According to Georgia’s Department of Labor, the field of physician assisting is experiencing exceptionally strong job growth and above-average salaries, making the profession one of the state’s “Hot Careers to 2022.” In 2014, the United States Department of Labor reported that physician assistants earn an average annual salary of $94,910 nationwide.
Employment projections published by the federal government further establish physician assisting among the state’s most promising professions. The number of physician assistants working in Georgia is expected to skyrocket from 2,820 in 2012 to 4,740 by 2022. This incredible surge equates to a 68% employment growth rate, which is 30% above the national job growth expectancy for this occupation. At this velocity, aspiring physician assistants in Georgia can reasonably anticipate roughly 240 annual job openings.
Jobseekers may find the best employment options in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta area, as this region held the eighth highest employment level of physician assistants among all other metropolitan areas in the entire country in 2014. At that time, physician assistants working in this region earned an average annual salary of $97,360 and an average hourly wage of $46.81.
Physician Assistant Salaries by Experience Level and Location
Local employers such as the Harbin Clinic, Grady Health System, and Northside Hospital often compensate physician assistants based on experience.
In 2014, the United States Department of Labor reported that physician assistants in entry-level positions earned an average annual salary of $68,300 and an average hourly wage of $32.85. Median wage earners netted an average annual salary of $93,600 and an average hourly wage of $45.02, while expert physician assistants achieved an even greater average annual salary of $128,600 and an average hourly wage of $61.81.
Since not every county in Georgia has the same demand for physician assistants, workers should expect salary variations across county lines. In 2013, the Georgia Department of Labor published annual salary averages for physician assistants for the following counties:
- Banks County: $127,200
- White County: $126,826
- Lumpkin County: $126,765
- Habersham County: $122,925
- Warren County: $116,410
- Dawson County: $107,718
- Jackson County: $105,381
- Barrow County: $105,381
- Hall County: $104,389
- Whitfield County: $104, 049
Physician Assistant Salaries by Region in Georgia
In 2014, the United States Department of Labor released occupational wage findings showing that physician assistant salaries were largely influenced by geographic location of employment. For example, physician assistants working in Albany took home an average annual salary of $103,770, while those practicing in Macon were paid a much lower annual average salary of $78,350. Physician assistant salaries in other major metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas are as follows:
- Athens-Clarke County: $87,430
- Augusta-Richmond County: $84,030
- Columbus: $101,750
- Gainesville: $91,700
- Rome: $94,960
- Savannah: $91,290
- North nonmetropolitan area: $96,530
- Middle nonmetropolitan area: $95,600
- South nonmetropolitan area: $97,630
The data table found below offers a more detailed picture of physician assistant pay rates in these regions (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014):