A medical assistant works in a health care setting, scheduling appointments, escorting patients to exam and treatment rooms, taking their vital signs, assisting the doctor with exams and treatments, calling in prescriptions and invoicing insurance carriers. Depending on the type of facility, the medical assistant may need to assist with minor surgeries and triage emergencies. Ninety percent of medical assistants in Florida earn at least $10 per hour.
Florida has the fourth-highest number of medical assistants per capita by state, with 35,250 medical assistants as of 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Only Arizona, Michigan and California have more medical assistants per capita. In Florida, the average pay rate for medical assistants was $13.84 per hour in 2009, or $28,780 per year, just a bit lower than the nationwide average of $14.16 per hour, or $29,450 per year.
The middle 50 percent of medical assistants on the earnings scale in Florida were making $11.53 to $15.70 per hour in 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those in the bottom 10 percent had hourly pay of $10.14 and less, while the top 10 percent were making at least $18.60 per hour.
Below-Average and Average Pay
Salaries for medical assistants in Florida vary a great deal by location, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lowest pay is found in the northwest Florida non-metropolitan areas, at an average of $10.88 per hour in 2009. Medical assistants were earning about $11.80 to $13 per hour in the metropolitan areas of Daytona Beach, Pensacola, Lakeland-Winter Haven and Tallahassee, as well as in the south and northeast Florida non-metropolitan areas. Medical assistants were making about $13.01 to $13.90 per hour in the metropolitan regions of Fort Walton Beach, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Miami, Ocala, Orlando, Palm Bay, Palm Coast, Panama City, Punta Gorda, Sebastian-Vero Beach and Tampa-St. Petersburg.
Medical assistants earn higher average wages in the metro areas of Bradenton, Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Port St. Lucie and West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, at $14.30 to $14.70 per hour. The highest pay for medical assistants in Florida in 2009 was in the Naples-Marco Island region, at $16.80 per hour. The top 25 percent of medical assistants there were making $18.86 and higher, and the top 10 percent $20.71 and higher.