The typical physician assistant salary runs in the range of $50,000 to $80,000 with some being slightly higher and others are slightly lower. While PA’s do much of the same work as a licensed physician, their position is determined by the physician that supervises their activities. A good physician assistant can be in very high demand in the large practices that many medical groups have today. Routine procedures, procedure follow ups and triage are all excellent areas that physician assistants free up a doctor’s time for more important tasks. Becoming a physician assistant is a great way to work in the medical field and still have someone else work with you in an imperfect science.
Determining what you would like to specialize in as a PA can make a huge difference in the amount of money you will make. Becoming a family practice specialist will not pay as much as will working as an emergency room PA. While becoming certified as a general surgery assistant will pay additional money, becoming certified in transplant surgical techniques will increase your earnings even more. If you choose to develop the proper skills you can specialize in any field of medicine that you choose and work almost anywhere and determine your own physician assistant salary.
While specialization in a certain field will make a difference in your physician assistant salary, where you decide you want to work will also make a huge difference. The military was the first area where Physician Assistants first became popular as it allowed better medical treatment for soldiers in the field. As the practice moved into the civilian world the first places they were used widely was in rural areas as doctors did not want to practice in areas where they would not make as much money. While the need for this medical specialist in rural areas continues to this day, salaries for rural areas still do not meet the financial benefits of working in a large metropolitan area. Deciding on a geographic region will have a huge impact on your potential earnings.
Currently you are looking at a median salary of $85,710 per year according to the 2008 Census Report. A PA with moderate experience in full clinical practice can expect to achieve this type of income. Depending on the area of specialization, geographic location and size of practice that one chooses a first year graduate can expect to make approximately $75,000 per year. There are a number of benefits that are usually included as well as most professional fees are usually paid for by the employing practice or entity.
There is a strong outlook for physician’s assistants in the future. With all the changes coming in medical care, the demand for a trained PA will continue to offer good job opportunities. There will continue to be jobs available in government facilities, private hospitals and private practices around the country and around the world. The physician assistant salary will continue to be determined by the need of the agency, specialization, training and geographic location of where the job is located.