Salary Data from the AAPA Shows Continued Growth in Demand and Compensation for Physician Assistants

With a number of studies showing that PAs provide high quality, cost effective care, it makes sense that demand for these professionals has been consistently increasing in recent years. The American Academy of PAs (AAPA) recently quantified both the increase in demand for these advanced nurses and that of their salaries.

A press release from the AAPA released in late September 2016 provided this good news for physician assistants. The organization’s rigorous analysis of salaries from nearly 16,000 survey respondents provides very strong data to buttress these conclusions.

The median base salary for physician assistants increased by 3.4% between 2014 and 2015 alone. In addition, salaries increased about 50% greater than the rate of inflation between 2000 and 2015.

This new report also describes rapid growth in the number of PAs:

  • The profession doubled in size during every decade since 1980
  • The number of PAs increased by more than one third between 2010 and 2015

Despite this sizable increase in the number of PAs, demand remains high for these professionals. The AAPA CEO, Jennifer L. Dorn, described several reasons for the continued demand for physician assistants:

  • PAs are “taking on new leadership roles in health systems”
  • They are well positioned to respond to the growing and aging population in the US
  • The shift towards value-based care benefits PAs as does the “renewed focus on patient education and prevention”

The large number of survey respondents ensured that the analyses are highly statistically significant with a margin of error of +/- 72%. Additionally, the data met the gold standard of being significant at a 95% confidence level. Details of this new study can be found at https://www.aapa.org/salaryreport.


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