $22,000
- El Dorado: $23,000
- Maumelle: $22,000
- Siloam Springs: $22,000
Arkansas Medical Assistants vs Other States
In Arkansas, the employment of medical assistants as compared to the rest of the country is somewhere in the middle or mid-range. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2014, there were between 2,620 and 6,920 medical assistants working within the state.
Across the country, there are approximately over 584,000 working medical assistants. The national average in terms of annual salary for a medical assistant is $31,220, or $15.01 per hour.
With that information in mind, it appears that medical assistants inside Arkansas earn a little bit less than the national average—although not by much. In the most populated city in all of Arkansas, Little Rock, medical assistants make approximately $29,422. That’s less than $2,000 per year compared to the national average.
It’s important to note, however, that although these estimates and even statistics are valuable, predicting salary numbers is always a bit difficult. Salary can range based on your employer, the region within the country you live, and certain the cost of living within your state. That’s why states like Massachusetts or even the District of Columbia pay their medical assistants the most $37,640 and $39,860 respectively, because the cost of living within those states is so high. And although a state like Florida is in the top five in terms of employing the most medical assistants within the state, the annual mean wage average for those workers is just over $29,000—which is less than the national average.
So, as you can see, a variety of different things go into how much you earn per year.
Does the Annual Salary Justify the Tuition Cost of School?
Well, medical assisting school in Arkansas varies in terms of cost. But it certainly wouldn’t be unrealistic to have to pay $10,000 to $12,000 for an education. So factoring that in, if you have to pay about $10,000 for school, and you can graduate an get a job that pays you close to $30,000, you certainly aren’t able to have the kind of financial freedom you’d like, but assuming you don’t have too much debt, and your cost of living isn’t too high, you can possibly make it work assuming you budget your money correctly.
Will Medical Assisting Prepare Me to Become a Nurse?
A lot of people may look at the estimated salary figures for working as a medical assistant in Arkansas and wonder if pursuing an education as a nurse would be a better long-term plan. That is something that only each individual can decide on their own.
With that said, it’s worth noting that the medical assisting career field, and the career field of a nurse, are very different. And to be quite honest, the training and education don’t parallel each other that much.
To become a nurse, it requires more training, as well as an Associate’s Degree. To become a medical assistant, on the other hand, you can simply go to school for several months and graduate with a diploma (although some do opt for an Associate’s degree).
Now, granted, medical assistant work will help you in some small areas of your daily nursing duties. For example, while working as a medical assistant, you will learn things like how to properly interact with a patient, how to work well and with confidence alongside a physician, or how to deal with some insurance companies. This sort of social experience can be invaluable to some people who pursue the nursing field and then, once it’s time for their clinicals to start, feel a little intimidated because they’ve never had to work inside an semblance of an office or hospital facility.
So, to that small end, being a medical assistant can in some ways help you as you pursue your dreams of being an LPN or applying for the ADN program.
With that said, nurses make signficiantly more money than medical assistants for a reason. It’s a much more complicated and intricate job, and it requires more education and knowledge than that of a medical assistant. That’s why medical assistants make about $31,000 per year on average, which a registered nurse can make approximately $65,000 on average (or about $31 per hour).
Hopefully this article has better helped you learn more about the medical assisting field, the estimated earning potential of an MA, and how those salary figures stack up against other professions and areas of the country.
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