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Physician Assistant Salary By State in 2022 – (Ranked Highest-to-Lowest Paying)


Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

Escalating demand for physician assistant services has resulted in a PA salary that’s high and growing higher every year. This means that becoming a physician assistant is one of the best career moves you can make in the field of healthcare. How much does a physician assistant make? On average, physician assistants earn more than $116,000 annually. Why are PAs in such high demand? Because PAs specialize in primary healthcare services, and better access to primary care has been demonstrated to help save lives. By 2033, there will be a shortage of between 21,000 to 55,200 primary healthcare providers in the U.S.; PAs are poised to help fill that gap. If you’d like to get the full scoop on physician assistant salary in 2022, keep reading.


What Is A Physician Assistant?


Physician assistants or PAs are mid-level medical providers who care for patients in collaboration with other members of a healthcare team that can include physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, and ancillary healthcare providers. PAs are trained as generalists; that means that even if they go on to specialize in a specific area of healthcare, their approach to healthcare is essentially a holistic one.

In many respects, the roles of physician assistants and nurse practitioners overlap. However, there’s one key difference between the two healthcare practitioner roles: PAs are trained according to the medical model, which focuses on diagnosis and the treatment of disease, while NPs are educated using a nursing model, which stresses prevention, health education, and patient support.

Additionally, while many states have begun allowing nurse practitioners to practice without physician supervision, PAs in all 50 states must accept some degree of physician oversight. Recently, however, certain states have begun to allow PAs a greater degree of independence. Interestingly, these also tend to be the states where physician assistants earn their highest salaries.


Where Do Physician Assistants Work?


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, physician assistants work in a number of different practice environments, including physicians’ offices, hospitals, outpatient clinics, colleges and universities, and other healthcare environments.

• Physicians’ offices:

Nearly 68,000 PAs (52 percent of the physician labor force) work in private or group physician practices.

• Hospitals and medical centers:

Nearly 31,000 physician assistants (24 percent of the PA workforce) are employed by hospitals.

• Outpatient clinics:

Outpatient care clinics such as ambulatory surgery centers, urgent care clinics and outsourced emergency rooms account for the employment of more than 10,000 PAs (8 percent of the physician assistant workforce.)

• Academia:

Nearly 5,000 physician assistants (4 percent of the PA labor force) work as researchers, instructors and healthcare providers at colleges, universities, and academic medical centers.

• Occupational health services:

An additional 2,900 physician assistants (2 percent of the PA workforce) provide outsourced occupational health services through employment agencies.

Additionally, another 2,000 PAs (2 percent of the physician assistant workforce) are affiliated with multidisciplinary medical teams outside the practice settings described above.


Are Physician Assistants in Demand?


The primary reason why the average physician assistant salary is so high is because physician assistants are in very high demand. Research published in a 2011 issue of the professional journal Public Health Reports posits that the physician assistant profession will grow by 72 percent by 2025. In part, this demand is a response to the increased implementation of healthcare services following the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed in 2010; in part, it reflects the increased utilization of medical services associated with the aging of the Baby Boomer generation.

Physician assistants are a particularly cost-effective treatment option for Medicaid and Medicare patients whose numbers are directly impacted by the ACA implementation and Baby Boomer aging. At slightly over $116,000 a year, the annual PA salary is generous by any standards, but it’s still 46.96 percent lower than the annual $218,850 salary which physicians command. This makes PAs very attractive physician substitutes for budget-conscious healthcare facilities. Additionally, PAs can be onboarded far more quickly than physicians because while a PA can perform many of the same functions as a physician, the PA requires far less training. PA salaries may only be half that of physician salaries, but becoming a PA only requires eight years of education while becoming a physician typically requires a minimum of 11 years of education.


What Is The Starting Salary Of A Physician Assistant?


What is the starting salary of a physician assistant in 2022? The starting salary of a physician assistant is $36.88 an hour, $1,475 a week, $6,390 a month or $76,700 a year, which is 34 percent less than the average salary of a physician assistant.

It can take anywhere between 6 and 12 weeks to orient an entry-level PA in a hospital practice setting. In addition to learning the facility’s policies and procedures, a fledgling physician assistant must also adapt clinical skills learned during an accredited PA program to the hospital’s preferred way of doing things. Orientation is typically followed by a probationary period during which a PA will most likely manage fewer and less complicated cases than his or her more seasoned colleagues. It may take as long as a year before the new PA becomes a fully productive team member. Comparatively low entry-level salaries are a way for hospitals and other healthcare providers to control some of the costs associated with orienting and training newly hired physician assistants.

Starting Physician Assistant Salary
Hourly$36.88
Weekly $1,475
Monthly$6,390
Annual$76,700
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


What Is The Average Salary Of A Physician Assistant?


What is the average salary of a physician assistant in 2022? The average physician assistant salary is $55.81 an hour, $2,232 a week, $9,670 a month, or $116,080 a year. Physician assistants usually achieve this benchmark somewhere toward the beginning of their tenth year of practice.

The average PA salary range is determined by a number of demographic and market factors. Chief among these is the average market pay rate for people doing similar kinds of work in similar industries, and variations in the cost of living.

Physician assistants and nurse practitioners do very similar types of work, which means that in many ways, NPs can be looked upon as economic substitutes for PAs. It’s not surprising, then, that nurse practitioner salary tracks closely with physician assistant salary. The average annual salary of a PA is 1 percent higher than the average annual salary of an NP ($114,510). Part of the reason for this small differential may be that PAs are much fewer in number than NPs: There are 63 percent more nurse practitioners than there are physician assistants in the U.S. Even so, in 28 states, including New York, Florida, South Carolina and California, PAs make less than NPs. However, annual compensation for the two professions never differs by more than a few thousand dollars on average.

Alaska is the state where the highest-paid physician assistants are employed while Kentucky is the state where PAs earn the lowest salaries. Physician assistants based in the Blue Grass State earn 89 percent less than physician assistants who practice in the Last Frontier State. This differential reflects the fact that the cost of living in Kentucky is 42 percent less than the cost of living in Alaska. Of course, other factors come into play here, too—principally, the fact that many parts of Alaska have far fewer amenities than places in the continental United States, and it’s likely if Alaskan employers didn’t offer high average salaries, fewer PAs would agree to work there.

Other factors that influence average physician assistant salaries include education level, certifications, and past experience. PAs who’ve pursued a voluntary Certificate of Added Qualification may be paid more than PAs who remain uncredentialed while PAs with 10 years of experience earn approximately 17 percent more than PAs with five years of experience.

Average Physician Assistant Salary
Hourly$55.81
Weekly $2,232
Monthly$9,670
Annual$116,080
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Physician Assistant Salary By Level Of Experience


PAs with one to four years of experience earn 25 percent more than entry-level PAs, while PAs with five to nine years of experience earn 50 percent more than entry-level PAs. The reason for this is obvious: The longer you pursue any career, the better you become at it.

PAs with 20 or more years of experience earn more than twice as much as entry-level PAs. It’s likely physician assistant salaries are higher for PAs approaching retirement age as a means of retaining these professionals. On average, physician assistants work for 29 years before they retire. Every year, there are approximately, 12,200 new job openings for PAs, but replacement jobs account for slightly more than two-thirds of those openings. While the number of new nurse practitioners is steadily increasing by between 3,000 and 4,000 new graduates every year, the number of physician assistant graduates is holding steady: Every year, approximately 6,500 physician assistants graduate from PA training programs. This simply isn’t a high enough number to fill all the new PA job openings. Clearly, then, the retention of practicing PAs is a big issue for the profession.

Level of Experience Hourly Weekly Monthly Annual
Entry-Level $36.88 $1,475 $6,390 $76,700
1-4 Years of Experience $46.02 $1,841 $7,980 $95,730
5-9 Years of Experience $55.48 $2,219 $9,620 $115,390
10-19 Years of Experience $65.01 $2,600 $11,270 $135,220
20 Years or More Experience $78.11 $3,124 $13,540 $162,470
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Physician Assistant Average Annual Compensation (Salary + Benefits)


In addition to generous salaries, physician assistants also receive non-cash compensation called benefits. Benefits are customizable perks that employers offer to sweeten job offers. Some employee benefits like workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance and COBRA are mandated by federal law while others like health insurance, paid time off, retirement plan contributions and malpractice insurance coverage are offered at an individual employer’s discretion.

Employee benefits often carry a considerable cash value. Though physician assistants working for state and local governments earn salaries that are 4 percent less than the salaries of physician assistants employed in the private sector, their total compensation package is actually 9 percent higher. That’s because public sector PAs have better benefits. The total value of their benefits is $68,628, which, when added to their average annual salary of $111,500, brings their total compensation package to $180,129 a year. In contrast, private sector PAs typically receive around $49,214 in benefits; when added to an average annual salary of $116,490, their total compensation package is $165,704 a year.

Component Private Industry State and Local Government
Paid Leave $12,262 $13,690
Supplemental Pay $5,800 $1,801
Insurance $12,925 $21,075
Retirement and Savings $5,634 $22,336
Legally Required $12,594 $9,907
Total Benefits $49,214 $68,629
Average Annual Salary $116,490 $111,500
Total Average Compensation $165,704 $180,129
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Do Physician Assistants Make Good Money?


Do physician assistants make good money? Indeed, they do! Just how good that money is, depends upon a number of different factors:

• Practice setting:

The physician assistants who earn the highest salaries tend to be independent contractors. Keep in mind, though, that independent contractors don’t receive benefits. PAs working in outpatient care centers such as ambulatory surgery clinics and retail convenient care sites also earn salaries that are slightly above the national average.

• Specialty:

The highest-paid physician assistants are those who work in cardiology, neurology, and dermatology; the lowest-paid physician assistants are those who work in internal medicine, hospice and palliative care, and pediatrics in general but specifically pediatric orthopedics.

• Location:

As noted above, PA compensation packages vary greatly by state and even by city within the same state. Alaska, California and Nevada are three of the states where physician assistants earn their highest salaries while low-paying locations include the Deep South states of Kentucky, Mississippi, and Alabama.


10 Tips To Earn The Most Money As A Physician Assistant


Physician assistants make good money. But if you want to afford the down payment on a new house or a new car, or you want to fast-track the payment of your student loans, you may find yourself looking for ways to earn extra cash. Here are 10 tips.

1. Specialize:

You can maximize your earnings as a physician assistant by focusing upon a higher-paying practice specialty. PAs specializing in cardiology, for example, earn salaries that are 24 percent higher than PAs who specialize in rheumatology. Many specialties have subspecialty needs that aren’t being met. Within the cardiology specialty, for example, physician assistants can choose to specialize in heart failure, interventional cardiology, invasive cardiology, electrophysiology, preventive cardiology, or peripheral cardiovascular medicine. These subspecialties are subject to supply and demand, so if you concentrate on one of these niches, chances are you’ll find a way to monetize it.

2. Learn more procedures:

Are there procedures related to your specialty that you don’t know how to do? Learn them! You can always boost your income by performing more procedures.

3. Work in an outpatient care center:

As noted above, ambulatory surgery centers, urgent care clinics, outsourced emergency rooms and retail outlets like pharmacies are the highest-paying practice settings for physician assistants. PAs who work in outpatient care centers earn salaries that are typically 19 percent higher than PAs who work in academic settings. Keep in mind, though, that the benefit packages in outpatient care centers may not be as lucrative.

4. Become an independent contractor:

PAs working as independent contractors through medical staffing agencies typically earn a higher physician assistant salary per hour than PAs on staff at a physician’s practice or a hospital. Their overall compensation package may be lower, however, because agency PAs seldom get benefits.

5. Pick up extra shifts:

Picking up extra shifts is usually an option for PAs. Medical facilities are notoriously short-staffed, so it’s likely you’ll have your pick of hours and units.

6. Become a locum tenens provider.

“Locum tenens” is the industry’s name for traveling physician assistants who step in for regular medical staff members who’ve been temporarily sidelined for one reason or another. The facility where you’re working will frequently subsidize your housing and malpractice insurance expenses in addition to providing you with a generous salary. This is a great way to explore unfamiliar places and investigate new professional specialties.

7. Start a business:

Physician assistants have successfully operated a number of businesses with a healthcare angle, including senior assisted living residences, healthcare staffing agencies, yoga studios, and acupuncture centers. Starting your own business requires a large initial investment and a great deal of perseverance, but the potential payoff can be huge.

8. Buy an existing healthcare-related franchise:

If you’d rather reduce the uncertainty associated with a new business venture, become involved with an existing healthcare franchise. Franchise models exist for senior homecare agencies, urgent care centers, medical spas, free-standing laboratories, staffing agencies, health food groceries, and more.

