In this article, you’re going to learn just how much you can expect to make as a working medical assistant in Hawaii. You’ll not only discover how much money MA’s make all throughout Hawaii, but you’ll see how well their compensation compares to other states throughout the country.
We’ll also go over the topic of whether paying for medical assistant school will be worth its cost by the time you become a working professional, and we’ll even compare the prospects of becoming a medical assistant to that of nursing.
How Much Money Does a Medical Assistant Earn?
Below, please find a list of different cities and locations throughout Hawaii and see the estimated salary numbers for medical assistants who work there. All salary figures were found using salary.com. All information is subject to change, can become outdated, or can be inaccurate due to the fact that that these numbers are estimates and not concrete numbers:
- Honolulu, HI: $35,685
- Ewa, HI: $35,685
- Pearl City, HI: $35,000
- Hilo: $33,712
- Waipahu: $35,000
- Kaneohe: $35,000
- Koloa: $33,000
- Mililani: $33,000
- Kahului: $33,712
- Kihei: $33,000
Comparatively speaking, the national average in terms of salary for medical assistants all throughout the United States is (according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) $31,220.
Is Medical Assistant School Worth It?
Being a medical assistant can be a very rewarding job, as you’re helping not only a physician help patients, but in many ways you’re directly helping patients by answering their questions pertaining to medication or dieting, or helping them sort through insurance or medical record related concerns.
At the same time, getting a medical assistant education can be expensive. And living in Hawaii can be expensive. So, the idea of whether it’s “worth it” depends on how heavily you feel compelled to help people as a medical assistant, and how much in need you are for additional financial support.
If you are someone who’s student loans are low or perhaps don’t even have any student loans, a medical assistant is a much more appealing job because it’s certainly not the most highest paying career.
However, if you’re swimming in student loans, a career in medical assisting (at least in terms of annual pay) isn’t going to be the thing that helps save you. If you’re going to incur serious debt no matter what you choose to study in school, it might be better to at least consider learning about becoming a nurse.
At the same time, being a nurse has its own hardships, which is why many people opt to become a medical assistant.
Should I Be a Nurse or Medical Assistant?
Now we get to the big question.
First, let’s start this way. You should never choose to become anything just solely based on money. You want to, ideally, select something that’s going to make you very happy.
But, if you feel you can be equally happy being either a medical assistant or a nurse, then let’s dig into these two career choices a little more deeply.
First, becoming a medical assistant isn’t “easy” per se, but it’s certainly easier than becoming a nurse. A person can come right out of high school and enter into a medical assisting program and within a year or so, graduate with a diploma or certificate and begin applying for a job.
To that degree, which it’s disappointing to know that medical assistants are highly paid, they also have the “easiest” path to getting a job. A medical assistant isn’t even required to pass any examination before getting a job.
A nurse, on the other hand, must do this. In fact, all nurses must be licensed before they can practice (i.e. get hired). In order to be licensed, you must pass the NCLEX exam. And while a LPN or LVN can expect to be in school roughly the same amount of time as a medical assistant (though this varies), the difference is that the LPN or LVN must successfully pass the NCLEX licensing examination before he or she can even begin to apply for a job in Hawaii.
If you wanted to become a registered nurse, that’s an even bigger issue. Not only will you need to become licensed, but you’ll also need to be in school anywhere from two to four years. You’ll also likely need to graduate with a degree.
So, yes, while nurses make more money than medical assistants, they also must be licensed and require more time in school and education. So, it’s certainly a trade-off. In many ways, you need to think about it like this: Would you rather make money now or hold off and make more money later–with a little bit more effort post-graduation (licensing exam).
Can I Become a Medical Assistant Now and a Nurse Later?
Yes, many people do this. It just depends on what you prefer to do and why. If you’d like to go to medical assistant school and graduate and attempt to find a job and see if you like working in the medical field, this is an option. If after a couple of years you realize you’re ready for another challenge and would like to become a nurse, you can always go back to school (to an Associate’s Degree in Nursing program or even a BSN program) to learn how to become a nurse.
The benefit of doing this is two-fold. One, you can put that you were a working medical assistant on your resume. Although not the same job as a nurse, any employer would prefer to see that you’ve had prior experience in the medical field.
On top of that, you can gain a comfort in a working environment as a medical assistant. That way, when you do become or nurse, or even when you begin your clinical portion of your education, you won’t be shell-shocked when it comes to interacting with doctors and patients.
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