As health care reform continues to sweep the nation, physician assistants In Illinois are profiting from an increasing profusion of high-salaried positions.
In 2012, the United States Department of Labor reported that there were an estimated 2,320 physician assistants working in Illinois. By 2022, this number is expected to reach 2,990, which signifies a 29% growth change. This occupational growth trend is especially strong considering the total employment rate in Illinois is projected to increase by just 8.31% during this period.
On average, physician assistants in Illinois can look forward to 110 job openings annually through 2022, including new jobs and replacement jobs for those entering retirement. Examples of local employers that typically hire physician assistants in the state include:
- Rockford Health System
- Suburban Surgical Care
- Northwest Suburban Pain Center
- Dupage Medical Group
- Physicians Immediate Care
- Northwest Memorial Hospital
- Swedish Emergency Associates
- Ageless Men’s Health
Searching for jobs in the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville region may prove particularly advantageous since this area held the fourth highest employment level for physician assistants among all other metropolitan areas in 2014. At that time, physician assistants working here earned an average annual salary of $82,870 and an average hourly wage of $39.84.
Experience Equates to Higher Physician Assistant Salaries
According to the United States Department of Labor, physician assistants working in Illinois received an average annual salary of $83,770 and an average hourly wage of $40.28. The earning potential of physician assistants is largely dependent upon an individual worker’s ability to use experience as a catalyst for higher salary offers.
As advances in technology continue to revolutionize the medical field, it’s imperative that physician assistants remain up-to-date when it comes to using the latest, cutting-edge tools and techniques available in the field. This kind of expertise is typically achieved over the course of several years of experience, which explains why most entry-level physician assistants start out earning lower salaries.
For example, in 2014, the United States Department of Labor found entry-level physician assistants working throughout Illinois earned an average annual salary of $34,800 and an average hourly wage of $16.74, while mid-level professionals were paid a much higher average annual salary of $87,00 and an average hourly wage of $41.85. However, the most experienced physician assistants in the state earned an even more substantial average annual salary of $123,100 and an average hourly wage of $59.17.
Highest Paying Regions for Physician Assistants in Illinois
External factors, such as geographic location of employment, also affect physician assistant salaries in Illinois. For instance, in 2014, the United States Department of Labor found that physician assistants employed in the South nonmetropolitan area of the state collected an average annual salary of $108,870, while those practicing in the East nonmetropolitan area earned a considerably lower average annual salary of $67,930. Physician assistant salaries in other major regions of Illinois include:
- Bloomington-Normal: $81,280
- Champaign-Urbana: $89,640
- Chicago-Joliet-Naperville Metro Division: $82,870
- Chicago-Joliet-Naperville: $83,420
- Lake County-Kenosha County Metro Division: $87,670
- Peoria: $97,430
- Springfield: $80,160
- Northwest nonmetropolitan area: $76,130
- West Central nonmetropolitan area: $87,910
The following data table provides a full analysis of physician assistant salaries in these same locations (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014):