9. Invest wisely:

The compensation package you earn from your PA job is not the only way to make money. Use your knowledge of innovations within the healthcare realm to choose investments that will generate a dependable passive income stream. That way your money will work for you instead of the other way around.

10. Relocate:

As noted throughout this article, the state in which you practice can have a huge effect on your PA salary. Location can also affect other aspects of your physician assistant career since some states offer more favorable practice regulations and more autonomy than others.



PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT SALARY GROWTH TRENDS


Last 5 Years Salary Growth For Physician Assistants

Physician assistant salaries increased every year between 2016 and 2019 thanks to the high demand for members of this profession. Salary growth rates in the year 2020 dipped slightly, however. This dip probably reflects the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic: Throughout 2020, visits to ambulatory care practices declined by nearly 60 percent, and this decline decreased the revenues available for operational expenditures such as employee salary hikes.

Year Salary Growth
Number %
2016 $102,090 +$2,820 +2.84%
2017 $104,760 +$2,670 +2.62%
2018 $108,430 +$3,670 +3.50%
2019 $112,410 +$3,980 +3.67%
2020 $116,080 +$3,670 +3.26%
Last 5 Years Overall Salary Growth +$16,810 +16.93%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Next 5 Years Projected Salary Growth For Physician Assistants

Physician assistant salary is expected to keep climbing. PA salaries for 2025 are projected to be 18 percent higher than 2021 PA salaries and 34 percent higher than 2016 PA salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment prospects for physician assistants are projected to grow by 31 percent between 2020 and 2030.

Year Salary Growth
Number %
2021 $120,330 +$4,250 +3.66%
2022 $124,200 +$3,870 +3.22%
2023 $127,670 +$3,470 +2.79%
2024 $132,620 +$4,950 +3.88%
2025 $137,200 +$4,580 +3.45%
Next 5 Years Overall Projected Salary Growth +$21,120 +18.19%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


5 Reasons Contributing To The Strong Salary Growth For Physician Assistants


Physician assistants typically earn a master’s degree in order to practice. But they consistently earn higher salaries than other healthcare professionals such as physical therapists ($89,349) and occupational therapists ($92,159) whose education is also at the master’s degree level. There are a number of reasons for this:

1. Gaps in primary care coverage:

Increasingly, physician assistants are filling in the gaps left by doctor shortages, particularly in the field of primary healthcare.

2. Increased responsibilities:

The trend in state legislatures is toward broader scopes of practice for physician assistants that allow PAs to perform more clinical functions with less physician oversight. For example: Thirty-nine states now allow PAs to write prescriptions without requiring a physician countersignature.

3. More PAs are becoming Medicaid-certified providers:

The Affordable Care Act led to a rise in Medicaid enrollments. An increasing number of states are enrolling PAs as Medicaid providers.

4. More PAs are becoming Medicare-certified providers:

As the Baby Boomer generation ages, Medicare is becoming an increasingly important source of medical insurance payments. High-performing private practices and clinics may bill Medicare for services provided by physician assistants at 85 percent of the physician fee.

5. PAs are cost-effective physician substitutes:

Research confirms that physician assistants provide the same or better patient outcomes as physicians at a far lower cost, making them cost-effective substitutes for physicians.



PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT SALARY COMPARISON


Physician Assistant Salary VS. All Other Occupations

On average, the salary of a physician assistant is more than twice as much as the average salary for all occupations throughout the U.S. That wage disparity doesn’t stop with physician assistants, though. According to a 2012 report from the Brookings Institution, even employees without specific healthcare expertise like janitors and cafeteria workers are paid more when they work for healthcare facilities.

Physician Assistant
Average
Annual Salary
All Occupations
Average
Annual Salary
Difference
Number %
$116,080 $56,310 +$59,770 +106.14%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Physician Assistant Salary VS. Similar Healthcare Jobs

Physician assistants make higher salaries than any other group of healthcare professionals for whom a master’s is the terminal professional degree. (The sole exception to that is nurse anesthetists.) But PA salaries are not as high as the salaries of healthcare professionals like dentists, podiatrists, pharmacists, and optometrists. This may reflect the fact that these professionals hold doctoral degrees.

Physician assistants are compensated at a considerably higher rate than ancillary healthcare professionals like physical therapists, occupational therapists, and audiologists. It’s likely this reflects the fact that PAs focus on diagnosis and medical treatment while these other healthcare professionals focus on rehabilitation.

Rank Job Title Average Annual Salary Difference
Number %
1 Physician $218,850 -$102,770 -46.96%
2 Nurse Anesthetist $189,190 -$73,110 -38.64%
3 Dentist $186,300 -$70,220 -37.69%
4 Podiatrist $151,110 -$35,030 -23.18%
5 Pharmacist $125,460 -$9,380 -7.48%
6 Optometrist $125,440 -$9,360 -7.46%
7 Physician Assistant $116,080 $0 0.00%
8 Nurse Midwife $115,540 +$540 +0.47%
9 Nurse Practitioner $114,510 +$1,570 +1.37%
10 Veterinarian $108,350 +$7,730 +7.13%
11 Physical Therapist $91,680 +$24,400 +26.61%
12 Audiologist $89,230 +$26,850 +30.09%
13 Occupational Therapist $87,480 +$28,600 +32.69%
14 Chiropractor $83,830 +$32,250 +38.47%
15 Speech-Language Pathologist $83,240 +$32,840 +39.45%
16 Registered Nurse $80,010 +$36,070 +45.08%
17 EMT and Paramedic $40,370 +$75,710 +187.54%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)



PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT SALARY BY WORKPLACE


Outpatient care centers are the highest-paying practice settings for physician assistants. That’s because ambulatory surgery centers, outsourced emergency rooms, urgent care clinics and retail clinics are becoming increasingly gainful profit centers for the medical corporations that own them. Patients tend to pay out-of-pocket for outpatient care center services, so an efficient PA can really make a difference to the bottom line here. Such PAs are rewarded with significantly higher pay. The average annual salary for PAs working in outpatient care centers is $128,820.

Academic practice settings such as colleges and universities pay the lowest PA salaries on average, $108,010 a year. But this figure is deceptive: Colleges and universities often offer far better benefits packages than other PA practice settings, so a PA’s overall compensation package may be higher.

Private physician practices probably pay PAs the least in real terms. Physician assistants working in private physician offices earn $115,120 annually. That’s because overheads in a private physician practice can easily run as high as 70 percent, and the MDs who own these practices don’t have access to the same economies of scale that medical corporations have. Such practices may attempt to economize by paying PAs and other employees lower salaries.

Workplace Entry-Level 1-4 Years of Experience 5-9 Years of Experience 10-19 Years of Experience 20 Years or More Experience Average Annual Salary
Offices of Physicians $77,540 $94,480 $113,460 $133,430 $160,380 $115,120
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $83,370 $99,450 $118,680 $137,400 $162,100 $117,320
Outpatient Care Centers $85,720 $104,110 $124,610 $153,500 $187,940 $128,820
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $59,160 $87,730 $110,730 $128,800 $153,300 $108,010
Offices of Other Health Practitioners $47,500 $88,250 $112,200 $138,030 $168,880 $111,140
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)



PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT SALARY BY SPECIALTY


There’s considerable variation in physician assistant salaries across the range of PA specialties. The highest-paid physician assistants are those that specialize in cardiology. Cardiology PAs average $131,780 annually, which is 34 percent more than the lowest-paying PA specialty, internal medicine ($106,410 a year). One factor influencing this differential is that cardiac PAs are specialists while internal medicine PAs are generalists. In the realm of healthcare, specialists are always paid more than generalists.

But there’s another factor that comes into play here, too: Cardiac medicine is highly procedural. Cardiac catheterizations, intra-aortic balloon pump insertions and other forms of angioplasty are routinely done by cardiac PAs. In contrast, internal medicine is comparatively non-procedural, meaning that effective treatment relies more upon critical thinking and problem solving than it does upon clinical intervention. Payment models that rely upon fees for services rendered are almost always more profitable than those that depend upon flat fees. Hence cardiac PAs earn more than internal medicine PAs.

Specialty Average
Annual Salary
Addiction Medicine PA $113,290
Allergy & Immunology PA $113,950
Anesthesiology PA $124,370
Bariatric Surgery PA $123,930
Cardiology PA $131,780
Cardiothoracic Surgery PA $126,120
Colorectal Surgery PA $118,230
Critical Care PA $117,710
Dermatology PA $128,680
Emergency Medicine PA $110,040
Endocrinology PA $113,480
Family Medicine PA $112,890
Gastroenterology PA $125,590
General Surgery PA $123,920
Genetics PA $112,340
Geriatric PA $113,190
Hematology Oncology PA $119,130
Hospice & Palliative Care PA $106,640
Hospital Medicine PA $113,020
Infectious Disease PA $113,660
Internal Medicine PA $106,410
Nephrology PA $115,100
Neurology PA $114,670
Neurosurgery PA $129,790
Nuclear Medicine PA $123,190
OB/GYN PA $116,520
Occupational Medicine PA $114,660
Ophthalmology PA $117,500
Orthopedic Surgery PA $115,510
Otolaryngology PA $120,370
Pain Management PA $110,850
Pathology PA $116,230
Pediatric Cardiology PA $115,090
Pediatric Emergency Medicine PA $113,290
Pediatric Neurology PA $119,300
Pediatric Neurosurgery PA $128,120
Pediatric Oncology PA $113,800
Pediatric Orthopedic PA $109,500
Pediatric PA $113,000
Pediatric Surgery PA $116,010
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation PA $115,380
Plastic Surgery PA $123,920
Preventive Medicine PA $111,390
Psychiatry PA $114,820
Public Health PA $112,060
Pulmonology PA $115,380
Radiation Oncology PA $125,160
Radiology PA $124,960
Rheumatology PA $106,550
Surgical Oncology PA $122,790
Thoracic Surgery PA $127,930
Transplant Surgery PA $112,750
Trauma Surgery PA $119,370
Urgent Care PA $117,610
Urology PA $124,670
Vascular Surgery PA $126,010




PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT SALARY BY STATE – HIGHEST TO LOWEST PAYING


Based on physician assistant salary by state figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, we have ranked the following states in the order of highest to lowest paying.

1. Alaska

Currently Employed PAs:

430

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

30

10-Year Job Outlook:

+6.82%

Annual Salary Range:

$100,890 - >$208,000

Top Paying Cities:

Anchorage & Fairbanks

PAs in Alaska earn $150,430 on average, making the Last Frontier State one of the highest paying states for physician assistants. But Alaska is also the state with the lowest projected growth rate for PAs over the next 10 years. Most PAs in the Last Frontier State work in family practice settings. Alaska is one of the most liberal states for physician assistants in terms of scope of practice; with authorization from a collaborating physician, certified PAs can do any task for which they’ve been appropriately trained so long as that task does not exceed the authorizing physician’s scope of practice.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $48.50 $100,890
1-4 Years of Experience $55.79 $116,050
5-9 Years of Experience $64.21 $133,550
10-19 Years of Experience $78.90 $164,120
20 Years or More Experience > $100.00 >$208,000
Average Salary $72.32 $150,430


2. Connecticut

Currently Employed PAs:

2,310

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

210

10-Year Job Outlook:

+23.53%

Annual Salary Range:

$105,120 - $201,110

Top Paying Cities:

Waterbury, Norwich, & New London

Only 2 percent of the nation’s physician assistants work in Connecticut, but they earn the second highest salary of PAs in any of the 50 states. PAs in the Nutmeg State can practice to the full extent of their training and experience, and Public Act 19-144, passed in 2019, clarified that physician assistants have a “collaborative” rather than a “dependent” relationship with their supervising physicians. The average salary of a physician assistant in Connecticut is $146,110 annually. New Haven-based physician assistants earn salaries that are 2 percent more than the state average.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $50.54 $105,120
1-4 Years of Experience $56.83 $118,200
5-9 Years of Experience $67.47 $140,340
10-19 Years of Experience $79.25 $164,840
20 Years or More Experience $96.69 $201,110
Average Salary $70.25 $146,110


3. Rhode Island

Currently Employed PAs:

220

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

30

10-Year Job Outlook:

+21.43%

Annual Salary Range:

$88,730 - $176,620

Top Paying Cities:

Providence & Warwick

Rhode Island’s accommodating attitudes toward physician assistant scope of practice make it an excellent state for PA practice. Rhode Island is one of only eight states in which physician assistants have their own independent regulatory board. Most PAs in the Ocean State are employed in the Greater Metropolitan Providence Area where the average salary is 3 percent less than the state average of $135,800, though 13 percent higher than the national average of $116,080.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $42.66 $88,730
1-4 Years of Experience $51.38 $106,870
5-9 Years of Experience $59.55 $123,860
10-19 Years of Experience $69.99 $145,570
20 Years or More Experience $84.91 $176,620
Average Salary $65.29 $135,800


