How Much Does a Physician Assistant Make a Year?

By Jacqueline DeMarco · April 02, 2024 · 6 minute read

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How Much Does a Physician Assistant Make a Year?

The most recent median annual salary for physician assistants is $126,010 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is significantly more (about twice) the average pay of all jobs in the US.

Working as a physicians assistant can be a fulfilling way to have a career in the medical industry without having to spend as much time or money on school as a doctor. Like doctors, physician assistants stand to make a lot of money, but can save on tuition costs since they typically only need a master’s degree to work in this role.

Keep reading to learn more about what physician assistants do and how much money they make.

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What Are Physician Assistants?

A physician assistant is capable of performing a lot of tasks a medical doctor would perform, such as conducting patient examinations, diagnosing illnesses, and delivering treatments. They complete their work under physician supervision and their day-to-day responsibilities can include tasks like:

•   Obtaining and reviewing medical histories

•   Ordering diagnostic tests

•   Prescribing medications

•   Collaborating with healthcare teams.

A physician assistant can specialize in a specific healthcare field like primary care, emergency medicine, and psychiatry, which can affect their job responsibilities.

As mentioned above, these individuals typically have a master’s degree; this is usually a requirement for licensing. However, you don’t need to go to and pay for medical school.

Job opportunities are likely to be plentiful. The projected growth over 2022 to 2032 is 27%, which is very well above the single-digit average for most professions.

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How Much Do Starting Physician Assistants Make a Year?

Like any career, it takes time to earn a high salary when working as a physician assistant. When a physician assistant is entry-level, their salary may compare with the lowest 10% of earners in this role, who make $83,820 or less, but there is a lot of room for improvement here.

The highest 10% of earners make more than $168,120. In other words, it is indeed possible to earn $100,000 a year.

What is the Average Salary for a Physician Assistant?

The answer to the question—how much money does a physician assistant make—can vary depending on where a physician assistant works. Some jobs will pay more due to location. The following table illustrates the average salary for this role in each state and a quick glance makes it clear there is a lot of variance in pay by state. For example, a physician assistant in New York makes $44,095 more on average than someone in this role in Florida, which is quite a gap.

Below, this table shares how much a physician assistant job pays both by state and by different rates, including hourly pay, from highest to lowest.

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What Is the Average Physician Assistant Salary by State for 2023

State Annual Salary Monthly Pay Weekly Pay Hourly
New York $135,153 $11,262 $2,599 $64.98
Vermont $132,952 $11,079 $2,556 $63.92
Maine $127,291 $10,607 $2,447 $61.20
Pennsylvania $123,776 $10,314 $2,380 $59.51
Washington $123,029 $10,252 $2,365 $59.15
Massachusetts $121,192 $10,099 $2,330 $58.27
New Hampshire $120,808 $10,067 $2,323 $58.08
New Jersey $120,671 $10,055 $2,320 $58.02
Alaska $120,511 $10,042 $2,317 $57.94
Oregon $119,212 $9,934 $2,292 $57.31
North Dakota $119,074 $9,922 $2,289 $57.25
Wisconsin $118,753 $9,896 $2,283 $57.09
Wyoming $118,099 $9,841 $2,271 $56.78
Hawaii $116,804 $9,733 $2,246 $56.16
Colorado $115,983 $9,665 $2,230 $55.76
Indiana $115,955 $9,662 $2,229 $55.75
New Mexico $114,119 $9,509 $2,194 $54.86
Nevada $113,947 $9,495 $2,191 $54.78
Minnesota $113,836 $9,486 $2,189 $54.73
Arizona $113,557 $9,463 $2,183 $54.59
South Dakota $112,537 $9,378 $2,164 $54.10
Montana $111,846 $9,320 $2,150 $53.77
Ohio $110,903 $9,241 $2,132 $53.32
Alabama $110,449 $9,204 $2,124 $53.10
Rhode Island $110,419 $9,201 $2,123 $53.09
Delaware $109,969 $9,164 $2,114 $52.87
Virginia $108,760 $9,063 $2,091 $52.29
Connecticut $108,357 $9,029 $2,083 $52.10
Iowa $108,260 $9,021 $2,081 $52.05
Mississippi $107,125 $8,927 $2,060 $51.50
Illinois $107,052 $8,921 $2,058 $51.47
California $106,842 $8,903 $2,054 $51.37
Maryland $106,595 $8,882 $2,049 $51.25
Tennessee $105,885 $8,823 $2,036 $50.91
Utah $105,559 $8,796 $2,029 $50.75
Nebraska $104,594 $8,716 $2,011 $50.29
Missouri $103,224 $8,602 $1,985 $49.63
Georgia $102,891 $8,574 $1,978 $49.47
South Carolina $102,185 $8,515 $1,965 $49.13
1Idaho $101,964 $8,497 $1,960 $49.02
Oklahoma $101,291 $8,440 $1,947 $48.70
Texas $101,057 $8,421 $1,943 $48.59
Kansas $100,847 $8,403 $1,939 $48.48
North Carolina $100,075 $8,339 $1,924 $48.11
Louisiana $99,387 $8,282 $1,911 $47.78
Kentucky $96,173 $8,014 $1,849 $46.24
Michigan $96,099 $8,008 $1,848 $46.20
West Virginia $95,594 $7,966 $1,838 $45.96
Arkansas $91,350 $7,612 $1,756 $43.92
Florida $91,058 $7,588 $1,751 $43.78

Source: Ziprecruiter

Physician Assistant Job Considerations for Pay & Benefits

It’s very common to work full-time as a physician assistant, which typically means that in addition to competitive pay, these professionals gain access to employer-sponsored benefits.

These may include:

•   Health insurance

•   Retirement plans

•   Paid sick days

•   Paid vacation

The tradeoff for a great compensation package can be having to work long hours or be on call. In addition, you may be exposed to medical emergencies, which can be stressful, and germs.

In addition, a career as a physician assistant requires much interaction with patients and the other members of the medical team. For this reason, it may not be a top choice as a job for antisocial people.

💡 Quick Tip: Income, expenses, and life circumstances can change. Consider reviewing your budget a few times a year and making any adjustments if needed.

Pros and Cons of Physician Assistant Salary

The main advantage of a physician assistant salary is that it is well over the national average for all jobs, which is currently $59,384. As you see, a physician assistant can possibly make twice that amount.

This high take-home pay may make it easier to create and stick to a monthly budget.

The only real downside of this salary is that to earn it, a master’s degree is necessary which can lead to student loan debt.

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The Takeaway

Building a career as a physician assistant can lead to making a high salary of $125,000-plus on average, or more than $168,120 for the top 10% of earners in this role. Many find this career path preferable to becoming a doctor as it requires spending a lot less time in school and the degree requirements come with a much lower sticker price. It’s also a fulfilling role for those who enjoy helping others.

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Can you make 100k a year as a physician assistant?

It is very possible to earn $100,000 a year or more as a physician assistant. The median annual salary for this job is $126,010, and only the bottom 10% of earners in this specific role make less than $83,820.

Do people like being a physician assistant?

Those who are passionate about the medical field and who enjoy working with people tend to get a lot of job satisfaction from working as a physician assistant. However, an introvert may dislike how social this job requires them to be.

Is it hard to get hired as a physician assistant?

The good news for prospective physician assistants is that there are plenty of job openings to be found in this field, with a rapid growth of 27% from 2022 to 2032, and there is an average projection of approximately 12,200 job openings annually.

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Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.


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