If you’re considering Arkansas as a possible place of employment or study, you’ll be pleased to know that it is a great location for medical assistants. The largest of the cities are very modestly sized compared to denser states, providing a more intimate experience. The pay rate for the medical assistant career is well above the national average while the cost of living is significantly lower. There are countless universities and colleges offering medical assistant programs in Arkansas at various tiers of tuition costs. Arkansas is a very accessible state for this field and for people in general, due to the number of large cities in the state.
Top 5 Cities
Working and enrolling in a school will unfortunately often dictate where you must live, but those activities aren’t the center of our lives. They are just what enable us to enjoy our free time. What’s great about Arkansas is there are many cities that are large enough hubs of activity that you’re guaranteed to find plenty of entertainment, good food, and escape from the demands of life.
Arkansas’ spacious lands are called home by 2,959,373 people as estimated in 2013 by the United States Census Bureau. The top five cities ordered by population are:
- Little Rock (pop. 193,524)
- Fort Smith (pop. 86,209)
- Fayetteville (pop. 76,899)
- Springdale (pop. 69,797)
- Jonesboro (pop. 67,263)
Whether working, enjoying life, or studying at one of the many medical assistant programs in Arkansas, you’ll find you can achieve all three with ease in one of the above booming cities. Enjoying the sights and sounds of the city requires money, unfortunately. This makes residency in Arkansas become a question of salary.
Medical Assistant Salary in Arkansas
The most important aspect of a line of work is whether or not you actually enjoy what you’re doing. But equally important is whether or not the salary is high enough to afford you a comfortable lifestyle. Medical assistant salaries vary from state to state and Arkansas pays on average much higher than the rest of the nation. The median Arkansas medical assistant salary is $39,000 according to Indeed.com’s data.
With the nation-wide average income for this position being $30,780 as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this will offer you quite the bit of expendable money because the cost of living in Arkansas is about 20% lower than the rest of the United States. The growth rate for the position is steadily increasing, ensuring you that there will always be demand for a medical assistant. It is a sound choice to pursue as a lifetime career, but you must first receive your education and certification at a worthy college.
Medical Assistant Schools in Arkansas
There are a few factors to consider when choosing one of the various Arkansas medical assistant schools. You need to make sure that they offer the program in which you’re hoping to enroll. The medical assistant programs go by other names as well, such as physician assistant training. You should also take care to ensure that they have accreditation by one of the few overseeing medical agencies that can license them to provide certification to students upon graduation. Thirdly, you just want to have confidence that you’re receiving a quality education at a respected institution. You can do this by investigating specifically the top five colleges in the state.
The most well known school in the state is The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. The tuition is competitive and accessible, coming in annually at $8,000 for residents and $20,000 for non-residents of the state. Another popular option for aspiring medical students is Arkansas State University’s main campus in Jonesboro. As a resident you will be expected to pay $8,000 annually in tuition, but if you are coming from out-of-state you’ll find that this is a cheaper solution, costing only $14,000 for the year’s tuition.
The University of Arkansas also has a campus in Little Rock, known as UALR. Tuition here is slightly higher for the year as compared to the Fayetteville campus, costing $15,000 or $26,000, depending on if you are in-state or out-of-state, respectively. The same university also offers a campus in Fort Smith known as UAFS that is very affordable in comparison to the other campuses. The University of Arkansas, Fort Smith costs only $6,000 or $13,000 for annual tuition, again based on residency.
The fifth choice for the state’s colleges is the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. For a year of tuition to study with them, you will be made to pay $8,000 as a resident and $14,000 as a non-resident. This is still comparable while providing a high level of education from a respected university.
With the varying prices for tuition based on residency, there are obvious advantages to studying in the state in which you already live. Most universities demand that you have lived in the state for a full year before you can receive in-state tuition rates. So if you have a specific reason to travel to Arkansas, you can literally pay half of the amount of tuition if you can plan ahead and move to the state for a year at the cost of delaying the start of your education for 12 months. It all just depends on how eager you are to get started.
Don’t become intimidated by the process of choosing a state and university from which to receive your certification. Nor should you fret over finding a place to work. There are plenty of opportunities in any state you choose, but specifically in Arkansas you will be able to find what you want. Arkansas medical assistant salaries are more than competitive while the cost of living is much cheaper than the rest of the nation. There are also wonderful schools where you’ll forge friendships and memories while learning all you need to succeed as a medical assistant. You can’t go wrong if you’re infatuated with Arkansas.