4. California

Currently Employed PAs:

11,490

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

1,190

10-Year Job Outlook:

+34.19%

Annual Salary Range:

$88,730 - $197,090

Top Paying Cities:

Salinas, Yuba City, & Santa Rosa

Nine percent of the nation’s physician assistants are employed in California. While PAs in California have their own separate regulatory body at the state level, the Golden State is not particularly liberal when it comes to PA scope of practice: Every PA must be supervised by at least one physician, and that physician must be available for consultations at all times. The average physician assistant salary in California is $135,180. PA salaries in the affluent SF Bay Area are 6 percent higher than the state average and 24 percent higher than the national average. Physician assistant salaries in the Central Coast city of Salinas are even higher: 24 percent higher than the state average, and 45 percent higher than the national average.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $42.66 $88,730
1-4 Years of Experience $53.07 $110,390
5-9 Years of Experience $62.48 $129,950
10-19 Years of Experience $77.97 $162,180
20 Years or More Experience $94.75 $197,090
Average Salary $64.99 $135,180


5. Nevada

Currently Employed PAs:

880

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

20

10-Year Job Outlook:

+38.89%

Annual Salary Range:

$96,030 - $180,190

Top Paying Cities:

Las Vegas, Henderson, & Paradise

Nevada is the worst state in the nation when it comes to primary healthcare provider coverage, and the Silver State’s laws are comparatively restrictive when it comes to physician assistants. While a supervising physician doesn’t have to be physically present in order for PAs to examine, diagnose and initiate treatment, that PA must meet physically with the supervising physician at least once every month. Nevada PAs average $134,710 annually. PAs in the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise Metropolitan Area earn salaries that are 2 percent higher than the state average while physician assistants in the Reno area earn salaries that are 5 percent lower.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $46.17 $96,030
1-4 Years of Experience $55.53 $115,510
5-9 Years of Experience $64.48 $134,120
10-19 Years of Experience $77.25 $160,690
20 Years or More Experience $86.63 $180,190
Average Salary $64.76 $134,710


6. New Jersey

Currently Employed PAs:

2,350

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

290

10-Year Job Outlook:

+32.19%

Annual Salary Range:

$39,820 - $192,450

Top Paying Cities:

Trenton, Atlantic City, & Hammonton

New Jersey’s physician assistant laws are comparatively restrictive. In outpatient settings, the supervising physician does not need to be physically present; however, for inpatient settings where procedures that require intravenous or intra-arterial injection of contrast materials, endoscopic biopsy of tissues or elective endotracheal intubation are being performed, the supervising physician needs to be continuously onsite. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these restrictions were temporarily lifted by an executive order. The average salary of a physician assistant in New Jersey is $131,210. PA salaries in cities like Jersey City and Newark that are technically part of the NYC Metropolitan Area are marginally higher than the state average.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $19.14 $39,820
1-4 Years of Experience $51.47 $107,060
5-9 Years of Experience $65.94 $137,160
10-19 Years of Experience $80.09 $166,590
20 Years or More Experience $92.52 $192,450
Average Salary $63.08 $131,210


7. Washington

Currently Employed PAs:

2,780

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

370

10-Year Job Outlook:

+31.49%

Annual Salary Range:

$92,510 - $169,790

Top Paying Cities:

Yakima, Seattle, & Tacoma

In Washington State, physician assistants can practice to the full extent of their training and experience so long as they don’t practice beyond their supervising physician’s own scope of expertise. On average, physician assistant salary in Washington is $129,910. PAs in the Seattle-Tacoma Metropolitan Area earn salaries that are 3 percent higher than the state average while physician assistants in Spokane and other parts of eastern Washington earn salaries that are 8 percent lower. PAs in the Evergreen State are allowed to prescribe medical marijuana.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $44.48 $92,510
1-4 Years of Experience $53.02 $110,290
5-9 Years of Experience $61.97 $128,890
10-19 Years of Experience $73.80 $153,510
20 Years or More Experience $81.63 $169,790
Average Salary $62.46 $129,910


8. Vermont

Currently Employed PAs:

260

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

30

10-Year Job Outlook:

+20.00%

Annual Salary Range:

$90,700 - $164,740

Top Paying Cities:

Burlington & South Burlington

Vermont is among the highest paying states for physician assistants. That’s because physician assistants are in high demand in the Green Mountain State, particularly among the state’s many rural, underserved areas. In 2020, Vermont’s governor signed legislation that broadened the scope of practice for PAs considerably, replacing the designation “supervision” with “collaboration” in respect to PA/physician practice agreements, allowing PAs to accept direct payments and permitting PAs to work within the full scope of their training and experience.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $43.61 $90,700
1-4 Years of Experience $49.81 $103,610
5-9 Years of Experience $58.18 $121,020
10-19 Years of Experience $67.01 $139,390
20 Years or More Experience $79.20 $164,740
Average Salary $61.56 $128,050


9. New York

Currently Employed PAs:

13,760

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

1,480

10-Year Job Outlook:

+41.53%

Annual Salary Range:

$92,350 - $165,750

Top Paying Cities:

Utica, Rome, & New York City

Eleven percent of the nation’s physician assistants are employed in New York. A single physician can supervise no more than four physician assistants at a time, and supervising physicians can delegate any task to a PA that’s within the physician’s own scope of practice so long as the PA has the education, training and experience to perform that task. The average physician assistant salary in New York is $126,370 a year. Physician assistant salaries are highest in New York City and the surrounding areas; PAs there earn salaries that are 4 percent higher than the state average. PAs in upstate cities like Rochester, on the other hand, earn salaries that are 10 percent lower than the state average.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $44.40 $92,350
1-4 Years of Experience $51.61 $107,340
5-9 Years of Experience $59.95 $124,690
10-19 Years of Experience $69.75 $145,080
20 Years or More Experience $79.69 $165,750
Average Salary $60.75 $126,370


10. New Hampshire

Currently Employed PAs:

620

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

70

10-Year Job Outlook:

+32.88%

Annual Salary Range:

$89,550 - $161,240

Top Paying Cities:

Portsmouth, Manchester, & Dover

In 2021, the New Hampshire Board of Medicine amended its physician assistant regulations. These new amendments eliminated physician/PA supervisory ratios as well as guidelines that required PAs in the Granite State to have both a supervising physician and an alternate supervising physician. A physician assistant’s scope of practice in New Hampshire is still defined by the written agreement that PA has with his or her supervising physician. Average physician assistant earnings of $124,080 a year put the Granite State among the highest paying states for physician assistants. PAs in the Manchester area—technically a part of the Greater Boston Metropolitan Area—earn salaries that are 7 percent less than the state average.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $43.05 $89,550
1-4 Years of Experience $50.01 $104,020
5-9 Years of Experience $57.27 $119,120
10-19 Years of Experience $64.67 $134,510
20 Years or More Experience $77.52 $161,240
Average Salary $59.65 $124,080


11. New Mexico

Currently Employed PAs:

720

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

70

10-Year Job Outlook:

+25.68%

Annual Salary Range:

$91,040 - $162,450

Top Paying Cities:

Farmington, Albuquerque, & Las Cruces

In New Mexico, physicians don’t assume legal responsibility for the care that’s rendered by the PAs with whom they collaborate. A physician assistant in the Land of Enchantment is only required to collaborate with a physician if he or she has less than three years of experience or is practicing in a clinical specialty. The average PA salary throughout New Mexico is $123,620 annually. Physician assistants in Albuquerque, the state’s largest city, earn 1 percent less than the average PA salary throughout all parts of the state.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $43.77 $91,040
1-4 Years of Experience $51.60 $107,330
5-9 Years of Experience $58.84 $122,390
10-19 Years of Experience $67.06 $139,490
20 Years or More Experience $78.10 $162,450
Average Salary $59.43 $123,620


12. Minnesota

Currently Employed PAs:

2,570

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

190

10-Year Job Outlook:

+28.22%

Annual Salary Range:

$93,860 - $154,630

Top Paying Cities:

Rochester, Minneapolis, & St. Paul

When it comes to physician assistant scope of practice, Minnesota is a very liberal state. PAs in the Land of Lakes can practice to the full extent of their education training and experience in accordance with the policies of the facilities at which they are employed. Minnesota PAs also have full prescriptive authority. The average physician assistant salary in Minnesota is $122,280 a year. PAs in the Greater Metropolitan Minneapolis/St. Paul Area make salaries that are fractionally higher than the state average.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $45.13 $93,860
1-4 Years of Experience $52.79 $109,800
5-9 Years of Experience $59.32 $123,390
10-19 Years of Experience $65.90 $137,080
20 Years or More Experience $74.34 $154,630
Average Salary $58.79 $122,280


13. North Dakota

Currently Employed PAs:

250

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

30

10-Year Job Outlook:

+28.57%

Annual Salary Range:

$90,650 - $151,860

Top Paying Cities:

Fargo

North Dakota is not only one of the highest paying states for physician assistants, it’s also one of the states where PAs have the most autonomy. Scope of practice is determined by the regulations of the facility at which a PA is employed as well as by the PA’s own education, training, and experience. There are no ratios for physician/PA collaborations though physicians must be continuously available for contact through telephone or electronic means. Most PAs in the Peace Garden State practice in rural areas.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $43.58 $90,650
1-4 Years of Experience $49.15 $102,230
5-9 Years of Experience $56.20 $116,890
10-19 Years of Experience $63.23 $131,510
20 Years or More Experience $73.01 $151,860
Average Salary $57.34 $119,270


14. Oregon

Currently Employed PAs:

1,550

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

170

10-Year Job Outlook:

+36.75%

Annual Salary Range:

$86,110 - $159,440

Top Paying Cities:

Eugene, Grants Pass, & Medford

Physician assistants in Oregon exercise autonomy in medical decision-making within the constraints of a collaborative agreement with a licensed physician. No physician can supervise more than four PAs without the express approval of the Oregon Medical Board. PAs in the Beaver State practice in both rural and urban areas. The average salary of a physician assistant in Oregon is $119,050 annually. Physician assistant salaries in the Greater Portland Metropolitan Area (which includes Vancouver, Washington) are 1 percent less than the average state salary.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $41.40 $86,110
1-4 Years of Experience $47.83 $99,490
5-9 Years of Experience $56.28 $117,070
10-19 Years of Experience $64.14 $133,410
20 Years or More Experience $76.65 $159,440
Average Salary $57.24 $119,050


15. Oklahoma

Currently Employed PAs:

1,510

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

130

10-Year Job Outlook:

+23.23%

Annual Salary Range:

$87,600 - $161,640

Top Paying Cities:

Oklahoma City & Tulsa

In Oklahoma, physicians can supervise no more than six physician assistants at a time. Physicians are legally responsible for all the services and procedures PAs provide, but the actual physical presence of the supervising physician is not required so long as that physician can be easily contacted through telecommunications. The average salary for physician assistants in Oklahoma is $118,130 annually. Physician assistants in Oklahoma City make 5 percent more than the average PA salary throughout the state, but PAs in Tulsa make 1 percent less.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $42.12 $87,600
1-4 Years of Experience $47.86 $99,550
5-9 Years of Experience $56.91 $118,370
10-19 Years of Experience $67.83 $141,080
20 Years or More Experience $77.71 $161,640
Average Salary $56.79 $118,130


16. Idaho

Currently Employed PAs:

790

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

20

10-Year Job Outlook:

+28.95%

Annual Salary Range:

$83,730 - $169,000

Top Paying Cities:

Coeur d'Alene, Boise City, & Pocatello

In Idaho, physician assistants can own their own practices and even employ physicians so long as those PAs aren’t supervised by those physicians. In other respects, however, laws in the Gem State pertaining to physician assistant scope of practice are comparatively rigorous. At least once a month, physicians must visit the sites where the PAs they’re overseeing are practicing. Additionally, physicians must routinely review a representative sample of patient records, chosen at random. Most PAs in the Gem State practice in one of the state’s many rural, medically underserved areas.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $40.25 $83,730
1-4 Years of Experience $45.24 $94,100
5-9 Years of Experience $53.64 $111,570
10-19 Years of Experience $63.62 $132,330
20 Years or More Experience $81.25 $169,000
Average Salary $56.71 $117,960


17. Massachusetts

Currently Employed PAs:

3,650

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

360

10-Year Job Outlook:

+19.63%

Annual Salary Range:

$72,640 - $165,220

Top Paying Cities:

