How Much Do Physician Assistants Make | Salary Estimate

The median salary for physician assistants makes approximately $112,192.

Nevertheless, salaries vary dramatically depending on location, specialization, and experience.

The bottom 10% of income earners make about $95,146 yearly.

Conversely, the top 10% of physician assistants make approximately $134,165 annually.

How much physician assistants make annually depends on several factors.

It includes their location, expertise, and job duties.

Besides that, salary is negotiable depending on the employer hiring them.

Finally, PAs in surgical and medical hospitals make more on average than those operating in less demanding settings.

Factors Affecting a Physician Assistant’s Salary

Numerous factors determine a physician assistant’s annual salary.

For instance, depending on the state/city where they work, their salary can vary by more than $30,000.

In addition, their specialization and years of experience significantly influence their income.

The following section explores these factors in detail to help you understand the median salary for physician assistants.


Where a physician assistant works directly correlates with how much they make.

To illustrate, physician assistants in New York make an average annual salary of $120,653, according to

In contrast, the same healthcare specialists earn approximately $78,876 annually.

The median salary also varies significantly by city.

Physician assistants in New York City earn more than those working in Long Island, N.Y.

It’s necessary to mention that the salary difference doesn’t always correlate with higher income after taxes and other expenses.

For instance, although some states pay more for PAs, they also have a higher cost of living.

The higher cost of living can offset a PA’s financial advantages. 


Physician assistants can pursue various educational paths to specialize in different fields.

Their salary varies substantially depending on their path and the degree they earn (master’s or doctorate).

As a result, PAs need to determine their specialization early if their focus is to earn as much money as possible.


There are numerous specializations for PAs, ranging from family care to pediatrics.

It includes internal medicine, gynecology, obstetrics, pediatrics, and general practice.

Each specialization focuses on a particular group of individuals or areas of medicine.

Moreover, the median salary among different specializations varies by thousand or tens of thousands of dollars depending on their domain.

Specializations Include:

  • General practice
  • Gynecology
  • Internal medicine
  • Obstetrics
  • Pediatrics

With that said, physician assistants aren’t just limited to a specialization.

There are also numerous sub-specializations allowing them to hone their skills further and provide expert care in a particular healthcare domain.

Sub Specialization

A sub-specialization focuses further on a particular healthcare/medicine domain.

It allows PAs to narrow their expertise to a specific area of medicine.

That way, they can provide specialized care and expertise beyond other healthcare specialists.

The following section includes numerous sub-specializations for PAs who want to niche down into a particular field of care.

Physician Assistant Sub Specializations:

  • Cardiology
  • Critical care
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Hematology & Oncology
  • Infectious disease
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology
  • Pulmonology
  • Rheumatology

These are a handful of specializations for physician assistants.

There are other domains they can focus on to develop their expertise and assist specific populations needing care.

Years of Experience

As with most jobs, employment length and experience correlate with income level.

Therefore, the longer a physician assistant works for a particular employer, they earn.

In addition, the experience they gain opens new possibilities for more responsibilities, promotions, and higher salaries. 

Physician Assistant Overview

A physician assistant or PA works under the supervision of surgeons and physicians.

PAs work in private practices, outpatient centers, doctors’ offices, and other healthcare facilities.

In addition to working in specific settings, PAs specialize in various fields.

It includes gynecology and obstetrics, where they assist with childbirth and surgeries.

Well-trained PAs can diagnose illnesses and injuries, provide treatment, and examine patients’ medical conditions.

They also prescribe treatments for various conditions or diseases, diagnose illnesses, and order tests.

Working as a physician assistant can be very profitable and rewarding compared to other healthcare specializations.

Career Opportunities

Physician assistants can pursue numerous career paths allowing them to explore different opportunities within healthcare.

Most physician assistants work in one of five career areas: internal medicine, gynecology, obstetrics, pediatrics, and general practice.

In inflexible geographic areas, PAs may have to take on the role of primary caretaker when supervision is limited.

These scenarios occur when a doctor is not available to administer care.

Their scope of practice and the facility’s regulations determine the level of care PAs can provide.

In addition, physician assistants must have the legal authority to practice without direct supervision from a doctor.

For instance, some rural clinics may require staff to work in rescue services or with armed services.

It is ideal for PAs to work under the supervision of a doctor, but this does not mean their duties are limited.

The presence of a doctor gives the assistant access to more excellent medical knowledge when needed.

Many PAs rarely need to call on a doctor for help because of having a significant amount of specialty training.

Specialization and Sub Specialization

Physician assistants practice pediatric and adult specialties like neurology, dermatology, and cardiology.

Employment at hospitals is another option instead of working in medical offices.

Many specialty practices for physician assistants occur in hospital settings.

It makes it easier for physician assistants to specialize in various domains and care settings.

PAs oversee patients, perform basic procedures, and work with medical teams in hospital and medical office settings.

PAs also monitor patients after surgeries and alert the doctor of any problems.

A physician assistant’s career development depends on their education and experience.

Physician assistants who choose not to take on a specialty study are more likely to stay in general practice.

Non-Clinical PA Occupations

There are numerous non-clinical jobs for physician assistants.

It includes legal consulting, medical writing, research, medical informatics, government work, and academics.

PAs can also work with insurance companies in medical devices, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals.

These careers allow physician assistants to provide expertise in non-bedside care occupations.

It also provides numerous opportunities to earn more than traditional physician assistants.

For instance, PAs working for medical devices and pharmaceuticals can earn commissions on product sales.

As a result, top sellers can earn several hundred thousand dollars per year based on their performance.

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