In this article, you will learn how much medical assistants make all throughout the state of Delaware. On top of that, we’ll compare the salaries of medical assistants in DE to the national average of the country, and we’ll even delve into the topics of whether or not medical assistant pay is worth the cost of school tuition, and how well this career field compares to the annual pay of nurses.
How Much Do Medical Assistants Earn in Delaware?
Using websites such as Salary.com and the salary search page of Indeed.com, we have compiled a list of estimated salary figures for medical assistants in a variety of popular cities in Delaware. Do note that these are merely estimates, and that it’s possible that these numbers are not fully accurate or representative of how much you will (or won’t) earn in salary annually as a working medical assistant:
- Wilmington: $35,645
- Dover: $34,120
- Newark: $35,645
- Bear: $35,000
- Bethany Beach: $34,054
- Bridgeville: $34,000
- Hockessin: $35,000
- Seaford: $34,252
- Smyrna: $33,998
- Milford: $34,626
- Claymont: $35,000
- Georgetown: $34,291
- Ellendale: $34,100
It should also be noted that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has a list of the top five non-metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of medical assistant jobs and location quotients. The Sussex County of Delaware makes this top five list, with approximately 450 medical assistants working here and earning an annual mean wage of $29,310 per year. That shakes out to be about $14.09 per hour.
For reference purposes, please also note that the national average pertaining to the salary of a medical assistant is $31,220.
As of May, 2014, Delaware employs somewhere between 60 and 2,160 medical assistants.
Is the Salary of a Medical Assistant a Livable Wage?
Well, let’s look at this question a couple of ways. First, let’s discuss how many medical assistants there currently are in the country. Over 580,000 people work as medical assistants throughout the United States, which means that there are thousands and thousands of people capable of making a salary that averages out to be about $31,000 per year and living their lives.
So, yes, to that end it is a livable wage. But let’s dive a little deeper.
The salary of a medical assistant varies on many things—the employer, the employee, the region one works, the cost of living within that city or state, etc. So, it’s always a bit hard to predict salary numbers, and any current data can always become obsolete or inaccurate.
But, assuming one graduates school and has debt, it may be that much harder to support yourself on a salary of $30,000 per year. It will take quite a bit of planning and budgeting to figure out how you can pay for all your essentials, pay back any loans, and still have enough disposable income to go to the movies or buy a new shirt or jeans.
So, the short answer is that it’s a livable wage, but it may take some work and thinking to figure out how to make it as livable as possible.
What About Nursing, Should I Do That Instead?
That depends on what you want to do and how committed you are to doing it.
The great thing about becoming a medical assistant is that, in relation to becoming a nurse, it’s far easier to do. You can go to school for about one year, graduate with a diploma or a certificate, and begin sending out your resume.
Becoming a nurse is much more involved.
If you want to become a Licensed Practical Nurse, for example, you’ll need to go to school for about one year, and then upon graduation you’ll need to apply to become licensed in order to practice. That requires passing the NCLEX examination.
To be a Registered Nurse, you’ll need to be in school anywhere from two to four years. The benefit of this, however, is that the average salary for a RN nurse is just over $65,000, according to the BLS.
LPN’s earn a little over $41,000.
So yes, in theory, there’s no question that working as a nurse will result in you getting a bigger salary. The question is if you’re willing to potentially delay your ability to hit the job market in order to graduate nursing school.
Can I Become a Medical Assistant Before Becoming a Nurse?
Yes, you certainly can. Many have done it, and there are actually programs set up to help you transition from working as a medical assistant to becoming an LPN.
But again, it’s not going to be easy. And, if you really have your heart set on becoming a nurse, it’s far from ideal.
Yes, working as a medical assistant will help you in some areas like being comfortable around a doctor, or in helping to resolve problems with patients, or even using needles on patients.
At the same time, while your social skills will transfer from medical assisting to nursing, your education and working experience won’t because nurses (due to their education) are tasked with different responsibilities than that of medical assistants. Because of this, it would be highly unreasonable to assume that just because you worked as a medical assistant that you are all of the sudden somewhat qualified to become a nurse. You’re not, and it doesn’t work that way.
So if you’re content with being a medical assistant, by all means pursue it. If you’re thinking you’d rather be a nurse, you may want to take a step back and think a little more before you make a decision.
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