Leominster, Gardner, & Worcester

The average physician assistant salary in Massachusetts is $117,830 annually. PAs in the Bay State practice in both urban and rural areas. PAs practicing in the Greater Boston Metropolitan Area earn 2 percent less than the state average. In Massachusetts, the physician assistant scope of practice is comparatively liberal. The Bay State is one of the few states in which PAs are answerable to their own board, dubbed the Board of Registration of Physician Assistants. PAs performing major invasive procedures must follow specific written protocols, and prescription guidelines must be developed in conjunction with supervising physicians.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $34.92 $72,640
1-4 Years of Experience $47.04 $97,840
5-9 Years of Experience $57.05 $118,660
10-19 Years of Experience $67.05 $139,470
20 Years or More Experience $79.43 $165,220
Average Salary $56.65 $117,830


18. Iowa

Currently Employed PAs:

940

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

90

10-Year Job Outlook:

+33.33%

Annual Salary Range:

$85,380 - $160,270

Top Paying Cities:

Cedar Rapids, Davenport, & Iowa City

While physicians who supervise PAs in Iowa need not be physically present at the PA’s practice site, such physicians retain ultimate legal responsibility for all patient care. In 2020, Iowa’s Governor signed legislation that liberalized many of the constraints on PA scope of practice in the Hawkeye State. A PA’s scope of practice is now determined at his or her practice site as well as by that PA’s own education, training, and experience. Iowa’s PAs average $117,770 a year. Physician assistants practicing in the Iowa City area earn fractionally more than the national average, but PAs practicing around Des Moines earn 6 percent less.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $41.05 $85,380
1-4 Years of Experience $47.21 $98,200
5-9 Years of Experience $55.91 $116,300
10-19 Years of Experience $64.67 $134,510
20 Years or More Experience $77.05 $160,270
Average Salary $56.62 $117,770


19. Wyoming

Currently Employed PAs:

250

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

20

10-Year Job Outlook:

+31.82%

Annual Salary Range:

$87,110 - $161,860

Top Paying Cities:

Cheyenne & Casper

As of January 1, 2022, PAs employed in Wyoming no longer have to maintain a specific relationship with a physician or other provider in order to practice. Physician assistants in the Cowboy State are free to practice to the full extent of their education, training, and experience. Most PAs in Wyoming practice in rural areas that the federal government has designated as medically underserved. PAs in the Cowboy State average $117,660 a year, which is 1 percent higher than the national average.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $41.88 $87,110
1-4 Years of Experience $47.43 $98,650
5-9 Years of Experience $56.41 $117,340
10-19 Years of Experience $67.92 $141,270
20 Years or More Experience $77.82 $161,860
Average Salary $56.57 $117,660


20. Maine

Currently Employed PAs:

830

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

60

10-Year Job Outlook:

+22.67%

Annual Salary Range:

$91,020 - $152,680

Top Paying Cities:

Lewiston, Auburn, & Bangor

PAs in Maine earn average salaries of $117,180 annually. In 2020, the Pine Tree State passed legislation allowing physician assistants with more than 4,000 hours of experience to practice without a written agreement with a physician. A physician will still need to be available for consultations, however. Thanks to this new legislation, Maine-based PAs will also be able to accept direct payments from Medicaid, Medicare, and other insurance providers.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $43.76 $91,020
1-4 Years of Experience $48.70 $101,300
5-9 Years of Experience $55.69 $115,840
10-19 Years of Experience $62.94 $130,920
20 Years or More Experience $73.40 $152,680
Average Salary $56.34 $117,180


21. Montana

Currently Employed PAs:

650

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

60

10-Year Job Outlook:

+28.36%

Annual Salary Range:

$89,590 - $150,110

Top Paying Cities:

Great Falls, Billings, & Missoula

Montana enforces a 1:1 ratio between practicing physician assistants and their supervising physicians. Though a supervising physician isn’t required to be onsite, PAs must meet in person with supervising physicians at least once a month for training and discussions of patient care. Additionally, prescriptive authority (including Schedules II-V drugs) is determined by the supervising physician. Physician assistants in the Big Sky State earn $117,100 a year on average.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $43.07 $89,590
1-4 Years of Experience $49.50 $102,950
5-9 Years of Experience $57.10 $118,760
10-19 Years of Experience $64.07 $133,260
20 Years or More Experience $72.17 $150,110
Average Salary $56.30 $117,100


22. Hawaii

Currently Employed PAs:

300

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

30

10-Year Job Outlook:

+27.27%

Annual Salary Range:

$58,700 - $180,830

Top Paying Cities:

Urban Honolulu, Kahului, & Wailuku

PAs in Hawaii make $115,710 a year on average. Physicians can only supervise two physician assistants at a time, and supervising physicians determine the scope of PA practice through guidelines set forth in a written document developed at the site where a PA is working. Supervising physicians also determine a physician assistant’s prescriptive authority with respect to drugs, devices, and Schedules III-V controlled substances.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $28.22 $58,700
1-4 Years of Experience $43.56 $90,610
5-9 Years of Experience $55.35 $115,120
10-19 Years of Experience $68.97 $143,450
20 Years or More Experience $86.94 $180,830
Average Salary $55.63 $115,710


23. Maryland

Currently Employed PAs:

2,930

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

340

10-Year Job Outlook:

+39.35%

Annual Salary Range:

$75,080 - $163,660

Top Paying Cities:

Salisbury, Baltimore, & Columbia

The average physician assistant salary in Maryland is $114,970 a year, which is 1 percent less than the national average. PAs in the Maryland suburbs outside the District of Columbia earn 2 percent more than the state average, while PAs in Baltimore, the Old Line State’s largest city, earn 3 percent less. Maryland requires PAs to be supervised by physicians at all times, whether in person or through written instructions, electronic communication, or even the assignment of an alternative supervising physician. The written agreement that describes the relationship between a PA and a supervisory physician must specify the medical acts that the physician is delegating to the PA.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $36.10 $75,080
1-4 Years of Experience $45.71 $95,080
5-9 Years of Experience $55.88 $116,220
10-19 Years of Experience $65.62 $136,480
20 Years or More Experience $78.68 $163,660
Average Salary $55.27 $114,970


24. Arizona

Currently Employed PAs:

2,510

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

100

10-Year Job Outlook:

+52.56%

Annual Salary Range:

$88,180 - $144,900

Top Paying Cities:

Yuma, Tucson, & Flagstaff

Arizona has its own independent Regulatory Board of Physician Assistants, which is charged with overseeing PA licensure, investigation, and discipline. Arizona allows PAs to provide patient care in all modernized practice environments, including physician offices, clinics, hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, patient homes, nursing homes, and other healthcare institutions. The average physician assistant salary in Arizona is $113,850 annually. PAs in Tucson make 3 percent more than this while PAs in Phoenix make 2 percent less.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $42.39 $88,180
1-4 Years of Experience $47.54 $98,890
5-9 Years of Experience $55.75 $115,970
10-19 Years of Experience $63.10 $131,250
20 Years or More Experience $69.66 $144,900
Average Salary $54.74 $113,850


25. Wisconsin

Currently Employed PAs:

2,580

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

180

10-Year Job Outlook:

+25.87%

Annual Salary Range:

$86,230 - $144,670

Top Paying Cities:

Wausau, Janesville, & Beloit

In Wisconsin, PAs work as members of physician-led teams. But physician assistants' scope of practice is not restricted to a supervising physician’s scope of practice. In Wisconsin, PAs practice under their own license in primary care as well as in all medical and surgical subspecialties. PAs in the Badger State have had full prescriptive authority since 1998. The average physician assistant salary in Wisconsin is $113,830 a year. In Madison, the state capital, PA salaries are 3 percent higher than the state average while in Milwaukee, the state’s largest city, they are 2 percent lower than the state average.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $41.46 $86,230
1-4 Years of Experience $50.54 $105,120
5-9 Years of Experience $56.85 $118,240
10-19 Years of Experience $62.66 $130,330
20 Years or More Experience $69.55 $144,670
Average Salary $54.73 $113,830


26. West Virginia

Currently Employed PAs:

920

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

70

10-Year Job Outlook:

+25.32%

Annual Salary Range:

$85,170 - $148,790

Top Paying Cities:

Beckley, Wheeling, & Parkersburg

Legislation passed in May, 2021, greatly liberalized physician assistant scope of practice in West Virginia. PAs are now allowed to provide services to the full extent of their education, training, and experience. PAs must also be reimbursed by health insurers, including Medicare and Medicaid, at rates that are commensurate with other healthcare providers offering the same service. On average, physician assistants in the Mountain State earn $113,770 a year.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $40.95 $85,170
1-4 Years of Experience $44.57 $92,700
5-9 Years of Experience $50.36 $104,750
10-19 Years of Experience $59.57 $123,900
20 Years or More Experience $71.53 $148,790
Average Salary $54.70 $113,770


27. Nebraska

Currently Employed PAs:

1,150

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

120

10-Year Job Outlook:

+29.77%

Annual Salary Range:

$85,390 - $144,170

Top Paying Cities:

Lincoln, Omaha, & Council Bluffs

Nebraska has some of the most restrictive PA scope of practice laws in the U.S. The Cornhusker State still adheres to a practice model in which supervising physicians delegate medical services to a PA. Physician assistants must have at least one supervising physician for each employer, and if the employer is a multi-specialty practice, that PA is required to have a supervising physician for each specialty practice area in which he or she performs medical services. The average annual salary for physician assistants in Nebraska is $113,240. Average physician assistant salaries in Lincoln, Nebraska’s capital, are 1 percent more than that while average physician assistant salaries in Omaha, the largest city in the state, are 3 percent less.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $41.05 $85,390
1-4 Years of Experience $45.87 $95,400
5-9 Years of Experience $52.94 $110,120
10-19 Years of Experience $60.83 $126,520
20 Years or More Experience $69.31 $144,170
Average Salary $54.44 $113,240


28. North Carolina

Currently Employed PAs:

6,140

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

500

10-Year Job Outlook:

+32.74%

Annual Salary Range:

$86,200 - $148,380

Top Paying Cities:

New Bern, Hickory, & Lenoir

Scope of practice for North Carolina physician assistants is determined by the agreement between that PA and his or her supervising physician. A PAs scope of practice can never exceed the training and experience of the supervising physician. Prescriptive authority is restricted to the terms of the supervisory agreement between a physician assistant and a supervising physician. The average physician assistant salary in North Carolina is $112,510 a year, which is 3 percent less than the national average. In Charlotte, the Tar Heel State’s largest city, PA salaries are 2 percent less than the state average.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $41.44 $86,200
1-4 Years of Experience $46.01 $95,700
5-9 Years of Experience $53.43 $111,140
10-19 Years of Experience $62.13 $129,230
20 Years or More Experience $71.34 $148,380
Average Salary $54.09 $112,510


29. Texas

Currently Employed PAs:

8,990

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

850

10-Year Job Outlook:

+37.30%

Annual Salary Range:

$51,110 - $159,790

Top Paying Cities:

Houston, The Woodlands, & Sugar Land

The average physician assistant salary in Texas is $112,200 a year. PA salaries throughout the state vary considerably from a high of $133,190 a year in Houston (19 percent more than the state average) to a low of $92,330 in San Antonio (18 percent less than the state average). In order to practice in the Lone Star State, PAs must enter into a written, signed, and dated agreement with a supervising physician. Any service a Texas PA performs must be delegated by a supervising physician. Seven percent of the nation’s PAs practice in the Lone Star State.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $24.57 $51,110
1-4 Years of Experience $43.97 $91,460
5-9 Years of Experience $54.53 $113,420
10-19 Years of Experience $63.88 $132,870
20 Years or More Experience $76.82 $159,790
Average Salary $53.94 $112,200


30. Delaware

Currently Employed PAs:

440

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

50

10-Year Job Outlook:

+33.33%

Annual Salary Range:

$87,220 - $145,960

Top Paying Cities:

Dover

In Delaware, a physician assistant’s scope of practice is determined by the collaborative agreement he or she maintains with a supervising physician. The supervising physician need not be physically present at the site where the PA is practicing, but the supervising physician must make sure he or she is readily available for consultation. Physician assistants in the First State earn $112,020 a year on average.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $41.93 $87,220
1-4 Years of Experience $46.09 $95,870
5-9 Years of Experience $52.34 $108,870
10-19 Years of Experience $60.06 $124,930
20 Years or More Experience $70.17 $145,960
Average Salary $53.86 $112,020


31. Michigan

Currently Employed PAs:

4,350

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

360

10-Year Job Outlook:

+18.02%

Annual Salary Range:

$86,700 - $140,110

Top Paying Cities:

Flint, Lansing, & East Lansing

Michigan was one of the first states to relax restrictive PA scope of practice. In 2016, the Wolverine State passed legislation that recognized physician assistants as full prescribers; in 2017, Michigan nixed the statutory language that described the working relationship between a physician and a PA as “supervisory”. PAs now collaborate with physicians, and the terms of that collaboration must be described in a written agreement. The average physician assistant salary in Michigan is $111,050 a year, but average PA salaries in Detroit are 3 percent higher.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $41.68 $86,700
1-4 Years of Experience $46.52 $96,770
5-9 Years of Experience $53.65 $111,600
10-19 Years of Experience $60.82 $126,510
20 Years or More Experience $67.36 $140,110
Average Salary $53.39 $111,050


