Physician Assistant Salary

Okay, hey, what’s up everybody – this is Paul from Inside PA Training. If you’re not familiar with me, I’m a PA – a physician assistant, And not only do I work in the field, I also write about it, including how you can become a PA and what
it’s like to work as a PA. to practice. I’m going to talk to you
today a little bit about physician assistant salary. because it’s something we get asked about a lot, and it’s understandable. People know that it’s a big commitment to join this field and they want to know, hey, financially, if I
do this, what’s in if for me? Well, my numbers for you come from two professional clinical journals: Advanceweb for NPs and PAs, and Clinical Advisor. ask them: “What kind of money are you making?
What kind of work are you doing?” Well in 2012, the most recent year available, what they learned was: the average full-time salary for a physician assistant was, drum roll please…$102, 165. That’s like $55/hour. That’s like $55/hour. I mean, I think we can all agree that’s a pretty sweet number. It actually is an even more impressive number when you take into account that that is a $7300 increase over just the previous year. Why such a big increase? Well, as you know, our economy has been struggling, and in 2011 things were worse. PAs actually reported something unusual: they reported on average, giving back about $2000 a year in salary, so in 2012, about $2000 a year in salary, so in 2012, they made that back, but they MORE than made it back – I mean, $7300 is a huge jump. I have to think a lot of that has to do with the fact that not only is the economy on the mend, but also but also, health care as an industry is booming. The new health care reform is coming, and although no one’s sure exactly what it’s going to look like, everyone does seem to agree that there will be more people with coverage. More people with coverage means more people who need care, hence, greater demand for PAs, and any career in demand tends to see salaries rise. Now, there were some differences in terms of gender. Men who were PAs reported making about $107,000 a year women, about %97,000 a year, a difference of 10%. That may seem like a lot, and it is, but in 2011, the prior year, the difference had been 15%, so women are catching up, and indeed, women in this year’s survey were the fastest growing group in terms of salary. Now people also ask us, “How does that number for salary for PAs compare to that of nurse practitioners?” NPs and PAs do very similar work, shouldn’t they be paid about the same? Well, the short answer is no. Historically, in recent years, PAs have outperformed nurse practitioners in terms of salary, And 2012 was no different. That $102, 165 number is about $9300 greater than the average reported income for nurse practitioners in the same survey. So it’s a pretty big difference. Why? Again, it has to do mostly with gender. The nurse practitioner field is overwhelmingly female about 91% women and 9% men, and there’s a
little more balance in the PA profession which is about 57% women and 43% men. And having more men in the field increases the salary as a whole, like it or not. Now some really exciting numbers… the one I think is the most exciting
is: What does a new PA make? What do you make when you’re right out of school? Well, apparently you make about $91,500. Wow. That is a huge sum of money. When I was in my mid 20’s, if I had that kind
of money, I don’t know what I would have done. I’d probably be dead today! I mean, imagine:
you have student loans to pay off, You’ve been in school for about 2 years, the bill collectors are knocking on the door, and finally you have some money. and some significant money to pay that with
– it makes it a lot easier. So, I think that’s really one of the exciting pluses of this field. Now, how about geography? There was one finding I thought was kind of interesting, and you’ll know why in just a second. PAs in the North, the East and the South all made about the same, about $96000 a year, PAs in the Western states reported making on average about $104,000 a year. That’s a pretty big difference. I can’t totally account for this other than to possibly say that the PA profession is a little more established on the East coast and there may be a greater supply – it may be a supply/demand issue. On the West coast, it’s a little newer.
A lot of people don’t quite know what PAs are yet out here. A lot do, but a lot don’t as well. Now, I’m from California, I practice here, I went to UC Davis School of Medicine’s PA program, so you won’t
see me crying over that number, but I definitely thought it was interesting. Now, one of the questions that they asked in their survey was, “The salary that you made this year, was it more, less, or the same compared to last year?” 85% reported that it was the same or more
than they had made in the previous year. Even more exciting was when they asked them, “What about next year?” Do you expect to make more, less, or the same? Fully 95% of the respondents said they expected to make even more money next year. So I think you can see from these numbers that there’s some definite optimism within the field in terms of salary. It would be easy for you to walk away from this video saying, be any room for me, but I wouldn’t count on it. I remain pretty bullish about PA careers, The field as a whole is in a real shortage. We can’t seem to produce PAs fast enough, even with new programs being created, and faster rates of training for PAs. This shortage is projected to last at least another 20 years. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics is even projecting a 30% increase in the PA workforce between 2010 and 2020. And that’s dramatic – that’s twice as fast as the average profession. So I think you can see from this that not only
is it a good time to be a PA, It’s going to be a good time to be
a PA for a long while to come. So my message to you is simple: if
this is a field that interests you, it’s not too late. Do your homework and learn about it. It’s a terrific profession Now, if you have questions about the field, you
want to know what it’s like to practice as a PA, you want to know what they do, how you become one, please stop by And what they do every year is they survey their members and You know, hey, everyone’s going to go become a PA now and there won’t


  1. How long has PA salary been higher than NP salary? Seems like they've been around longer, so I wouldn't have expected them to make less.

