All you want to know about a Physician Assistant and a Physician Assistant Salary

Students will be pleased to know that a physician assistant salary is relatively high. Based upon the exact location of work, a physician assistant can expect to make between $50,000 and $80,000 per year. By definition, a physician assistant, abbreviated PA, is a healthcare professional licensed by the state in which he works to practice medicine as a member of a team with doctors.


A physician assistant’s main concern is to prevent, maintain and, finally, treat both human sickness as well as injury by offering patients a wide selection of healthcare services that have been traditionally administered by doctors. It is not uncommon for such a physician assistant to perform physical examinations, diagnose sicknesses and then prescribe a course of treatment for said sicknesses. In addition, he might also order and then interpret lab tests, give advice with regard to preventive healthcare, help in surgery, hand out medical instructions and even write prescriptions. For all of these tasks, a physician assistant salary is usually quite high.

Students who go on to become physician assistants can rest assured that their physician assistant salary is somewhat higher when compared to those of other healthcare professionals. A lot of various aspects contribute to this reality, but in essence, a physician assistant actually does a lot of what a regular doctor does in the carrying out of his duties. As a result, a physician assistant currently is in high demand across many different healthcare settings, and this has a lot to do with the fact that a physician assistant is capable of performing specialized duties that, frankly, others in the healthcare field simply are not qualified to perform themselves.

With respect to the exact physician assistant salary that students can expect to be making if they go on to become a physician assistant, it will vary according to numerous factors. However, the considerations that they will have to look at in terms of how much they could make as a physician assistant are quite straightforward. What follows is a concise look at what constitutes a best-guest scenario of what students can expect to earn as a physician assistant. If students weight what they have to go through to go on to become a physician assistant with what can be achieved in such a career, they will understand that the benefits are many and extend well beyond just mere monetary ones.

Based upon a variety of factors that will be explored in greater detail in the following sections, the salary range for a physician assistant can be anywhere from $50,000 to $80,000. There are naturally going to be situations where you can expect to make either less or more than this range, yet based on information from, these numbers correctly reflect the current salary of this medical profession.

Factors That Influence the Salary of a Physician Assistant

There are several distinct factors that play a role in determining exactly how much of a physician assistant salary that a professional receives. The physician assistant, or “PA”, is considered to be one of the highest paid positions in the medical field. These professionals are paid according to their value in their field. As a physician assistant, the tasks and responsibilities that you are given are considered to be crucial to the patient’s health and the overall functionality of the medical facility that you are employed by on a part time or full time basis.

The most Common factors that determine the physician assistant salary that you will earn include the experience that you have in the medical field, your specialization, the location that you elect to work in, your educational level and the type of environment that you choose to work in while acting as a physician assistant. The following highlights more information pertaining to each of these factors:

  • Experience – According to recent studies, your experience as a physician assistant has the highest level of influence when it comes to determining your salary. If you are considered to be an amateur, you will rank in the bottom twenty-five percent of earners. This means that you will likely earn an average of $79,691.00 annually. Despite the fact that this is considered to be the low end of the scale when it comes to a physician assistant salary, this is still considered to be relatively impressive – especially considering the economic complications that are currently transpiring in the United States and other countries. If you have average experience, you will be considered for the median physician assistant salary. This includes pay of approximately $82,968. If you have above-average experience, you will have a physician assistant salary of approximately $91,439 to well over $100,000.00 annually.
  • Specialization – If you are interested in becoming a physician assistant, it is absolutely essential that you know and understand that the specialization that you choose plays an extremely large role in the amount of money that you will make. There are numerous health specializations that you may choose to work in as a professional. Examples of these include cardiothoracic surgery, endocrinology, neonatology, pediatric, preoperative care, surgical, internal medicine, and family medicine. If you elect to work in cardiothoracic surgery, the physician assistant salary will be well over $100,000.00 annually. However, as an assistant in family medicine, your physician assistant salary will likely be $79,000.00 to $85,000.00 annually.
  • Geographic Location – When evaluating facts and figures associated with a physician assistant salary, you will quickly discover that the geographic location that you elect to work in plays a large role in the amount of money that you will make. While it is true that the physician assistant salary varies from one degree to another from state to state, it is also true that it may vary from one city to another. In nearly all instances, individuals that elect to work in metropolitan regions will make more than individuals that work in a rural region. If you work in New York, for example, you will make much more than if you worked in Louisville, Colorado.
  • Education Level – When researching physician assistant salary rates, you will quickly discover that – as with any career – that the amount of education that you have directly impacts the amount of money that you make. If you acquire a Master’s Degree, you will start at a high rate. As you acquire experience, that rate will increase.
  • Work Environment – Based on information derived from an assortment of studies and files, it has been established that a work environment plays a large role in how low or how high the physician assistant salary is for a professional. There are numerous types of work environments. Examples include medical staffing firms, specialty hospitals, family clinics and critical care units. If you desire a high physician assistant salary, it is imperative that you research which work environments pay the most. In many instances, environments such as family clinics and urgent care facilities make less than medical staffing firms and specialty hospitals.