32. Colorado

Currently Employed PAs:

3,080

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

390

10-Year Job Outlook:

+48.33%

Annual Salary Range:

$74,710 - $154,290

Top Paying Cities:

Pueblo, Fort Collins, & Denver

Licensed physicians in Colorado can supervise up to eight PAs at a time. Any PA who’s practiced in the Centennial State for three or more years is legally liable for negligent care unless that care was rendered through carrying out a supervising physician’s direct order. If not physically onsite, supervising physicians must make themselves available to PAs by telephone, radio, pager, or other telecommunication devices. The average physician assistant salary in Colorado is $110,370, which is fractionally more than what physician assistants earn in Denver, the state’s largest city.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $35.92 $74,710
1-4 Years of Experience $44.53 $92,620
5-9 Years of Experience $52.55 $109,310
10-19 Years of Experience $63.41 $131,890
20 Years or More Experience $74.18 $154,290
Average Salary $53.06 $110,370


33. Illinois

Currently Employed PAs:

3,160

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

360

10-Year Job Outlook:

+30.18%

Annual Salary Range:

$82,670 - $143,130

Top Paying Cities:

Champaign, Urbana, & Rockford

The average physician assistant salary in Illinois is $110,190 a year, though, in Chicago, the state’s largest metropolis, PAs earn fractionally more than that. In the Prairie State, a physician assistant’s scope of practice is determined by the written supervision agreement between a PA and his or her supervising physician. That written agreement delineates the services a physician assistant can render when he or she is alone as well as those that can only be performed in the physical presence of the supervising physician.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $39.75 $82,670
1-4 Years of Experience $44.78 $93,150
5-9 Years of Experience $51.94 $108,040
10-19 Years of Experience $60.93 $126,740
20 Years or More Experience $68.81 $143,130
Average Salary $52.98 $110,190


34. Kansas

Currently Employed PAs:

1,030

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

90

10-Year Job Outlook:

+20.54%

Annual Salary Range:

$82,200 - $143,700

Top Paying Cities:

Topeka, Manhattan, & Wichita

In Kansas, the supervisory relationship between a physician and a physician’s assistant is determined by the State Medical Board on the basis of factors like practice setting; the PA’s own education, training, and experience; and the medical needs of the geographic location where the PA and the supervising physician are practicing. Prescriptive authority is determined in a written agreement between a supervising physician and a physician assistant. PAs in the Sunflower State average $109,640 a year.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $39.52 $82,200
1-4 Years of Experience $44.29 $92,130
5-9 Years of Experience $51.02 $106,120
10-19 Years of Experience $60.16 $125,140
20 Years or More Experience $69.09 $143,700
Average Salary $52.71 $109,640


35. South Dakota

Currently Employed PAs:

510

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

50

10-Year Job Outlook:

+27.78%

Annual Salary Range:

$86,400 - $136,440

Top Paying Cities:

Sioux Falls & Rapid City

Guidelines for a PA’s specific scope of practice in South Dakota are incorporated into the practice agreement a physician assistant makes with his or her supervising physician. A single physician in South Dakota can supervise up to four full-time physician assistants. PAs may prescribe drugs, including Schedules II-V controlled substances, if prescriptive authority is part of their practice agreement, and they are provided with supervision. Physician assistants in the Mount Rushmore State average $109,290 a year.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $41.54 $86,400
1-4 Years of Experience $45.88 $95,430
5-9 Years of Experience $51.89 $107,940
10-19 Years of Experience $59.74 $124,250
20 Years or More Experience $65.60 $136,440
Average Salary $52.54 $109,290


36. Florida

Currently Employed PAs:

7,310

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

710

10-Year Job Outlook:

+43.08%

Annual Salary Range:

$64,170 - $155,540

Top Paying Cities:

Homosassa Springs, Sebastian, & Vero Beach

Six percent of the nation’s physician assistants are employed in Florida. The average physician assistant salary in Florida is $108,820 a year, which is 6 percent less than the national average. Salaries vary in different locations throughout the state, however. In Orlando, PA salaries are 12 percent greater than the state average (and 5 percent higher than the national average) while in Miami, PA salaries are 6 percent less than the state average (and 12 percent less than the national average.) Supervising physicians cannot delegate any responsibilities to physician assistants that are not within the physician’s own scope of practice, and the supervising physician must be “easily available” to the monitored physician assistant at all times.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $30.85 $64,170
1-4 Years of Experience $43.15 $89,750
5-9 Years of Experience $52.99 $110,210
10-19 Years of Experience $63.16 $131,380
20 Years or More Experience $74.78 $155,540
Average Salary $52.32 $108,820


37. Utah

Currently Employed PAs:

1,100

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

130

10-Year Job Outlook:

+35.71%

Annual Salary Range:

$72,880 - $152,570

Top Paying Cities:

Logan, St. George, & Ogden

In Utah, physician assistant practice is regulated by the Utah Physician Assistant Licensing Board. The average salary for physician assistants in Utah is $108,620 a year, but in Salt Lake City, the state’s capital and most populous city, PA salaries are 1 percent lower. Any PA with less than 10,000 hours of experience is subject to the practice policies set out in the agreement he or she has made with a supervising physician. Otherwise, PAs may provide medical services to the extent of their education, training, and experience.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $35.04 $72,880
1-4 Years of Experience $44.08 $91,690
5-9 Years of Experience $51.61 $107,340
10-19 Years of Experience $62.00 $128,960
20 Years or More Experience $73.35 $152,570
Average Salary $52.22 $108,620


38. Virginia

Currently Employed PAs:

2,490

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

250

10-Year Job Outlook:

+32.68%

Annual Salary Range:

$63,630 - $143,560

Top Paying Cities:

Charlottesville, Winchester, & Richmond

Physician assistants can’t practice in Virginia without a supervision practice arrangement with a physician. Practice agreements must include the delegation of such medical tasks as are appropriate to the PA's level of competence as well as an evaluation process for the PA's performance. PAs may also prescribe drugs, devices and controlled substances if authorized to do so in a practice agreement. The average physician assistant salary in Virginia is $108,040. PAs in Richmond, the state capital, make salaries that are 3 percent higher while PAs employed in the District of Columbia’s Virginian suburbs make salaries that are 9 percent higher.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $30.59 $63,630
1-4 Years of Experience $43.21 $89,870
5-9 Years of Experience $52.05 $108,260
10-19 Years of Experience $60.85 $126,570
20 Years or More Experience $69.02 $143,560
Average Salary $51.94 $108,040


39. Ohio

Currently Employed PAs:

4,440

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

410

10-Year Job Outlook:

+27.56%

Annual Salary Range:

$77,900 - $141,120

Top Paying Cities:

Toledo, Cleveland, & Elyria

The average physician assistant salary in Ohio is $107,600 annually. PA salaries throughout the Buckeye State show some variation: In Cincinnati, PA salaries are 7 percent less than the state average while in Toledo, PA salaries are 6 percent higher. PAs and physicians must enter into a formal supervision agreement before they can practice together. The medical services a physician assistant performs must be delegated by the supervising physician and must be part of that physician’s normal course of practice.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $37.45 $77,900
1-4 Years of Experience $44.46 $92,480
5-9 Years of Experience $52.50 $109,190
10-19 Years of Experience $60.60 $126,050
20 Years or More Experience $67.85 $141,120
Average Salary $51.73 $107,600


40. Pennsylvania

Currently Employed PAs:

7,300

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

640

10-Year Job Outlook:

+30.93%

Annual Salary Range:

$73,930 - $144,020

Top Paying Cities:

Philadelphia, York-Hanover, & Johnstown

The Keystone State is one of the more restrictive states in the U.S. when it comes to physician assistant scope of practice. Pennsylvania requires physician assistants and supervising physicians to enter into a written agreement. That agreement must then be approved by the Pennsylvania State Medical Board. Supervising physicians are expected to review enough of a PA’s work to determine that the physician’s directions are being implemented; this typically entails regular review within 10 days by the supervising physician of the patient records upon which entries are made by the PA. The average physician assistant salary in Pennsylvania is $107,520; in Philadelphia, the state’s most populous city, PAs earn 9 percent more than that.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $35.54 $73,930
1-4 Years of Experience $43.35 $90,170
5-9 Years of Experience $51.35 $106,810
10-19 Years of Experience $60.13 $125,060
20 Years or More Experience $69.24 $144,020
Average Salary $51.69 $107,520


41. Georgia

Currently Employed PAs:

5,080

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

400

10-Year Job Outlook:

+43.91%

Annual Salary Range:

$56,160 - $162,390

Top Paying Cities:

Albany, Atlanta, & Sandy Springs

The average physician assistant salary in Georgia is $104,230 a year. In Atlanta, the Peach State’s largest city, PA salaries are 12 percent higher, but in the Greater Augusta-Richmond Metropolitan Area, they are 20 percent lower. A PA’s scope of practice in the Peach State is determined entirely by the written agreement that PA enters into with a supervising physician. The agreement must be approved by the State Medical Board, and all activities delegated to the physician assistant must be within the supervising physician’s scope of practice.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $27.00 $56,160
1-4 Years of Experience $33.48 $69,630
5-9 Years of Experience $50.04 $104,090
10-19 Years of Experience $62.56 $130,130
20 Years or More Experience $78.07 $162,390
Average Salary $50.11 $104,230


42. South Carolina

Currently Employed PAs:

1,530

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

140

10-Year Job Outlook:

+32.41%

Annual Salary Range:

$40,050 - $139,110

Top Paying Cities:

Greenville, Anderson, & Mauldin

South Carolina’s practice laws for PAs are comparatively restrictive. In the Palmetto State, for the first six months of a relationship with a supervising physician, a physician assistant must practice at the same site as the physician. Thereafter, the physician assistant can only work at a site that’s within 60 miles of the site where the supervising physician works. The average salary of a physician assistant in South Carolina is $103,150 annually, which is 13 percent less than the average PA salary throughout all parts of the nation.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $19.25 $40,050
1-4 Years of Experience $41.28 $85,860
5-9 Years of Experience $47.99 $99,820
10-19 Years of Experience $56.80 $118,140
20 Years or More Experience $66.88 $139,110
Average Salary $49.59 $103,150


43. Indiana

Currently Employed PAs:

1,650

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

160

10-Year Job Outlook:

+34.16%

Annual Salary Range:

$54,830 - $149,080

Top Paying Cities:

Columbus, Terre Haute, & South Bend

In Indiana, the supervisory agreement between a physician assistant and a physician must be a written document. This document must contain a comprehensive list of all the tasks the physician will be delegating to the PA, and it must specify the exact protocols PAs must follow when prescribing medications. The average salary of a physician assistant in Indiana is $10,030. In Indianapolis, PA salaries are 4 percent higher than the average salary across other parts of the Hoosier State; in Fort Wayne, PA salaries are fractionally lower.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $26.36 $54,830
1-4 Years of Experience $39.95 $83,100
5-9 Years of Experience $50.74 $105,540
10-19 Years of Experience $61.20 $127,290
20 Years or More Experience $71.67 $149,080
Average Salary $49.05 $102,030


44. Arkansas

Currently Employed PAs:

580

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

50

10-Year Job Outlook:

+33.33%

Annual Salary Range:

$36,690 - $154,090

Top Paying Cities:

Fort Smith, Fayetteville, & Springdale

Arkansas-based physician assistants earn $101,740 a year on average, which is 12 percent less than the national average. In Little Rock, the Natural State’s largest city, PA salaries are 6 percent less than the state average and 18 percent less than the national average. In Arkansas, a physician assistant’s scope of practice is restricted to medical services delegated by a supervising physician that are also within the supervising physician’s scope of practice. Physicians do not have to be in the same physical location as the PAs they supervise, but it cannot take them more than an hour to travel to that site.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $17.64 $36,690
1-4 Years of Experience $36.96 $76,870
5-9 Years of Experience $50.41 $104,850
10-19 Years of Experience $61.19 $127,270
20 Years or More Experience $74.08 $154,090
Average Salary $48.91 $101,740


45. Tennessee

Currently Employed PAs:

2,080

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

240

10-Year Job Outlook:

+44.81%

Annual Salary Range:

$73,400 - $131,600

Top Paying Cities:

