Physician Assistant Salary, Career and Job Outlook

The physician assistant field is growing faster than average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Physician assistant job outlook is projected to increase 31% from 2020 to 2030, employing an estimated 169,500 people by 2030.

This is due to population growth, aging populations (especially the large Baby Boom generation), and an increase in patients with chronic conditions. Since physician assistants can be educated in less time than medical doctors, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an increased demand for PAs.

What Do Physician Assistants Do?

PAs perform many of the same duties as doctors, but they must work under the supervision of a physician. This doesn’t mean they must be constantly working with a doctor, though. In fact, PAs frequently see patients by themselves and make many decisions regarding patients’ care.

According to the American Academy of PAs, a physician assistant is often a primary care provider and may perform important tasks such as:

  • Examining patients
  • Diagnosing conditions
  • Ordering medical tests
  • Prescribing medication
  • Creating treatment plans

PAs can also specialize in a particular field of medicine like psychiatry, dermatology, pediatrics, or primary care.

Where Do Physician Assistants Work?

The American Academy of PAs (AAPA) reports that there are PAs in every medical setting. If you choose to become a physician assistant, you will likely be able to work in the environment and field of your choice.

Here is an overview of where physician assistants typically work:

 

SETTING PERCENTAGE OF PAs
Offices of physicians 53%
Hospitals, state, local, and private 26%
Outpatient care centers 8%
Educational services, state, local, and private 5%
Employment services 1%

 

How Much Do Physician Assistants Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a physician assistant was $115,390 in 2020 (or about $55.48 per hour). Actual salaries vary by setting, geographic area, specialty, and other factors.

Salary by Setting

SETTING MEDIAN ANNUAL WAGE
Offices of physicians $113,460
Hospitals, state, local, and private $118,600
Outpatient care centers $124,610
Educational services, state, local, and private $118,600
Employment services $115,780

Salary by State

STATE AVERAGE SALARY
Alabama $88,500
Alaska $150,430
Arizona $113,850
Arkansas $101,740
California $135,110
Colorado $110,370
Connecticut $146,110
Delaware $112,020
District of Columbia $114,330
Florida $108,820
Georgia $104,230
Hawaii $115,710
Idaho $117,960
Illinois $110,190
Indiana $102,030
Iowa $117,770
Kansas $109,640
Kentucky $79,390
Louisiana $93,770
Maine $117,180
Maryland $14,970
Massachusetts $117,830
Michigan $111,050
Minnesota $122,280
Mississippi $85,380
Missouri $94,020
Montana $117,100
Nebraska $113,240
Nevada $134,710
New Hampshire $124,080
New Jersey $131,210
New Mexico $123,620
New York $126,370
North Carolina $112,510
North Dakota $119,270
Ohio $107,600
Oklahoma $118,130
Oregon $119,050
Pennsylvania $107,520
Rhode Island $135,800
South Carolina $103,150
South Dakota $109,290
Tennessee $101,640
Texas $112,200
Utah $108,620
Vermont $128,050
Virginia $108,040
Washington $129,910
West Virginia $113,770
Wisconsin $113,830
Wyoming $117,660
AVERAGE SALARY