Increase Your Earnings with These Simple Strategies

While it is true that there are many factors that may directly influence the physician assistant salary, it is also true that there are numerous strategies that may be used to increase the amount of money that you make while working as a physician assistant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average income of a physician assistant on the lower end of the scale, as of May 2010, is $51,920.00 to $76,720.00. The high-end physician assistant salary ranges from $95,700.00 to $135,620.00. If you are interested in having the highest physician assistant salary, you should consider the following facts:

Physician assistants that work in colleges and other types of professional schools average approximately $78,460.00 annually. However, those that are employed by outpatient care centers average approximately $89,900.00 annually. If you desire to have a high salary, it is best opt for work in care centers that specialize in outpatient services.

Specialty hospitals that focus on aspects of medical care other than psychiatric conditions and substance abuse services typically offer physician assistants an average of $92,620.00 annually. Whereas, physician offices, care centers for outpatient services, general medical facilities and health practitioner offices offer salaries that range from $76,140.00 to $89,900.00 annually. In order to obtain the highest physician assistant salary, it is advised that you seek employment with specialty hospitals.

Metropolitan regions always pay higher than nonmetropolitan regions. If you want to make more money, you should pursue employment in the metropolitan areas closest to your geographic location. According to the most recent statistics from the United States Department of Labor, Amarillo, Texas is the top paying metropolitan area. The physician assistant salary for this area is $135,620.00 annually. The highest paying nonmetropolitan area is Western North Carolina, which pays an average of $70,010.00 each year. By choosing to work in a metropolitan region, you will earn a higher physician assistant salary.

In order to become a physician assistant, you must attend a specialized course that provides the education that you need in order to complete the responsibilities of the profession. However, if you are interested in making a high physician assistant salary, it is essential that you receive as much education and training as possible. Earning a degree such as a Bachelor’s or a Master’s will drastically enhance the amount of money that you earn each year.

Many individuals that elect to work in the medical field find that it is extremely difficult to acquire higher levels of education. While it is true that a degree will increase a physician assistant salary, it is also true that acquiring a high level of health experience will also increase the amount of money that a PA makes. If you want to make more money, get as much clinical experience as possible, expose yourself to as many medical specialties as possible, and above all, learn all of the ins and outs of the medical field.

As you can see, it is evident that there is a wide variation in earnings based on where you elect to work, what type of work environment that you want to work in, and the education that you obtain. Furthermore, medical experience plays a vital role in the physician assistant salary that you receive. By focusing on these areas, you are sure to increase the amount of money that you earn annually.

Job Outlook

Employment for the physician assistant position is expected to grow more rapidly than the average for all of the other combined occupations in the medical field. Despite the fact that nonmetropolitan regions pay much less than metropolitan areas, extreme job growth is projected for rural medical facilities. In addition to this, inner-city medical facilities are expected to increase the number of physician assistants in their facilities. This extremely positive job outlook is due to the fact that the healthcare industry is consistently expanding. In addition to this, many healthcare facilities are focused on cost containment. As a result, they are focused on hiring physician assistants in order to avoid having to pay higher costs for medical doctors.

While it is true that there are numerous office-based physician assistant jobs – which are the most traditional – it is also true that there are many different opportunities popping up in various types of institutions such as clinics, various types of hospitals, medical centers at academic facilities, and even correctional facilities for inmates. By utilizing the information within this guide, you will know how to increase the physician assistant salary that you receive when working in the medical profession. According to facts and figures obtained from many reputable sources, such as the United States Labor Department, the growth for this position is expected to meet and/or exceed approximately 40% by the year 2018. The physician assistant salary is also expected to grow as the profession demand grows. As a result, you will have a high-paying, satisfactory professional career.

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