Chattanooga, Clarksville, & Memphis

In Tennessee, supervising physicians are required to personally review at least 20 percent of charts monitored or written by a physician assistant working under them every 30 days. The range of services a physician assistant can provide must be stipulated in a written protocol. A PA can’t provide any service that isn’t within the supervising physician’s own scope of practice. The salary of a physician assistant in Tennessee is $101,640 a year on average. In Memphis, PAs make 8 percent more than the state average while in Nashville, they make 2 percent less.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $35.29 $73,400
1-4 Years of Experience $42.75 $88,910
5-9 Years of Experience $48.43 $100,740
10-19 Years of Experience $55.66 $115,780
20 Years or More Experience $63.27 $131,600
Average Salary $48.87 $101,640


46. Missouri

Currently Employed PAs:

1,240

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

110

10-Year Job Outlook:

+30.97%

Annual Salary Range:

$31,800 - $133,070

Top Paying Cities:

Kansas City, Columbia, & Springfield

The average salary for physician assistants in Missouri is $94,020 annually. Physician assistants in Kansas City, Missouri average salaries that are 21 percent higher, while physician assistants in St. Louis average salaries that are 5 percent lower. PAs and supervising physicians must negotiate a written agreement, and unless the agreement states otherwise, supervising physicians must be physically present at the site where a PA is practicing at least 66 percent of the time. When a supervising physician is not at the site where a PA is working, he or she can be no more than 30 miles away from the PA’s site.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $15.29 $31,800
1-4 Years of Experience $39.45 $82,050
5-9 Years of Experience $48.64 $101,180
10-19 Years of Experience $57.27 $119,130
20 Years or More Experience $63.98 $133,070
Average Salary $45.20 $94,020


47. Louisiana

Currently Employed PAs:

1,070

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

20

10-Year Job Outlook:

+14.81%

Annual Salary Range:

$37,730 - $135,150

Top Paying Cities:

Houma, Thibodaux, & Lafayette

Supervising physicians in the Bayou State assume legal responsibility for all medical services rendered by the PAs they supervise. Physician assistants in Louisiana can perform tasks within their education, training and experience so long as those tasks have been expressly delegated by a supervising physician. Prescriptive authority is delegated by the supervising physician. In the Bayou State, physician assistants earn $93,770 a year on average. In New Orleans, PAs earn 5 percent less than the state average.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $18.14 $37,730
1-4 Years of Experience $36.12 $75,130
5-9 Years of Experience $46.36 $96,420
10-19 Years of Experience $55.44 $115,310
20 Years or More Experience $64.98 $135,150
Average Salary $45.08 $93,770


48. Alabama

Currently Employed PAs:

680

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

80

10-Year Job Outlook:

+33.33%

Annual Salary Range:

$31,630 - $128,320

Top Paying Cities:

Huntsville, Mobile, & Birmingham

In the Cotton State, physician assistants can expect to earn $88,500 a year on average. This amount is 24 percent lower than the average salary physician assistants earn throughout all parts of the U.S. Alabama’s PA scope of practice laws are comparatively restrictive. For example: Supervising physicians must co-sign stipulated PA orders, and a PA’s scope of practice is ultimately determined by the Alabama State Medical Board.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $15.21 $31,630
1-4 Years of Experience $37.51 $78,030
5-9 Years of Experience $44.53 $92,620
10-19 Years of Experience $49.90 $103,800
20 Years or More Experience $61.69 $128,320
Average Salary $42.55 $88,500


49. Mississippi

Currently Employed PAs:

290

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

0

10-Year Job Outlook:

+11.76%

Annual Salary Range:

$41,120 - $131,110

Top Paying Cities:

Gulfport, Biloxi, & Pascagoula

Mississippi is the state where the scope of practice for physician assistants is most restrictive. PAs can only practice at locations that are no more than 30 miles away from the office, hospital, clinic or other healthcare facility where the supervising physician is practicing. All supervision agreements must be approved by the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure. Physician assistants in the Magnolia State earn $85,380 a year on average, which is 26 percent lower than the national average for physician assistant salaries.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $19.77 $41,120
1-4 Years of Experience $24.57 $51,110
5-9 Years of Experience $40.96 $85,200
10-19 Years of Experience $49.77 $103,520
20 Years or More Experience $63.03 $131,110
Average Salary $41.05 $85,380


50. Kentucky

Currently Employed PAs:

1,070

Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement):

100

10-Year Job Outlook:

+23.42%

Annual Salary Range:

$32,390 - $127,240

Top Paying Cities:

Lexington, Fayette, & Elizabethtown

Physician assistants in Kentucky are the lowest-paid physician assistants in the U.S. On average, PAs in the Bluegrass State earn $79,390 a year. In Louisville, however, physician assistants earn 10 percent more than the state average. PAs in the Bluegrass State can only perform services off-site from a supervising physician if that supervising physician is continuously available via telecommunication.

Level of Experience Hourly Annual
Entry-Level $15.57 $32,390
1-4 Years of Experience $17.98 $37,400
5-9 Years of Experience $42.64 $88,700
10-19 Years of Experience $50.24 $104,500
20 Years or More Experience $61.17 $127,240
Average Salary $38.17 $79,390




PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT SALARY IN YOUR STATE VS. NATIONAL PHYSICAL ASSISTANT SALARY


In 21 states, physician assistants earn salaries that are higher than $116,080, the average PA salary throughout all states; in 29 states, physician assistants earn salaries that are lower. Average statewide salaries for physician assistants span a range of $70,000, from a high of $150,430 in Alaska (30 percent higher than average PA salary throughout the nation) to a low of $79,390 in Kentucky (32 percent lower than the national average.)

Physician assistants earn their highest salaries in northeastern states like Connecticut ($146,110), Rhode Island ($135,800) and New Jersey ($131,210) as well as in western and Pacific Ocean-facing states like California ($135,180), Washington ($129,910) and Nevada ($134,710).

Many (though not all) of the top-paying states are locations where PAs exercise the most liberal scope of practice. That’s because compensation, to a great extent, depends upon the amount of revenue a facility is able to generate, and physician assistants who practice more autonomously are able to generate more billable hours. These PAs also incur fewer operational costs because they require less management.

PAs in southeastern states like Alabama ($88,500), Kentucky ($79,390) and Mississippi ($85,380) earn salaries that can be 10 to 20 percent below the national average. Much of this pay differential has to do with the fact that the cost of living throughout the South is appreciably lower than it is in the rest of the nation.

State Average
Annual Salary
VS. National Salary
Number %
Alabama $88,500 -$27,580 -23.76%
Alaska $150,430 +$34,350 +29.59%
Arizona $113,850 -$2,230 -1.92%
Arkansas $101,740 -$14,340 -12.35%
California $135,180 +$19,100 +16.45%
Colorado $110,370 -$5,710 -4.92%
Connecticut $146,110 +$30,030 +25.87%
Delaware $112,020 -$4,060 -3.50%
Florida $108,820 -$7,260 -6.25%
Georgia $104,230 -$11,850 -10.21%
Hawaii $115,710 -$370 -0.32%
Idaho $117,960 +$1,880 +1.62%
Illinois $110,190 -$5,890 -5.07%
Indiana $102,030 -$14,050 -12.10%
Iowa $117,770 +$1,690 +1.46%
Kansas $109,640 -$6,440 -5.55%
Kentucky $79,390 -$36,690 -31.61%
Louisiana $93,770 -$22,310 -19.22%
Maine $117,180 +$1,100 +0.95%
Maryland $114,970 -$1,110 -0.96%
Massachusetts $117,830 +$1,750 +1.51%
Michigan $111,050 -$5,030 -4.33%
Minnesota $122,280 +$6,200 +5.34%
Mississippi $85,380 -$30,700 -26.45%
Missouri $94,020 -$22,060 -19.00%
Montana $117,100 +$1,020 +0.88%
Nebraska $113,240 -$2,840 -2.45%
Nevada $134,710 +$18,630 +16.05%
New Hampshire $124,080 +$8,000 +6.89%
New Jersey $131,210 +$15,130 +13.03%
New Mexico $123,620 +$7,540 +6.50%
New York $126,370 +$10,290 +8.86%
North Carolina $112,510 -$3,570 -3.08%
North Dakota $119,270 +$3,190 +2.75%
Ohio $107,600 -$8,480 -7.31%
Oklahoma $118,130 +$2,050 +1.77%
Oregon $119,050 +$2,970 +2.56%
Pennsylvania $107,520 -$8,560 -7.37%
Rhode Island $135,800 +$19,720 +16.99%
South Carolina $103,150 -$12,930 -11.14%
South Dakota $109,290 -$6,790 -5.85%
Tennessee $101,640 -$14,440 -12.44%
Texas $112,200 -$3,880 -3.34%
Utah $108,620 -$7,460 -6.43%
Vermont $128,050 +$11,970 +10.31%
Virginia $108,040 -$8,040 -6.93%
Washington $129,910 +$13,830 +11.91%
West Virginia $113,770 -$2,310 -1.99%
Wisconsin $113,830 -$2,250 -1.94%
Wyoming $117,660 +$1,580 +1.36%
U.S. $116,080 $0 0.00%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)



PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT SALARY BY METRO


Physician assistant salaries can vary widely from city to city in the same state just as they vary widely from state to state. In Memphis, Tennessee, for example, PAs make $109,680 a year, which is 8 percent more than the state average while in Nashville, Tennessee, they make $99,280 a year, which is 2 percent less. In New York City, PAs earn $131,370 a year, which is 4 percent more than the state average while in the upstate New York cities of Albany ($115,680), Rochester ($113,860), and Buffalo ($108,920), they earn respectively 8 percent, 10 percent, and 14 percent less.

As a rule of thumb, PA salaries are typically much higher in larger cities than they are in smaller cities or in rural areas. This is because the cost of living is typically higher in larger cities, and the more densely populated an area is, the higher the demand for services. Urban populations also have a higher percentage of people carrying private insurance, which pays more for services than Medicaid and Medicare pay, and this translates into higher salaries for the PAs and the other healthcare professionals who practice in cities.

