Medical assistants act as healthcare support systems for registered nurses and physicians by obtaining patients' vital signs, performing clerical duties and maintaining patients' records, according to AllHealthCare. Some assistants in South Carolina learned their skills through training on the job, while others completed training programs at vocational or technical schools. Earnings for medical assistants in South Carolina vary depending on the specific region in which they work.
South Carolina Average
As of 2009, the South Carolina earning average for medical assistants was $13 an hour, which translates to about $28,000 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The lowest noted wage for that year was $10 an hour or $20,000 a year, while the highest was $18 an hour or $37,000 a year.
While the statewide average was $13 an hour, actual hourly and yearly pay was determined by where the medical assistant worked. Many areas of South Carolina had assistants whose earning average was less than that of the state. In 2009, assistants in Charleston, Anderson, the non-metropolitan areas of the Pee Dee region and Spartanburg reported average earnings of less than $13 an hour, according to BLS. Sumter was the lowest-paying region for medical assistants at $11 an hour or $23,000 a year.
At the same time, there were also several regions with assistants averaging more than the statewide average. That same year, assistants in Greenville, Columbia, Myrtle Beach and Conway reported area-wide averages greater than $13 an hour, BLS reports. Assistants who worked in the area of South Carolina near Savannah, Georgia, reported the highest income average of $16 an hour or $34,000 a year.
National Average Comparison
South Carolina's earning averages for medical assistants was only slightly below the national average, according to the survey information gathered by BLS. Medical assistants across the nation reported earning an average of $14 an hour or $29,000 a year. The lowest reported average was $10 an hour or $21,000 a year, while the highest was $19 an hour or $40,000 a year.