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Negotiating for a Raise? Physician Assistant Salaries Continue to Rise

Good news for all the physician assistants out there. According to the a survey held by The Clinical Advisor called the 2014 National Salary Survey, yearly take-home pay for PAs is on the up-and-up. This survey agrees with past studies showing that physician assistants, and particularly those in the dermatology profession, continue to enjoy high job satisfaction and quality pay and benefits.

Earlier this year 1,232 physician assistants and 3,635 nurse practitioners took part in the survey. The industry snapshot surveyed participants by asking each to indicate their current annual salaries (base pay plus any bonuses) in increments of $5,000. For example, a person making $72,500 would fall into the “$71,000-$75,000” category. Salaries for all respondents in that group were then converted to the midpoint (for example, $73,000). At the lowest and highest salary ranges, surveyors offered two broader choices: “$20,000 or less” and “$150,000 or more”. However, approximately 90% of each group earns an annual salary between $20,001 and $149,999 per year.

Trends and statistics for physician assistants:

Average Salary by Practice Area: The average salary across all PA practices is $100,497.

  • Family Medicine          $93,872
  • Emergency medicine    $113,393
  • Orthopedic surgery       $108,878
  • Urgent care                  $103,865
  • Cardiology                   $102,000

Average Salary by Experience Level:

  • Less than 5 years         $94,582
  • 6-10 years                    $97,570
  • 11-15 years                  $106,125
  • 16-20 year                    $103,409
  • More than 20 years       $105,649

Average Salary by Geographic Region: PAs in the West reported having earned the highest salaries, but the variation in salary across geographic regions is minimal.

  • West                           $101,883
  • Midwest                       $100,073
  • Northeast                     $99,389
  • South                          $100,963

Average Salary by Practice Setting: Hospital practice delivers the highest salaries.                       

  • Hospital                        $108,058
  • Clinic (stand alone)        $96,447
  • Clinic (hospital)              $101,952
  • Office practice               $96,179
  • Walk-in/ambulatory         $102,000

Average Salary based on Urban, Suburban, Rural Location: Salary discrepancies across urban, suburban, and rural lines amounted to less than $6,000, though PAs in urban settings earn the highest.

  • Urban                            $102,437
  • Suburban                       $100,601
  • Rural                             $ 96,280

Increase in salary this past year? About half of respondents reported making more money than they did last year.

  • More                              50.5%
  • Less                              13.7%
  • Same                             35.8%                      

Expecting increase in salary in coming year? More than half of PAs expect to earn more money next year.

  • More                               51%
  • Less                               4.9%
  • Same                             44.1%

Average Salary based on Gender:

  • Women                           $96,585
  • Men                                $108,228


Sources: 1, 2, 3,

Image: 401 (k) 2013


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