As a cost-benefit measure, the medical community continues to nudge physician assistants into the role of primary care providers. By doing so, employers in Indiana are growing increasingly dependent upon highly skilled physician assistants to perform duties typically reserved for physicians. As a result, physician assistants are now among the state’s 50 highest-paid professionals.
According to the United States Department of Labor, in 2014, physician assistants earned an average annual salary of $95,940 and an average hourly wage of $46.12. In that same year, the city of Evansville was the seventh highest-paying metropolitan area for physician assistants in the country. Here, physician assistants received an average annual salary of $128,820 and an average hourly wage of $61.93.
Job Growth and the Factors Contributing to Higher Salaries
Aside from being among the highest paid professionals, physician assisting is also among the fastest-growing occupations in Indiana. Governmental employment projections suggest the number of physician assistants working in Indiana will increase from 950 in 2012 to 1,230 by 2022. This 30% growth change is expected to produce approximately 50 annual job openings for physician assistants through 2022.
Job prospects may be especially abundant in the South Bend-Mishawaka area, as this region was named the third highest-paying metropolitan area for physician assistants in 2014. At that time, physician assistants working here earned an average annual salary of $147,900 and an average hourly wage of $71.11.
According to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the following employers posted the largest number of online job advertisements for physician assistants in September 2015:
- Community Howard Regional Health
- American Health Network of Indiana
- Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health
- Indiana University Health
- Kendall & Davis
- Franciscan Physician Network
- HCA Holdings, Inc.
One of the most lucrative pathways to landing high-paying jobs in Indiana is through work experience.
In 2014, the United States Department of Labor reported that physician assistants in entry-level positions received an average annual salary of $57,000 and an average hourly wage of $27.42. Physician assistants offering several years of more practiced skills were awarded a higher average annual salary of $90,800 and an average hourly wage of $43.64. Yet, the biggest paychecks went to the most experienced physician assistants in the state. These esteemed professionals earned an average annual salary of $135,300 and an average hourly wage of $65.04.
Where to Find the Highest PA Salaries in Indiana
It is important for physician assistants to learn which areas in Indiana are proposing the best salary offers. In 2014, the United States Department of Labor found that physician assistants working in Evansville, Fort Wayne, and the South Bend-Mishawaka area all earned average salaries that were over $100,000, making these the highest-paying locations in the state.
Meanwhile, physician assistants in the Gary metropolitan area, the Indianapolis-Carmel region, and the Northern nonmetropolitan area were paid an average annual salary of between $72,000 and $92,000.
The following data table depicts a more thorough account of physician assistant salaries in these six major localities in Indiana (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.