In 2014, physician assistants graced the United States Department of Labor’s exclusive list of top 50 highest-paying occupations in Florida. At that time, physician assistants statewide earned an average annual salary of $97,710 and an average hourly wage of $46.98.
Florida also offers aspiring physician assistants a very strong job market. In fact, the Sunshine State hosted the fourth highest employment level of physician assistants in the country as of 2014. In that year, Florida employed approximately 5,020 physician assistants to help meet the state’s growing demand for skilled health care professionals.
If occupational projections by the federal government hold true, physician assistants will continue to carve out a greater employment niche in the state’s growing healthcare job market. The number of physician assistants working in Florida is expected to leap from 4,640 in 2012 to 6,160 through 2022. This 33% percent change casts an optimistic light on future employment options, as it will result in roughly 240 annual job openings for physician assistants in the state.
Employers in Florida Value Experience Above All Else
The best salaries in Florida are awarded to the physician assistants with several years of experience and well-developed clinical skill sets. By doing so, experienced physician assistants build a reputation for reliability that employers look for when choosing candidates for managerial roles that net high-end salaries.
In 2014, the United States Department of Labor found physician assistants in Florida generally earned between $67,000 and $138,000 annually based on experience. For example, an entry-level physician assistant received an average annual salary of $66,900 and an average hourly wage of $32.14, while more accomplished workers took home an average annual salary of $95,000 and an average hourly wage of $45.65. Yet, employers still offered the biggest paychecks to expert physician assistants, allotting them an average annual salary of $137,400 and an average hourly wage of $66.07.
Where to Find High Paying Physician Assistant Jobs in Florida
Additional studies conducted by the United States Department of Labor showed a direct connection between a physician assistant’s earning capacity and their location in Florida:
- Cape Coral-Fort Myers $106,410
- Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin: $84,970
- Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach $99,350
- Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach: $102,770
- Gainesville: $90,340
- Jacksonville: $93,540
- Lakeland-Winter Haven: $95,050
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach: $100,960
- Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall: $95,810
- Naples-Marco Island: $94,140
- North Point-Bradenton-Sarasota: $108,350
- Ocala: $118,870
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford: $90,140
- Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville: $104,210
- Panama City-Lynn Haven-Panama City Beach: $96,200
- Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent: $90,810
- Port St. Lucie: $94,320
- Punta Gorda: $91,080
- Tallahassee: $96,380
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater: $89,410
- West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach: $108,080
- Northwest Florida nonmetropolitan area: $65,220
- Northeast Florida nonmetropolitan area: $106,270
A more comprehensive analysis of physician assistant salaries in these regions is available in the data table below (US Department of Labor, 2014):