Metro Employment Average
Annual Salary
VS. National Salary
Number %
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY 760 $115,680 -$400 -0.34%
Albuquerque, NM 380 $121,860 +$5,780 +4.98%
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ 430 $103,670 -$12,410 -10.69%
Altoona, PA 130 $100,030 -$16,050 -13.83%
Anchorage, AK 290 $149,910 +$33,830 +29.14%
Ann Arbor, MI 560 $109,140 -$6,940 -5.98%
Asheville, NC 470 $107,520 -$8,560 -7.37%
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 2,990 $117,140 +$1,060 +0.91%
Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC 840 $73,380 -$42,700 -36.78%
Austin-Round Rock, TX 640 $110,820 -$5,260 -4.53%
Bakersfield, CA 190 $124,700 +$8,620 +7.43%
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD 1,720 $112,210 -$3,870 -3.33%
Bangor, ME 140 $118,600 +$2,520 +2.17%
Baton Rouge, LA 230 $94,800 -$21,280 -18.33%
Bend-Redmond, OR 140 $112,190 -$3,890 -3.35%
Billings, MT 130 $114,130 -$1,950 -1.68%
Birmingham-Hoover, AL 340 $78,870 -$37,210 -32.06%
Bloomsburg-Berwick, PA 180 $106,970 -$9,110 -7.85%
Boise City, ID 380 $121,170 +$5,090 +4.38%
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH 2,850 $115,410 -$670 -0.58%
Boulder, CO 330 $109,780 -$6,300 -5.43%
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 350 $144,360 +$28,280 +24.36%
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY 710 $108,920 -$7,160 -6.17%
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL 300 $100,080 -$16,000 -13.78%
Charleston, WV 150 $109,860 -$6,220 -5.36%
Charleston-North Charleston, SC 400 $84,470 -$31,610 -27.23%
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC 1,360 $110,490 -$5,590 -4.82%
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 2,370 $110,550 -$5,530 -4.76%
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN 590 $100,480 -$15,600 -13.44%
Cleveland-Elyria, OH 1,920 $111,020 -$5,060 -4.36%
Colorado Springs, CO 270 $108,190 -$7,890 -6.80%
Columbia, SC 320 $105,780 -$10,300 -8.87%
Columbus, OH 660 $103,180 -$12,900 -11.11%
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 3,430 $106,570 -$9,510 -8.19%
Danbury, CT 160 $145,480 +$29,400 +25.33%
Dayton, OH 380 $110,650 -$5,430 -4.68%
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL 210 $117,530 +$1,450 +1.25%
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO 1,790 $110,170 -$5,910 -5.09%
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA 170 $109,180 -$6,900 -5.94%
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI 1,580 $114,050 -$2,030 -1.75%
Duluth, MN-WI 170 $113,780 -$2,300 -1.98%
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC 750 $109,420 -$6,660 -5.74%
El Paso, TX 320 $97,470 -$18,610 -16.03%
Eugene, OR 160 $133,770 +$17,690 +15.24%
Fargo, ND-MN 150 $116,850 +$770 +0.66%
Fayetteville, NC 340 $115,350 -$730 -0.63%
Flint, MI 210 $117,260 +$1,180 +1.02%
Fort Collins, CO 260 $113,810 -$2,270 -1.96%
Fort Wayne, IN 130 $101,680 -$14,400 -12.41%
Fresno, CA 330 $131,380 +$15,300 +13.18%
Gainesville, FL 250 $102,940 -$13,140 -11.32%
Gainesville, GA 130 $94,890 -$21,190 -18.25%
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI 720 $107,150 -$8,930 -7.69%
Green Bay, WI 170 $112,220 -$3,860 -3.33%
Greensboro-High Point, NC 310 $109,780 -$6,300 -5.43%
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC 340 $129,780 +$13,700 +11.80%
Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA 330 $110,600 -$5,480 -4.72%
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT 900 $142,030 +$25,950 +22.36%
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC 190 $122,190 +$6,110 +5.26%
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 2,030 $133,190 +$17,110 +14.74%
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN 710 $106,320 -$9,760 -8.41%
Iowa City, IA 230 $116,340 +$260 +0.22%
Jacksonville, FL 640 $109,230 -$6,850 -5.90%
Kalamazoo-Portage, MI 230 $106,270 -$9,810 -8.45%
Kansas City, MO-KS 500 $113,650 -$2,430 -2.09%
Killeen-Temple, TX 230 $117,800 +$1,720 +1.48%
Knoxville, TN 430 $106,810 -$9,270 -7.99%
Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL 260 $89,810 -$26,270 -22.63%
Lancaster, PA 240 $105,280 -$10,800 -9.30%
Lansing-East Lansing, MI 200 $116,340 +$260 +0.22%
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV 610 $136,930 +$20,850 +17.96%
Lincoln, NE 190 $114,190 -$1,890 -1.63%
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR 330 $95,350 -$20,730 -17.86%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 3,880 $130,450 +$14,370 +12.38%
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN 320 $87,420 -$28,660 -24.69%
Lynchburg, VA 170 $90,120 -$25,960 -22.36%
Macon, GA 140 $66,700 -$49,380 -42.54%
Madison, WI 410 $117,160 +$1,080 +0.93%
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX 220 $124,880 +$8,800 +7.58%
Medford, OR 140 $126,310 +$10,230 +8.81%
Memphis, TN-MS-AR 180 $109,680 -$6,400 -5.51%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL 2,080 $102,320 -$13,760 -11.85%
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI 1,150 $109,060 -$7,020 -6.05%
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 1,530 $122,860 +$6,780 +5.84%
Modesto, CA 140 $139,890 +$23,810 +20.51%
Morgantown, WV 130 $106,300 -$9,780 -8.43%
Muncie, IN 200 $59,370 -$56,710 -48.85%
Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC 140 $103,590 -$12,490 -10.76%
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN 780 $99,280 -$16,800 -14.47%
New Haven, CT 530 $148,520 +$32,440 +27.95%
New Orleans-Metairie, LA 390 $89,310 -$26,770 -23.06%
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 11,440 $131,370 +$15,290 +13.17%
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL 360 $128,530 +$12,450 +10.73%
Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI 140 $148,720 +$32,640 +28.12%
Ocala, FL 210 $116,960 +$880 +0.76%
Ogden-Clearfield, UT 180 $122,470 +$6,390 +5.50%
Oklahoma City, OK 810 $122,410 +$6,330 +5.45%
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA 490 $109,930 -$6,150 -5.30%
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 650 $121,340 +$5,260 +4.53%
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA 220 $131,810 +$15,730 +13.55%
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL 250 $112,860 -$3,220 -2.77%
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL 180 $99,200 -$16,880 -14.54%
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 3,240 $117,360 +$1,280 +1.10%
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 2,020 $111,840 -$4,240 -3.65%
Pittsburgh, PA 1,550 $99,510 -$16,570 -14.27%
Portland-South Portland, ME 360 $113,050 -$3,030 -2.61%
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA 780 $118,260 +$2,180 +1.88%
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA 310 $131,460 +$15,380 +13.25%
Provo-Orem, UT 190 $93,210 -$22,870 -19.70%
Raleigh, NC 780 $112,640 -$3,440 -2.96%
Reading, PA 240 $107,340 -$8,740 -7.53%
Reno, NV 190 $128,220 +$12,140 +10.46%
Richmond, VA 390 $111,800 -$4,280 -3.69%
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 1,190 $139,230 +$23,150 +19.94%
Roanoke, VA 220 $103,790 -$12,290 -10.59%
Rochester, NY 960 $113,860 -$2,220 -1.91%
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA 820 $139,190 +$23,110 +19.91%
Salem, OR 140 $106,140 -$9,940 -8.56%
Salisbury, MD-DE 180 $115,950 -$130 -0.11%
Salt Lake City, UT 520 $107,140 -$8,940 -7.70%
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 630 $92,330 -$23,750 -20.46%
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA 1,380 $127,280 +$11,200 +9.65%
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 1,430 $143,840 +$27,760 +23.91%
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 510 $151,500 +$35,420 +30.51%
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA 160 $144,110 +$28,030 +24.15%
Savannah, GA 190 $92,820 -$23,260 -20.04%
Scranton--Wilkes-Barre--Hazleton, PA 300 $104,080 -$12,000 -10.34%
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 1,650 $134,020 +$17,940 +15.45%
Shreveport-Bossier City, LA 140 $92,850 -$23,230 -20.01%
Sioux Falls, SD 200 $108,910 -$7,170 -6.18%
Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA 270 $119,390 +$3,310 +2.85%
Springfield, IL 170 $85,520 -$30,560 -26.33%
Springfield, MA-CT 340 $129,540 +$13,460 +11.60%
Springfield, MO 180 $97,290 -$18,790 -16.19%
St. Louis, MO-IL 760 $89,090 -$26,990 -23.25%
Syracuse, NY 480 $116,930 +$850 +0.73%
Tallahassee, FL 180 $127,640 +$11,560 +9.96%
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 1,070 $109,930 -$6,150 -5.30%
Toledo, OH 150 $114,030 -$2,050 -1.77%
Tucson, AZ 220 $117,700 +$1,620 +1.40%
Tulsa, OK 290 $114,630 -$1,450 -1.25%
Urban Honolulu, HI 210 $118,450 +$2,370 +2.04%
Utica-Rome, NY 150 $134,640 +$18,560 +15.99%
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 570 $103,350 -$12,730 -10.97%
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 2,020 $118,120 +$2,040 +1.76%
Wichita, KS 310 $104,390 -$11,690 -10.07%
Wilmington, NC 270 $113,570 -$2,510 -2.16%
Winston-Salem, NC 580 $114,030 -$2,050 -1.77%
Worcester, MA-CT 300 $130,960 +$14,880 +12.82%
York-Hanover, PA 190 $115,260 -$820 -0.71%
U.S. 125,280 $116,080 $0 0.00%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)



HIGHEST PAID PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS


What Are The Highest Paying Workplaces For Physician Assistants?

The highest-paid physician assistants are those involved in the personal care service sector; these PAs earn $144,260 a year, which is 24 percent more than the national average. Other highly paid PA practice settings include outpatient care centers ($128,820 or 11 percent more than the national average), scientific research facilities ($124,400 or 7 percent more than the national average), and employment services ($120,400 or 4 percent more than the national average).

Rank Workplace Average
Annual Salary
VS. National Salary
Number %
1 Personal Care Services $144,260 +$28,180 +24.28%
2 Outpatient Care Centers $128,820 +$12,740 +10.98%
3 Scientific Research and Development Services $124,400 +$8,320 +7.17%
4 Employment Services $120,400 +$4,320 +3.72%
5 Residential Intellectual and
Developmental Disability,
Mental Health, and
Substance Abuse Facilities
$119,970 +$3,890 +3.35%


What Are The Highest Paying Specialties For Physician Assistants?

As noted above, procedural specialties are the highest-paying specialties for physician assistants. The highest-paid physician assistants on average are those that specialize in cardiology; these physician assistants earn $131,780 a year or 14 percent more than the national average. Other highly paid PA specialties include neurosurgery ($129,790 or 12 percent more than the national average), dermatology ($128,120 or 11 percent more than the national average), and pediatric neurosurgery ($128,120 or 10 percent more than the national average).

Rank Specialty Average
Annual Salary
VS. National Salary
Number %
1 Cardiology PA $131,780 +$15,700 +13.53%
2 Neurosurgery PA $129,790 +$13,710 +11.81%
3 Dermatology PA $128,680 +$12,600 +10.85%
4 Pediatric Neurosurgery PA $128,120 +$12,040 +10.37%
5 Thoracic Surgery PA $127,930 +$11,850 +10.21%
6 Cardiothoracic Surgery PA $126,120 +$10,040 +8.65%
7 Vascular Surgery PA $126,010 +$9,930 +8.55%
8 Gastroenterology PA $125,590 +$9,510 +8.19%
9 Radiation Oncology PA $125,160 +$9,080 +7.82%
10 Radiology PA $124,960 +$8,880 +7.65%


What Are The Highest Paying States For Physician Assistants?

The highest paying states for physician assistants include Alaska ($150,430 or 30 percent more than the national average), Connecticut ($146,110 or 26 percent more than the national average), Rhode Island (17 percent more than the national average), and California ($135,180 or 16 percent more than the national average).

Rank State Average
Annual Salary
VS. National Salary
Number %
1 Alaska $150,430 +$34,350 +29.59%
2 Connecticut $146,110 +$30,030 +25.87%
3 Rhode Island $135,800 +$19,720 +16.99%
4 California $135,180 +$19,100 +16.45%
5 Nevada $134,710 +$18,630 +16.05%
6 New Jersey $131,210 +$15,130 +13.03%
7 Washington $129,910 +$13,830 +11.91%
8 Vermont $128,050 +$11,970 +10.31%
9 New York $126,370 +$10,290 +8.86%
10 New Hampshire $124,080 +$8,000 +6.89%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


What Are The Highest Paying Metros For Physician Assistants?

Unsurprisingly, the cities that pay PAs the highest salaries are located in the highest paying states for physician assistants. In some of these cities, PA salaries are considerably higher than the state average.

For example: The highest-paid physician assistants in the U.S. work in Salinas, California. Salinas-based PAs make $168,220 annually, a salary that is 45 percent higher than the national average ($116,080) and 12 percent higher than the average PA salary in Alaska ($150,430), which is the state where PAs are compensated most highly. This doesn’t seem to correlate with comparative costs of living, either: The cost of living in Salinas is actually 11 percent less than the cost of living in California as a whole. It may have more to do with the fact that Salinas is a medically underserved area and PAs, classified as frontline primary care providers, are in very high demand there.

Rank Metro Average
Annual Salary
VS. National Salary
Number %
1 Salinas, CA $168,220 +$52,140 +44.92%
2 Waterbury, CT $165,230 +$49,150 +42.34%
3 Portsmouth, NH-ME $158,020 +$41,940 +36.13%
4 Yuba City, CA $155,830 +$39,750 +34.24%
5 Santa Rosa, CA $153,660 +$37,580 +32.37%
6 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $151,500 +$35,420 +30.51%
7 Anchorage, AK $149,910 +$33,830 +29.14%
8 Yakima, WA $149,900 +$33,820 +29.14%
9 Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI $148,720 +$32,640 +28.12%
10 New Haven, CT $148,520 +$32,440 +27.95%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)



PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT EMPLOYMENT + ANNUAL JOB OPENINGS + JOB OUTLOOK


How Many Physician Assistants Are Currently Employed In The United States?

Nearly two-thirds of the 125,280 physician assistants currently employed in the U.S. are female. Forty-four percent of PAs in the U.S. can be classified as primary care providers: 24 percent specialize in family medicine while 17 percent specialize in internal medicine. Twenty-three percent of PAs specialize in surgical procedures of some kind while 10 percent specialize in some type of emergency medicine.

125,280
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


What States Employ The Highest Number Of Physician Assistants?

New York and California are the states where the largest number of physician assistants are employed. Eleven percent of all American PAs are employed in the Empire State while 9 percent are employed in the Golden State. Rhode Island is one of the states where the fewest numbers of PAs work but demand for PA services is high in the Ocean State as evidenced by the high salaries that Rhode Island physician assistants earn there.

