Being a Physician Assistant (PA) is rewarding for those passionate about treating patients and do not mind collaborating with other medical experts. This career requires less schooling, yet it offers a competitive salary. However, just like any other career, it is prudent for those who want to join this field to get an insider guide to their wages. The article will discuss the factors that impact the PA’s salaries and offer an insider guide by state.
Experience Can Determine the Salary
Like most careers, a PA’s salary can vary depending on their experience. An entry-level professional will typically earn less compared to those with experience. Generally, the permanently employed physician assistant’s salary increases at an average of 2% annually; in some cases, it might grow to 6%. So, those starting can be sure their salaries will gradually increase.
Location Has Influence
The state that the PA chooses to work in will impact their salaries. That’s because areas with a higher cost of living will offer higher compensation to cover the increased expenses. Those working in regions with lower expenses will likely get lower salaries for the same roles. For this reason, physician assistants are advised to check PA salaries by state to understand the likely compensation they will get to make sound decisions. To give them a rough idea of how wages vary from state to state. Here are the top five highest annual mean salaries for PAs in 2022: Alaska ($140,000), California (131,000), Hawaii (130,000), Washington (126,000), and Connecticut (121,000). Therefore, PAs can consider these states for higher rates.
Specialization Offers Additional Benefits
It is one thing to be a general PA and another to specialize in a specific area of medicine. Therefore, those looking to increase their earning potential should pursue further certification. However, it is important to note that a physician assistant must complete continued medical education hours and have the relevant experience before undertaking any specialty exam. On the same note, the rate of salary increase they will get will depend on the specialization that they have done.
Continued Education Gives PAs an Advantage
Most PAs will strive to obtain certification to gain credibility in their field and gain a competitive advantage. However, this should not be the resting point. One of the proven ways to increase earnings is by pursuing further education. Continuing education helps the experts stay current with evolving medical practices. At the same time, employers typically value having PAs who invest in their professional journey. Therefore, employers will be willing to offer them higher compensation to attract and retain them.
HealthCare Facility Matters
It is also important for PAs to note that the healthcare facilities they choose to work with will impact their salary and benefits. For instance, the PAs that work in hospitals, mainly the surgical departments or critical care units, are likely to earn more than those in the outpatient units. This is because of the complexity of the patients they handle and the high volume of patients that need their attention. These departments also need advanced skills and experience to help treat critically ill patients.
Getting an insider guide to a PA’s salary could help those considering this career adjust their expectations. This information will help them make informed career decisions, give them negotiating power, and keep them updated with the market trends. It will also make it easy for them to navigate their careers effectively.