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What is the Medical Assistant Salary in RI?

October 21, 2021

Did you know that the average medical assistant salary in Rhode Island (RI) far exceeds the national average?

If you’re already working in this field or looking to forge a career as a medical assistant, it’s important to ensure you’re getting paid fairly. Check out this guide to learn more about medical assistant salaries in RI and across the USA to understand the salary range, perks, benefits, and opportunities that you can leverage.

Medical Assistant Salaries in Rhode Island

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations in all the states across the United States. Below, you’ll find the latest salary estimates according to BLS for Medical Assistants in Rhode Island.


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Hourly Wages for a Medical Assistant


The mean pay for a medical assistant in RI is about $18.51 per hour. For every 1000 new jobs, the state generates 6.22 medical assistant jobs.

How Much Do Medical Assistants in RI Make Per Year?

The average annual salary for a medical assistant in Rhode Island is $38,510. In May 2020, the top 10 percentile of the professionals in Rhode Island earned $51,430 per year.

Common Salary Questions

Salary remains one of the most crucial factors when settling on a career path. These are some of the common questions that you may have regarding medical assistant salaries:

What is the Highest-Paid Medical Assistant?

According to BLS, medical assistants working in junior colleges, insurance, claim settlements, and outpatient care centers have the highest average salary. The highest-paid medical assistant specializations are occupational therapy assistants, respiratory care technicians, cardiovascular technicians, and surgical technologists.

Are Medical Assistants Paid Hourly?

Medical assistants in the United States generally work full-time and earn an annual base salary. However, as medical facilities are always open, it is common for medical assistants to work overtime on holidays, weekends and earn additional wages on an hourly basis.

Do Medical Assistants Make Good Money?

The median annual pay of a certified medical assistant in the United States is $35,850.

According to the latest BLS statistics, the national top 10 percent of highest-earning medical assistants in the US made more than $50,580 annually. You can earn more than the average salary according to your education, experience, and job location.

For example, the average salary of a medical assistant in Connecticut is $41,070, while in Rhode Island, they earn a median pay of $38,510 per year, much higher than the national average.

Medical Assistant

What Factors Impact Salary?

Skills, qualifications, certifications, and job experience remain the most important factors that can positively help improve your salary prospects.

Experience of an Individual

According to an August, 2021 report conducted by, an experience of 10 or more years can boost your salary range by 25 percent. A higher job experience can also help you take up senior roles in your field and obtain better job satisfaction.

Specialization, Skills, and Qualification

Acquiring additional skills, certifications, and qualifications in a niche area of expertise can significantly improve your chances of a handsome salary. A medical assistant working in a catheterization laboratory, nuclear medicine, rehabilitation, and radiology can earn much higher than the average salary range in Rhode Island.

While dental assistants had a median salary of $41,180 per year, the average respiratory therapy technician in the United States made $50,900 annually.  During the same period, occupational therapy assistants and aides earned an annual pay of $60,950.
Medical Assistant Specialization Skills

What Are Some Additional Benefits for Rhode Island Medical Assistants?

Along with a fixed base salary, most employers provide the following benefits to medical assistants:

  • Healthcare and insurance
  • Compensatory leaves
  • Paid leaves
  • Social security
  • 401K/403B
  • Pension
  • Disability
  • Relocation assistance
  • Parental/maternity leaves

According to, about 1/3rd of your compensation comes from benefits. If you include the value of the additional perks, a fixed salary of about $38,779 can fetch you a total compensation value of $57,245 annually.

What Does a Medical Assistant Do?

A medical assistant generally works in a clinical setting such as a physician’s office, hospitals, and nursing facilities.

The daily job responsibility of medical assistant professionals may range from measuring vital signs on patients in treatment rooms to helping physicians with physical examinations. You can also work in clerical duties such as maintaining patient records, billing, scheduling patient information, filing insurance claims, etc.

With specialized certifications, a medical assistant may work in focused areas such as respiratory care, catheterization labs, pathology labs, and dental clinics.

Medical Assistant Job Outlook

The BLS predicts that the employment of medical assistants will grow by 19 percent from 2019-2029, much faster than rates projected for other careers across the United States.

The growing baby-boomer population and the demand for preventive medicine may further fuel the need for support workers to assist in clinical, administrative, and rehabilitation duties.

Medical Assistant Job Outlook

Common Career Paths

After completing your high-school diploma/GED and medical assistant program, you can apply for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam from the American Association of Medical Assistants or the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) certification from American Medical Technologists. Obtaining your certification can improve your prospects for a high-paying job.

Most graduates work either as medical assistants and registered nurses (RNs) in RI. You can also pursue specific specialization certifications to work as a medical or surgical technologist. With relevant experience, you can also gain promotion to managerial roles in the organization.

