Medical assistants, as of May 2012, earned a median of $29,370 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By comparison, dental hygienists made a median of $70,210, dental assistants $34,500, pharmacy technicians $29,320, and nursing assistants and orderlies $24,400.
The upper 10 percent of medical assistants made more than $41,570, while the bottom 10 percent brought in less than $21,080. The majority of medical assistants work full time, with weekend and evening shifts available in some circumstances. Most assistants have a certificate or other postsecondary education. Some have a high school diploma and learn the job through training.