The United States Department of Labor has listed physician assistants among Virginia’s top 15 fastest-growing occupations in 2014. As the number of available jobs begins to overweigh the number of qualified workers, local employers are offering higher salaries in an effort to attract the most skilled physician assistants.
The federal government expects that the number of physician assistants in Virginia will increase from 2,090 in 2012 to 3,100 by 2022, which represents a 48% increase. Meanwhile, the national growth rate expected for this occupation is only 38%. As a result of this remarkable demand, Virginia is expected to generate approximately 140 annual job openings for physician assistants through 2022.
The Job Market and Typical Salary Offers for Physician Assistants in Virginia
According to the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, there were 188 advertised online job openings for physician assistants statewide as of October 5, 2015. Yet, there were only four licensed physician assistants in the state that weren’t employed at that time, which illustrates the great demand for qualified workers in this expanding field. Examples of local employers that posted job offers:
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- HCA Holdings, Inc.
- Sentara Healthcare
- Emergency Medicine Associates, P.A., P.C.
- Mary Washington Healthcare
- Centra Health
- VCU Health System
- LifePoint Hospitals, Inc.
- UVA Physicians Group
- Valley Emergency Physicians
Employers that posted online job advertisements for physician assistants in Virginia offered potential candidates salaries that ranged between $82,700-$103,500.
In 2015, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry reported that among all physician assistant job openings in the state, just 5.32% of employers sought entry-level candidates, while the rest were looking for PAs with at least one to four years of experience.
In 2014, the United States Department of Labor found that entry-level physician assistants in Virginia earned an average annual salary of $58,900 and an average hourly wage of $28.30, while mid-level professionals collected a higher average annual salary of $87,900 and an average hourly wage of $42.27. Comparatively, the most experienced physician assistants scored the largest pay outs, collecting an average annual salary of $117,600 and an average hourly wage of $56.56.
Geographic Analysis of Physician Assistant Salaries in Virginia
Salary studies conducted by the federal government reveal that physician assistants in Virginia were paid an average annual salary of $86,550 and an average hourly wage of $41.61 in 2014. Upon further investigation, the United States Department of Labor found strong evidence confirming physician assistant salaries varied greatly between geographic localities throughout the state:
- Charlottesville: $62,580
- Lynchburg: $95,520
- Richmond: $94,050
- Roanoke: $91,680
- Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News: $77,760
- Winchester: $81,460
- Southwestern nonmetropolitan area: $66,580
A more comprehensive salary evaluation for physician assistants in these areas is provided in the following data table (US Department of Labor, 2014):