2019 PA Salary and Compensation
In 2019, the median annual salary for PAs working full-time in the United States, independent of years of experience is $104,000 - $110,567 per year.
The median salary for recently certified, new-graduate, male and female PAs is $95.000 per year.
PAs who receive an hourly wage, rather than an annual salary, earn an average of $60.00 per hour.
PAs working in emergency medicine and surgical subspecialties continue to make the most money. While PAs in primary care are among the lowest paid in our profession.
Most (79.4%) of PAs are paid an annual (versus an hourly) salary. PAs who work in emergency medicine, urgent care, or are independent contractors are more likely to receive an hourly wage.
Most PAs Receive Additional Non-Salary Benefits:
In addition to their base salary, most PAs receive additional non-salary benefits:
- Half of full-time clinically practicing PAs receive a bonus of $6,000 or more with the average bonus being $6,118. Sadly, the average bonus for a female PA is $3,000 less than their male counterparts.
- Almost all (87%) of PAs receive some professional development compensation from their primary employer. These include DEA license reimbursement, CME expense coverage, state license fees, etc. etc.
- Most full-time PAs continue to have individual health, dental and liability insurance included as a covered benefit.
- The majority of employers match between 3-7% of 401K contributions.
PA salaries and the buying power of those salaries vary significantly by region. While PAs in California have the highest median salary of $118,000, PAs in Kentucky, Iowa, and Mississippi have some of the highest cost-adjusted median wages in the nation.
What is the Best PA Salary Report?
There are multiple organizations that report the salary of a PA; however, each PA salary report varies with how the data is gathered and what salary data is included.
The NCCPA Statistical Report and AAPA salary reports combine a decent sample size (the 2019 NCCPA report wins by including 117,280 of 131,152 certified PAs) and comprehensive data (the AAPA report includes salary by region, specialty, benefits, etc.) and are probably the most reliable.
The median pay for PAs according to five of the most reliable 2019 PA salary reports is as follows:
- AAPA Salary Report: ($107,500) 2018 ($105,000)
- NCCPA Statistical Report: ($110,567)
- The Bureau of Labor and Statistics Occupational Outlook ($108,610)
- Melnic PA Salary Report ($104,000) 10 years of experience ($152,565)
- ZipRecruiter PA Salary Report: ($106,391)
Years of experience also matters with salary peaking for PAs with 15-19 years of experience. Those in this group can make up to $30,000 more per year than their new-grad counterparts.
According to NCCPA data, 68% of new graduate students expect starting salaries in the $80,000 to $100,000 range while 22.0% of recently certified PAs who have not yet accepted a position, indicate that the minimum salary they would accept for their first position would be over $100,000. For recently Certified PAs who have accepted a position, 35.0% are earning over $100,000.
PA salaries on average have shown a 15.7% increase over the last six years which is about 2.61% increase per year which means PA salaries have been beating the current US inflation rate of 1.8%.
Physician Assistant Earnings by Part-time and Full-time Status
|Earnings||10th percentile||25th percentile||50th percentile||75th percentile||90th percentile|
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Included in the AAPA annual report are:
- Median Base Salary and Bonus From Primary Employer by Work Setting and Years of Experience
- The proportion of Professional Expenses Paid such as DEA, NCCPA fees, AAPA membership, and CME expenses
- Insurance Benefits Paid for by Primary Employer
- Retirement Benefits Provided by Primary Employer
- Paid Days Off
- PA Call Status
- Hours per Month PAs Took Call
- PA Participation in Profit-Sharing Plans
- Mode of Profit Sharing
- Amount of Additional Forms of Compensation
- PA Compensation by Wage Type (annual, hourly, and productivity pay)
- Median PA Salary By Region (west, northwest, south, and Midwest)
- Median Base Salary From Primary Employer by Primary Work Setting
- Median Base Salary From Primary Employer by Employer Type
- Median Base Salary From Primary Employer by Major Specialty Area
- Career Changes by PAs
Also included in the report is a cost adjusted median salary by state. Using cost-of-living data, you can determine not only your adjusted cost-of-living salary but you can use this data to calculate the salary you will need to maintain the same standard of living in a different location.