PA Salaries Increase, Top $100k on Average

The average annual PA salary increased nearly 3%, compared to the previous year, with a majority of PAs now earning a base salary of more than $100,000.

A new report from the AAPA released this month finds that the average annual physician assistant salary increased 2.9% compared to the previous year, with full time, salaried PAs (78.7% of the profession) now making, on average, over $100,000 annually. The report also found that PAs who are employed in a hospital setting are earning higher salaries, securing more leadership positions, and receiving better benefits than their counterparts employed by physician practices.

The 2018 AAPA Salary Report, which collected responses from 9,140 PAs, finds that while both hospital-based PAs and those employed by physician practices enjoy healthy salaries, leadership opportunities, and benefits, those in a hospital setting are earning more (base salaries of $107,000 versus $101,000 on average in 2017), hold more formal leadership positions (57.5% versus 28.2%), and typically receive more paid time off (20.0 versus 17.8 days of general PTO, 8.4 versus 5.0 days of sick PTO) than those based in physician practices. These two types of PAs account for 81% of all PAs, with physician practice-based PAs making up the largest group of the profession (46.1% of PAs), and hospital-based PAs trailing closely behind as the second largest group (34.9% of PAs).

As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the PA profession is projected to increase 37% from 2016 to 2026, which is well above the average for all occupations. These findings by the BLS, as well as the new AAPA report, indicate that as more and more barriers to PA practice are removed and the demand for non-physician providers grows, PAs can likely expect their employment opportunities, as well as their salaries, to continue to increase.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.