The results of the annual AAPA Salary Survey have been released, and they offer a stark look at pay disparities between male and female physician assistants.
The survey, which obtained responses from more than 8,000 PAs, found that full-time female PAs were, on average, being paid $13,380 less than their male counterparts, and that they were less likely to receive bonuses than male PAs—a rate of 40% for women and 53.4% for men. Even when taking into account other factors that could be expected to affect compensation, the survey found a 9% difference in pay between female and male PAs—or, to put it bluntly, female PAs earn $.91 to every dollar earned by male PAs.
The AAPA attributes this, in part, to more males entering the 52-year-old PA profession earlier than females, thus giving them more experience and seniority, which the survey found to result in higher compensation. However, the AAPA also notes, “The total compensation discrepancy begins almost immediately upon entering the profession—there is a disparity between male and female PAs in the first years of practicing as PAs. This difference may be exacerbated as PAs progress through their careers, since increases in pay are often based on increasing the previous salary by a certain amount, and new employers often base a PA’s starting pay in part on their previous salary. A compensation disparity that begins on a PA’s first day on the job could have lifelong implications for the PA.”
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