Rank State Employment Rank State Employment
1 New York 13,760 26 Missouri 1,240
2 California 11,490 27 Nebraska 1,150
3 Texas 8,990 28 Utah 1,100
4 Florida 7,310 29 Kentucky 1,070
5 Pennsylvania 7,300 30 Louisiana 1,070
6 North Carolina 6,140 31 Kansas 1,030
7 Georgia 5,080 32 Iowa 940
8 Ohio 4,440 33 West Virginia 920
9 Michigan 4,350 34 Nevada 880
10 Massachusetts 3,650 35 Maine 830
11 Illinois 3,160 36 Idaho 790
12 Colorado 3,080 37 New Mexico 720
13 Maryland 2,930 38 Alabama 680
14 Washington 2,780 39 Montana 650
15 Wisconsin 2,580 40 New Hampshire 620
16 Minnesota 2,570 41 Arkansas 580
17 Arizona 2,510 42 South Dakota 510
18 Virginia 2,490 43 Delaware 440
19 New Jersey 2,350 44 Alaska 430
20 Connecticut 2,310 45 Hawaii 300
21 Tennessee 2,080 46 Mississippi 290
22 Indiana 1,650 47 Vermont 260
23 Oregon 1,550 48 North Dakota 250
24 South Carolina 1,530 49 Wyoming 250
25 Oklahoma 1,510 50 Rhode Island 220
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


How Many Annual Job Openings Are There For Physician Assistants In The United States?

Every year, 12,200 new job openings are created for physician assistants throughout the U.S. Only around one-third of these represent new job openings. The other two-thirds are vacancies left when physician assistants retired, moved, or left their positions for some other reason.

New Jobs Replacement
Jobs
Annual Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
4,010 8,190 12,200
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


What States Have The Highest Annual Job Openings For Physician Assistants?

New York, California, Texas and Florida have the highest number of annual job openings for physician assistants. Many of the states with the highest number of annual job openings for physician assistants are also states with the highest number of ACA enrollees. Florida, California, Texas, North Carolina and Georgia account for 51 percent of all ACA enrollment. After all, the use of physician assistants in primary care is far more cost-effective than the use of primary care physicians, and the ACA is designed to incentivize the cost-effective delivery of healthcare.

Rank State Annual
Job Openings
Rank State Annual
Job Openings
1 New York 1,480 26 Nebraska 120
2 California 1,190 27 Missouri 110
3 Texas 850 28 Arizona 100
4 Florida 710 29 Kentucky 100
5 Pennsylvania 640 30 Iowa 90
6 North Carolina 500 31 Kansas 90
7 Ohio 410 32 Alabama 80
8 Georgia 400 33 New Hampshire 70
9 Colorado 390 34 New Mexico 70
10 Washington 370 35 West Virginia 70
11 Illinois 360 36 Maine 60
12 Massachusetts 360 37 Montana 60
13 Michigan 360 38 Arkansas 50
14 Maryland 340 39 Delaware 50
15 New Jersey 290 40 South Dakota 50
16 Virginia 250 41 Alaska 30
17 Tennessee 240 42 Hawaii 30
18 Connecticut 210 43 North Dakota 30
19 Minnesota 190 44 Rhode Island 30
20 Wisconsin 180 45 Vermont 30
21 Oregon 170 46 Idaho 20
22 Indiana 160 47 Louisiana 20
23 South Carolina 140 48 Nevada 20
24 Oklahoma 130 49 Wyoming 20
25 Utah 130 50 Mississippi N/A
(Source: careeronestop.org)


What Is The Job Outlook For Physician Assistants In The United States?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the PA field will grow by a whopping 31 percent between 2020 and 2030, adding an additional 40,100 jobs. Factors driving this exploding growth include the mounting shortage of primary healthcare providers, the desire for more cost-effective healthcare delivery, and the greying of the Baby Boomer generation.

Employment
in 2020
Projected
Employment in 2030
Employment Growth (2020-2030)
Number %
129,400 169,500 +40,100 +30.99%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


What States Have The Highest Job Outlook For Physician Assistants?

The demand for physician assistants is strong in every one of the 50 states, but it’s particularly strong in Arizona, Colorado, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and New York. PA job openings in these six states are projected to increase more than 40 percent over the next ten years.

Rank State Job Outlook Rank State Job Outlook
1 Arizona +52.56% 26 Pennsylvania +30.93%
2 Colorado +48.33% 27 Illinois +30.18%
3 Tennessee +44.81% 28 Nebraska +29.77%
4 Georgia +43.91% 29 Idaho +28.95%
5 Florida +43.08% 30 North Dakota +28.57%
6 New York +41.53% 31 Montana +28.36%
7 Maryland +39.35% 32 Minnesota +28.22%
8 Nevada +38.89% 33 South Dakota +27.78%
9 Texas +37.30% 34 Ohio +27.56%
10 Oregon +36.75% 35 Hawaii +27.27%
11 Utah +35.71% 36 Wisconsin +25.87%
12 California +34.19% 37 New Mexico +25.68%
13 Indiana +34.16% 38 West Virginia +25.32%
14 Alabama +33.33% 39 Connecticut +23.53%
15 Arkansas +33.33% 40 Kentucky +23.42%
16 Delaware +33.33% 41 Oklahoma +23.23%
17 Iowa +33.33% 42 Maine +22.67%
18 New Hampshire +32.88% 43 Rhode Island +21.43%
19 North Carolina +32.74% 44 Kansas +20.54%
20 Virginia +32.68% 45 Vermont +20.00%
21 South Carolina +32.41% 46 Massachusetts +19.63%
22 New Jersey +32.19% 47 Michigan +18.02%
23 Wyoming +31.82% 48 Louisiana +14.81%
24 Washington +31.49% 49 Mississippi +11.76%
25 Missouri +30.97% 50 Alaska +6.82%
(Source: careeronestop.org)


Summing It Up


How much does a physician assistant make? This article has been a deep dive into the answers to that question. But physician assistant salary in 2022 is only one of several reasons to consider this profession. If you’re interested in medicine but unwilling to commit the next 6 to 10 years of your life to medical school, an internship and a residency, this could be the career path for you. As a physician assistant, you’ll be performing many of the same tasks and procedures a physician performs. True, you won’t be paid as much, and it’s likely you’ll have to practice under the supervision and direction of a physician to some extent. Still, you’ll have job security, the flexibility to choose among many different healthcare specialties and as you’ve learned by reading this article, the salary you earn will be well above average.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT


1. What Is The PA Starting Salary?

The starting physician assistant salary is $36.88 an hour, $6,390 a month, or $76,700 annually.

Hourly$36.88
Monthly$6,390
Annual$76,700


2. How Much Does A PA Make An Hour?

Physician assistants earn $55.81 an hour on average. Though this figure is a useful gauge of payment, it’s not an accurate metric since most physician assistants employed in the U.S. are salaried rather than hourly employees. Salaried employees are exempt from the protections of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

$55.81


3. How Much Does A PA Make A Week?

On average, physician assistants earn $2,232 a week.

$2,232


4. How Much Money Does A PA Make Monthly?

On average, physician assistants earn $9,670 a month.

$9,670


5. Are Physician Assistants Satisfied With Their Salaries?

A study published in the June 2021, issue of The Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants found that 83 percent of physician assistants are satisfied with their jobs. This research indicated that salary was one of the factors contributing to job satisfaction.

6. What Is The Typical Work Schedule For Physician Assistants?

Most PAs work 40 hours a week. Physician assistants affiliated with physicians’ practices and academia work day shifts primarily, but physician assistants employed by hospitals and outpatient care centers may be required to work nights, weekends, and an occasional holiday.

7. In What Workplaces Do Majority Of The Physician Assistants Work?

Fifty-two percent of physician assistants in the U.S. are affiliated with physician practices. Twenty-four percent are employed by hospitals and medical centers while 8 percent work for outpatient care centers.

Rank Workplace Employment
1 Offices of Physicians 67,870
2 General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 30,860
3 Outpatient Care Centers 10,190
4 Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 4,930
5 Offices of Other Health Practitioners 2,070


8. Is It Hard To Become A Physician Assistant?

Becoming a physician assistant is difficult, but it is less difficult than becoming a physician. In order to become a PA, you must complete a four-year undergraduate degree and then pursue an accredited physician assistant master’s degree program. Most PA programs take approximately 25 months to finish. Following your graduation from this program, you’ll be expected to complete a one-year clinical rotation. Then you’ll need to pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination and pursue licensure in the state in which you hope to work.

9. Is Physician Assistant A Stressful Job?

Physician assistant jobs can be stressful. Research published in December 2021, issue of The Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants found that more than one-third of all employed PAs meet the criteria for burnout.

10. Is Physician Assistant A Good Career?

The physician assistant field is an excellent career choice. U.S. News & World Report has dubbed it the second-best job in the healthcare realm.

11. What State Has The Highest Demand For Physician Assistants?

Arizona has the highest demand for physician assistants. The demand for PAs in the Grand Canyon State is projected to grow by more than 50 percent within the next few years. This is likely connected to the rapid expansion of that portion of Arizona’s population that’s over the age of 65: Between 2010 and 2020, the Grand Canyon State’s elderly population rose by 48 percent. PAs provide cost-effective primary care for senior citizens.

Arizona
+52.56%


12. What State Has The Highest Job Openings For Physician Assistants?

At present, the largest number of PA employment opportunities can be found in New York. The Empire State has 1,480 open positions for physician assistants.

New York
1,480


13. What State Has The Highest Paid Physician Assistants?

PAs make their highest salaries in Alaska where they can expect to earn $72.32 an hour, $12,540 a month, or $150,430 a year on average.

Alaska
Hourly$72.32
Monthly$12,540
Annual$150,430


14. What City Has The Highest Paid Physician Assistants?

In Salinas, California, PAs make $80.88 an hour, $14,020 a month, or $168,220 a year. This is the highest pay rate for PAs out of all the cities in the U.S.

Salinas, CA
Hourly$80.88
Monthly$14,020
Annual$168,220


15. How Much Does A Travelling Physician Assistant Make?

Traveling physician assistants earn $61.39 an hour, $2,456 a week, $10,640 a month, or $127,690 annually on average.

Hourly$61.39
Weekly $2,456
Monthly$10,640
Annual$127,690


16. How Has Covid Impacted The Salaries For Physician Assistants?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many PAs reported salary reductions, but a significant number reported no changes in their salaries while a few actually reported salary increases.

17. What Is The Highest Paid Physician Assistant Specialty?

Cardiology is the highest-paying PA specialty. Physician assistants who specialize in cardiology earn $63.36 an hour, $10,980 a month, or $131,780 a year.

Cardiology PA
Hourly$63.36
Monthly$10,980
Annual$131,780


18. How Much Money Does A Surgical Physician Assistant Make An Hour?

The average hourly pay rate for surgical physician assistants is $60.08.

$60.08


19. How Much Does A Dermatology PA Make Per Hour?

The average hourly pay rate for dermatology physician assistants is $61.87.

$61.87


20. Can A Physician Assistant Make $200,000?

It’s very possible to earn $200,000 a year as a physician assistant. Factors that influence PA salary include specialty, the number of years you’re employed and the location where you’re employed.

PAs who specialize in cardiology, for example, earn a physician assistant salary that is 14 percent higher than average. And the longer you work as a PA, the better your salary prospects will be: PAs with 20 or more years of experience typically earn salaries that are 40 percent more than average. Thus, the salaries of PAs in Alaska and Connecticut who have two decades or more of experience easily top $200,000 annually.

21. Can You Practice As A Physician Assistant Without Certification?

No. In order to be licensed so that you can practice as a physician assistant, you must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination.

22. Can You Move Up As A Physician Assistant?

Career advancement for physician assistants often involves going to medical school. Some medical schools offer accelerated MD programs for students who’ve already completed a physician assistant degree program. For PAs who don’t want to pursue further education, the best advancement opportunities involve moving into management positions in the physician practices or medical centers at which they work.

23. Do Physician Assistants Make More Money Than A Registered Nurse?

Physician assistants earn salaries that are 45 percent higher than registered nurse salaries on average.

PA Average
Annual Salary
RN Average
Annual Salary
Difference
Number %
$116,080 $80,010 +$36,070 +45.08%


24. Do Physician Assistants Make More Money Than A Nurse Practitioner?

Physician assistants earn salaries that are around 1 percent higher than nurse practitioner salaries on average.

PA Average
Annual Salary
RN Average
Annual Salary
Difference
Number %
$116,080 $114,510 +$1,570+1.37%


25. Can Physician Assistants Work In Telemedicine?

According to the American Academy of PAs, an increasing number of physician assistants are integrating telemedicine into their healthcare practice.

26. How Much Do Telehealth Physician Assistants Make?

Telemedicine physician assistants earn $58.35 an hour, $10,110 a month or $121,360 annually.

Hourly$58.35
Monthly$10,110
Annual$121,360


27. Can A Physician Assistant Work As An Independent Contractor?

Yes, physician assistants can work as independent contractors. Typically, this involves working through a staffing agency or at a retail outpatient care center. Remember, however, that even when they are working as independent contractors, PAs can only work with some type of physician supervision.