A booming job market awaits physician assistants pursuing careers in Arizona. In fact, the United States Department of Labor ranked physician assisting the 14th fastest-growing occupation in Arizona as projected for the ten-year period between 2012 and 2022. As an added bonus, physician assistants also qualified to be among the state’s top 50 highest-paying occupations during this same timeframe. As of 2014, physician assistants working throughout Arizona earned an average annual salary of $98,480 and an average hourly wage of $47.35.
From 2012 to 2022, the federal government anticipates that the number of physician assistants working in Arizona will skyrocket from 1,660 to 2,520, which equates to an enormous employment growth rate of 51%. This percent change is 13% higher than the national employment growth rate projected for this occupation. Jobseekers looking for new opportunities can expect roughly 120 annual job openings in Arizona through 2022.
Although physician assistants will undoubtedly have access to abundant job opportunities through the entire state of Arizona, the Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale area may hold particularly great prospects. In 2014, this region boasted the sixth highest employment level for physician assistants among all other metropolitan areas in the country. In that year, physician assistants working here were paid an average annual salary of $99,250 and an average hourly wage of $47.72.
Experienced Physician Assistants Earn High Salaries in Arizona
Healthcare employers are always striving to find the most dedicated, highly skilled workers to join their staff, and are willing to pay big bucks to do so. As a result, physician assistants just entering the field are unlikely to receive the kind of fat paychecks that their coworkers in managerial roles have worked so hard to earn. Entry-level physician assistants are encouraged to keep their eye on the ball by engaging in continuing education.
In 2014, the United States Department of Labor published reports showing that entry-level physician assistants in Arizona were given an average annual salary of $68,400 and an average hourly wage of $32.88, while more accomplished physician assistants took home an average annual salary of $97,400 and an average hourly wage of $46.82. Yet the biggest payouts went to the most experienced physician assistants in the state. These pros took home an average annual salary of $135,000 and an average hourly wage of $64.92.
Regional Variations for Physician Assistant Salaries in Arizona
Research conducted by the United States Department of Labor concludes that physician assistant salaries are often contingent upon geographic location of employment. To show how critical this relationship is, here are several regional pay averages for physician assistants in Arizona as of 2014:
- Flagstaff: $110,900
- Lake Havasu City-Kingman: $110,530
- Yuma: $93,980
- North nonmetropolitan area: $91,400
- Tucson: $87,420
- Southeast nonmetropolitan area: $80,440
The following data table presents a more complete breakdown of physician assistant salary statistics by region in Arizona (US Department of Labor, 2014):
*The hourly wage is equal to or greater than $90 while the annual salary is equal to or greater than $187,199. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report salary data greater than these values.