Forbes reported that the physician assistant salary in the United States reached $100,000 at the beginning of 2016. While an additional authority source, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, reveals physician assistant salary 2015 data, which shows that these professionals earn about $98,180 annually and $47.20 by the hour. Even though these numbers are pretty close to what physician assistants can expect for their wage, there are still numerous details that must be considered.
The median salary for a physician assistant in Canada reaches C$74,085 ($56,304), while in Australia goes up to around AU$80,000 ($61,600). In the UK, a physician assistant earns annually about £27,812 ($34,487). However, in Switzerland, the median pay for this profession is CHF58,958 ($58,369) and in Norway around NOK300,000 ($36,000).
Physician Assistant Salary Influencers
The physician assistant salary falls under the healthcare category, meaning that all individuals with this position work in the same industry. However, the physician’s assistant salary varies according to their working environment. More than half of physician assistants (57%) work in the offices of physicians. This sub-industry offers approximately $96,430 per year. 22% work in state, local and private hospitals, where they earn about $101,500 annually.
Moreover, 7% are employed in outpatient care centers, where they offer the highest salaries of all sub-industries. Here, the median physician assistant salary is $106,010. Only 3% of physicians work for the government or in state local and private educational services each. The latter pays them with $95,000 a year, while the government offers $91,260 annually.
In addition to this, analyzing the physician assistant salary by specialty also shows some visible differences. Here are a few examples of different types of physician assistants and their salary range or median wage:
- Orthopedic physician assistant salary – $57,800 – $86,700
- Pediatric physician assistant salary – $64,600 – $96,900
- Radiology physician assistant salary – $68,600
- Surgical physician assistant salary – $115,000
- Dermatology physician assistant salary – $130,000
- Urgent care physician assistant salary – $130,000
2. Geographic Area
|Physician Assistant Salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||Switzerland||Norway|
Physician Assistant Salary in the US
Location is essential for determining an accurate physician assistant mean salary. It’s so important, in fact, that it can mean a $73,000 difference from one state to the other. In this regard, Nevada is the top-paying state for physician assistants, with a salary of $124,180 a year.
There are a few other states that have physician assistant salaries that exceed $110k a year. So, after Nevada, these 5 states have the highest estimates in the country:
- Rhode Island median salary for physician assistant – $114,650
- Mean salary of a physician assistant in New Hampshire – $113,070
- North Dakota salary physician assistant earns – $111,940
- Physician assistants salary in Connecticut – $111,200
- Vermont salary of physician assistant – $111,050
Moreover, some states are frequently searched for when it comes to the wage of physician assistants. The main reason is that they offer the most job openings for these employees. So, a few examples of state with high employment rates and their salaries are:
- Physician assistant salary California – $107,810
- Median physician assistant salary Ohio – $104,920
- Typical physician assistant salary NYC – $102,020
- Median physician assistant salary Florida – $101,480
- Physician assistant salary Texas – $99,580
Nonetheless, the negative should always be considered as well. These are the top 5 lowest paying states for physician assistants:
- Tennessee physician assistant salary – $86,920
- Mean salary for a physician assistant in South Carolina – $86,670
- Louisiana assistant physician salary – $86,190
- Salary for a physician assistant in Arkansas – $72,880
- Mississippi salary for physicians assistant – $51,040
Physician Assistant Salary by State
|State||Annual mean wage ($)|
|District of Columbia||99,010|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Physician Assistant Salary in Canada
According to Payscale, the annual median pay for a physician assistant is around C$74,085, while the hourly pay is C$20. Also, depending on experience the beginner’s salary is lower than an experienced physician assistant’s salary, therefore the annual pay with bonuses can vary between C$31,929 and C$97,238. People in this profession generally do not have more than 20 years’ experience.
Physician Assistant Salary in the UK
A physician assistant in the UK earns a median salary of £27,812 per year. Most people move on to other jobs if they have more than 10 years’ experience in this career. Also, the totally pay for this profession usually ranges between £16,286 – £35,745.
Physician Assistant Salary in Australia
In Australia, the hourly pay for this profession is about AU$38.46, so the annual pay can go up to AU$80,000.
Physician Assistant Salary in Switzerland
The hourly pay for a physician assistant in Switzerland is about CHF28.34, therefore around CHF58,958 per year.
Physician Assistant Salary in Norway
Salary in Norway goes up to NOK300,000 per year, with an hourly pay of NOK144.230.
Next up for determining a physician assistant salary is experience. Even though Payscale data doesn’t reveal any huge leaps from one career stage to another, there are still some noticeable differences. For example, the physician assistant starting salary is $85,000 a year, until you gain 5 years of experience.
From that point and until you reach 10 years in the industry, you get $96,000 annually. After that, professionals with 10 to 20 years in the field earn $100,000 yearly. Lastly, physician assistants in their late career receive $102,000 a year. The reason why the last transition is so small is that physician assistants rarely remain in this position for more than 20 years.
As we mentioned in the Industry section, almost all physician assistants work in the offices of physicians. However, other work environments may be:
- Outpatient care centers
- Educational services
As far as working hours are in discussion, the majority of physician assistants work full time. Just about 1 in every 5 have a part time working schedule. Also, those who work in hospitals may have to work overtime, possible on holidays, weekends or nights.
Bonuses and Benefit Packages
Notably, almost all physician assistants have health benefits. According to Payscale, 81% of physician assistants have medical benefits. Furthermore, 60% have dental insurance and 45% receive vision coverage. In fact, just 17% don’t get any health benefits.
Physician assistants can also get bonuses, profit sharing, and commissions. The aforementioned source states that bonuses can be up to $13,566 a year, while profit sharing can lead to an additional $1,005 – $15,310 annually. Physician assistants can also have commissions that total up to $56,288 yearly.
On another note, it is expected that physician assistants will experience a huge increase in demand on the job market in the 2013-2024 time frame. The percent change in employment projected for this occupation is 30%, more than 4 times greater than the national median for all professions. Not to mention that it is also more than half the average for health diagnosing and treating practitioners in general.
Finally, the physician assistant salary, job outlook, and health benefits are all reasons for candidates to get excited about this career. There will be a continuous demand for physician assistants in the following years, and the salary you get might be a six-figure one. Lastly, to make the best professional decision for your career, do some additional research on possible employers and locations and their salaries and employment rates.