  2. It's done both ways. I'm currently hourly. At my work when you've been there a couple years, they usually make you salary. It just depends.

  3. Highest: radiology, dermatology, cosmetic surgery, and (surprisingly) pediatrics.
    Lowest: women's health, oncology, schools (elementary/community college).

  4. Get very clear on what the schools that interest you are looking for in terms of health care experience. Then go out there and get that experience. Then write an essay that shows what you have to offer from your previous experiences – you have a lot more than the 20-somethings, but you need to help them see it.

  5. In order to be in PA school what would you recommend getting your undergraduate degree in? Do you think it would be a good idea to get your degree in biology or nursing.

  6. Hey Paul, this is Aaron (lunch @ Taco Bravo in Willits a few years ago). I thought I'd let you know I started the Stanford PA program 2 months ago. I love to see your continued enthusiasm for the profession.

  7. Hi. I just watched this video. I have a Bachelors degree in Psychology. I currently work as a janitor making about $20k a year with no benefits. My life is going nowhere. I'm 33 now. I'm interested in becoming a PA. When I graduated from college 5 years ago, my GPA was a 2.3. I've never worked in a medical profession. I really want to change careers. I'm afraid my GPA and lack of work experience will hinder me. I'll redeem myself anyway I can to become a PA. Any advice? Thanks.

  8. Nice video.. however, I wonder w/the avg salary you gave … that doesn't narrow down to specialties – so what's the avg for Primary Care PA salary?

  9. Glad I found this vid so I can find the website. Applied last year before my bachelor degree was finished.. got one interview. Applying this year with my bachelor degree finished, 2.5 years of home health care and now 4 months as a CNA at a nursing home. Hoping to get in.

  10. Haha Paul you forgot to insert the graphics! Great video though, thanks so much for sharing. I've been following your site for a while and I love the info you're providing for prospective PAs

  11. Hi Paul,

    Amazing video. Very informative, I think I found my calling in life. The one thing you didn't mention, though, was the time, on average, it takes to get a job after graduation. Can you please share this statistic? Thanks Paul.

  12. Hey paul,
    Do you know if there is a market for traveling PAs? Both in the US n internationally. Also what do you think there will be a market for pediatric PA off any specialty? I would love tho work thanks! And love your site!!
    -Jasmine Pre-PA

  13. Thank you so much for this video! I am actually studying at UC Davis right now as an undergrad and looking into PA school? What is the best way to get in touch with PA's to shadow?

  14. Are these salaries that you're talking about before or after taxes? Because if a PA makes about $100,000 a year, they're actually earning about 75-80k because of taxes right? Which makes it difficult to pay back loans when you have a family and a mortgage and stuff like that right?


  15. Hello paul im in school right now for a bs in health science can this degree get me into a PA program

  16. I see lots of gender gap questions and I would like to point out that the field isn't sexist it actually has a lot to do with decisions couples consciously make, for instance more couples choose to live where the husband finds the best job, more couples choose to have a new mother take time off from work after having a baby and many couples choose to have the mother cut back on her hours so she can be there more for her kids. so like most fields you find men accumulating more experience in a shorter time as well as on average working more hours a week. Every couple who wants to bring kids into the world has their own priorities and often times a women's earning potential is sacrificed to support their family and that's one of life's big  tradeoffs that comes down to a personal decision

  17. Fuck the uni-brow! LOL Thanks for the insightful information Paul Kubin!  What do you think of PA schools who have the accreditation status of "Accreditation-Provisional" like Charles D. University? What are my rights and benefits if I do go to such a provisionally approved school PA program? Can I get licensed as PA after graduating from such a provisionally approved PA program?  How long does a "Accreditation-Provisional" PA take to get to a "Full-Accreditation" status ( I know that it may depend on the school etc.)?

  18. Very well done video! I'm interested in the P.A. program, i would like more information and I will subscribe to your feeds.

  19. Im majoring in chemistry as an undergrad. do you think that is a good major for PA? . Im interested in this career and also want to know wether you would ever consider going to med school ? thank you

  20. I'm only 16 right now but after high school I want to go to school to become a PA but do you think I will regret becoming a MD. My main concern is will I live comfortably on a PA salary? If you could respond it would be greatly appreciated.

  21. Hi paul ! I have a couple questions that i'd like to ask you I don't know if its okay to just leave them here.

  22. Good job Mr.Kubin! Peace! Omar " Dr.O the PA Pro " Abdul-Malik DHEd, MPAS, PA-C 🤓

  23. Sure wished I saw your video years ago..Sigh, well almost done with my bachelors and will be ready to apply to Pa school next year ☺️

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