Living in Montana as a medical assistant has its perks and its less than ideal circumstances. The decision of whether to only study in this state or live there indefinitely will be based on your preferences. A person in this industry can thrive in one of the more populated cities in the state while enjoying a slightly higher average salary than expected when compared across the national average, but the cost of living will more than outweigh the financial benefits. The true power of Montana for those on this career path is the chance to study at an esteemed college at a very reasonable tuition fee. Depending on your ultimate goals and ties to the state, you will enjoy the sights, sounds, weather, and entertainment of Montana or just use it as a stepping stone and tool for affordable education. Don’t discount Montana without visiting, though. It is a beautiful place that may grab your heart and hold on forever.
Top 5 Cities
We certainly love our profession and have chosen it out of passion, yet everyone needs down time to recharge from the stresses of studying and working. With the number of work hours increasing and the number of vacation days decreasing in the United States, it’s important to live in a place that supports your preference for leisure. The higher cost of living in Montana won’t affect your enjoyment and entertainment directly, so rest easy knowing that you can have a blast in any of the large population hubs in the state.
According to the most recent information gathered by the Census Bureau in 2013, the state of Montana is home to 1,015,165 individuals. For such a large land mass, this is relatively not much, meaning there is an overall low population density across the state. However, you can find many people living out their lives in one of the top five most populated cities, listed below in descending order along with their population counts:
- Billings (pop. 109,059)
- Missoula (pop. 69,122)
- Great Falls (pop. 59,351)
- Bozeman (pop. 39,860)
- Butte (pop. 33,854)
If you desire privacy and calm, you can find it in the soothing countrysides of Montana. But for the hustle and bustle and an exciting night on the town, there are many larger cities that can offer you access to restaurants, shows, live music, bars and clubs, and more. You will not be deprived if you join the million and make Montana your new home.
Medical Assistant Salary in Montana
Some people are too shy or find it tacky to negotiate for a higher salary or to even ask questions about what they will be receiving as compensation for their work. The reality is that money is now the means of obtaining goods, land, a home, freedom of time and experience, and security. Knowing if your pay is considered fair or not simply means you’re interested in protecting your financial interests.
Medical assistants nationwide, on average, receive an annual wage of $30,780 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As you begin entertaining offers for your job, this can be your frame of reference as to whether or not the offer is insulting or generous. In Montana, medical assistants on average or being paid about $32,000 per year according to the Indeed.com data. This is about $1,000 extra annually, which isn’t too huge of a cause to celebrate.
Before deciding to accept your new job offer, you should be aware that the number of dollars is only half of the equation you should be considering. The other half is finding out what the spending power of those dollars is in the state. Montana has a cost of living index of 107, meaning that the cost of living is slightly higher there than in the rest of the country on average, largely due to the housing market in the state. While this is not a drastically inflated number, it will reduce that extra money on your salary back to a standard pay. While pay levels are standard in Montana, the cost of education can save you a significant amount of money.
Medical Assistant Schools in Montana
Before choosing any school in any location to study pre-medicine to become a medical assistant, there is one major consideration. You want to ensure that the school is fully accredited and legally able to offer you the degree and certification needed to obtain employment. This won’t be an issue in Montana, but always double check. Montana offers many colleges and universities for you to choose from, and enrolling can be much cheaper than in other states.
For instance, the most popular and esteemed school in the state is Montana State University in Bozeman. Students can expect to pay a low tuition of $7,000 per year if they are in-state residents or $21,000 otherwise. The second most popular college is the University of Montana in Missoula, which has equally affordable fees of $7,000 and $23,000 for in-state or out-of-state tuition respectively. Another relatively cheap public option is Montana Tech in Butte, costing students an annual fee of $7,000 and $19,000.
As you may notice, out-of-state tuition generally is two and three times more costly than in-state tuition. To receive the lower fees of in-state tuition you must be considered a resident of the state as per the university’s rules, which state that this means you’ve lived officially in the state for at least 12 months before applying for entry. Private schools do not concern themselves with this distinction and charge an equal fee that is oftentimes at a premium rate, as seen below.
Carroll College in Helena is one example, with the current tuition rate of $29,000 annually per student. Another popular college is the Rocky Mountain College in Billings, charging $12,000 per student regardless of residency status. Investigate each school and make sure the experience is truly enhanced before paying premium prices.
The many medium and small sized cities of Montana can offer medical assistants a slightly higher wage than expected to compensate for the higher cost of living. While your income and expenses will balance out and feel average, students can celebrate the various universities and colleges with more than affordable tuition rates, saving them much later financial stress and responsibility. Life in Montana is laid back and peaceful, but of course you can still find some excitement and stir up a little fun. If this is a lifestyle you enjoy, then definitely consider Montana as a place to study and work.