Physician Assistant Salary: Important Factors and Average Income in the United States

PA Coaching • May 27, 2023

The Physician Assistant salary varies depending on several factors such as experience, location, and specialty. In this video, I will break each down and give the average physician assistant salary in the US for 2023. Overall, physician assistants are well-compensated for their work and provide valuable services in healthcare.

Physician assistant salary: Factors and Average Income in the United States

Aspiring physician assistants (PAs) often wonder about the earning potential in their chosen field. Understanding the average salary for PAs is crucial for career planning and financial considerations. In this article, we will explore the factors that impact physician assistant salary and provide insights into the average income in the United States.

Factors Influencing Physician assistant salary:

  1. Geographic Location: Geography plays a significant role in determining PA salaries. Different regions of the United States offer varying income levels due to factors such as cost of living and market competitiveness. For example, California stands out with some of the highest PA salaries, averaging around $129,000, while states like New York have slightly lower averages at $122,000. Salaries may be lower in the South and Midwest regions.
  2. Specialty: The chosen specialty also affects PA salaries. PAs working in surgical and surgical subspecialties generally earn higher incomes compared to those in medicine specialties. Certain medical specialties, such as Dermatology and Anesthesiology, offer higher base salaries. Additionally, the geographic location and the type of practice (private vs. academic medical center) can influence salary variations.
  3. Years of Experience: Experience is a significant factor in determining PA salaries. PAs with more years of experience tend to command higher salaries. Specializing in a particular field and acquiring expertise can further increase earning potential. Employers recognize the value of experienced PAs who can contribute immediately, resulting in higher base salaries.
  4. Bonuses: Some employers offer bonuses to PAs, which can augment their base salary. These bonuses may be performance-based or linked to patient volume. Merit bonuses can provide an additional income stream for PAs, further enhancing their overall compensation.
  5. Additional Income and Side Hustles: PAs have the opportunity to supplement their income through various avenues. Engaging in side hustles or entrepreneurial endeavors, such as running a business, speaking engagements, or partnering with pharmaceutical companies, can generate additional income. Adjunct faculty positions in PA programs and other part-time opportunities also offer ways to balance and augment salary.

Average physician assistant salary in the United States

According to the latest salary report, the average salary for a PA in the United States is approximately $112,600. However, it’s important to note that this figure represents an average, and individual salaries may vary based on the factors discussed above.


When considering a career as a PA, understanding the average salary and the factors that influence income is essential. Geographic location, specialty, years of experience, bonuses, and additional income streams all contribute to a PA’s earning potential. By researching the average salaries in their area and considering these factors, aspiring PAs can make informed decisions regarding their education, job search, and negotiating contracts. Remember, PAs have opportunities to increase their income through specialization, experience, and exploring diverse income-generating avenues. So, go ahead and pursue your passion as a PA, knowing that your earning potential is both rewarding and adaptable.

Also read: PA or MD? Which career path should you choose?

About me:

I’m Michele Neskey, aka The Posh PA. Welcome to my YouTube channel! My mission is to provide personalized guidance, education, and motivation to build confidence and promote wellness for aspiring physician assistants and beyond.   

Having been a PA for 17+ years and helped hundreds of students gain acceptance into PA school,  I understand the admissions process. I know what they are looking for, and I can help you tailor every component to make you shine, giving you the BEST chance of getting accepted to a program.  But it doesn’t end there. I create personalized plans for PA students and practicing PAs including test-taking strategy for the PANCE, contract negotiations, and tools to overcome and prevent provider burnout. 

My goal is to get you into a physician assistant (PA) school & survive the rigorous program, help you prevent burnout as a practicing PA, and help you take care of yourself so you can be the best version of YOU for your patients, family, and most importantly YOU!