Additional Opportunities for Medical Assistants

Earning your medical assistant diploma can lead to several career opportunities. Along with your primary medical assistant education, obtaining specific certifications can help you take up the following alternative jobs:

OccupationWhat do they do?Additional Education/Training and Certification RequirementsMean Hourly WagesMedian Annual Pay
Medical Secretaries and Administrative AssistantsSchedule Appointments, create bills, generate medical reports, and support technical documentationDiploma in Medical Assisting(MA)$18.75$39,000
Cardiovascular TechniciansPerform diagnosis, operate specialized equipment, and monitor cardiovascular health4-6 weeks employer training,
[optional] Professional Certification through Cardiovascular Credentialing International(CCI)
PhlebotomistsCollect and blood samples, maintain laboratory equipment and records[optional] Phlebotomy Technician Certification(CPT) by the National Healthcareer Association$17.92$37,280
Health Office ClerksAnswering Phone calls, maintaining supplies and inventory, filing reportsNone$18.16$37,770
Medical Claims Adjusters, and ExaminersDetermine coverage amount, review, investigate and approve insurance claimsNone
Diploma/Degree related to medical preferred
Surgical TechnologistsAssist in Surgical operation, arrange equipment, sterilize instruments, dress wounds, etc.Must complete a Surgical Technology Program,
Surgical Technologist Certification by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting(NBSTSA)
Data Source:

Best Places to Work as Medical Assistants

Subject to fulfilling the state eligibility criteria, you can apply for jobs anywhere in the United States. Let’s look at the best places and companies to work at in Rhode Island and on a national level. 

Best Cities in RI for Medical Assistants

The Providence-Warwick metropolitan area boasts the highest concentration of medical assistant jobs in RI, with around 3,020 professionals currently working in the field. Another promising region to work at is the Norwich-New London-Westerly area, with 460 medical assistants.

Providence, the capital of Rhode Island, offers a lucrative job market for medical assistant jobs due to its high population concentration. We have listed the top cities in RI that offer excellent salaries according to the data on

City in RIMean wages per hour

Best Cities in the United States for Medical Assistant jobs

California is one of the highest-paying states in the US. The San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Vallejo-Fairfield, and Santa Rosa metropolitan regions offer wages upwards of $52,000 annually. Washington, Alaska, and the District of Columbia rank among the top 5 states for yearly medical assistant salaries.

With its proximity to RI, Massachusetts can be an attractive location for budding graduates as the state offers a mean salary of $43,090 per year and ranks among the highest-paying states in the US.

The top 5 cities with the highest concentration of jobs and the highest-paying cities for medical assistants according to BLS are:

Cities with Highest Concentration of Medical Assistant Jobs in the United States:

Metropolitan areaEmployment Employment per thousand jobsMean wages per hourMean Annual Salary
Redding, California82012.71$ 19.20$ 39,940
Sebring, Florida30012.37$ 15.64$ 32,530
The Villages, Florida37012.18$ 15.23$ 31,670
Florence, South Carolina1,00011.97$ 12.48$ 25,960
Albuquerque, New Mexico4,40011.75$ 15.50$ 32,240

Top Paying Metropolitan Areas in the United States

Metropolitan areaHourly mean wagesAnnual mean wages 
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California$ 25.94$ 53,960
Vallejo-Fairfield, California$ 25.80$ 53,660
Santa Rosa, California$ 25.25$ 52,520
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington$ 23.59$ 49,070
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California$ 23.57$ 49,020
Medical Assistant Jobs

Top Companies for Medical Assistants

Most companies in the US offer competitive salaries and attractive benefits. You can kickstart your career as a medical assistant in the state of Rhode Island or move to a high-paying location to improve your job prospects.

Top Companies in RI

If you’re searching for jobs in Rhode Island, these are the top companies that hire people with a medical assisting background.

  • Lifespan, Providence
  • Lifespan, South Kingstown
  • VillageMD, Coventry
  • Yale New Haven Health System, Westerly
  • APDerm, East Greenwich
  • Aim Health, Warwick

Top Companies in the United States

The following companies outside RI provide the highest range of salaries to medical assistants:

  • Family Health Centers of San Diego
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Adventist Health
  • UCLA Health
  • NYU Langone Health
  • US Department of Veteran Affairs
  • Virginia Mason
  • Scripps Health
  • Atrius Health
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • SouthCoast Health System
Top Companies for medical Assistant


Medical Assisting can be a rewarding career option in Rhode Island with good wage prospects, job satisfaction, and benefits. The salary and benefits that employers offer vary according to your skills, qualification, and experience.

A post-secondary program in medical assisting can help build a strong foundation and propel your career to greater heights.

New England Institute of Technology provides a comprehensive range of job-oriented programs with a unique blend of classroom learning and practical exposure. Learn more about the New England Institute of Technology edge.


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How much schooling do you need to become a medical assistant?

You can choose a one-year vocational training certificate or obtain a 2-year associate’s degree in medical assisting after your high school diploma/GED to stand out in your field. Some medical assistants also undergo on-the-job training directly after high school.

According to BLS, employers prefer hiring candidates with postsecondary qualifications in medical assisting.

How do I become a medical assistant in RI?

These are some of the common steps you can follow to become a medical assistant in RI:

  • Apply for your high school diploma/GED
  • Enroll in on-the-job training programs or
  • Enroll in a postsecondary certificate or an associate’s degree in medical assisting and administration.
  • You can also apply for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam or the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) certification to apply for high-paying jobs in Providence, Warwick, and other metropolitan areas in Rhode Island.