A medical assistant stands against the backdrop of a scenic California landscape, symbolizing the flexibility and pivotal role travel medical assistants play in the state's diverse healthcare settings.

Travel medical assistants are an integral part of the healthcare landscape, offering flexibility and crucial support in various settings. In California, a state known for its vast and varied healthcare needs, travel medical assistants play a pivotal role. This blog explores the opportunities, salary, and pathways to becoming a travel medical assistant in California.

Can Medical Assistants Travel in California?

Yes, medical assistants can travel in California, working in a variety of healthcare settings. Unlike traditional medical assistants who typically remain in one location, travel medical assistants move between clinics, hospitals, and healthcare facilities as needed, often filling in during staff shortages or seasonal spikes in patient volume. Travel medical assistants typically work under contracts that last from a few weeks to several months. 
This mobility allows them to experience diverse working environments, from high-paced urban hospitals in cities like Los Angeles and San Diego to community clinics in quieter, rural areas. Each setting offers unique challenges and learning opportunities, making the role of a travel medical assistant particularly appealing for those who seek variety and continuous learning in their professional lives.

How to Become a Travel Medical Assistant in California?

The path to becoming a travel medical assistant in California is marked by specific educational and certification requirements, and a keen understanding of the healthcare industry's dynamics. 
Here’s a more detailed look:

  • Education and Training: Aspiring travel medical assistants must complete a postsecondary education program in medical assisting, typically offered at community colleges and technical schools. These programs usually take about one to two years to complete, depending on whether you're pursuing a certificate, diploma, or associate degree.
  • Certification: Although not always mandatory, certification can significantly enhance job prospects. The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) is recognized nationally and often preferred by employers. Obtaining this certification involves passing an exam that covers a broad range of knowledge from anatomy and pharmacology to medical law and ethics.
  • Experience: Prior experience in a stationary setting is invaluable. It’s generally advisable to have at least one to two years of experience in a traditional medical assistant role to develop a strong foundational skill set before transitioning to travel positions.
  • Agencies and Networking: Many travel medical assistants find their job opportunities through staffing agencies that specialize in healthcare placements. These agencies often help with the logistics of finding housing and travel, making the transition between jobs smoother.

With a solid foundation of education, certification, and experience, travel medical assistants are well-prepared to enter the workforce. However, understanding the financial aspects and benefits associated with this unique role is equally important. Let's delve into how much travel medical assistants can expect to earn in California, along with the additional perks that come with these positions.

How Much Do Travel Medical Assistants Make in California?

On average, travel medical assistants earn between $15 and $20 per hour, with variations based on the geographic location, the healthcare facility, and the assistant's level of experience and certifications. Compensation for travel medical assistants in California can vary widely but tends to be competitive given the demand and the nature of the work. 
In addition to hourly wages, travel medical assistants often receive additional benefits, such as:

  • Housing Allowances: To assist with the costs of living away from home, many agencies provide housing allowances or accommodations.
  • Travel Reimbursements: Costs associated with travel between assignments are typically covered.
  • Daily Stipends: For everyday expenses while on assignment, daily stipends may be provided.

For a more detailed understanding of salary expectations, visiting salary comparison websites or consulting with recruitment agencies can provide up-to-date information.

Benefits of Being a Travel Medical Assistant in California

Embracing a career as a travel medical assistant opens up a world of advantages, from diverse workplace settings to opportunities for flexible scheduling and professional development. Here are some of the key benefits this role offers:


  • Variety of Work Environments: From cutting-edge hospital systems to small community clinics, the variety is vast.
  • Flexibility: Assignments can range from a few weeks to several months, allowing for flexible schedules.
  • Professional Growth: Exposure to different settings and practices enhances skills and experience.

While the benefits of being a travel medical assistant are plentiful, it's also important to consider the challenges that come with the territory. Transitioning frequently between diverse healthcare environments requires adaptability and resilience. Let’s explore some of the common obstacles that travel medical assistants may encounter in their careers.

Challenges Faced by Travel Medical Assistants in California

Despite the appealing aspects of a career as a travel medical assistant, there are distinct challenges that professionals in this field must navigate. From the instability of contract work to the demands of constantly adapting to new environments, here are the key hurdles faced by travel medical assistants in California:

  • Contract Variability: Length and stability of job contracts can vary, which might affect job security.
  • Adapting to New Environments: Quickly adjusting to different teams and protocols can be challenging.
  • Regulatory Challenges: Staying informed about varying local regulations and standards is crucial.

Navigating these challenges requires resilience and a proactive approach, but for those who thrive in dynamic settings, the role of a travel medical assistant can offer deeply rewarding experiences and unparalleled professional growth.

Kickstart Your Career towards Becoming a Travel Medical Assistant with NCC’s MA Program

Ready to embark on a fulfilling career as a travel medical assistant? Start your journey with National Career College, where our accredited Medical Assistant Program lays the groundwork for your education and training in this dynamic field. At NCC, we understand the importance of a robust foundation in healthcare, which is why our program is designed to equip you with the skills needed to succeed.
Upon graduation, you’ll also be eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) examination offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Learn more about how our Medical Assistant Program can be your first step towards a rewarding career as a travel medical assistant. Explore NCC's Medical Assistant Program now and begin your journey in healthcare with confidence.