How Much Do Physician's Assistants Make Per Year?

by Aurelio Locsin - Updated September 26, 2017
Physician assistants can practice medicine under the supervision of a doctor.

Physician assistants can practice medicine when supervised by doctors and surgeons. Formal training typically takes at least two years, though most assistants have a college degree. Passing a national exam is also required for professionals to obtain a license. The highest-paid physician assistants make more than double the earnings of the lowest-paid ones.


The median compensation of physician assistants is $84,420 yearly.

As of May 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that the median compensation of physician assistants is $84,420 yearly. The bottom 10 percent make $55,880 and the upper 10 percent receive $115,080.


The highest paying industry is residential mental retardation.

The industry type affects wages. The top five highest-paying for this job are employment services, in which rates are $104,780; residential mental retardation, mental health and substance abuse facilities at $103,520; specialty hospitals (except psychiatric and substance abuse) at $90,940; outpatient care centers at $87,060; and general medical and surgical hospitals at $86,850.

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Nevada is the highest paying state.

The state in which a job is performed decides salaries. This job's highest-paying are Nevada, with compensation at at $103,500; Washington at $98,880; Connecticut at $96,380; District of Columbia at $95,610; and Alaska at $92,180.

Urban Areas

Chattanooga, TN is the top urban area for pay.

The urban area in which a job is located affects pay, with the top five for income in this profession being Chattanooga, Tennessee, in which compensation is at $142,220; Racine, Wisconsin at $124,930; Lake County, Illinois at $121,270; Las Vegas, Nevada at $113,460; and Ocala, Florida at $112,420.

Employment Numbers

Main offers the most employment, but not the highest income.

The areas with the most employment do not offer the best income. The industries with the most job opportunities are offices of physicians, in which rates are at $84,720; and general medical and surgical hospitals at $86,850. The states with the greatest concentration of jobs are Maine, with salaries at $85,950, and South Dakota at $81,530. Finally, the cities with the most physician assistants per person are Fayetteville, North Carolina, with salaries at $89,650, and Glens Falls, New York, at $86,100.

2016 Salary Information for Physician Assistants

Physician assistants earned a median annual salary of $101,480 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, physician assistants earned a 25th percentile salary of $86,130, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $121,420, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 106,200 people were employed in the U.S. as physician assistants.

About the Author

Aurelio Locsin has been writing professionally since 1982. He published his first book in 1996 and is a frequent contributor to many online publications, specializing in consumer, business and technical topics. Locsin holds a Bachelor of Arts in scientific and technical communications from the University of Washington.

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