In Michigan, physician assisting is such a promising career that it made the 2015 list of “Michigan’s Hot 50 careers” published by the state’s Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB). This list showcases high-demand high-wage careers through 2018.
Interest in becoming a physician assistant in Michigan has “exploded” according to Crain’s Detroit Business. The demand for physician assistants is so strong that the DTMB expects the number of PA jobs to increase by 23.8% statewide between 2012 and 2022. This level of growth should result in an average of 151 job openings for physician assistants becoming available each year in Michigan.
A DTMB regional analysis for the period between 2010 and 2020 indicated that job growth for physician assistants would be strongest in the northwest Lower Peninsula. With a growth rate of 23.5%, this is 3.9% higher than that predicted for Ann Arbor—the area with the second highest projected growth rate.
The practice authority for physician assistants in Michigan has increased greatly since the first graduating class began practicing in 1974. One notable legislative change took place in 2007 when Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan started allowing physician assistants to be reimbursed for serving as a first assistant in surgery.
Salary Ranges for Michigan’s Physician Assistants
Physician assistants tend to be extremely well paid in Michigan compared to their colleagues in the rest of the country. The DTMB reported that the median salary for a physician assistant in Michigan was $127,539 as of 2014. This value is $31,719 higher than the median salary for physician assistants nationwide, as reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Experienced physician assistants in Michigan who were in the top 10% of this occupational category earned an average of $183,475—$48,755 more than the average national value for the top 10%. In contrast, physician assistants in Michigan representing the bottom 10% of this occupational category (typically entry-level) earned an average of $66,016.
Physician Assistant Salaries in Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Areas of Michigan
The salaries among physician assistants in Michigan varied greatly depending on their location in 2014 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Physician assistants in the Saginaw area earned the highest median salary, while the salary for physician assistants in the top 10% of this occupational category were so high in Flint that they exceeded the maximum value reported by the BLS:
*Values are greater than $90/hour or $187,199/year. The BLS does not report salaries that exceed these values.