Medical Assistant Schools & Salaries in Hawaii

ASO Staff Writers
Updated June 30, 2023
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Hawaii medical assistants are given a high degree of flexibility in their work. Because the Hawaii legislature has not formally set forth a scope of practice, physicians and nurses have some freedom to delegate to unlicensed personnel as they see fit, within certain licensing guidelines. Medical assistants in Hawaii also enjoy a higher wage than the national average, as the wages in Hawaii are among some of the highest in the nation.

In this guide, read more about what is required of medical students in Hawaii along with training programs available, employment trends and certifications.

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Best College for Medical Assisting in Hawaii

Health care is a rewarding field, allowing professionals to affect the lives of many. Working in medical assisting is one way to get started in the field, starting with a certificate or degree from a Hawaii college. Medical assistants can go to work in a health care facility or physician’s office helping to manage patient caseloads and scheduling. But first, you need to find a quality program that works for you and your schedule. We’ve done some research and found the Best College for Medical Assisting in Hawaii.

Kapiolani Community College
LocationHonolulu, HI

The associate in science degree with an emphasis in medical assisting offered at Kapiolani Community College may help students achieve entry-level job placement, or continue their education in a bachelor’s program at a different four-year school. Students will learn administrative skills common to health clinics, doctor’s offices, and hospitals, making them an idea addition to any medical team. Students can reinforce their learning by attending one-on-one tutoring sessions with staff members specially trained in their academic field. Students may also join one of Kapiolani Community College’s special interest clubs to socialize with likeminded peers.

Hawaii Medical Assisting School Spotlight

When seeking a medical assistant school, it is vitally important that the school or program be accredited. The following spotlight school offers a good example of what students can expect from their education on the way to becoming a medical assistant.


School Type:
Public College


School highlights:
Located in Honolulu, this school provides students with two programs to become a medical assistant. Upon graduation, students are fully prepared to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant exam.

Programs offered:
The medical assisting certificate is designed to be completed in 48 weeks and requires 33 credits, while the associate degree in medical assisting takes about twice as long. It is comprised of 64 credits.

Kapi’olani Community College

Hawaii Medical Assisting Certification and Training

1. How does Hawaii define “medical assistant”?

Hawaii does not offer a standard definition of medical assistant – however, it is implicitly understood that medical assistants are unlicensed assistive personnel, and that they can be delegated certain tasks under the supervision of a physician or nurse.

2. Is certification required and available?

Medical assistants in Hawaii are not required to have certification. However, some employers may prefer to hire someone who is certified, as certification can denote a certain level of knowledge, skill and perspective that is very useful in the office or clinical setting. Certification from a national certifying agency is recognized by employers in Hawaii. The following certifications are available through these agencies:

  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
  • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
  • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
  • National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA)

3. Is formal education and/or training required?

Formal education or training is not required in order to become a medical assistant in Hawaii. However, many employers prefer to hire those who have undergone some sort of formal training program. Further, those who attend a formal training program from an approved school and fulfill all requirements of the program are eligible to become certified by a national certifying body.

4. Are there tasks outside the scope of medical assistants in Hawaii?

Hawaii does not set forth a scope of practice for medical assistants; however, the rules for what nurses and physicians can delegate are made very clear. According to Hawaii statutes, knowingly permitting an unlicensed person to perform activities requiring a license can lead to revocation, limitation or suspension of a license to practice medicine. For instance, a physician who allows a medical assistant to write a prescription is taking an enormous risk in potentially losing their license. Therefore, nurses and physicians tend to only delegate tasks such as taking vital signs, drawing blood and the like.

Medical Assistant Salaries in Hawaii

Medical assistants in Hawaii make an income that is substantially more than the annual median wage for the nation, ostensibly to match the high cost of living in the state. Here’s how those numbers stack up:

 Annual Wage
25th percentile
Annual Wage
Annual Wage
75th percentile
Hourly Wage
Source: BLS, 2014

Hawaii City and Area Salaries

What medical assistants make varies widely depending upon a variety of factors, such as experience, certification and specialties. However, it also varies depending upon the geographical area. The following chart offers information on what medical assistants make in Honolulu, as compared to other areas of the island chain.

AreaAnnual Wage
25th percentile
Annual Wage
Annual Wage
75th percentile
Hourly Wage
Honolulu, HI$26,980$33,280$41,820$16.34
Hawaii / Maui / Kauai nonmetropolitan area$26,500$32,980$37,260$15.67
Source: BLS, 2014

The growing need for medical assistants is universal around the country, but some areas are expected to see faster growth than others. The specific need for medical assistants in Hawaii from 2012 to 2022 can be found in the following table.

Medical Assistant Estimated Employment Growth 2012-2022

 Average Annual
Employment 2022
*Source: Projections Central, 2012-2022

Hawaii Medical Assistant Resources

American Association of Medical Assistants
The AAMA is one of the leading medical assisting organizations, administering the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam.

American Medical Technologists
In addition to administering the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) certification, the AMT also supports local chapters to help medical assistants advance their professional career.

Hawaii’s Medicine and Surgery Statutes
The Hawaii statutes governing medical professionals allow certain medical tasks to be delegated to unlicensed medical professionals, such as medical assistants.

Hawaii State Society Website
Supported by the AMT, the Hawaii State Society hosts meetings and events for medical professionals such as medical assistants.

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